Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Burda 10-2012-118, Side Gather Cowl LBD

Burda 10-2012-118 Thumbnail

Burda 10-2012-118 (available for purchase from BurdaStyle at the link in sizes 34-42) is destined to become a Burda magazine classic.  It has already been made many times, including by AllisonC, Kristy of Lower Your Presser Foot, and Sigrid, to name a few.

Luckily, because so many people had tested it before me, I knew I could safely ignore the marked grain--which has the cowl on straight grain and the skirt on the bias--and place the skirt on straight grain.  This gives the cowl a little more drape and the skirt a firmer hand.  I really don't know why Burda designed it the other way.  BWOF, you are still a mystery to me!

Also, note an error in the instructions:  the pattern pieces are on sheet B, not sheet A.  The corresponding black-lined piece numbers on A are a pair of pants, which really confused me.
 
I traced my usual sizes:  34 at the shoulders and bust (and halle-freakin'-luja for a pattern that is already a 34 and doesn't have to be graded--they are getting rarer and rarer), a 36 at the waist, and between a 38 and a 40 at the hip.  I cut a 38 at the hip for years but lately have sometimes needed a 40.  However, for this size 39ish cut I had to shave off about 1/4" on the hips, ending at the saddlebag.  This is the only area in which I find Burda's sizing inconsistent, though it is only slightly inconsistent.

The fitting adjustments I made were a swayback adjustment and a broad back. I also added a back neckline dart for my narrow neck.  I did not change the bust fit--a cowl is a nice way to accommodate a variety of bust sizes.  The broad back adjustment adds a bit of puffiness over the shoulder blades, and I probably could have lived without it in this sleeveless stretch garment, but eh.  The sinking feeling of not being able to move my arms in a just-completed garment is much worse than some puffiness.

Drafting Front Lining

This stretch wool, from the Vera Wang $1.99 blowout on Fabric.com a couple years ago, is rather sheer.  I debated whether to plan to wear it with a slip or to line it.  For a dress this fitted, I feared that a slip would bunch underneath it and ruin the line so I decided to line.  Well, then my dilemma was that I needed a lining fabric with adequate stretch.  I have some stretch lining in a very light gray, which I used to the line the godet pencil skirt I previously made of this fabric, but I am really not happy with the quality.  I decided to go with a fairly opaque tricot from G Street's $2.97/yd table.

My first step in creating the lining was pleating out the gathered width.  I didn't want a bulky lining.

Next, as described in my review of Burda 7519, I folded over the front self-facing (very generous in this pattern, a really nice touch) and marked the bottom of it on the pattern.  In this case, it was below the armscye.  In cutting, I added seam allowance to the top of the front self-facing, and cut the front lining 1/4 inch above the marked line (for seam allowance).

Back Facing
Faced/Lined Back














To ensure that the flesh-tone tricot would not show, I cut a back facing of the wool, fused with lightweight interfacing, and stitched it on top of the back lining.  I should have been thinking about the width of the front self-facing so that the facing would look more seamless, but I like a generous facing and cut the back facing lower down the side seam than the front facing.

I interfaced the armscye of the front-self facing so I would get nice sharp lines.

Lining Lace

Taking a nod from Carolyn, I sewed stretch lace on the bottom of my lining.  Of course, I realized it would have been better to sew the black lace on the outside of the lining--the side the actually faces the public--rather than the side the faces me, just in case of show through.  But I like the way it looks when it's facing me!

I realized too late that the neckline was a touch too wide for my taste.  I solved this by taking 1/4" seam allowances at the inner shoulder rather than 1/2", though this made sewing the front to the back tricky there.

Front Sandwiching the Back

I used the same construction method as for Burda 7519, modified for the sleeveless style:
1.  Finish back neckline and armscyes with the facing/lining
2.  Sandwich back shoulder between front and front self-facing, stitch shoulder.
3.  For a sleeveless cowl, pivot at the seamline on the shoulder and continue all the way down the bottom of the armscye.
4.  Sew the lining and fashion fabric side seams, matching underarm seams.

Turn everything right side out and like magic, your dress is almost completely done!  All that's left is the zipper/CB seam and the hem.

