Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Burda 11-2011-120, Ruffle Front Red Dress

Burda 11-2011-120 Thumbnail

While I have not been loving Burda lately, there is generally at least one piece I like in each magazine. Burda 11-2011-120 immediately caught my eye in the magazine.  That ruffle down the front is a great tummy disguiser *and* bust builder--two for the price of one!  I sewed it in some red double knit I bought in NYC in November 2010 for $2/yd--a huge bargain as the fabric is quite nice.

 This dress comes in sizes 38-46, meaning I had to grade down 2 sizes to a 34 at the shoulders and bust.  Grading two sizes on the (not so) new roadmap pattern sheets makes me want to claw my eyes out.  While I have kept up my Burda subscription, I sew way more from old issues than current ones, so the new pattern sheets are always an ugly surprise when I pull out a newer issue.  I think that is part of the reason they have gone to 80% sack dresses--they're the only thing that isn't horrible to trace.

Use Pins to Mark CF



This pattern only works for fabrics with no discernible wrong side.  The center front seam is sewn wrong sides together several inches from the edge of the fabric and the extra "seam allowance" forms the ruffle.  I made view B, on which the ruffle ends several inches above the hem.  On View A, it continues all the way down.

To mark the center front seam, I stuck pins into the pattern piece and cut fabric at about 4 inch intervals at the marked seam line.  I folded back the pattern at each pin in sequence, marking at the pin on both left and right front.  Be sure to mark on the *right* side of the fabric, as you will eventually be stitching on the right side.

Stitch to a Point at Collar




The pattern comes with the choice of a fairly standard band collar and a more dramatic high collar.  I went for drama.

I ignored Burda's directions for the collar, mostly because I didn't want to puzzle them out.  They involve something to do with trimming the allowances off the undercollar and finishing it with ribbon.  In the end, I probably should have tried to decipher them, or come up with a different method because the finish is not great.

First, I stitched the outer collar to the neckline, stopping at the stitch marking on the end.  Next I sewed the under collar to the outer collar, again stopping at the stitch marking as you can see in the photo.  After both collars were sewn on, I trimmed the ends beyond the stitching.

(BTW, pay no attention to how horrible the finish is on the ruffle.  I bought a new serger in the middle of this project and had it overnighted because I was so impatient to finish the dress!  The old finish was trimmed off and a put in a fabulous new rolled hem.  More on the new serger later.)

Collar Finish

To finish the collar, I hand-stitched the under collar to the allowance.  However, because the seam comes to a point at the end I had to roll the under collar over and the raw edges are not enclosed at the very end.  I don't like the way it looks.


In the end, I'm not sure I know a better way to finish a collar like this that tapers to nothing at the end (a facing isn't possible because of the way the ruffle is formed).  If I make this again, I will just use the traditional band collar, which has enough height at the end to tuck the seam allowance up into it.


Hand Stitch in the Ditch

To gather the front ruffle, I ran machine basting stitches on either side of the ruffle.  I tried on the dress and adjusted the ruffles to my preference.  Burda gives the length to which the ruffle should be gathered, but I wanted to distribute the gathering in the most flattering way for my body.

  Once the gathering was in place, I pinned a ribbon to the underside of the ruffle, per Burda's instructions. Then from the front I stitched in the ditch by hand, catching the ribbon, as you can see in the photo (here is my line of hand stitching). You could definitely use the machine for the this step, but I always have a hard time making sure I'm catching the ribbon on the underside in this sort of situation and hand sewing gives better control.


3 Rows of Stitching on Ribbon



I was concerned that my stitch-in-the-ditch wouldn't necessarily hold the gathers exactly as I wanted them, so I next ran a line of machine stitching on either side of the CF seam, between the seam and the row of gathering thread.  With three rows of stitching on the ribbon, I feel confident my gathers will stay in place!



I might have taken up a little too much length with the ruffle, as the center front seam below the ruffle was poking out.  I took in about half an inch along that seam at the hem, but it still doesn't sit great.

BackFront



When contemplating the dress, I feared it would be a wardrobe piece of little utility because it would be too vavavoom for work.  As it emerged from under the needle, though, I changed my opinion.  It is definitely flattering and a little bit flirty, but I don't think it is outright sexy, especially with the long sleeves (I wouldn't wear those shoes to work--or anywhere I have to walk more than 3 steps).

