Friday, February 19, 2010

Burda 06-2009-110, Border Print Kimono Dress

Burda 06-2009-110 Thumbnail

I liked the kimono variation in Burda 06-2009-110, although without the front button placket, and made a muslin of it in some terrible, terrible black polyester shortly after the magazine came out in June. I decided I wanted to make the real thing in gray; I ordered some gray fabric online but it turned out to be green. I bought some in NYC in June but got it home and discovered that charcoal gray cotton is too blah.

Joie Border Print Silk _Leah_ Dress - Contemporary - Bloomingdales.com Then when I was researching border print images, the kimono dress at right really struck my eye. I received this wool challis as part of The Carol Collection and hadn't been sure what to do with it. I feared whatever I made with it would look dated (picture an 80s style ankle length broomstick skirt out of this fabric and you see what I mean) so I had to tread carefully. However, the kimono looked fresh to my eye and in no danger of screaming late 80s/early 90s, an era that, with all due respect to my high school and college self, was a total fashion dead zone. The stash contest going on at PatternReview was a good incentive to take the plunge. I would never be in any danger of winning the contest, but I like the camaraderie of seeing how much of our collective stash we can stitch rather than buying new fabric. It is a challenge and a good discipline to use up older pieces about which enthusiasm has waned.

At first I thought I would cut this as shown in the inspiration photo, which appears to have been cut as a true kimono with a cut-on sleeve, the border at the edge of the sleeve. However, I had only two yards of the wool challis and couldn't get this cutting layout to work. The Burda dress is drafted with a separate sleeve, so I lengthened the sleeve to 15 inches and cut. I cut the body of the dress on grain, and then attached the border print to the bottom of the dress with a seam. With the piecing, I could just squeak the dress out of the fabric. There are only tiny bits of it leftover.

I lined with a polyester, also from The Carol Collection. I knew I would need something drapey and fluid, but also not too lightweight to get this dress to hang correctly and be warm enough for Fall/Winter. I love that the brighter color shows through in the sleeves; in traditional Japanese kimono, giving a glimpse of the contrast fabric of an under-kimono at the sleeve was considered part of the art of wearing it. The only problem is the poly lining is SO staticky. I am not sure how it will wear.

Pleat SculptingAnyway, I thought I was being all clever by cutting the front along the self-facing foldline. It wasn't until I had it put together that I realized the self facing foldline is NOT center front. Oy. I am smrt. So I had extra fabric in front, which did not look good. I took the concept of the gathered neckline of the inspiration dress, and cut the neckline to a wide boatneck and then took up the extra front neckline fabric in pleats, as neckline pleats are very fashionable right now. I pleated the fashion fabric and lining as one and finished the neckline with bias tape. Messing around with all this sculpturing made this no-closure unfitted dress take waaaaay too long to make!

While planning the cutting, I had a hard time deciding on a length for the sleeves. Luckily, I could put on my muslin and see where the shoulder seam fell and measured from there, but that gave me no sense of how the sleeve would wear. The extra-long sleeves on the inspiration piece are part of what drew me to it, so I didn't want to skimp. However, once it was constructed the sleeves were just a tad too long. I couldn't just hem them because then I'd lose the border print. I could have shortened above the border and it would have looked like the hem, but I put in some crazy pleats at the shoulders just to test out various sleeve lengths and kind of liked the way the crazy pleats looked. I like the sculptural quality of all those pleats at the top. So I made them permanent. I know they are weird. The pleats at neck and shoulder show up best in this shot.

PocketsI considered leaving the pockets off as they just seemed like extra trouble. I like the idea of pockets, and I like to put my hands in them occasionally, but I never actually use them. But then I thought about it some more and realized that I *do* use pockets on dresses to clip my work ID onto them and keep inside the pocket. Wearing a work ID with dresses can be challenging. If I am wearing a belt I clip it onto my belt. If it has a waist seam I put a safety pin in the seam (which gives some support to the weight of the ID) and clip it to the safety pin. Dresses with no waist seam are impossible. I used to have a badge holder that had an actual clip on it, like a binder clip, which was awesome because I could just clip it onto a dress, but it broke and now I am stuck with the kind that's a passive clip, like a money clip. I refuse to wear a necklace/lanyard style ID holder because they are hideous and clash with my actual jewelry. Although this dress must be worn with a belt (check out the sexy unbelted nightgown look), my ribbon belt (tutorial is here) doesn't love holding the weight of my work ID. So I kept the pockets. After all that overthinking, I think they are cute.

