Thursday, June 21, 2012

Burda 05-2011-108, Panel Princess Dress: The Real Deal

Burda 05-2011-108 Thumbnail

I got this vintage home dec fabric from DeBois Textile in Baltimore for $3.50/yd in April 2011.  When I got the next Burda magazine and saw Burda 05-2011-108 (available for purchase from BurdaStyle at the link--I am not affiliated or compensated, just trying to be helpful) I immediately knew this fabric would be this dress and I would wear it to Seersucker Social.  Unfortunately, I was out of town for last year's Social so the fabric had to wait another year to be made up.  But when it rolled around to May it was on!

I mentioned what a nightmare this was to cut in the muslin post.  It was hard to see the zigzags through my tissue, and then really hard to keep the pattern pieces straight.  I ended up pinning the grainline to the fabric along a single zag and then pinning the rest of the piece in place.  It wasn't helped by the fact that I didn't have *quite* enough fabric so the jigsaw of the layout was extremely tedious.  I had to cut one of the skirt side pieces slightly off grain.

The real downside of zigzags like this is that, unlike with regular stripes and plaids, once you've cut a piece one time you can't just flip it over on the fabric to cut the other piece.  The zigzags are just impossible to trace/keep track of underneath the fabric.  So I had to do the set up for each piece twice.  I spent about 2 1/2 hours on cutting.  So not fun.


Because of the thickness of my fabric I couldn't use an invisible zip, so I decided to go for a lapped zipper to add to the vintage feel.  I rewatched What Would Nancy Drew Wear's video tutorial and then found this awesome PDF from on putting in a lapped zip (clicking on the link auto-launches the PDF download--their website is not very well-organized and I can't figure out how to give them the traffic).  I referred to it about 4000 times while putting in the zipper, and it came out perfectly. 

The only thing that nobody addressed was how to handle the lining at the neckline to finish it properly at the zipper.  So I just had to sort of make it up.

Lining Finish at Zipper

On the overlap side (the left in the photo above), I folded the lining around the overlap.  You can see I could have used some extra width on my lining.

On the underlap side, I just placed the lining and fashion fabric right sides together as normal.

You can see on the right that this finish worked adequately.

Hand Stitch Lining to Zip

To finish the lining, I hand-stitched it to the zipper. There was a lot of hand-stitching in this project!

Snap at Waist Seam

Because of the thickness of my fabric, the overlap stuck out a little at the waist seam, rather than sitting flat. I sewed in a little snap to keep it in place (though I wore a belt with the dress and am likely to do so every time I wear it, which obviated the need for the snap).

Back Closeup

I hand-picked the visible/overlap side of the zipper. I am an expert at installing invisible zippers, if I do say so myself, but the last time I tried to install a regular zipper by machine was just so gross that I vowed never to do it again. From henceforth, any regular zippers would be installed by hand. The hand stitches pretty much disappear into this thick, loosely woven fabric.

Stitch Ribbon to SA for Waist Stay
Because the fabric is not very firm, I decided to put in a waist stay.  I'm not sure it needed a stay so much as just a stabilizer at the waist seam.

I used Tasia/Sewaholic's instructions for a waist stay. As you can see at left, I stitched a ribbon to the seam allowance.  I had sewn the dress in front, side, and back panels so I could fit it more easily, so there are spots where the ribbon isn't sewn because the waist seam isn't continuous.

Waist Stay

I stitched the lining to the zipper only to right above the waist seam to leave an opening for the waist stay hook.  I had to cannibalize the hook from a bathing suit.  Must remember to replace that next time I'm at the fabric store.

Interface Hem

Because of fabric limitations, I shortened the dress about two inches in cutting. Even though this is a petite pattern, it is drafted quite long and I ended cutting off another two inches before hemming.

In marking my hem, I found that it was collapsing, especially at center back.  So I fused a strip of medium-weight interfacing along the fold line.

Hem Lace

I bought a bag of vintage hem lace from the thrift store a while back. The owner wore a LOT of maroon, apparently, which is a color I wear almost not at all. But there were a few other colors, including this green. I was about an inch short, but figured the gap wouldn't be too terrible.

I used a machine blind hem to stitch the hem in place.  Again, it pretty much disappears into this fabric, which is the advantage of a loosely woven textile.

Burda 05-2011-108
Amusing Outtake

Here you have your choice of me trying to look cute and me apparently doing the robot. Cidell is good at finding the best/worst outtakes.

I am a big fan of this pattern.  The only thing I would do differently is take out a tiny bit more length from the back bodice for a swayback.  I did a small swayback, but it is a hair too long.  I can definitely see making it again.  It is a great A line alternative to a traditional sheath.  It could be made in a fancy fabric for eveningwear, suiting fabric for work, or a printed cotton for play and look appropriate in all three contexts.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.  You can read about the muslin fitting process here and how I lined the bodice here.


