Tuesday, November 7, 2023

A Batwing Burda, for Fabricville and beyond

My second project for Fabricville this fall was a shimmery black batwing dress. I love a good 80s influence, and when I saw Burda 6074, I knew I had to make it.

For my Fabricville version, I used “Dazzling Black” evening fabric, a poly knit with printed sequins. A print is so much easier to sew than real sequins! In fact, this fabric was very easy to handle. It’s lightweight with fairly minimal stretch, and it behaved nicely when sewing. I used a stretch needle, though, as this fabric was both thin and tough at the same time. It worked really well, where a regular ballpoint needle was just not working out. 

The Burda pattern is a quick and easy sew, as promised on the pattern envelope. There are 5 pieces; front & back, sleeve, collar & self-tie. Because this fabric is so lightweight, I interfaced half the collar with some light knit interfacing. You won’t need that if you have more heft in your fabric, or if you’d prefer it to be more squishy and cowl-like, as designed.

I only changed the pattern slightly, shortening it by 1/2″ above the waist and adding the 1/2″ back at the hem. I wanted my version to be knee-length so I didn’t shorten it at all (I am only barely 5’2″).  I made my usual Burda sizing of 42 at the shoulder and 44 at the hip, although I also added a bit extra at the hip when cutting it out, probably 1/4″ on each side. I also shortened the sleeves by an inch. 

I enjoyed sewing this up, but when I put it on, well, I did feel it reminded me quite strongly of a Hefty trash bag! The combo of fabric and pattern perhaps wasn't the best here, even though both on their own are pretty great. 

So I decided to make another version, this time is a lighter weight knit from my stash. I got this green and black soft knit at Fabricland locally, quite a few years ago. I had just enough to make this dress. (the pattern calls for 3 m. but I found I could fit it into 2.5 m. quite easily). 

I made all the same sizing adjustments, as I found my first version fit very well. But this is where fabric makes such a difference! I found the cuff area of the sleeve on the black version quite tight, so I added 1/2" to the diameter on the green one. But the green fabric has a lot more stretch than the black, so I find it is now a little too large! I'm going to narrow it back down to the original sizing.


I also added pockets to my green version -- I didn't think the thin and shiny black fabric of the original could handle pockets, but this thicker and squishier knit worked just fine. I placed the tops of the pockets just below the match points for the sleeve (which basically sit at the waist). This seems just right, and it's very convenient to have pockets! 

I love the silhouette of this pattern, especially the sleeve. The 80s vibe is strong, and it's also a very comfy outfit to wear. I think it looks quite different in the two fabrics, and enjoyed that it's also a quick sew. 


  1. Hi Melanie,
    A lovely basic style dress. I think I prefer the green and black fabric, mainly because I am a little conservative, and I wonder what would be the occasion to wear a shiny black. But it is so you to have a go and just do it! And it is great you could accommodate pockets.
    I remember the era of batwing clothing, I know I knitted many a batwing top.
    .... Sara

    1. I made the green one for just these reasons :) It is a cozy day dress, but maybe I will also get some wear out of the other one if I can figure out how to style it or where to wear it...

  2. I love the black version. It is flattering on you and looks sophisticated, just right for a party.

    1. Thank you! I think the black fabric, having a bit more body, holds the shape of the pattern really well. Maybe with some jewellery and the right shoes I could pull it off at a party!


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