I haven't had a chance to wear this dress yet and I am concerned about the staticky lining and haven't quite figured out the best boots**/tights combo for cold weather, so I'm not calling this an unqualified success. However, this fabric is now sewn up and no longer sitting on the shelf where it's been the past year and a half so in that sense it is a huge success!

All photos of this project are here and the pattern review is here.


**I love it with the cowboy boots, but after spending way too much money on these boots I don't think I can wear them. This happens every time I buy cowboy boots. I have spent hundreds of dollars on unwearable cowboy boots. The shaft collapses inward to my ankles at the seam where the lower boot and shaft are sewn together. The vertical seam is piped and this creates a very thick seam that protrudes into the inside of the boot, as you can see here. The seam is really harsh and it takes off layers of skin where it has collapsed into my ankle to the point that I am bleeding within minutes. I cannot be the only person in the world with this problem but all my googling has found NOTHING, not only no solutions but nobody else even having the problem. I have considered several ideas, such as buying metal rulers and taping them along the seam on the inside to keep the seams from collapsing but I don't know if that would work because tape won't stick very well. Wearing thick socks is not enough, and bandaids/medical tape are no match for those rubbing piped seams. Does anybody have any solutions????

41 comments:

Christina said...

You are so good at using RTW inspiration pics! Nice save with gathering the extra neckline fabric.

okie2thfairy said...

I'm right there on the boots. When you think of something let us know. I was thinking about using cardboard to keep it straight but you're ideas sound much better. Could this be a new creation that will make you a million???? Cute, cute dress.

Diane Drexel said...

Cowboy boots--
I don't own any cowboy boots, but I have a pair of knee-high boots that does the same thing.

Whenever I have issues with shoes, I always consult a cobbler (my boyfriend laughs at me when I use the word "cobbler". He says that no one uses that term anymore and I should just say "shoe repair guy"). A real cobbler should be able to help you or tell you whether or not it is a lost cause.

I also made this Burda kimono dress, but I was a little too optimistic about my size when I cut it and it is too tight in the hips/seat area.

Good luck with the boots. I love the dress.

beangirl said...

I agree with DD, I'd take them to a real cobbler (I think that's a totally acceptable word, btw) and see what they have to say about it. I will ask some of the cowboys next chance a get and see if there is a common solution. Wouldn't you know, one just left my office not twenty minutes ago, although I'm not sure he's one I could have casually asked "Hey, do you have problems with your boots chaffing your ankles and how do you take care of that?" Um. No. I'll wait until a less crotchety (and younger) one comes by. Cobbler is probably a better bet.

Very cute dress, btw.

KID, MD said...

Love this dress! The border print is genius on it. I passed on a border print yesterday because I couldn't get my mind around how to make it work, but I may go back and pick it up...

I agree with the cobbler advice for cowboy boots. As a (mostly) Texan, the idea of not having a wearable pair in your wardrobe just makes me sad! They are perfect with that dress!

Claudine said...

Hmm, I have not worn cowboy boots in a while, but I can't really picture the problem. Nice dress, though. Keeping the pockets is a good move. For some reason, pockets have become de rigour for high-end clothes.

Trudy Callan said...

Oh, my gosh! What an awesome dress. Sooo cute.

judy said...

Great dress! It seems you did most of the drafting! I love your creation! Good luck with the boots!

Eugenia said...

That kimono dress turned out great - much nicer than the Burda version - I love your design changes. It does look wonderful with the boots. I don't have any suggestions about how to fix the boots but I hope you do because they're really nice.

AuntieAllyn said...

