Red Christmas

Burda 11-2012-121 redShe’s so pretty.  Isn’t she pretty?  She’s so pretty!   OK.  Enough mummy bragging. Down to the sewing stuff.

This was the last of my sewing projects with a December 24th due date:  DD1’s Christmas dress.  She chose this lovely gunmetal brocade with red flocking to be made up in dress from Burda’s November 2012 issue (click on the image for more details).  I muslined the bodice once after making a square shoulder adjustment and rotating the darts to the side seam.  This was my first time rotating a dart, too.  I would say it was minimally successful due to lack of practice.  Try and learn, right?

The fabric has a softer drape than the skirt required, so I underlined it with a soft net.  This seems to be the Christmas for stiff underlined skirts – lots of frosting fun!  I left off the pockets (what’s with pockets in a party dress? Isn’t that why you have blinged out clutches?) and I pressed the seam allowances towards the skirt because of the way I attached the lining.

Burda 11-2012-121 backBurda 11-2012-121 frontI am disappointed in this bodice after sewing up Vogue 8615, which went together beautifully and fit so well. I always have issues with the shape of Burda shoulders and I find the sleeves they draft a PITA to set.  I don’t know if this is because I choose the wrong sizes or because they lack all the markings that Vogue typically has.  Burda sleeves always seem to have a ridiculous amount of ease in the front – as though the sleeve head was drafted backwards – and never enough in the back. I have been experimenting with removing ease, but I haven’t mastered it yet.  And, quite frankly, sometimes I just don’t want to think through stupid re-drafting adjustments; I just want to sew something without having to think about it and have it work perfectly! I should have done a prominent shoulder blade adjustment for her R shoulder blade, but I didn’t:  I ran out of time.  Sewing by candlelight made me appreciate the amount of time that went into sewing garments before electricity and modern machinery became the norm.Burda 11-2012-121 sideI lined it in bemberg and drafted my own neckline facings and understitched them.  Why does Burda never suggest understitching for facings in their instructions? Or facings?  Both are required for a perfectly clean neckline finish, IMHO.  And one more confession: I left about 3 inches too much ease in the waist of this dress, but the advantage was lots of comfort room for dancing Christmas Eve away at our family gathering.


7 thoughts on “Red Christmas

  1. You have every right to brag. Your daughter, that dress… divine! I’ve been waiting to see a lovely version of this dress. And I do believe I just found it! great work 🙂

  2. Pretty fabric… Pretty dress… Pretty daughter! I confess my girls did not get dresses this year. I was way too busy with work and life. But I will make it up to them for Easter. I am already planning!

  3. She’s so pretty, and the dress is fabulous too!! The fabric is lovely, and I particularly love the skirt hem – it’s obvious a lot of attention and love went into this dress… but that’s not unusual for you 😉

  4. Pretty daughter!

    Interesting that you favor the Vogue pattern to the Burda one. I so frequently read the opposite – people complaining about the big 4 and praising Burda. I do prefer Vogue’s extra markings. Makes it easier to check for fitting adjustment needed.

    How does this pattern compare with the Vogue one? Have you try superimposing them on top of each other to see what the differences are? When you said more ease in the front is that the actual ease (ie difference between the armscye seam line on the sleeve cap vs the bodice) or do you mean the front of the sleeve cap just looks more rounded in the front than in the back? If the Vogue one fits well it might be useful as your Block to help choose the right size in Burda?

    1. I am going to do that. Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve done it for other projects and problem solving (I did it for the sleeves on this project). I’m off to compare bodices… Thanks!

  5. Sometimes if you measure sleeve caps the front IS longer than the back which makes me wonder if things were transposed in the printing section??? Nice sleeves should only have 1/2 to 1 inch ease and notches and center points should match well if the paper pattern is measured ahead of time. Yes, it is a pain and we all want quick projects and certainly after you have put so much time into the bodice and skirt those darn sleeves should almost set themselves. It is a lovely dancing dress and the fabric is so luscious!


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