The alternate title for this post should be “The Eleven Year Reunion Dress.” I’m sure you are asking, “Who celebrates their 11-year high school reunion?” The answer – no one. See, I started this dress about a year ago, intending to wear it for my high school reunion. Unfortunately the timing didn’t work out, and I wore my Michael Levine Loft dress that I’d made a while ago.
I’ve been working on this dress in fits and spurts over the past year. It finally got to the point where I decided I was going to finish it, and so I’ve been working on the finishing touches (hems, finishings, etc.) quite a bit in the past month. And, at last, it is done!
The dress is the memorable cut-out dress from the 2014 Fall/Winter edition of Burda Easy:
And here is my version:
Here is my official Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: A sheath dress with front and back X-seams and neckline cutouts.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-44. I used a combination of sizes 38, 40, and 44, but made a few alterations for fit.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the Burda Easy patterns tend to have much better instructions than the regular Burda, and they are all illustrated, which helps a lot the instructions get awkward or confusing.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? I think so! Despite my alterations on fit, I think that the final piece looks very much like the original garment photo.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This was one of those designs that I fell in love with when it came out in the magazine. I was obsessed with the neckline cut-outs and knew that I had to make this dress. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the X-seams on myself, but I think the shaping on the seams is actually rather flattering. The neckline cut-outs feel a bit naked when I’m wearing it, but when I look in a mirror I don’t think it looks over-exposed. I’m tempted to try a less deep cut-out treatment on a dress with different seam lines in the future. My only dislikes are the facings; because of the cut-outs I don’t think they are avoidable, but if I were to make this dress again I would line the entire think with a stretch lining/power mesh so that I could tack the facings down without causing puckering on the dress fabric.
Fabric used: Teal ponte knit that I got from Fabric Mart a while ago. I used tricot interfacing so that it would stretch with the fabric, and an invisible zipper.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I did my usual 1.5″ swayback adjustment, but because of the odd seams on this dress, I made a muslin in order to figure out how best to adjust it. I also took in the back of the neck (though I should have taken it in more), as well as shaping the bust area a bit more than in the original design. Unfortunately I think this may have been problematic for the symmetry of my cut-outs, although I don’t think it is too noticeable when I wear the dress. I also lengthened the hem because I tend to look better in a slightly longer proportion.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I might sew it again, or at least use the cut-out technique from this design on a different dress. I might use my pattern to make one of the other related styles from this magazine, since I have already done some of the fitting, but this style is pretty unique, so I don’t know if I need more than one. I also think I look better when I can belt my dresses, and the placements of the seam lines make belting this dress a bit awkward looking. I would recommend this to others – the Burda Easy instructions make it fairly straightforward to construct, and I think the cut-outs create very flattering visual interest, and are an interesting technique that could easily be applied to other styles.
Conclusion: This dress took me nearly a year to make, but only because I kept being distracted by other sewing projects, and hectic life events. I’m so happy it is finished because I finally feel like I can move on to another project. I don’t think this is the best dress I’ve ever sewn – there are definitely some sewing flaws that a bit bothersome – but overall I fairly happy with the way it turned out. It is comfortable and I love the color, so I expect it will get a decent amount of use. I hope I have somewhere to wear it soon!