Friday, 23 November 2012

Burda Style 10-2012- 118A silk dress

I don't often sew dressed - up clothes, so it was very exciting to be exploring my excessive extensive collection of silks for an occasion dress.
SDC11100

 My fancy lit on a stash lurking scant 2m of a reversible brocade type silk I had bought from The Fabric Store in Surrey Hills about 3 years ago. This fabric is an unusual colour palette for me - duck egg blue and gold, but I fell in love with the lustre and reversible pattern, and could not resist it despite its high price and pattern-limiting narrowness. I am a weak woman when it comes to fabric.

 To rebuke me for my weakness, this fabric had starting looking at me from the stash with a superior, you-can't-cut-me attitude. Obviously it wanted to be a badly sewn cushion in 50 years or so after someone bought it in a deceased estate sale for 75c. I don't like this sort of attitude from my fabric, so it was time I used it.

 After putting aside several patterns with fabric requirements beyond my fabric wrestling and pattern layout skills, I decided on this dress 118A from Burda Style 10-2012,
which I had seen beautifully made up by AllisonC and Kristy (that composite photo is straight from her blog as the Burda site was not behaving, so credit to Kristy for the photo).I put the front bodice on the bias, as this had worked so nicely for these ladies' excellent versions.

Unfortunately, my toile showed me that I needed a FBA (as usual, I must be an incurable optimist) despite the lovely drapy cowl - in the bias section. It took quite a bit of measuring to make a slash and spread FBA with bust points at the same level due to the bias cut and side gathering, but overall, the fitting was pretty easy for this dress, with only my usual Burda adjustments in petiting the waist, squaring the shoulders, making an upright posture adjustment at the back neck and shoulders and a generous backside adjustment - this time by merely tapering out the centre back seam. The dress is also about 7 cm shorter than Burda's to finish at my knees, which have less leg length attached to them than a Burda model, and has an added back kick pleat. The top is 38, the skirt front 40 and the skirt back 42. You can see why I can't buy a sheath dress in RTW, even if I wanted too ;)
SDC11091
 The sleeves are those psuedo cap sleeves that don't cover the armscye. I do not usually like this style of sleeve, due to the unecessarily emphasising back view of the armpit they often offer, but I did not have enough fabric for a full cap sleeve, and having the dress sleeveless looked too casual.

 I drew these myself, with back arm pit coverage aims, after looking at the add a sleeve article in the latest Threads, but chose to shape the top of the sleeve like other Burda sleeves, rather than having the front and back curve identical. Not having enough fabric for a full lining, I applied a wide strip of bias to the inside by hand so that no glimpses of white silk organza could be seen whilst the dress was worn. I have also extended the back facing to below the armscye to stabilize the back, and because I don't like skinny facings. In retrospect,I should have saved some of this fabric for the sleeves, but originally, I was making a sleeveless dress.
 SDC10093
 I cut the front bias facing of the cowl seperately from the dress, from the other side of the fabric, as I wanted the reverse side of the fabric to show at the neckline. Did I mention that I love the reversible nature of this fabric ?
 I piped the sleeve hem in the reversed side of the fabric as well. I like these details, which I feel show off the fabric nicely. In construction, I followed the underlining with silk organza techniques from Susan Khaljie's couture dress class at Craftsy, including all the hand basting. I found that the silk organza underlining made the cowl too stiff, and cut this away from the garment in this area.
 SAM_2182

 The underlining made it very easy to sew an invizible hem, but I had a bit of trouble with rippling in the very curvy back seams. This rippling steamed out nicely, but is unfortunately visible in some of the photographs, like the back view. Sigh.

The gathering at the waist can sit very nicely, but you can see in these photographs, that after you have been sitting for a while and stand up again, all the gathers seem to collect in one big fold, which does not look as pretty. If I made this dress again, I would gather the side section across a wider area, so that they were more evenly distributed over the waist of the garment rather than collected into the current 5cm section in the side seam.

 I wore this dress to my daughter's high school graduation, where the graduands wear formal dress and the parents wear cocktail, which is a slightly unusual dress code. The dress was suitable, comfortable and not too hot for a mid November evening in the subtropics. I hope I can wear it again (see my co-ordinating and impractical shoes? I need to wear this again so as not to feel guilty about the $), and I am pretty sure I will make a more casual version from this relatively easy pattern.
Now I am wondering if I can get away with hand washing this dress. Dry cleaning smells so nasty...... Just wait for my howls of agony when it shrinks and spots.

44 comments:

Andrea said...

Your version of this dress is absolutely gorgeous. I love the fabric.

Hen said...

That fabric is gorgeous. As are you!

Summer Flies said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Karen! You look stunning! Worth every $$$! I'd hand wash it!

shams said...

Wow, that is a very fancy dress code for graduation! Your dress is beautiful - the fabric, the fit. You look fabulous.

katherine h said...

Gorgeous dress! I can see why you could not resist that fabric.

I'm anti the dry-cleaning...not just because of the smell, but because it seriously adds to the cost of a garment. There are some great articles around on handwashing silk.

Even though this is a sewing blog, can I also say that I really love your hair in these photos! You look gorgeous.

Steph A said...

Ohhhhhh, this dress is GORGEOUS! You really look stunning! The fabric is Divine, OMG it's amazing!

SewRuthie said...

Ooooooooooooh it is beautiful!
I was wondering about making this dress with an A line below the knee skirt in a knit with long sleeves

Mary Nanna said...

Gosh that fabric is so gorgeous I can see why its siren call lured you to checkout. The pattern is perfect for it too - nicely fitted and with some interesting details.

I too fear my stash going into an estate sale - so many beautiful pieces of fabric it would almost seem like I was disrespecting them not to make them up.

velosewer said...