The pattern is designed for a non-stretch woven, and I did not make any changes to fit to account for my double knit.  Therefore, the final result has a fair amount of ease.  I kept it that way because I did not want it too fitted for work, but I might go back and take it in a tad more at the side and center back seams, as it is almost droopy in places. 

I am also half-tempted to rip out the sleeves and shorten those way way WAY too long shoulders.  I am working on developing a TNT tee, and the shoulder seams on the tee are seriously about 2 1/2 inches long.   I have very narrow shoulders.

I finished the dress in time for Valentine's Day and it was properly appreciated.  I totally love it--it is a great style for me.  I'm even thinking of making a sleeveless version for summer.  Maybe in a cute print?  Though it's hard to find a print that looks good on both sides of the fabric.

All photos are here and the pattern review (my 250th!!!!!) is here.

47 comments:

Popbabe7 said...

What a gorgeous dress!!!

Janice said...

Sewing unrelated, but I love love love your hair!! How do you do that hair twist type thing?

ReadyThreadSew said...

Gorgeous dress - and what a perfect handbag to go with it. Rolled hem on a serger - best thing ever to hem linings. It cuts off the excess fabric (if, like me, you usually cut the lining to the same length as the skirt when cutting out) and gives a perfect finish.

Lynn said...

Wow--250 pattern reviews! An inspiration for us all. I think you look fabulous in this dress. Wonderful hair, too.

AnniinBC said...

Very nice dress......it looks great on you and perfect for many occasions. Thank you for the review because of course now I am inspired to put the pattern on my sewing list :-)

catspec said...

OH MY! This is lovely. I also love the hair is getting longer, and the shoes...well, the shoes....let us only say - FABULOUS!

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

looks fantastic, and a sleeveless version in a lively print would be a great summer dress.

patti said...

Lovely! No wonder you (and the dress) were 'properly appreciated!'

cidell said...

Oh, I LOVE this. I didn't like it at all in the magazine but it looks awesome on you.

Karin said...

This dress is better on you than in the magazine. It's actually a pretty modest dress, but somehow the ruffle and the colour punch it up. Perhaps a nice gap filler in the wardrobe: full of pizzazz, but still totally appropriate.
250 pattern reviews, wow!

Clio said...

This IS a great style for you! I agree that it's a'ok for the office and yet also perfect for a date. (Wow, how often does that happen?!?!) Tre chic!

T. Sedai said...

Love it - the style, and the color are great together! I totally think you could wear it to work (but I agree not with those shoes...).

Karen said...

It looks cute from the front and sophisticated from the back, I really like it. I also love me a red dress. I think it would be fabulous sleeveless for summer so good luck finding the right print!

Trumbelina said...

This dress is great, and great on you! If I wore more dresses, I'd pay to download this from the website. It's lovely.

sewingkm said...

Trena, this has to be my very favorite dress that you've made in several years - love it!!!

Amanda S. said...

J'dore!!! (That stands for just adore, I'm pretty sure.) LOVE this on you! This is the first thing I wanted to make from the magazine, but "winter" has totally left south Texas and I picked out a wool knit for my dress. It will have to wait for "fall". So glad to know it works in a stable knit and that the gathered ruffles are so flattering for the small busted. You look fabulous!

Vicki said...

Fabulous, and such a great fit. Congrats on 250 reviews!

ELMO said...

Very flattering, I like the ease, it must be comfortable.

McVal said...

Gorgeous! I have noticed that about the sack dress style Burda has been putting out lately...
You did a great job on this dress.

Venus de Hilo said...

Great dress! That ruffle would have put me off at the line-drawing stage, but you saw the fabulousness in there. Great styling, too, with the shoes/bag/lapel-pin.

CGCouture said...

I feel your pain on the Burda pattern sheets, I'm convinced it's because they're trying to phase out the magazine so that everyone will buy the patterns off the website (for more $$$/pattern).

This dress turned out awesome, and I can't see any reason why you couldn't wear it to work. I can totally relate to you on the narrow shoulder thing though, I've got that going on too. I would be interested in how you take the shoulders in on an already finished garment, I've got some RTW that could use some fixin'.

kbenco said...

