Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Burda 05-2011-108, Malaysia Fabric Sundress

Burda 05-2011-108 Malaysia Thumbnail

The piece de resistance of my stashbusting during the stash contest was finally making something out of this fabric I bought in Malaysia in 2009.  I was there for work, and one of our excursions was to the local department store (our hosts, understandably, wanted to show off their modern marvels).

Sarong Length

They had packaged sarong lengths for about $6, so I bought 3 of them.  This was the last one left (one of them was made into a shopping bag, the other into Simplicity 2177).  This print was meant to be shown to advantage when folded as a wrap skirt in the traditional manner, so it was a double border print with a decorative panel at one end.  In all, I had 75 inches of fabric.

My first plan was to make a simple darted sundress using Burda 08-2009-128.  I planned to use the decorative diamond-shape section as the bodice.  Well, with the double borders and relatively narrow fabric, I couldn't fit the whole bodice in the diamond-shape section.  Dangit!  I had to fall back on princess seams; since I had already fitted and made Burda 05-2011-108 for last year's Seersucker Social, I figured it would be easy.

Is anything ever easy?  I wanted to use some of the floral motifs in the side panels, but because of they way they were placed, I had to add a side seam to the pattern.  To find the side seam, I put on the previous version and marked with a row of pins what seemed to be the side.  Very scientific.  I transferred my pin marking to the side panel pattern piece, and then split it along the marking.  This allowed me to further refine the fit (and by "refine the fit" I mean "add more room at the waist").

Lay Border over Side Panel



But then once I got the bodice put together those side panels looked so plain, even with the floral motifs I had so carefully placed.  Ugh!

Border Side Panels






 I slept on it and decided to add some of the border fabric to the side panels to jazz them up a bit.  I traced the lower curve and panel seams and cut out lengths of border.  I put the border on "upside down"--with the selvage at the top--and stitched very close to the edge of the selvage using my blind hem foot to keep the panel in place.

Bodice Layout





The center back bodice is perhaps the pinnacle of my sewing to date.  I took great care in cutting so that I could perfectly match up the motifs along the CB zipper.

Print Match at Center Back





As long as you pay no attention starting at the dark border on the bottom of the lower diamonds (why did this happen?), the back looks seamless, much less zipperless.  While I have done projects in plaids and stripes, I have never matched a print before.  So proud, y'all.

Facing Pattern








I didn't have enough fabric to fully self-line the bodice, so I used batiste for the lining.  I didn't want the white lining to peek out the neckline or armscyes so I did yet more drafting to create front and back facings without the princess panel seam.

Facing Pinned to Lining







I found scraps of fabric to cut out the facings, interfaced them, serged the lower edges, and then carefully placed them on the lining and stitched in place at the lower edge using my walking foot.  This trouble was worth it to get a nice finish.

Luckily, the skirt part was easy!  I didn't want any seams to break up my print, so I made the panel as wide as I could and used the selvage as the hem edge.  I added darts in the back to align with the princess seams, and also put in darts to align with the side seam.  Then I did a large inverted pleat at center front with the remainder of the extra width.

Front

For a simple dress, this ended up being a ridiculous amount of work, especially given what I had planned in the first place!  When I first finished it I wasn't sure about the diamond shapes and wished I'd done a plain bodice and used the diamond panel in the skirt.  But the longer I wore it, the more I liked the exuberance of the bodice.  It seems like an appropriate way to use the fabric, where that panel would be the star.

This fabric is not, alas, my oldest piece in stash, but it was one that had been weighing on me to sew it up already.  So yay for that!  Only hundreds more pieces to go...

The photos were taken on a visit to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in the DC area; you can read more about our visit here.  If you have access to a car and live around here, you really must visit!  It's gorgeous and free.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

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There are still a few more days to enter my swimsuit elastic giveaway if you haven't done so yet....

31 comments:

Clio said...

Right on with the diamond print bodice! Beautiful dress! This will be easy = famous last words!

Debbie Cook said...

You did an AMAZING job on using this fabric. I think I would've been paralyzed with over-analyzing it and nothing would ever have been made. :-) And to have it fit so well and flatteringly (word?), icing on top!!

