Friday, August 30, 2013

Pattern Review: BS-02-2013-114

First I want to thank everyone for the encouraging comments on my Butterick dress post!  I don't hate my dress, I am just not as excited with it as I would like to be, and so I think my tone was a bit more dour than I intended in the post.  I also think it is one of those magical pieces that somehow photographs really well, when in real life it is a bit less flattering.  There are elements of that dress I really like, but some of the finishing isn't as nice I expect from my sewing at this point.  Ah well.  Learn from it and on to the next.

So I know we are heading into prime fall sewing time, but I completely missed out on sewing for spring and summer!  So right now I feel like I am playing catch-up, and pretending like summer really isn't almost gone.  In that spirit I have been doing a lot of easy sewing lately - skirts, tank tops, and knit dresses.  In fact, the sewing has been so quick and fast that I am already quite backlogged on the blogging!  In any case, I shall try to get caught up as best I can, and hopefully you all won't get too bored looking at easy summer clothes for the next few weeks.  Also, apparently I am really into bright crazy prints right now.  Not something I usually go for, but, well, it has been kind of fun to sew something different.  In any case, the first pattern in my wild summer sewing series is from the February 2013 Burda Magazine:


I wasn't originally planning to make this dress, but after nationals I desperately needed to clean my sewing space.  Which led to me re-organizing my stash.  And thinking about all the fun things I could so with the cheap yet wonderful fabrics I had brought home from the Michael Levine Loft.  So when I found out about an end-of-summer concert series at a local outdoor amphitheater, I decided I wanted to make some dresses to wear.  Though, to be fair, the first day I ended up wearing jeans with my teal blazer (which, sadly, is on its last legs because the lining is fraying like there is no tomorrow) because it was pretty chilly.  Taking that into account I ended up not wearing this dress to the second evening, as I figured it would also be a bit cool, so now I need to find another reason to wear it.  Oh well, I mostly like the way it turned out, so hopefully I can find an event to wear it to in the near future.

Before the pictures, I have to provide a disclaimer: I really think this style needs a belt to look good!  In the interest of keeping it real on the blog and providing you with the most accurate pattern review, a lot of these pictures feature just the dress, but in the last shot you can see how additional styling helps the fit of this dress, and is how I would wear it in real life.

My version of the Burda dress!
The back of my dress.
Close up of the front drape.
Not the most flattering from the side view though.
Much more flattering with the use of a belt!

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  Sleeveless waterfall front knee-length knit dress.

Pattern Sizing:  Burda sizes 36-44.  I used a size 38 at the neckline, graded out to a size 40 at the bust, and a size 44 at the hips.  I found that the back neck gaped a little bit more than I wanted (the neck is super wide because of the use of facings and no other closures) so I think I probably should have used a 36 on the back neck, but otherwise the fit was great.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Sort of.  I did the front gather wrong, I think, because I had mine sewn into the facing, but apparently I was supposed to have it go over the front facing at the end?  By that point I wasn't interested in unpicking stitches so I just left it.  The rest of the instructions weren't too bad for Burda, though I did have to read the instructions for the front gather a few times just to make sure I was doing it (mostly) right.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, I think so.  I even used a wild print like Burda did.

What did you particularly like/dislike about this pattern?  Likes: I love how the pattern comes in at the side, and I like the gathering at the bust because I think those elements are very flattering.  Dislikes:  I never really like to have facings in a knit, but I think they are important here because the front drape is so heavy.  I also don't like how the front drape poofs out (not flattering from the side view) but the use of a belt helps to control this a bit.

Fabric used:  A remnant ITY knit print I found at the Michael Levine Loft in Los Angeles.  The fabric only cost me a few dollars, so this dress was really inexpensive to make.  Unfortunately, since this was from a remnant piece, I couldn't position the pattern exactly how I wanted (there was only one way for me to fit the pattern on the fabric and have enough for the dress), but I am still pretty happy with the way it turned out.  The print is really wild compared to things I usually wear, so this is a bit of a departure for me style-wise.  As has been mentioned on the other reviews, I recommend really lightweight knit fabrics (ITY weight is perfect) because the front drape is really heavy and might pull too much if you use a thicker knit fabric).

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  None.  As noted, next time I would probably go down a size on the back of the neck (I think the opening is drafted extra wide because with the facings, the opening doesn't really stretch at all), but otherwise the dress was great.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I don't know if I would sew it again, only because it is so unique a style, and I have a lot of patterns I want to try.  I think I would recommend it to others, since it is a fairly cute dress, but I think it helps to wear it with a belt.

Conclusion:  I like this dress.  It was a quick, easy make and I think the results are pretty cute.  Not one of my favorites of all time, but I am pleased with the results and I think it was a good use of my Loft fabric.  All in all I am happy with the results and I expect this dress to get some good wear in the future.

So there we have the start of my summer sewing.  Yes, I realize September is fast approaching, but I am ignoring that for the moment.  I have quite a few more summery pattern reviews coming shortly, including the dress I actually did wear to the concert, so stay tuned!


  1. oh, i really like your dress and the print too.
    Good luck with the sun, for to get some wear from this dress, it fits you really nice.

  2. I really like it and the fabric chosen is a similar type to what the burda model is wearing. Love the drape top.

  3. I was thinking how well you'd placed the print when I saw the first pic, so I don't think the lack of fabric was problem. I like it on you even without the belt.

  4. Nice pattern placement! I think it looks very deliberate and planned. Great dress! Very sharp.

  5. Great fabric and dress, you are getting good use out of this issue!

  6. Cool dress!:) The addition of the slim black belt is a great touch!:) I'm subscribing to your blog so I can check out all your recent summer makes;) I wish I would've sewn more this summer:/