Back
Evening Look with Gold





The darts are very low in the back, going almost to the fullest part of the booty.  I tried shortening one of them, so I could compare them.  Wrinkles appeared on the high hip in the back on the shortened side.  I was neutral as to whether high-hip wrinkles were worse than slightly pointy darts.  I decided to go with the pattern as drafted and the incredibly long darts.  When I look at the curve I am working with here, I can forgive myself for a not-totally-perfect fit.  It's just a lot of curve.

I added a walking slit so I'd have plenty of movement in the dress.


Burnt Orange and Boots













I was making this under the gun for an event and amazingly everything went pretty smoothly.

I came back from NYC and had literally 1 hour at home in which to do the hem (machine blind stitch) and little finishing bits.  Luckily, it got done in time.  The event's theme was "Texas" (as in the state and the University).  I didn't want to be too informal, as it was to celebrate a federal judge, but I didn't want to be out of the spirit of things.  A little black dress with burnt orange tights and cowboy boots seemed to strike just the right tone.










Evening Look with Silver
Day Look
The LBD contest on Pattern Review happened to coincide with my need for an LBD, so it was nice to have double motivation to make this for my event.   The rules require you to show the dress plain, with a day look, and with an evening look.  My looks aren't crazy different--but in my mind, the idea of a LBD is that it can go from day to evening with just a change of earrings and shoes.

I was hoping to get outdoor photos taken but the stars (or sun?) never aligned.  But there are a million photos.

I am very pleased with this dress.  The fit is excellent (at least under my not-too-stringent standards) and it definitely feels sophisticated and elegant.

It took me a while to get to like the cowl.  It's a shallow/narrow cowl and like the line drawing I can only get it to flop to one side, not to drape down the center as is standard for cowls.  Once I accepted that, I see it more as neckline origami than as a cowl.  However, it does limit necklace options.  It's better with a pin than a necklace.  In that sense, it may not fit the label for a classic Little Black Dress, where I think jewelry is supposed to be a big part of changing it from day to evening.  But the silhouette is definitely in the spirit and I will be glad to have this little number to pull out of the closet when needed.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

50 comments:

Sigrid said...

This definitely is becoming a classic. Your version is versatility itself. Easy to dress up or down, as you show. Beautiful!

Sewfast said...

Your LBD is gorgeous and so versatile...looks great dressed up or dressed down! Good job!

BeccaA said...

What a great classic dress! I like the neckline origami as you call it. It that a result of the top being cut on grain? Very chic!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Becca--The cowl is actually cut on the bias (or at least, off grain). Burda has it designed to be cut on grain, with the skirt off grain. Strange. I changed the grainline.

cidell said...

This looks really good on you. And, as someone who rarely wears necklaces, I'm digging the neckline.

Karin said...

This is a very flattering dress on you, and obviously versatile! I like it with the broach. I agree, it is odd that Burda has the straight grain lined up with the cowl neck. Surely that is just and error/oversight.

starryfishathome said...

This is a lovely LBD, really nice. Great look with cowboy boots!

McVal said...

I really like how the side cowl turned out! I want to try it now!!!

silkpinsandstrawberries said...

Wow, that's lovely! You look great and and it looks fantastic styled in so many different ways. Love it!

T. Sedai said...

Nice! This dress is lovely and looks super versatile! I love your version. This pattern is totally going on the "must make" list.

Adelaide B said...

This looks great. It's something I am missing from my own wardrobe and should probably put on my list.

janessewandtell said...

Great dress. I'm thinking of making one myself. Thanks for the instructions about lining it, I've never been sure of how to line a cowl neck.

Crystal said...

This is a great dress and very flattering on you. I agree and like the term "neckline origami". Maybe I should buy this issue after all.

Uta said...

Great dress and I love how you styled it, especially the soft pink jacket. I thought about this pattern today. If - big if - I made myself a Christmas dress this would be it; it's already a classic!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

This is a fantastic dress! I love the flexibility of this dress especially the version with the black 'n white shoes and the silver clutch. Gorgeous!

ana5059 said...

Love this pattern. You made a fantastic LBD, Gorgeous!!

Ms. McCall said...

Perfect LBD! I imagine that dress is going to get a lot of wear - it's so chic and so flattering.

