I hadn’t originally included this dress as part of my spring Sew Geeky plans, but, then again, I hadn’t originally planned on attending a wedding during this time frame either. This was sort of a last minute look, but I thought I might as well incorporate it into my Spring Sew Geeky capsule, even though, as a party dress, it could very well have been it’s own thing. But I figured I’d go ahead and stick with my color scheme, since sewing mini collections was sort of my goal for the year. It actually wasn’t too hard, since the colors on this lace fit in perfectly, and I’ve had it in the stash for quite some time. The pattern I decided to use was BWOF-03-2007-126 because I thought it would utilize the scalloped edges of the lace in a fun way, and save me ages of hemming in the process.
Here’s my version of the dress:
The lighting wasn’t really cooperating, but it is a purple/red lace on top of a bright red underlining.
Another view of the front and of the back.
Much easier to see the colors here; you can also see a close up of the beaded belt.
The top. I love how the neckline makes use of the scalloped fabrics, and the tiny straps.
And here is my official pattern review:
Pattern Description: Women’s dress with scalloped lace neckline and hem, thin straps, and belt.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42. I made the size 40 at the bust and graded out to a 42 at the waist.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I made a few modifications, so I didn’t really follow the instructions much beyond the basic construction order.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it? Yes, I think it look rather similar to the line drawing. The model photo from the magazine is… not the best to make visual comparisons.
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Likes: I really like that this pattern is designed to utilize the scalloped edges of the lace at the neckline and hem. It is also very fabric efficient because of this; I had very little waste from cutting out this pattern, which was much appreciated because I was cutting into some precious (ie, quasi-expensive) lace. It is also very comfortable to wear. Dislikes: The dress is quite bulky where the skirt and bodice meet; it makes the invisible zip a little sticky. And I think the bodice draft is a bit too wide at the neckline; I had to alter the pattern to adjust for this. It was really difficult to turn the straps and the belt; that took me nearly as long as putting together the rest of the dress! It likely wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d used a smoother fabric, but the cotton really wanted to stick to itself. I also wish I’d added about 1/2” of length to the bodice pieces, but otherwise I really liked this pattern.
Fabric used: A purple/red rayon lace from FabricMart from ages ago. This is why I stash! I bought a red cotton as an underlining, and used a red poly from Jo-Ann as a regular lining. I also used velvet ribbon as trim on the straps, and beaded floral trim on the belt.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a muslin before cutting into my precious (and expensive) lace, and the fit was perfection except for the neckline. I took a 1 inch dart on each side out of the pattern (narrowed the neckline by 2 inches total) to keep the integrity of the design but also have the neckline lay flat. In hindsight, I realized that the very odd pose of the model may have been to hide the neckline. At the very least, the gapping problem I had initially is clear in the photo, though it’s hard to tell if it is the dress or the odd model pose. In another change, I decided to underline as well as line the dress. I constructed the front a bit differently because of it. It’s a bit hard to explain what I did, but essentially I left the top seam allowance free where the underlining did not fully match up with the lace, and attached the lining to this seam allowance. I did not follow Burda’s instructions here. I had to stitch the underlining/lining together in sections, between the vertical seam lines. This seemed to work pretty well, though I hat to hand stitch the lining to the underlining at those vertical seam points. I also raised the lining/underlining neckline by 1/2 inch.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I could see myself sewing this again; in a different fabric it could have a very different, less formal feel. In a cotton eyelet it’d be a nice spring/summer casual look, and I think it’d be a fun way to use a boarder print as well. I’d recommend this pattern with the caveat that you probably will want to muslin the bodice, and that the fabric can be a bit bulky at the skirt seam.
Conclusion: I’m so happy with my new dress! It is a perfect use of this lace that has been in my stash, and I even have enough left over to make a second dress or a skirt. I think this dress was perfect for the event I wore it to (a spring wedding), and it was super comfortable. I’m very pleased to have added this dress to my spring wardrobe and Sew Geeky plans!