Sunday, March 25, 2012

Revisiting an old favorite

I first made BWOF 5/08 #104 back in July 2008, out of a green and black knit from Fabric.com.  Here's the original pattern review.  Even though the fabric wasn't the greatest quality, I loved the dress and so I babied the fabric along until last summer,when it really started to show its age and became a weekend dress instead of something I could wear to work.

After finishing the VPLL 0191 blouse, I needed a quick knit project to clean my head, and a new version of this dress has been on my to do list for a while.  I was looking for another seam ripper (where do they go?) in a drawer and found a nice round buckle and realized that it would be perfect, so that was the inspiration to finally get on it and make this.

I love knits.  Even if it's a new pattern, it's quick to work up, and if it's something I've made before, then look out, because it'll be done in a flash.

I cut this out Friday evening, futzed with it before bed, and finished it yesterday afternoon in between gardening and more gardening.

Dresses like this are what I miss about Burda these days, and why I let my subscription lapse.  Everything in the last year or so (ever since they ruined the pattern sheets by doubling up) seems to be too blocky and simple (maybe because otherwise we'd shoot ourselves trying to trace complex patterns?) and while this is in no way complex, it also doesn't look as easy as it is.

I love the front drape - it definitely conceals a bit around the middle while also being a design feature.  You don't often get concealment and "hey, look at me!" all in the same garment.

I made changes from the original pattern, some of which I did the first time around.  It's a knit dress, yet Burda wants you to put a zipper in it.  Ummm, no.  They also included a bodice facing that extended to just above the waist drape.  Right.  We all love facings in knits, and a facing that's nearly as big as a lining?  Umm, no again.  For the original dress, I just did a neckline facing, but this time I adjusted the shape of the neck a bit and bound it before sewing the front V.  Much neater, and no facing to flip out.

The original dress was also sleeveless, which is fine for a summer dress but my office is really, really cold and even short sleeves help a bit.  I used a sleeve from another Burda dress and it worked just fine.

This dress uses a good bit of fabric.  None of it is cut on the fold, though the back could be.  I just like that it gives a bit of shaping so I left it the way it was drafted.  The front is interesting, and also cut twice - there's a short seam from the bottom of the neckline V to the mid-section seam, and a long seam from there to the hem.  In the middle is a horizontal seam (hidden behind the drape).  The excess bodice fabric is gathered to fit the lower seam, stitched, and then the drape is constructed and basted over top.  I think Burda was a bit generous on the drape, because even my first version had to be tweaked so that the drape draped instead of drooped.  But what pattern doesn't require a tweak or two?

I'm torn about what to start on next.  The calendar says it's March; however, the weather says it's nearly June (though it is chilly and a bit drizzly today).  I'm not competely over cold-weather sewing, but suddenly all the things I want to work on seem wrong because I'm going to finish them and hang them in the closet for 6 months or so. 

There's some theater sewing coming up soon - the local group is doing the Tempest in mid-April - but the patterns and fabric that were promised for Friday evening have not thus far appeared.  So I'm on my own for a project, and I'm leaning another knit.  At least that way if the costumes do show up, I can still knock out something else to wear to work this week..

13 comments:

ReadyThreadSew said...

I've had this dress on my sewing wishlist for ages, but because it was sleeveless I didn't think I'd wear it much. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to use a sleeve from a different pattern. So a huge thanks for this post and I'll now have to check my stash to see if I've got a suitable fabric. The fabric you used is really pretty and it's a great dress.

Nancy K said...

It's very pretty and it works well with sleeves.
I couldn't agree with you more on Burda's dreadful offerings of late. I let it lapse and then had second thoughts and ordered a 6 months sub. Awful. I don't think I'll renew. I have years of magazines that have nicely fitted things to make.

Rose said...

Your new "old favorite" looks great. I love the fabric! This pattern may find its way to my summer sewing list. Yep, I like the old Burda so much better than the new Burda. I'm still collecting issues, but I think that I will let it lapse at renewal time.

gMarie said...

That's a fabulous dress. Wonder if I have that issue? I'm leaning more and more toward dresses this year - I love how easy they are. g

Linda said...

Very pretty

velosewer said...

This is a lovely style and the fabric/buckle are great. I use knits as a way of getting a quick sewing fix a lot.
Cheers.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Great idea to put sleeves on the dress-it looks lovely

T. Sedai said...

So pretty! Love this style, and I love the fabric too! Now I am really wishing I had this issue so I could make this dress.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Cute dress and I understand why you've made it again!

Lisette M said...

Such a pretty dress! I just finished my theater sewing and I'm looking forward to sewing for me.

gwensews said...

That's a beautiful dress. Great color.

Bobby le Tile said...

It's lovely! Wow..wish I had your talent!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love those colors! I haven't made this dress yet, but you're making me think it should go on the list.