Friday, August 19, 2011

Burda 08-2009-128, Classic Boatneck Sundress

Burda 08-2009-128 Thumbnail

As mentioned about my backless walkway dress, although I have avoided boatnecks in the past as unflattering to a small chest, I found that I really liked the neckline on that dress. I liked it so much that I immediately made a back-ful version of it. The bodice is from Burda 08-2009-128.

I bought this fabric from Fabric.com in May 2010. This print is part of the Alexander Henry "London Calling" collection, a not so subtle attempt to cash in the public's love for Liberty of London. At $8/yd, it was pricey for me. I was disappointed in the print when it arrived, as I expected it to be more saturated. I don't wear much by way of pastel. The fabric itself is nice, though nothing like Liberty lawn. It is thicker, a little coarser, and although was listed as 100% cotton has a small degree of stretch that can only come from lycra. That said, it is still nice fabric. Anyway, I couldn't picture this as much of anything because of the pale colors, but it seemed perfect for this project.

Mad Men S1E2


The full-skirted boatneck dress is a classic look, which is partly why it appealed to me. Although I guess by "classic" I mean "50s" since both of these images are 1950s. Audrey Hepburn is genuine '50s, of course. She is the ultimate wearer of the boatneck. Betty Draper is meant to be in the 50s. Yes, I am finally watching Mad Men now that I have the Netflix. I've only watched the first two episodes, but I felt it was too perfect that she was wearing this dress in the second episode as I was working on this post!

I have one more of these planned. I made this one in the last few days of the One Pattern, Many Looks contest last month and briefly considered trying to bang the next one out, but decided to wait. I think I will lower the front neckline slightly in the next version.

Narrow Shoulder Alteration I found when I muslined the front bodice for my backless dress that the neckline was much too wide. I consulted Fit for Real People, which I finally purchased, for a narrow shoulder alteration. I had to bring in the shoulder 3/4 of an inch, and after completing this version see that I can probably bring it in another 3/8 of an inch for a total adjustment of over 1 inch! I knew I had narrow shoulders, but wow. The photo on the right is not the actual pattern piece, just an illustration I quickly drew up. The pencil is the original line and the purple is the new shoulder. I basically just moved the shoulder over, then redrew the armscye and neckline, tapering to the original line.

Because the fabric has a little stretch, I didn't want to lose that quality by using non-stretch lining. I visited the stash and found this light blue with black pin dots and a little stretch. Perfect! I used the all-machine clean-finish technique illustrated in this post. I took the opportunity to make a video of how to turn it right side out! I'm not going to be winning any cinematography awards, but it hard to do this yourself with a tripod and know exactly where the frame is.



Clean FInish I'm happy with the way the lining came out. Trimming the armscye and neckline edges of the lining 1/8" before lining up the cut edges of the lining and fashion fabric and sewing really makes a difference. It creates such a lovely turn of cloth, as you can see on the straps and the armscye at left. The polka dots also turned out really cute with the fashion fabric.

Back Neck Darts; Zip When it was finished I found that the back neck was rather gapey. As back neck darts are a common feature of 50s patterns I figured adding them would look appropriate rather than an ad hoc fix (ahem). The darts worked perfectly to snug up the back neck, but created a little bit of gaping in the front neckline. This is what makes me think I should narrow the shoulders even more.

Burda 08-2009-128 Side

As usual I pleated the skirt lining rather than gathering it to reduce bulk at the waistline. I used french seams on the skirt, and took a deep machine blind hem to get plenty of weight to it.


All in all, I am happy with the way this project came out. I think I managed to find the best use for this fabric, and I love the classic look of the dress. It is also very comfortable to wear.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

30 comments:

Shannon said...

Such a pretty dress - so flirty and feminine!

Mary said...

Pretty dress and how funny...I am finally watchin Mad Men now! Since I got Netflix I pick a series and just devour it before moving on. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Twin Peaks again...enough time had passed that I could not remember it all!

Lisette M said...

A very pretty dress. Funny Face is one of my favorite movies ever! I would love to have every dress she wears in that movie. Your dress certainly evokes the beautiful wedding dress.