Mary said...

ha! This will be easy...you make it look easy with your clear photos and beautiful dress.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

what a great use of that fabric, lovely and the color looks great on you.

Seraphinalina said...

WOW. That's awesome. I cannot believe your zipper at the back, that's a shiny gold star and then some. The end result was well worth whatever time you put into it thinking and piecing and carefully cutting. Well done.

Adelaide B said...

Yeah, this is cool and the bodice back matching is really nice. I've yet to get myself motivated to match prints. Maybe I'll get there!

knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

Beautiful dress and I think it was well worth the effort. TFS

Becky said...

That's some amazing print-matching! Love the bodice. (And I had to laugh at your hundreds to go comment, I feel the same way about my stash!)

Andrea said...

Awesome choice for that fabric which is beautifule by the way. I love the pleat in the front of the dress.

Little Hunting Creek said...

This is BEAUTIFUL. I have learned to never even THINK "this will be easy".
I love how you used the Borders

Venus de Hilo said...

Oh hey, look what you did! IMO this is beyond awesome. Not only because your pretty panel of fabric is now a lovely dress, but also because I have a similar panel (in pink and black) aging gracefully in my stash. It was given to me by a friend who'd traveled to Indonesia, oh, I'd guess maybe 15 years ago (more??). It's too pretty not to use for... something, and now you've opened my eyes to possibilities. Given I am both taller and larger than you, getting an entire dress from it seems unlikely, but the possibilities are intriguing.

Andrea said...

Love the dress, love the fabric. Great job on the fit and pattern matching!

Faye Lewis said...

That print was perfect for your dress. It's beautiful!

Mrs. Micawber said...

The diamonds are spectacular on the bodice ... wow, what an amazing job all around. You should win a prize for this one! I like the way you managed the skirt - the box pleat was a great touch.

June said...

I looked at the pictures before reading the text, and I did a double take when I realized the back had a zipper pull at the top. Totally invisible - great technical work there! Congrats on stashbusting and making yourself a fab new dress.

Kristy said...

Fabric bought in 2009 would be considered a newer piece in my stash - I tend to hold on to pieces for a looong time before using! I see you came in the top 20 for the stash busting contest over at PR which is great work. And you a rightly proud of that pattern matching at the zipper - it is flawless

Trumbelina said...

Wow! What beautiful fabric. All of your work was worth it. Your pattern matching it definitely enviable (love the diamonds). Your fit looks incredibly good as well.

Mary said...

Beautifully done! Thanks for sharing your process. All your hard work paid off, and inspired me too!

Anonymous said...

Amazing! You're really good at this pattern matching business. =)

Sheree said...

Funny how projects that on first glance appear to be easy never are. Looks lovely on you.

Linda said...

This is a great dress! The fabric was perfect for this pattern. Lovely fabric.

sungold said...

Thumbs up! An amazing bit of fabric matching!

Lisette M said...

Gorgeous work, I really love how the bodice turned out. Those gardens have been on my list to visit :)

Maria Robinson said...

Awesome. That center back is beyond my current skill set. Well done.

Vicki said...

Perfect print placement. Beautiful dress.

Rae said...

Fabulous dress!
Went to visitvaddional pics and love hoe the vintage screw back earrings have been given a new life! Where did u get the hangars ?

Kelly said...

This is wonderful! I love your print placement.

a little sewing said...

OH! Insanely wonderful print placement and a gorgeous dress to show for your efforts. Wow.
You will knock 'em dead wearing this dress.

kbenco said...

I love what you have done with this fabric, the dress looks terrific on you, and the print is beautifully unusual. My brother goes to Malaysia for work all-the-time. Clearly he now needs some instruction on suitable presents for his beloved sister ;)

Janey said...

I love your blog, I'm a sewer with a similar figure to you, and I find your blog so helpful. I would really like to subscribe. I can only find a way to do it via RSS feed. Is there any way I an get emails of your latest postings? Many thanks.

thisisfarhana said...

that's one pretty dress! major love! :-)