Love love love this dress. I would have bought that fabric too for exactly the same reason.
The work you've done on the sleeve is perfect and well worth the effort.
Congratulations.

Sharon said...

Gorgeous dress and love the fabric.

MAD14kt said...

The fabric is a lovely choice!

KC said...

What a beautiful dress!

Suzy said...

Just gorgeous! Love the fabric and how you can see the other side of it inside the cowl neck

Cherrypix said...

How elegant! That fabric is perfect for this style dress, especially with the reverse showing at the cowl neckline. I must go check out that article on changing sleeves - really like what you did with the cap sleeve. Bet you had people asking where you found such a lovely dress! :-)

Sue said...

Wow! That fabric makes a far nicer frock than it would a cushion! Perfect match of fabric to pattern. I have been thinking about trying this pattern as there are so many great dresses about.

janessewandtell said...

Fabulous dress, you must be thrilled with it

Don't worry about the cost. It's such a classic you'll be wearing it for years to come

RebeccaHoward said...

Your dress looks fantastic. I love all the details especially the piping around the very fancy sleeves. They are very flattering so I might do a copy of this one day. I like the Fabric Shop too. Also, I think Tessutis at Chatswood and probably at Surry Hills as well have some special detergent for hand washing silk.

Bibliophile said...

Your matching of fabric and dress pattern are wonderful. I often think that's when most mistakes are made and the dress suits you perfectly too. You looked very lovely for your daughter's graduation. If you find out you won't have the chance to wear it again, I can give it a good home. Like other's said, I'm sure it'll hand wash too.

Uta said...

That is unbelievably pretty. You should wear this every day now. (Why isn't silk jacquard acceptable professional dress code?!) The style and color suit you perfectly. I suppose we're seeing your daughter in dress next? I can't wait!

beurreblanc said...

Completely and utterly delightful!
-sewingelle

Carol said...

Oh, where do I start? First of all, this fabric is exactly what I am looking for for my SWAP. I want to knock off a pair of RTW shorts I saw in Sportsgirl and although they were gold, for some reason I saw these colours. Secondly, the dress is stunning on you. The fit is perfect and you look absolutely gorgeous. I agree with you about those funny little cap sleeves and I've passed up several patterns because of them. Your solution is has worked perfectly. I am now looking very much forward to receiving my copy of this issue of Burda (I just got August).

Janine said...

oh this is just so stunning and gorgeous and wonderful , YOu look so beautiful in it. Does this mean we get to see your daughters graduation dress soon?

Kristy said...

I love your version of this dress - what a brilliant idea to use a double faced fabric for a dress with a cowl neck. I had to laugh at your description of your beautiful fabric being sold for peanuts at an estate sale in many years - that's where I've gotten some of my best pieces! No doubt most of my stash is destined for the same fate since I have too much fabric

Karin said...

You look lovely! The dress is both pretty and unique, with a great fit.

ElleC said...

Wow, this dress is stunning, and that fabric is exquisite. I can't get over the colour, it is so lovely. You did such a great job on the dress. wear with pride!

couturearts said...

Gorgeous! I love your hair, shoes, and bag as well.

Little Hunting Creek said...

This is Beautiful! I would bought this fabric too

SEWN said...

Absolutely stunning. I love it. That fabric is divine.

pdiddly said...

wow stunning - love the colours

countrygirlcouture said...

This dress is absolutely gorgeous--what's with everyone making all these stunning dresses all of a sudden?! You look amazing!

BetsyV said...

Gorgeous dress Karen!

jacquianne said...

Karen just beautiful, as regards washing silk; use good quality hair shampoo, do not let it soak and dry away from the sun, some silk is ok to drip dry, some is better squeezed between towels. It is always a good idea to wash before making as the hand of the fabric and sheen is often changed. Use a sample before the whole garment or fabric. A good way to help minimize the number of times you have to wash this type of garment is to wear shields a the armholes as in times gone by.

Gail said...

Stunning. I thought this was a knit pAttern so passed it by in favour of everyone's favourite Donna Karan cowl dress. Have a great time and keep looking fabulous.

liza jane said...

I giggled at the idea of that fabric being turned in to a cushion fifty years from now. The dress is beautiful! Truly beautiful. I love the seafoam green and gold combination. It's so unusual and looks so luxe. I'd hand wash it, too. Don't let that dress go anywhere near a dry cleaner.

Ruth said...

This is one of the most beautiful dresses I've seen - luxurious fabric, perfect fit - lovely.

gwensews said...

That is a fantastic dress. Simply-beautiful!

Mary said...

Oh my god-this style is so you! Your figure is fabulous...

Bernice said...

You look beautiful...and that hair! Wow! The colour and fit of this dress are perfect for you. Here's hoping the cocktail party invitations start rolling in.

fabric epiphanies said...

Your dress is gorgeous and really suits you. I love the colour.

I no what you mean by confronting. My daughter has just sat
High School exams, got her first real part time job and is saving to go to
India next year. It seems just like yesterday I was pushing her in a pram!

Joyce in NC said...

I have to agree with everyone else - the dress is so lovely! The fabric is gorgeous and you look wonderful in your new dress.

Sigrid said...

This is a very versatile pattern, as you have seen I made it in a knit. Love your fabric and more formal version of it. You look wonderful.

Vicki said...

Such a gorgeous colour! The colour and style look fabulous on you.

Scruffybadger said...

Wow! It looks amazing on you, but what wonderful fabric , I'm so glad you gave us a close up. Really really love this as a smart and silky dress, it's the epitome of why we sew: something special and unique, perfect fit . Gorgeous

poppykettle said...

Wow, that fabric is gorgeous, and the burda pattern made up looks stunning on you. I'm loving this dress!