Great video, keep on making them.

Jali said...

So pretty! The print is just right and I think the colors, especially with how you styled the dress, are really lovely on you.

caroline said...

I don't know about that line in particular, but a lot of designer quilting cottons have a wee bit of stretch in them, which I attribute more to the weave than to other contents. It's not enough that I would call them a stretch fabric, but it's enough that they're nice for clothing because they have that bit of give.

Cennetta said...

Love it. Very pretty dress.

Samina said...

Lovely dress - it looks so sweet & summery. Thank you so much for the video. I hope I'm not the only dolt out there, but I've gotten brain sprain trying to figure out how to turn the bodice right side out just based on the pictorial & written instructions.

By the way, why does Google hate me so? I'm being told that I can't post a comment under my google account.

ELMO said...

Beautiful fit, and it looks like the lining gave the fabric a little more body. Perfect!

Elizabeth said...

I think the color is pretty on you! It looks so much like the Liberty that I bought at Fabric.com a couple of months ago. I was fooled!
I got my Liberty for 28.95 a yard, and only bought 1 1/2 yards. I hope I can eek out a top in it for myself.
I can't imagine buying enough for an dress though. If you made a mistake or hated the finished garment, you would want to cry.
That being said, you have the look of Liberty, without the cost, and it turned out cute!

Adelaide B said...

I like it when a potentially disappointing fabric turns out great. It really suits this dress. (Which is very cute, btw.)

MushyWear said...

What a flattering summer dress. I agree that this pattern is perfect for the fabric!

Jilly Be said...

I love this print on you! Honestly, I think the subtle colors allow folks to see YOU instead of focusing on the dress (& that's a good thing!) :D Nice tips on the lining, thanks :)

Irene said...

Such lovely dress!

Eugenia said...

I loved your video tutorial - so exciting to see you in 'real life'! And, of course, the dress is very beautiful - so summery and feminine - I love the classic style and pretty fabric.

McVal said...

I loved your tutorial! I wish I'd done that on a dress that I'm making for my daughter!
Very classic, very pretty!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Very pretty dress - perfect for that fabric!

Uta said...

I love the boat neck on you! Thank you for the tutorial; I'll be sure to refer back to it.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Everyone has already said what I would like to say, so I will only add - I love the way you tied your belt.

Lovely fabric and the lining is great. Also, as an alternative to narrowing the shoulders further - keep the darts in the back and add tiny pintucks radiating out from the front neckline? Could be a fun design feature depending on the fabric.

Noile said...

So cute! A very different look for you (the pale colors, at least), but it looks terrific, and the lining is adorable.

BTW, Betty Draper/Madmen isn't really '50s. The series starts in '62/'63, when the last of the '50s effect is still being felt, but the culture is beginning to crack.

Love beads and bell bottoms are just around the corner, but haven't arrived yet. Good thing, or Madmen wouldn't be the eye candy it is!

Linda said...

Another great looking dress. I like the fabric and especially the polka dot lining.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I'm glad that you took the chance with this fabric because this dress is very pretty on you!

Sue said...

The dress is gorgeous and looks fabulous on you!

DanainDFW said...

Great tutorial! I've used this same method since sewing button-on suits for my eldest son who is now 13. If only I'd had this to explain what their illustrations/instructions were trying to explain!

Thanks

Lindsay T said...

Very nice dress on you!

Sigrid said...

Lovely dress and great video. So very clear!

a little sewing said...

Great dress and nice video!!

AllisonC said...

Very cute dress, I'm thinking of trying this pattern in its original form for winter. Great tutorial too, I get sooo mad when I see pattern instructions that do it any other way!

Melizza said...

How sweet is this dress?! I love it. Thanks for the tutorial as well. I'm still learning and love to read, watch and hear all about sewing these days.

Joy said...

Very lovely dress. I really like the slight boatneck, too.

emadethis said...

That's just the perfect amount of boatiness in the neckline. I'll have to try that with the shoulders as I too have issues with the boatneck...I brought in the neck on my voile sundress, but I didn't think about moving the shoulder.