Karen said...

This is another amazing dress to add to your amazing dress collection. You really do have the cutest dresses. I love it with the accessories especially. I do a lapped zipper on just about everything I sew. I have started buying my zippers in big orders online, I buy all neutrals (black, white, tan) so I have to do lapped Zippers. It is about 1/3 of the cost of a zipper at Joanns.

T. Sedai said...

Love the effect of the zigzags! I hate when cutting fabric takes forever (such a pain) but I think it was worth it for your dress! Still love it - can't wait to see more of them.

Alison Cummins said...


You’re familiar with Kathleen Fasanella’s lapped zipper tutorial, right? She explains exactly how to make a lapped zipper, including the facing!

Trumbelina said...

The lapped zip/lining or facing conundrum is something I encountered a few times recently (a pair of pants with a fly front and facings—not a waistband, and a lined skirt with a lapped zip). Each time I've tackled it, it's like I've given myself a lobotomy and cannot for the life of me figure it out without at least two hours of intense concentration, multiple "samples" (ie: mistakes), ending in a temper tantrum and much swearing. If I ever figure it out I'll post a tutorial. Love your dress. You look great in it.

Trumbelina said...

Okay, never mind about a crappy tutorial from me. That fashion incubator tutorial is awesome!

Clio said...

Hmmm, it seems like there's an awful lot of hand sewing and really great extra steps being taken in Slapdashland these days. ;-)

But clearly the results are worth it - gorgeous dress and beautifully sewn!

Adelaide B said...

This is really cute. I really like the fabric and it suits the style perfectly.

emadethis said...

I missed the subtle color blocking you achieved on the first look of the dress--I love that detail. It's a great dress on you and your painstaking work most certainly paid off. I'm remembering now that matching zigzags is a nightmare--I made some curtains for my sons' train table with enormous zigzag home dec fabric--getting the repeats to match took me a whole football game, but man I'm proud of those.

MushyWear said...

This has got to be one of my favorite dresses you have made. The print and color compliment you so well, and the fit and design are also fantastic! Very nice!

AllisonC said...

Great review as always, thanks for including all these helpful details. The whole look is great on you and I love the robot photo!

Skaapie said...

We so have the same taste in patterns! The moment I saw this dress in Burda, I also knew I would make it. Of course, it's still in the to-do pile. But with all your helpful tutorials, my construction process just became way easier :-)
Pity it's mid-winter here, so I'll have to wait til Spring before tackling it...

PS. I also love the robot!

Sue said...

Great dress - love the colour and the fabric is perfect for this pattern.

Kyle said...

OMG what a lot of work!!!!!!! It looks great and love your curly hair!

Lisette M said...

Super cute on you!You did a lot of work! Your lapped zipper looks great, I had to do my own thing with the neckline finish also, of course I can't remember what I did...but your solution worked great.

Audrey said...

That is the perfect fabric for this dress. So pretty. And the fit is perfect. Definitely worth the extra work making the muslins.

Mrs. Micawber said...

What fantastic fabric! I thought at first you had two fabrics, but I see now it's just the effect of the weave.

Here's how I get around not having an invisible zipper - I install a normal zipper inside out. Often I'll do this with a lapped application - it comes out beautifully flat, with no bulge where the pull is. (I don't mind zipping from the inside.)

There doesn't seem to be a graceful way to finish lapped zippers and linings - I think you did what we all would do in that regard.

Aren't hand-picked zipper installs great? So soft and invisible and flexible.

What a very cute dress (and shoes!).

Mrs. Micawber said...

P.S. I meant to say "the effect of the weave AND the fact that both faces of the fabric were used."

gwensews said...

So cute! You have styled it perfectly, also with awesome accessories.

Joy said...

I really love this one, especially with the fun fabric choice. I have it traced, so hopefully I get my own version this summer (:
That's pretty much what I end up doing when lining with a lapped zipper. I haven't seen an "official" way, nor have I come up with anything better. Same thing goes for a lapped side zipper on pants with a yoke facing. Come to think of it, it might work to treat the lining as an interlining at the point of the zipper, and turn it under with the fashion fabric. Will have to mull that one over.

badmomgoodmom said...

I love the dress! Kudos for working in a challenging fabric and turning it into an uniquely lovely and wearable dress.

Have you seen Kathleen's centered zipper tutorial?

She shows how to insert a zipper and attach a neck facing by machine. I've used it several times and the method works very well. It's also useful to read her tutorial on dominant seams to understand why she does things in the order she does.

Marla said...

Very nice dress! I love the two shades of green. I also want to add that your hair curly looks really cute.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favourites from your makes. That colour is beautiful on you and I really like the accessories you've styled it with.