Saturday, December 29, 2018

Black Burda Christmas Dress

I wasn't really planning to sew a new dress for Christmas Day this year, since I had to work up so near to the day itself. I had bought some gorgeous crushed velvet from Fabricland, a muted floral print on a black ground, and thought it would make a beautiful festive outfit, if only I had time.

I even had the perfect dress for it: the "Sequin Dress" from Burda (#101 in the Sept 2018 issue, or here on their website). While the pattern has glitzy fabric contrasted with rib knit sleeve cuffs (love!) I just used all velvet for my version. Though I did add side seam pockets, but just slightly too low, argh.

In any case, I found I did have enough time to complete the dress. My husband took over the cooking duties for the vegetarian main I make every year for our family gathering (and did a fine job) so I could continue sewing. Even though I was hemming on Christmas morning, I still had it done and wore it all day.

It is a super comfortable shape and perfect for eating big Christmas dinners in! I liked the long sleeve with the lightly-gathered-to-the-cuff finish, too, even if I don't often go for full length sleeves. I hemmed it to just above the knee so it didn't feel too overwhelming -- while the original is a bit shorter, knee length is about as short as I go, considering I'm only barely 5'2.

Construction Details:

I of course had to smallify the whole thing: shortened the skirt length somewhat, shortened the sleeves by 2.5" and the cuff width by 1/2". I should have taken up 1/2" to a full inch above the waist, but will do so next time. With the loose fit, it's not too apparent anyhow. I'd also cut the shoulder to underbust area at 40 instead of 42 next time, and grade out from there.

I added side seam pockets but miscalculated the waist a bit and so the pockets are just a touch too low. They work fine but it annoys me with my short arms! I used a scrap of a smooth black polyknit for the neck binding so that there was nothing to irritate my skin on the inside of the neckline. And it all seemed to go together nicely. The only alterations I'd make next time are just the slight sizing adjustment at the underarm area and raising the pockets by an inch. So I'd say this one was a success to end the year with! I was even able to wear my "Made in Bethlehem" mother of pearl brooch with it.

I am really loving this velvet trend. More to come in 2019...


  1. Beautiful dress! You did a great job, I love how it looks on you. I am going to get this pattern and try one as a tunic over leggings. Hope you had a Merry Christmas in your cute dress!

    1. It would work great as a tunic! Hope you also had a very Merry Christmas!

  2. This was a perfect pattern to really let the fabric be the attraction. Love this fabric. I am loving the velvet look also. I need to find a print velvet as I see a lot of solid colors and like the idea of a print. Nice of your DH to help cook so you could sew!

    1. That's what I was thinking, Linda - not too many seams so the fabric could be the main focus. I really love this one, it is so comfy as well as fancy ;)

      My DH is very supportive of my hobby and I'm so glad of it! And he's a good cook too, which helps lol.


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