Sunday, August 23, 2009

Burda 05-2009-125, the shirt dress.

From the back, I decided to declutter the front by tieing the waist sash at the back. Don't you love the wallpaper-esque pattern on the silk?

I love shirt dresses. I associate them with middle age middle class women, and hey, guess what? That would be ME. When I saw this style in Burda May edition I knew I would be making it up, they have succeeded in doing something I thought impossible: they made the style young and fresh.

Actually, I was thinking they may have been a little TOO successful at it, that it might be a little too young with its ribbons and gathers and bows. First thing I tried to tone it down a bit, by only using half the amount of ribbon and pleating the skirt instead of gathering it. I de-boufed it quite a bit that way.

It has usual appalling burda instructions which I didn't, as usual, read but recoursed to my old standby Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing for picture by picture accounts of collar with stand and cuffed sleeve with continuous vent placket.

The silk was a nice friendly compliant variety and I had no problems with cutting and sewing.It has the most gorgeous lustre.

Even though this pattern is "frou" and not "frou frou" after my de-boufing endeavours I'm still not comfortable in it - literally, it's too tight across the chest. This is weird - I made all my usual alterations, I checked the pattern to see if I'd mis-traced anything - re checked my measurements - no, I don't know what went wrong but the front facing has been drafted 2 cms smaller than usual. Maybe they wanted a super-fitted style to hold the shirt in tight to the chest? Human error? The finished front and back measurements through the bust are identical. It's been drafted like you've got boobs on your back. It's true there are days I feel like that, but that's a bit odd, don't you think?

Owww - toooo tight!

In this case, it's a good thing. Here's what I'll do. I'll refashion it - the fabric is too gorgeous to lose. The first thing to go will be the pleats at the bottom. Don't you love how I said I'd never do another refashion and here I am doing it - that's because in situations like these, my inner tight wad always wins!

This weekend is my tailoring course, so I'm going to make another jacket. I think I'm going to go with the Burda WOF one, and you can bet your bottom (middle and top) dollar that I will be tissue fitting the whole thing very carefully.

post editing note:

Thanks Judy.. of course, I can let out the princess seams! Thank goodness I didn't overlock them together as I sometimes do...


  1. Yeah, a refashion is probably less hassle than a boob reduction. What a shame it doesn't fit. (I suppose you're not interested in inserting gussets/strips into the side seams?) That silk is so lovely, how much of it do you think you can reuse?

  2. The dress looks fabulous. I hope you can get the fit sorted....the pain of having to donate that many $$ of silk to the pink bag is too much too imagine ;-)

    Looking forward to this weekend - I still have to trace and fit my pattern, though. Do ya wanna carpool? I'm happy to drive if that suits :-)



  3. I just bought this Burda issue yesterday, and the "safari" version of this dress is on my "to do" list. Thanks for the warning, I'll be checking the fit before I sew.

  4. Truly that is a fantastic dress! I love the fabric and the style (and I usually have to declutter around the waist too, but more often than not, it is because small children have abducted the tie belt and used it as a skipping rope...etc...)

  5. Every fitting problem I have is related the size of my chest, so I can relate. The dress doesn't look tight. Maybe try a different bra - it can make a difference.

  6. That is BEAUTIFUL silk. I can't see as well on you, with the cardie on, but on the form it does look like there's a nice amount of ease across the upper chest, and then no ease around the fullest part of the bust. If you haven't already latched onto a single idea for refashioning, I would suggest re-sewing those princess seams to allow for more ease, and if that still isn't enough, taking off the ruffle and using that fabric to add gussets at the sides as Judy Ross suggested above.

  7. that is one beautiful dress. i love that silk, i love that design.
    and you look fabulous in it!