This is on my winter sewing list, I am so pleased you sewed it already so I can look at your pictures instead of wrestling with Burda instructions.Thanks!
It looks very good on you, I love the ruffle and collar.

Melissa said...

That is gorgeous on you and in my favorite color too! You look fabulous!

Lisette M said...

Looks beautiful! What a great shade of red for you!

Like you I always have to watch the shoulder seam length and while we can tell the shoulders are a bit too long no one else will, the dress looks great on you.

Crystal said...

This turned out great. You are right - it is the perfect mix of modest yet sexy. I think a sleeveless printed version for summer would be brilliant.

Sew-4-Fun said...

Where's the wolf whistle when I need it. :) You look amazing! I love your new dress. It's definitely a great style for you. I also love your shoes and hair style. Heck, I love your whole look.

emadethis said...

Lovely work. I really like that it's so sleek looking but with the party in the center.

Shannon said...

This looks great on you! I'm so glad to see it made up, and in red, too. I had this on my list, but never found the right fabric ( I wanted a double knit, too.) Now I'm going to hold off on it until next fall.

Paola said...

Vava-voom, that's all I can say!

AllisonC said...

I'm surprised I haven't seen more versions of this great dress on the net (not that I have got around to making it yet mind you). Maybe this will start a flurry of them! You look great in your dress and thanks for posting all the details.

Uta said...

A perfect Valentine's Day dress! I love the color and the long sleeves, and although I didn't care for it much in the magazine (like others) I adore your version.

Carol said...

I've been eyeing this dress myself but I was worried the ruffle would look like labia. Glad to see it doesn't! It's really lovely on you and it's definitely in the queue now!

senaSews said...

So cute. Love the front ruffle on the dress and the color is very nice on you!

Clio said...

this was not my favourite dress when i saw it in burda, but i love how yours turned out! great job!

Sigrid said...

You look gorgeous in this dress. What a great pattern for you.
Had to smile when I read your remark about not wanting to puzzle out the instructions. It's exactly what I did for my jacket this week. Sometimes they write instructions so complicated.

Alethia said...

Wow, I LOVE your dress, and those shoes just add the right touch to the outfit!!

MushyWear said...

What a spectacular dress for your 250th review!!! You look absolutely amazing in it! Both the front and the back of the dress are equally impressive. LOVE those shoes!

Dilly said...

This looks amazing on you - the colour really suits you. I'm super jealous too as I'm in the process of finishing up a version of this myself and yours looks much better than mine! (I had problems getting the back to fit nicely, and I think I've ended up overfitting it...)

Syl said...

I love this dress on you and it looks so easy to make. Burda is finally coming around with cool chic designs they had hit a slump on a few past issues. I referencced your 3 sweaters 1 dress post from last year and woudl like for youto check out my inspiration from 2 sweatersic to 1 dress at www.syl-letitbesew.blogspot.com

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! The fit is wonderful and the dress really suits you.

I haven't really loved the new Burda Style magazines lately either :( I get them from this magazine store that will call me when the come in. I get all excited when they come in, then when I flip through them, the excitement wanes :( A lot of my favorite magazines have been disappointing me lately.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I think this fits you wonderfully! I love how you styled it with the zebra shoes...fantastic! And good luck with the new responsibilites.

Nancy K said...

It fits you beautifully and it is wonderfully flattering. Love the styling with your zebra shoes.

kathy said...

I agree.

"It is definitely flattering and a little bit flirty, but I don't think it is outright sexy. . ."

Mrs. Micawber said...

It would be adorable sleeveless, and in a print. I think this version is great for work. Love the zebra shoes with it.

Audrey said...

This dress looks amazing on you! There will be a bunch of other people making it ( me included) because it looks so good.

liza jane said...

Oh, I think I missed this before--- It's so gorgeous!! I was wondering about this pattern. Love the color you chose. It suits you well.

Chris said...

Your dress is just amazing - I love, love, love it!
Would you mind if I posted a link to your page on my blog? I am a very new blogger, so I am not sure what the etiquette is, that's why I am asking ;-)
Regards,
Chris