I'm amazed how you morphed the Burda dress into your own special creation! Love the border print (I've always been a sucker for a border print) and love the cowboy boots! The entire outfit looks terrific, so you must find a way to fix your issues with the boots!

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

Love it! Cute dress. Digging the boots.
Angela

Gigi said...

What an adorable dress! I love wearing cowboy and Frye Campus boots. That seam is always an issue until you get them broken in (which can take awhile!). I recommend wearing them often for short periods of time. Once the leather is broken in they will be as comfortable as slippers.

thisjill said...

This dress turned out great! I like the border on the sleeve. Plus, this is a great cut and color on you, and it all comes together especially well with the dark blue belt. I think I might try a similar dress style myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

Reethi said...

Really cute dress!

Isabelle said...

This is adorable! Love, LOVE it, and love the border print. What I like most is the length and shape of the sleeves, and the way the lining peeks out. You made some great decisions there.

I'm sorry you can't wear the cowboy boots with them - and totally empathize, as I am also cursed with feet that bleed within minutes if the inside of my shoes is ever so slightly not to their taste.

Hope you soon figure out how to accessorize this with your usual flair, and get to enjoy wearing it. :)

Clio said...

Great dress!

When all else fails, I usually reach for the duct tape. I have no idea whether this will work for boots. But if you paid a lot for them, it probably can't hurt to try...

Gail said...

I am VERY jealous of your fabric. I have been looking all over Sydney for a stylish border print cotton to make a kaftan without success.

Heather said...

Your dress is very cute. You look great!

Vicki said...

Nice dress. Love the way you "made it work". And Carol would be very happy to see her collection being used too;)

Little Hunting Creek said...

Wow, what a pretty dress - I love the border print. I was just thinking of making a border print dress. As for the static, isn't there a anti-static spray stuff you can use? or dryer sheets?
As for the boot problem, I have no solution...maybe a shoe repair person could stretch them for you? They did that for my daughter's ice skating boots

Lisette M said...

I love your "crazy" pleats, a really cute dress. Don't have any solution for your boots, but from the comments you are not the only one with the problem.

Brenda said...

I live in my cowboy boots. In the past I've had the problem with the seam at the ankle, especially when riding a horse. I have been buy good quality boots that FIT. I discovered that they need to be bigger than you think. The leather needs to be good quality and soft. I have heard that it is good to get them wet while wearing them and then wear them until they are dry. I have done that accidentally (getting drenched in the rain) and they did dry tot the shape of my foot. My husband keeps buying me new boots because the ones I wear all the time look like they came off some cowboy that worn them out on the range for the last 10 years. Go to a store that is only western wear and have someone there fit you.

beth said...

Awesome dress! As far as the boots, you should peruse some equestrian sites (English or Western shouldn't matter- the premise is the same) for tips on breaking in the boots. Wearing them wet, as one commenter noted, is one popular way, but there are many others involving all manners of stuffing, scrunching, etc., and then keeping them that way. You can even strategically "scrunch" in order to avoid a fold at a place where it will chafe. Lots of riders end up with bloody back-of-the-knee area from the tall English equestrian boots, as well as sore ankles, etc. Hope this helps!

June said...

It looks great! I love the fabric.

Linda said...

I really like this tunic dress. The belt is a must! Lovely use of the fabric. Nice idea regarding the neckline. I find your sewing problem skills excellent as well as creative, all that work to make a great garment.

Uta said...

Cute dress! I love the contrast lining; too bad it's static-y. Regarding the boots, I love the cowboy-boots-with-dress-look, but DH abhors it so much, I actually quit wearing it (and I don't normally believe in dressing to someone else's taste!). Anyway, I hope you find a solution so you can wear them.(If you've spent so much money and can't wear them, could it be worth it getting a pair custom-made?)

Sigrid said...

You know how to make it work for you. Awesome interpretation.

Katharine in Brussels said...

Congrats on de-stashing so creatively :) Hey, give a shout if you'd like a European Commission lanyard holder thingie, I have tons of those from my students!

Becky said...

