Friday, July 8, 2011

Burda 04-2010-105, Flounce Dress (or, I Don't Hate Gray, I Promise)

04-2010-105 Thumbnail

I bought this fabric from Vogue Fabrics last year; when I bought cotton batiste from them I figured I might as well throw in a fun fabric if I was paying shipping anyway, and it was only $3.99/yd. It's a beautiful cotton voile with a very subtle sheen and a texture I have decided is really large scale swiss dot. Amazingly, when I purchased it I had it in mind for Burda 04-2010-105 and did not change my mind in the intervening year. Well, in one sense I did--I meant to make this as the blouse but in the end couldn't resist making it a dress.

I raised the neckline by 1.75 inches, and correspondingly altered the ruffle piece according to Eugenia's helpful instructions. Raising the neckline is easy as the neckline is just a slit along the center front.

SBA and BBA I made an SBA by narrowing the bust dart. I ended up adding vertical waist darts before sewing on the skirt, because it was just too big in front for my taste, but luckily the bust still fits well and is not too large. I also did a broad back adjustment. I thought I might want to sew the back dart up higher to control puffiness, but the loose fit of the dress doesn't require it. You can see the fullness I added in the back view, but it doesn't look terrible and I have plenty of movement.

Swayback I did not make a swayback adjustment to the pattern, as the bodice is cut off right at natural waist. I make my swayback adjustment just below natural waist, so I assumed I would need to make it on the skirt rather than the bodice. I basted (all right, I didn't baste, I just sewed) the skirt to the bodice and whoa! Swayback Wedge Horrifying swayback dip in the back bodice. You can see the line of pins there where I tried to mark a straight line (it's a little high). I took off the skirt and pinned it back in place with a larger and larger seam allowance in the bodice CB, tapering to nothing extra at the sides, until I got it right.

I checked the new position by tying a piece of elastic around my waist. The waist either still isn't straight or I have a tilted waist. I never understood what "tilted waist" meant but seeing the elastic I think I get it now. I ended up shortening the bodice by 1.5 inches at center back. That is some swayback!

Burrito Rolled Yoke The voile is very lightweight so it had to be lined or underlined anyway. Because there is a yoke I went with underlining, using cotton batiste from Vogue Fabrics. To finish/line the yoke, I used the burrito method from KBenco's blog again, and the yoke turned out gorgeous.

The rest of the bodice was underlined. So I would have lovely finished side seams, I used the faux Hong Kong finish method of cutting the underlining 5/8 inch wider than the fashion fabric at the vertical seams, serging along the vertical seams right sides together, then turning out and letting the excess underlining fold over the serged seam.

Zipper and Faux Hong Kong UnderliningBurda wanted you to finish the armscyes with bias tape before putting on the zipper. That seemed like a missed opportunity to tuck the ends of the zipper tape into the bias tape finish, so I waited until the zip was in. I had been undecided what method to use to finish the armscyes, but in the end I like the binding. I used every little scrap of the fabric and each binding is made up on 3 very short bias lengths sewn together.

I got into a little trouble with the neckline. First, I really did try to be all neat and precise with the point at the bottom of the neckline, but in the end it's all held together with indiscriminate zigzagging and Fray Check. Thank goodness for flounces, which were easy-finished with a serger rolled hem; they cover a multitude of sins.

Second, when I went to sew on the collar, it was way too long. Like 3 inches too long. I did not cut any extra off the vertical slit of the neckline, though I did take a 1/2 inch seam allowance at the upper edges. Nobody else mentioned the collar not fitting onto the neckline, so it must have been some imprecision on my part. It was thoroughly annoying.

I drafted a back facing for the neckline. I wasn't going to like it with a front facing and then the back neckline finished only by turning under the seam allowance of my (now inexplicably shorter) collar. I did the Sunny Gal Studio method of finishing the edges of the facing: sew shoulder seams of facing and interfacing separately; serge facing to interfacing along outside edge, with non-glue side of interfacing to right side of facing; turn right side out and then fuse interfacing in place.

Pleated Skirt Lining To get the facing to lay flat, I had to notch it. Does anyone else hate notching around curves? I feel like it is going to make the garment fall apart on the first wash. I notched around the collar, but fray checked every single cut.

