Ever since I saw this dress, I loved it, this dress is the reason I searched high and low for this particular Burda Style edition. Ok, I wasn't sold on the skirt but I really liked the bodice. When I saw Merche's version, I had to give it a go.
|Um, that's not me ....... twenty years ago I didn't look like this either but this is the pic they suck you in with to make you think that yes, you too can look gorgeous and carefree if you're wearing a gathered skirt.|
Let me just say that I've had a sneaking suspicion for quite a while now that I'm an overfitter. Yep, that's what I've been suspecting myself of. Well, my first foray into the world of Burda Style magazine patterns has gone a long way to confirming it.
I used an old sheet to cut out the bodice in a size 38 but gave it an FBA (quite a big FBA too) and oh boy, were there some problems! Still too firm across the bust, a horizontal fold under my shoulder blades, bust darts way too high, too tight in the armholes (just for starters). Evidence (taken in front of a filthy mirror):
It took several days for me to break out of the blissful haze and decide to 'get on with it' - the making of the actual dress. Remember my little experiment with a gathered skirt when I made Vogue 8728? Well, never say die seems to be my motto. I decided to give it another go (yes, I know, just how much evidence do I need before I admit something isn't working?). This time, I decided I'd go straight to the tucks instead of gathers. Did I really expect it to be good? No - that's why the entire dress is made out of old sheets.
In the course of making this, I had to give myself a few reality checks when it came to precision and perfection - you are making this out of old bed sheets, it's not going to be worn out, don't fuss, get on with it, it just doesn't really matter! So, I still think the bust darts on the outer bodice are a tad high (lining is fine, apparently I got a bit carried away with the outer piece though) even though looking in the magazine, I think they are meant to end there. The waist is also still a bit big.
I could not however, leave the first zipper I put in, in - it was all wavy and ripply and stood out from my back in waves (at some stage, I'd decided to have a centre back zipper). I'd never had a zipper do this, so I was at a bit of a loss as to what had gone wrong. Google to the rescue - as the back seam is curved, the fabric there was on the bias (or nearly) and had stretched out. Could it be rescued? Apparently by steam shrinking and reinforcing the seam line with interfacing.
|Oh yes, that back centre seam has stretched all right!|
Well, I gave the steam shrinking a go, it helped although I don't think I did it for long enough to completely fix the problem. I used some fusible stay tape in the sewing line - I have oodles of it and have never used it. I moved the seam an eeency bit (to make up for my lack of steaming patience - muslin, remember?). Back zipper? Much, much better but next time I'll do a side zipper and use the stay tape before I start to sew!
|Without the belt - unfortunately, the waist has stretched out even further, so it's actually a couple of inches too big now. Tiger, use the zillion metres of stay tape that you have!|
|With a red belt - nope, still not feeling it.|
|With a wider black belt - nope, time to give up.|
So, yes, I'll be making this dress again in 'real' fabric but I'll be adding an A-line skirt (maybe I'll give the half circle skirt a go?) or maybe a straight skirt. I think I'll also raise the neckline just a bit, say 1 or 2cm because at 5'6", there are a lot of people that are taller than me and currently, they can look down and get a fairly good view of my cleavage. I also need to remember to take the waist in.
And you know, I started thinking - maybe if it was a drapier/lighter fabric the skirt would look better. NO, NO, NO, don't go there tiger! It's not for you! As for tigerboy, he looked sort of perplexed (no doubt wondering why I've tried this type of skirt again) and said rather cautiously "Honey, that type of skirt still looks kind of frumpy." "Yeah, I know, I just thought I'd give it one more go." (I'm sure I saw a look of relief flit across his face.)