Pattern Review: Burda 11-2010-119

Well, it’s done and delivered.  I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of this dress on my good friend, for whom it was made, but she’s the same size as my daughter, who is modeling it in the pictures.

First, here’s the line drawing for view 119.  The recommended fabric is lightweight, but I thought a wool crepe or challis would be a good winter’s fit.  Miss V wanted it in cranberry, or, as I call it, blood red.

B 11-2010-119 line drawing

Here’s two pictures of the dress from Burda magazine.

B 11-2010-120

B 11-2010-119 magazineView 119 is short and short-sleeved.  View 120 is floor length with 3/4 sleeves.  We chose to use the sleeves from view 120 on the shorter dress.

Now, I have some issues with these pictures, which I didn’t notice on the first viewing of them, but as I looked more closely some fitting and finishing problems became very disappointingly apparent.

First, the model is definitely straining the dress through the bodice.  Might be sexy in a picture or the right social setting, but I find it annoying.  Why wear a dress that’s tight across the bust unless that’s what you want people to notice first when they see you?  Second, the bodice-skirt seam does not fall in the proper place under her bust, but rides up about 1 inch.  Tsk tsk, Burda!  And the tie!  What is with that?  It’s not in line with the bodice seam at all (as per the line drawing), which, in my opinion, looks very ‘homemade’.  And I highly doubt these crepe dresses are lined – another faux pas in my sewing mind.  However, this is what my finished version looked like in cranberry wool crepe….

B 11-2010-119 model 1

My DD1, when she put on the dress so I could take these pictures (with Miss V’s permission, of course!), exclaimed, “This is a really nice dress, mommy!”  Hmmm.  I think so too, and offered her one if she ever would like one.  The fit is perfect through the bust, and the 3/4 length sleeves are the perfect touch.  Here’s another view….

B 11-2010-119 side back model

You can see the tie band from the back in this picture.  I have to say that I did not follow Burda’s directions for either the zipper or the tie.  Burda intended an underarm zip, but when I did the original muslin fitting for Miss V, she couldn’t get the dress off with the zip in the side seam.  So I did one down the back.  I actually hand-picked it because I discovered on Friday that my invisible zipper foot is broken.  It turned out nicely, though!

B 11-2010-119 zipper

I have a love-hate relationship with invisible zippers.  I’ve been studying pictures of haute couture garments recently to see how they put in zippers, and I’ve never seen an invisible zip yet:  they’re all hand-picked.  But back to this dress….

Burda’s instructions for the tie read:

Stitch centre seam of tie band.  Fold tie band lengthwise, right side facing in.  Stitch edges together, leaving a section of seam open for turning.  Turn tie band right side out.  Sew seam opening closed.  Try on garment.  Lay tie band around dress with fold edge at horizontal seam, and tie to a bow at the side.  Sew fold edge of tie band in place by hand, beginning in front, about 10 cm (4 inches) from zip slit.

I guess they meant to just sew one side so you could get into the dress, zip up the zipper and then bring the tie around and make the bow in the front.  I decided to leave the tie in two separate pieces and fell stitch it in place along the centre back zipper, tacking it at the darts and side seams.

Because I put a centre back zipper, I had to add a seam allowance down the centre back bodice and skirt sections instead of cutting them on the fold.  I also fully lined the dress, so I did not use the neck facings.

I stitched the darts and pleats in the front and back bodice pieces.  Then I stitched the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams and stay-stitched the neckline.  I did the same for the lining pieces.  Then I stitched the fashion and lining bodice pieces together along the neckline, understitched the edges and turned and pressed the bodice pieces.

When I set the sleeves, I sewed the lining and bodice fabric as one layer.  Then I fell stitched the sleeve lining in place.

B 11-2010-119 sleeve lining

My version involved a lot more hand sewing than Burda’s instructions suggested, but I wanted a truly finished garment, if you know what I mean.  Anyways, Miss V is pleased with her dress, and I’m pleased with the finishing, so that makes two happy campers!

And another thought:  I may not post again before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you, dear reader, and I’ll see you in the New Year.

The red dress’s fitting

Yesterday I was able to fit the red dress I’m making up for my friend.  She asked me to make up the dress for a couple of wedding receptions this December.  I wanted to see how the bodice fit before stitching in the sleeves. Pretty good!

B 11-2010-119 back fitting

The 3/4 sleeves will be perfect in this dress. 

B 11-2010-119 bodice fitting

It’s a good fit through the bust.  I have to say, though, the Burda bodice pattern with the shoulder pleats lays a bit oddly.  The pleats will have to be pressed and stitched further down than the original 2”.

B 11-2010-119 fitting

I’m pleased with the fit.  Once the sleeves are set in, the bow detailing is on the waist and the hem is sewn and pressed, it will be a lovely winter’s dress.  I need to hand this over to her by this evening, so I’d better get cracking!

Plugging away at the red Burda dress

Well, today I was able to do the muslin fitting for the red Burda dress (11-2010-119). Tomorrow I shall cut the red wool crepe and lining, and start stitching.  It was one of those really nice fittings where there’s not a lot of re-drafting to be done, only a few minor take-ins or other adjustments.  Yay!  Here’s a pic of the fabric I picked up in my Fashion District meanderings yesterday.


It’s so interesting a crepe with the variegated texture.  It’s lightweight and will drape and sew up beautifully.

And, out of character for me for the longest while (I’ve been very very good for the last few years.  I used to go on shopping binges and add 27 yards of whatever at a time to my stash.  I still have all that fabric, although I’m slowly starting to sew it up and I’ve not been going overboard like a fabric junkie), I added impulsively to my stash with some very interesting wools.  I guess I jumped at them just because they’re so unusual.  Check it out…


This is a reddish-chocolate brown wool jacquard challis, if that makes any sense.  It’s lightweight and has loose threads in a muted turquoise in a scallop pattern running lengthwise on either side of the green-turquoise jacquard you can see above.  I have absolutely no idea what this will end up as – it was just such a stunningly interesting fabric that I couldn’t pass it up.  And I whined about the price, so they cut $20/m off it.  I couldn’t refuse!  And then I thought I this wool boucle would look nice in a Chanel style jacket….


I think the current picture on Vogue Patterns website got stuck in my mind, because I really liked it.  I don’t have enough of this boucle to do the vintage design that Vogue used, but there’s enough to do up a jacket.  Love it.

Sigh.  I must say I had no intention of adding to my stash, but when I stumble upon something unique, I really enjoy the shopping part…… he he he…. Winking smile

Hepburn Dress Finished

Finally!  Here’s a peek of it on my dress form.  I’ll do a proper pattern review with pictures later this week. Winking smile

V2396 sheath

And on to the next project.  I cut the pattern and the muslin for Burda 11-2010-119 yesterday for a client.

119-11-2010 pattern

So today I’m toddling off to the Fashion District to pick up some blood red wool crepe, or, if I can find some that doesn’t break the bank, some 4-ply silk crepe.  Toodle-oo!