I did a catch stitch by hand to stitch the facing to the underlining all around, so there was no chance of flopping.

For the skirt, I used rayon satin from Fabric.com's massive sale of Vera Wang fabrics last year. I wish I'd bought 20 yards of the satin, as it is lovely and luxurious as a lining. To reduce bulk, I pleated the skirt lining rather than gathering it as for the fashion fabric.

Deep Hem I had limited fabric left after cutting the bodice. I could either have a shorter-than-I'd-like skirt cut on grain, or a crossgrain skirt at a length I prefer. The "swiss dots" are ovals, and the ovals on the bodice are sideways (grain). I debated for a while, but decided I'd rather have a longer skirt and ovals in a different orientation; I figured it would be a rare person who would notice the orientation of the ovals.

I kept the full length of the fabric and took a very deep hem to give weight to the skirt. The hem is a full double fold, and I stitched the edge of the fabric in place right at the fold so that it couldn't crinkle up in there after washing. Then I did a machine blind stitch for the hem.

Front-Pink Back-Orange


Love this dress! The gray is a sophisticated color that offsets the flounces. I happened to catch the famous Seinfeld "Puffy Shirt" episode recently and wanted to make sure I didn't go down that road! I purposely kept a bit of ease at the waist, even with the added vertical front darts, so on hot days I can wear it without it touching me and making me sweat.


All photos are here and the pattern review is here







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Some commenters accused me of being a gray-hating colorist (lol) with regard to my Simplicity 2615 Prison Matron Chic. But really, I don't hate gray! I think it's a great color, sophisticated and a blank slate for bright contrasts. Above you can see that I used this dress with orange and hot pink; it also looks great with red, lime green, yellow, teal...just about anything but brown. I also made this gray dress a couple years ago, which is still in my closet (though I admit I'm kind of over it, but only because I did a bad job on the neckline of the underlying bodice; it is kind of bulgy and too low).

Front View, The Truth Really the issue with that dress is that I know this is what it looks like in real life. It actually does not look as bad in the photo is it does in real life. Trust me, it is like two sad tiny little boobs and then a bigger belly punctuating a duct-tape expanse.

Now that I've made the voile dress, I am going to officially give up on the Prison Matron dress. A couple people mentioned they would like it on that post; leave me a comment letting me know how to get in touch with you and I'll send it on (I'll do a drawing if more than one want it). Keep in mind that it is hemmed fairly short for 5 foot tall me, with not a ton of allowance to let out. I'm keeping the sash, because I will wear it with other things, but will send you the leftover fabric so you can make your own.

28 comments:

LinB said...

Sweet little gray dress! You'll enjoy this one far better than Prison Matron. I was going to suggest that you go all Psycho on the Prison Matron dress and shred it to bits until I read that someone wants to take it off your hands. Curve-notching tip that I learned in the 1980s (along with Big 4 standard pattern instructions to "face the facings"): Trim curves close to seamline with pinking shears. It automatically notches for you. And, to easily grade seams, turn your wrist out and let the bevel of the blades automatically cut the layers at different widths.

Amanda S. said...

This dress is super cute! I love the flouncy neckline and fabric choice. Great tips too - I missed both of those somehow but have bookmarked them for later reference.

Isabelle said...

What a darling dress! I love the collar, and I love the way in which you accessorize it with colour.

Please put me on the list for your Prison Matron dress (and tell me if you want me to cover the shipping). I would love to give it a go, and since we're the same height, the hem length is definitely not an issue :)

bunny said...

what kind of fabric did you underline the bodice with? i'm a new sewer and still don't know what fabric is what yet. i just got some blue voile from fabric.com thinking it would be soft and sheer, but it is horribly stiff and rough! i think i will have to send it back. maybe my fabric was different or lower quality? your voile looks soft and drapey and lovely.

Karin said...

What a great dress! I can imagine wearing it in lots of different situations. Wish it was mine!

little Bean said...

I'd also wear your prison matron dress. I'm short and like rocking the bigger stuff! Let me know.

loopylulu said...

Seriously cute.I like how you showed it off with two diffent belt/shoe combos.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautful dress - I like grey too- very versatile color.

McVal said...