Lisette M said...

This dress looks so good on you! I love the sassy combination of orange tights and cowboy boots!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Great dress-this looks great on you

velosewer said...

This is stunning and versatile. I like the evening styling the best but that's just my preference. You have so many options!

liza jane said...

This is the perfect pattern for a LBD. I can see why the pattern is becoming popular. I love reading about your all your fitting adjustments, too.

Faye Lewis said...

Such a great classic with so many styling options.

marysews said...

this dress looks great on you!

Lori said...

Looks really great, you will enjoy this one many different ways

Carol said...

I like this dress a lot and I love the various ways you've styled it. I'll be interested to see how the Vera Wang wool wears for you. I have a dress, a skirt and a pair of shorts made from this same fabric and I don't think it's held up very well. It's lovely to wear but it requires a bit of extra time to press and you must use a cloth, but you already know that!

Pam said...

This dress definitely falls in the classic LBD category! I love the day-to-night looks (especially with the cowboy boots and the zebra pumps) and the fit is spot-on!
Great dress!

Seraphinalina said...

What a great dress, the little details of the dress work well for a LBD in my mind. I'm working on the same pattern but every so slowly. I have to grade up a bit and in my fear of making it too small made it too big. Still, I see the potential when I get it sized right and neckline origami is right.

Kyle said...

I really like this with the pink jacket!!!
Thanks for your comments on my jeans--did you finish your pants class? How did it work out?

Sue said...

What a great pattern to choose for your LBD! This is definitely on my to-make list too!

MySummerTouch said...

You look great with make up on! (As we all are :)
You made me to want this dress!

Anonymous said...

lovely! this dress is so flattering to pear-shaped women. you and kristy looks fantastic in this dress!

Kristy said...

Ooh I like your zebra print heels, they go so well with the dress! Thanks for sharing your detailed instructions on how to line the dress, the next version I make I will probably line so they will come in very handy. And I love your dress in black with the pink jacket, so classic.

Donna said...

This is gorgeous; the fit looks amazing. Bravo!

June said...

This is one of the most wonderfully flattering dresses you've made this year! Fantastic job. Had to chuckle at the cowboy boots, too.

Vicki said...

Great dress. I think it does qualify as a LBD for sure. And I would always put the lace facing inwards. like you did..cos it is for you to smile at when you get dressed!

emadethis said...

This is such a great look on you. I would not think that this dress would be as versatile as you've made it, but I think you've shown a great deal of its potential. The jacket is marvelous.

Digs said...

Super, super! Love it with the pink jacket.

Trumbelina said...

Great job on the dress! Once I get my camera back in working order, I need to post about this pattern. I made the shirt version and I think it may be too big. The fit on yours is fantastic. My fabric was a woven cotton with some stretch and I found I didn't need to do my broad back alteration (which is usually around an inch both sides).
And thanks for the advice on the serger on pinterest!

kathy said...

The zebra heels are perfect.
Stunning LBD.

Anonymous said...

Love it! I passed on this dress when I got the issue of burda because of the neckline. You have inspired me to give it a try! Fabulous styling!

attagirl said...

Beaufort dress, very versatile

Audrey said...

This dress is on my To Sew list. I even have the fabric and notions. Yours looks great. I especially like the way you did formal with a Texas twist.

AllisonC said...

I do feel rather silly for following the Burda grain layout now! I love your LBD, I'm sure I will be following in your footsteps with one of my own.

MushyWear said...

This is very flattering on you. What a great LBD to have available when the occasion arises again.

Dei said...

This is my favorite piece you have made. It's sublime.

Joy said...

This is just gorgeous. You've convinced to me trace the pattern, hehe. I haven't grown tired of cowls, but this variation on the theme is nice.

Catherine said...

A very nice dress... and very very nice zebra shoes!

Cennetta said...

Well done, Trena. Very flattering. I love your style options.

Marita said...

Hello Katrina, pure elegance.

Suits you so well, love that silver bag also, lovely lovely:)

louize said...

I just made the short version of this and hesitated to leave it sleeveless, kind of wishing I had as I think it looked much nicer without them! Your dress is lovely - subtly elegant.