Blue dress disaster salvage

blue skirtWhat a beautifully done narrow waist binding, eh?  This was my solution to the Burda Disaster of last year.

chalked waistline

I cut off the bodice and made it into a skirt.

front waistline

Why?  A couple of reasons.

First, I could not recut the armscyes the three inches higher they needed to be.

Burda 11-2012-138 side back

Second, I didn’t have enough fabric to fix all the drag lines on those sleeves.  But I did put in a little more work than simply chopping off the bodice.

I took the entire thing apart, and re-distributed the fullness through the bodice pleats.  I pin basted the changes, but this looked pretty good.

Burda 11-2012-138 re-pleated front

Actually, I thought it was a big improvement from the excessive bustline fabric folds in the original version.


I’m still really drawn to the idea of this dress, so I do have plans to make it up again in the (near) future.  I carefully noted the bodice changes: about a 3/4 reduction in the CF pleats.  In other words, I altered out my FBA.  And I raised the armscye by about 3 inches.  All the changes are well-documented, so here’s to my new blue skirt, and another successful version of this dress in the future.

Edited to add:  The skirt is a great addition in my wardrobe – I’ve already worn it a few times, and I’m happy with the blue addition.  But I’ve moved on from this dress, and won’t be making it up again.  Here’s to a new year of sewing, with lessons learned and applied and more muslins, less wadders.

Happy New Year, everyone!


11 thoughts on “Blue dress disaster salvage

    1. Great idea except for a couple of important things: I am SICK of this project, and, because of this, I trashed all the fabric from the bodice. 😀

  1. Hear hear to less wadders!! Your narrow trim is beautiful, and I’m so happy for you to have salvaged that pretty fabric into something wearable 🙂 I have a really tough time being motivated to salvage wadders, as it’s often more work than starting over, so I’m always inspired to see others do it so successfully – very inspiring! 🙂

  2. I just found your blog today, and I am quite impressed! Nice work salvaging the skirt, and I’m looking forward to other things you share with us.

  3. Ah…bummer. But a great new skirt! I’ve done the same thing, turned a wadder dress into a skirt, and I’ve worn it so many times, probably more than I ever would have as the original dress. Happy New Year!!

  4. Good for you taking the bull by the horns!!!! A perfect blue skirt is way more flattering that that poofy front bodice! Let’s make 2015 wadder free!

  5. So glad you have something beautiful to wear from this. I was never drawn to this pattern either, although I thought your dress looked fine ( that is as long as no arm movement was necessary!).

  6. Hi Tia,
    glad to see you have managed to salvage that beautiful fabric… the skirt solution is something I’ve contemplated for one of my readymade misfires as well. I’ve got to say, I really disliked that Burda pattern from the first time I saw it, I think it is an unflattering design on anyone. Look forward to your blog and admiring your sewing prowess in 2015


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