Love the dress and your changes to make it work! For the boots: Moleskin from the drug store is thick and soft and has adhesive that really sitcks and protects your skin from blisters. You can put it on the vulnerable skin BEFORE it hurts (we go climbing/hiking/backpacking and never leave home without it), or you can put it on the boot to make that irritating spot soft and smooth. I also vote that you ask a cobbler for help and get really well fitting boots. I grew up in Texas and my boyfriends had thiers custom made (not as pricey as you think).
For static: Always carry a bounce fabric softener sheet in your purse or dress pocket. When the static bugs you, rub it on your tights and the static is gone!

DanainDFW said...

A friend with many pairs of boots swears by the water thing as mentioned above. My friends method: Put the boots on and poor hot water into them. Wear them until you can't stand it anymore. Take them off (outside), dump out the water. Put on dry socks and put the wettish boots back on... until they dry. Repeat if necessary. She swears they will fit like a glove after this.

deb said...

I had that problem with a pair of knee-high boots. The ankle area collapsed in and hurt. It didn't draw blood and I was stubborn so those boots did get broken in and soft but the pain never went away. I had also wondered if something thin and straight anchored inside the boots would keep them from rubbing. Unfortunately I donated the boots and didn't try it to report on whether it worked. The water and cobbler ideas sound like better bet because unless the boots are loose around the calves, putting the equivalent of boning in the boots might rub and hurt elsewhere? Cute boots & very nice border dress though!

deb said...

I had that problem with a pair of knee-high boots. The ankle area collapsed in and hurt. It didn't draw blood and I was stubborn so those boots did get broken in and soft but the pain never went away. I had also wondered if something thin and straight anchored inside the boots would keep them from rubbing. Unfortunately I donated the boots and didn't try it to report on whether it worked. The water and cobbler ideas sound like better bet because unless the boots are loose around the calves, putting the equivalent of boning in the boots might rub and hurt elsewhere? Cute boots & very nice border dress though!

Claire S. said...

Can't help with the boot problem, but they look great with that beautiful dress !

laura said...

Good save, it's very cute. Static is such a pain and since I don't think there's a good cure for it, I would wait until spring to wear it. I have a feeling you aren't going to be able to save or fix your boots. Hans spent a ton of money on his hockey skates (that were supposed to be molded to his feet)and he has to apply tons of band-aids to his ankles every time (2 days/week) he plays or they rip him to shreds. Custom made boots may be the way to go.

senaSews said...

The dress is really cute. I love your use of the border print. Totally not 80ies style!

Lindsay T said...

Really cute dress, Trena!

I still have the cowboy boots I bought in Dallas in the early 80s. They're too small for me but my daughter wears them.

angie.a said...

I have no memory of this from the June issue, haha! But yours is pretty darn cute, I'll have to go pull that issue out. June is always a good issue, isn't it? (knock wood).

I agree, the cowboy boots have to be broken in and this can take a LONG time. But once they are, wow. A cobbler or western wear store (do you have those where you live?? Seems incongruous) should be able to stretch them or give you some tips!

Anonymous said...

I took a look at that snippy reviewer you were talking about. Yeah, the comments were clearly from somebody who seems to be defending the patterns.

The pics of your tops were proof enough that something was wrong with the way the patterns were put together, especially that orange top. It looked to me like you'd need to take a giant sandwich-shaped triangle off each shoulder to true it to your shoulder slope, thereby removing that weird fabric bump across the chest. And you'd already done one shoulder adjustment! It would seem that there was indeed something off about the pattern.

My vote: Ignore her and keep up the brutal honesty about your experiences. It's both helpful and refreshing.

Cennetta said...

Love the dress. Man-o-man!..., You crank them out so fast. Do you sew in your sleep? lol

eword10 said...

Catching up on my commenting... I love this dress. I am scared of border prints even though I just purchased two. You give me inspiration! Again!

Anonymous said...

Great Dress! for your boots.. the water technique is good, if that does not work, try a lanolin based profuct slatheres thickly on your ankles (unless it will discolor the wool) If it will, look for a product called a bunga pad, sold in figure skating stores Its a gel tube with a fabric outside, you can get it in toe and ankle sizes. They WORK. your boots CAN be made comfy.