I really like the idea of the zipper under the arm! I want to do something like that for a mother of the groom dress that I'll need to do...

lsaspacey said...

Put me on the list for the dress too! But only if you think there's enough fabric to add a border at the bottom. I'm 5'5".

Have you thought of making it a shift dress instead and recut the sides slimmer?

FITZ said...

i bought that fabric too only by the time i got to it, the gray was sold out and i had to settle for beige... am considering dyeing it because beige is just so... anyway it makes a lovely dress. i'm excited to cut into mine.

Anonymous said...

Hi - it's me Eugenia (blogger won't let me sign in for comments, which is very annoying!). I'm so glad that my experience making the top was helpful for you when making this dress. What a brilliant idea to turn the top into a dress - I wish I had thought of that! It looks fabulous on you and I love that very pretty shade of gray - it makes the dress look very expensive and chic.

Joy said...

Great details (as always) and the fit is looking really good!
And I'm so glad you mentioned how you did the zip, since I'm just about to put in a side zip with a bias finished armhole and was pondering how I could do it neatly.

Adelaide B said...

I like the collar on this dress. I would find it too distracting to wear myself, but one of the reasons I like to read sewing blogs is so I can see other folks rocking the looks that don't rock me. You do indeed rock this dress.

Anonymous said...

This is a cute dress and fits you so well!

Carolyn
Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

Amber Elayne said...

Great dress and love the material! Looks better on you as well. The detail down the front is gorgeous!

I'd put my name down for the prison matron dress (personally LOVED it) but my 5'7" may look odd! The material was amazing though and I'm sure whoever gives it a new home will love it!

AllisonC said...

Love it - it's so easy to forget that pretty much any top pattern can be turned into a dress. The finishing on the inside looks beautiful too.

orange dream said...

Love this--so chic! Reminds me I need to sew a gray dress of my own. Love the pink flower shoes, and all the bright accessories too!

Mary said...

Really like this with the orange shoes etc. I hope you find a home for the prison matron dress-I just finished a similar pattern in a poly blend and I love it.

Faye Lewis said...

So cute, love that flounce.

Lynn Mally said...

Beautiful workman (or woman) ship. Maybe you should reconsider your slapdash label?

Anonymous said...

I am in the middle of making this blouse after a disastrous muslin. I LOVED your comment about "indiscriminate zigzagging and Fray Check" holding the front together really made me laugh (in painful recognition, if nothing else).

Like you, I always need to do a broad back adjustment and an SBA. This time, I finally had an "AHA!" moment. According to Burda size charts, I am a size 38. This time, I cut a size 36 for the front (one size smaller) and a size 40 for the back (one size larger). It worked great and is probably the best fit I have had out of a blouse to date. The front is scaled much nicer for my small bust and narrowness and the back didn't need to be broadened as much. Perhaps this method would work for you as well.

In the end, your persistence paid off on this dress. It is beautiful.

Diane Drexel
dianedrexel@hotmail.com

kbenco said...

This is so pretty yet grown-up looking. Looking at your gorgeous version, I am so cross I did not make this top last summer - or maybe I am pleased, now I can follow all your clever tips - and maybe make a dress instead.

Noile said...

Love the proportions of the ruffles -- they're definite, but don't overwhelm. Also the orange accents -- the orange and grey are great with your hair.

lorenakitty said...

You know? I hate notching curves too!! They look strange and can have a choppy look, yuck... I found the following tutorial on pattern ~ scissors ~cloth the other day and plan to use it when the need comes up. Check it out and see if this makes your world easier and less notchy.

http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.com/2011/06/tricks-of-trade-sculpting-perfect.html

Summer Flies said...

This is a real beauty! I love grey and the Swiss dots. I seem to love nearly everything you make and am completely, thoroughly and totally envious of your shoes! I am currently making the Ana Sui dress you made in the lime green Ikea sheet a few years ago. I also love this top style (and plan to make it too .. someday) and made a green dress in a 80's patterns a few months ago.

MushyWear said...

You have done such a fantastic job on the fit of this dress. I think it looks awesome. Also, I love the ruffle collar on this one!

senaSews said...

I love the dress. And your styling with pink and orange works great with the gray. Wow, great job!