I bought this lovely blue fabric last year, intending to use it for a Pattern Review contest. But there wasn't quite enough of it for the pattern I was trying out, so I let that idea drop.
But then I bought Burda 6381 in a recent pattern sale, and this fabric jumped out at me again. I was intending to trim it with a multicolour floral ribbon in my stash, but as I was cutting it out, the boucle-like texture of the fabric and the very pretty selvage convinced me to simply use strips of the selvage as trim. It has a faint echo of Chanel, I think!
This dress took a couple of weeks to make, partly because I've been busy, and partly because it's a slightly more challenging make than some of my recent dresses. There are some interesting elements -- the trim that is a part of the design, elbow darts, and my decision to fully line it rather than use facings.
First of all I had to lay it out carefully and also cut a lining -- I used a "blueberry" rayon lining from my stash, a beautiful colour match. This fabric is a beautiful colour, but it's also a poly blend, so I had to be really cautious about pressing it; I used a low heat with steam and a press cloth. But it looks like I need to press and shape those bust darts again on the ham to get them to smooth out a little more.
But despite that, I enjoyed this make. It was more fitted than many of the things I've been making recently, and I had to make a few adjustments. I shortened it a pinch above the bust and an inch above the waist, but added length to the skirt. The pattern as designed is quite short and chic, but my legs are too short to carry that off, so as usual I lengthened it to knee length.
The sleeve is close fitting also, and has an elbow dart. I had to shorten the sleeve and took length out of the upper arm and nearer to the cuff. But I didn't account for that dart so it is a little bit higher than optimal. It still adds movement to the sleeve though. I'd keep an eye on that if I made this again. And another great feature are these patch pockets. They are lined and finished as separate pieces first, then topstitched on to the dress. This technique gave me the neatest pockets I've ever made, and I'll be making all my patch pockets like this from now on!
The longest part of it all was handstitching on the trim afterward. I only sewed in the pocket trim by machine, and was able to tack down the sleeve trim by machine as well. The shoulders were hand sewn and are a little ripply, I may take them off and start again. But a little steam may also help! The neckline was steamed into shape first, which helped, though after I'd finished it all I suddenly questioned whether it should have been pointing up instead. Argh!
In any case, this was a more challenging make which fits very well, and which taught me new tricks. I enjoyed the challenge, even if this fabric wasn't perhaps optimal in its desire not to be pressed into shape. It is still a great colour that goes perfectly with my favourite tights.
So I'm calling this a win, even with the small tweaks I'm going to want to make to improve it. And if I made it again in a more accommodating fabric I think it would be ideal. I have a couple more Burda envelope patterns and a few traced off Burda magazine patterns too that are all in my fall queue. So we'll see how far I get with them all!
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