|Pattern Description: |
Burda say "The magic is in the details of this dress with its elegant gold metallic fabric. The subtle draping at the waist impresses, while the short sleeves and knee-length, flared skirt emphasizes the sleek silhouette. This dress particularly suits taller women and is available in tall sizes."
The sister pattern to this, #113, has a floor-length hem and long sleeves, so you can effectively mix and match which lengths you want. I chose to use the hem from #112, but with long sleeves.
Burda Tall, sizes 72-88. Essentially double your normal Burda size to get your Tall size (so I'm 42 x 2 = 84). Read more here about de-Tall-ing the pattern back to normal sizes, which I did successfully here.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! It's helped by my choosing a similar pale colour to the long version in the magazine, but mine looks very much like the photos and the line drawing. You can also see lots of successful Russian versions of this pattern, too. (More of my photos)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, thankfully! This pattern has the illustrated instructions for this issue, and man do you need them! It reminded me of one of those Vogue designer patterns where it doesn't actually look like a dress until the very last step. Note that if you buy the pdf pattern from the Burda Style site, you get the same full, illustrated instructions that appear in the magazine.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The front gathering and loop is obviously the real feature of this pattern, and it's one that requires a bit of fussing and hand stitching after the dress construction is done. You've got to tack the loop to the seam allowances of the "hole", but then also attach these joined pieces back underneath towards the centre front to really pull everything tight, or it just sags (thankfully, the pleats provide lots of options for places to attach it!).
The gathers on the loop also don't really appear unless you handstitch a few more gathers in invisibly further along. So mine doesn't look exactly like the model photo, simply because of where I chose to place my handstitches. You'll definitely want to use a dressform or live model to get the drapery right in the end! (Photos)
When I made the muslin, I used the long sleeve in the pattern but this had WAY too much ease, was weirdly long even after de-Tall-ing, and was tight and loose in strange places. Very odd. So I just drafted/adapted/tweaked my own sleeve, which is much nicer here. Whenever I do my own sleeve pattern (and frankly, whenever I can remember to double-check a commercial sleeve), I always remove all sleeve cap ease. I can feel zero difference in movement, and you don't get the eased poofiness at the shoulder.
I took inspiration from the long version shown in the magazine and made my final version in some pale pink viscose crepe from Stone Fabrics Super wonderful - flowing, drapey, takes a nice press (though that means it also wrinkles readily!), and has one crepe side and the other rather smoother (I used the crepe on the outside). You really can't beat it for £6/m! It's fairly narrow though at 137cm wide, so if you also choose to make the shorter hem length with long sleeves, note that you'll need 3 meters of it.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Apart from using a different sleeve pattern and removing the additional vertical space added into Tall patterns, I really didn't change anything here. The fit was good in my muslin apart from the sleeve, so I kept it the same in my final version.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I wouldn't sew it again because it's very distinctive and requires a special occasion, but I'd heartily recommend it to others that like the look, especially because the illustrated instructions really help here. I particularly think this would make an amaaaazing wedding gown!
I'm proud to say that this is my final garment in my self-imposed One-garment-per-Burda-issue challenge for 2012, and I'm so glad I ended on such a wonderful dress! I can't wait to wear it out, it moves so beautifully in the wind when worn, too!
See way more photos and read loads more about the pattern alteration and construction over at FehrTrade.com!