Sunday, June 24, 2007

Burda WoF 05-2007-124

I persevered, people. I conquered the sinus infection. I beat that bug within an inch of its life. I passed it on to my husband. Now, I know it's small of me to think so, but I am actually kind of glad since now he can relate to my suffering. The man has the constitution of an ox and has only been sick once in the four years I have known him, while I seem to have sinus issues about every six weeks. It's unnatural.

My Burda dress is about 95% finished :) The only things remaining are the straps and the hem:

Pattern Description: From the Burda website: A return to the Sixties and yet so modern – what a wonderful comeback! This dress demonstrates that typical wasp waist and decoratively folded skirt section, highlighted by bright red piping. This trendy style will be easy to make with the help of our illustrated course in the sewing supplement.

Pattern Sizing:Euro sizing 34-42. It seems I am a straight 38 right off the bat, no alterations necessary.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?I would say that it has the essence of the dress in the photo. I just need to learn how to pose. The photos my husband takes of me always have the character of a mug shot. Turn to the right:

Were the instructions easy to follow?This was my first WoF pattern experience and I can understand why the magazine has such a bad rap. That being said, this was part of the "sewing supplement" so it had extra special instructions that were quite extensive. Or I should say, they were extensive for view A, and sort of for view B, not so much for view C. I can't exactly say I struggled, but I did make a few mistakes here and there. Whether that can be attributed to lousy directions or my inability to focus is any body's guess... I think their instructions for invisible zips are particularly bad. Something so simple shouldn't be unnecessarily complicated.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the overall style. I don't think I would have considered piping if it hadn't been suggested in the design. This was my first experience with piping, as luck would have it, and I think it came out rather well. The instructions said to basically make your own bias strips for piping, but I chose to purchase actual piping with cording, etc. One thing I learned in construction, with so many piped seams intersecting, is that it is best to remove the cord at the seam allowance to avoid bulk and make turning, zipping, corners cleaner. I discovered this kind of by accident, but it was a happy one as it solved the potential problem of a zipper that was getting held up at the two piped edges in the back. I liked the bodice shaping, as well. Burda fashions are are really tailored to fit the body, unlike the majority of the American patterns which have at least 2 inches of unnecessary ease built in to every pattern. The bust is 35.5" and it fits perfectly :)

I'm not wearing a bra in these photos, mostly because the shape of the bodice edge is not conducive to bra straps, but also because I don't need one. The shaping of the seams actually gives plenty of support.

Fabric Used: A printed cotton blend batiste that I bought at SAS fabrics by the pound for about $2 since it is very light. There was just under 3 yards in the piece. I washed it before cutting because, well, I wanted to. Interestingly, after washing, it was very difficult to iron. It is light enough that i thought some steam and a warm iron would take care of any wrinkles. Boy, was I wrong! Once I realized my method was ineffective, I cut a test strip to play with and managed to burn it and melt some of the print. Awesome for my iron, let me tell you. It wasn't until a few days later, as I was thickening some sauce with corn starch, that it occurred to me starch might help with the fabric. Since I don't have aerosol sprays in my house, I decided to make my own. I boiled a cup of water, made a rue with 2tsp corn starch and some cold water, and then simmered the mixture for about 15 minutes. This was loaded into my spray bottle that I usually use for ironing and tested my theory. Starch did the trick, people. I was very proud of myself for my DIY spirit. The dress could definitely use another starch treatment now that it's sewn...

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: So, the pattern called for just the seams on the lining pieces to be interfaced. I thought this would be too much work and just interfaced entire surface instead. It is because I interfaced the bodice lining that I can get away without a bra. My fabric is light enough that there really wasn't any bulk added. I would recommend it if you are using a batiste, in fact. The other change I made was in the straps. The shape of the bodice as it turned out worked better as a halter than as two shoulder straps. I haven't made these permanent yet, so I may do a criss-cross instead, depending on how I feel.

One thing I would have to recommend that is special attention be paid to matching horizontal seams when using piping. As you can see, my first attempt, while noteworthy, is far from perfect. It so imperfect that I would like to fix it, but I am not sure how to do do so. Maybe it just needs a good pressing...

Now, the photos of me show the dress during a fitting stage. I hadn't yet secured the straps, nor had I secured the lining at the waist, which would have smoothed the wrinkles at my middle. Here is a picture of the dress on the dummy, which, sadly, serves to remind me the past year of inactivity has built itself up on my frame. August of last year, I had the same measurements as this figure :( Well, above the hips anyway.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't think I'll sew it again. There are so many dress patterns out there that are begging me to try them. I have three issues of Burda in my possession and each has several dresses that I'd like to try.

It's a nice dress. The features of the dress gave me an opportunity for embellishment, if one can consider piping an embellishment. It was new to me, anyway. And, the extra challenge of the WoF pattern was welcome, if a little daunting at first. I tell you, it took me way to much time to deliberate whether I wanted to thread trace or chalk out the sewing lines. Chalk won out in the end because I was sick and didn't have too steady a hand for hand sewing that particular day.

It's a nice addition to the SWAP collection:


Nancy W. said...

beautiful dress - I'll ahve to try that one. You can buy liquid starch in the laundry section and just add water to make it spray. It usually comes in a blue plastic bottle. I do this all the time and there are even instructions on the bottle of the different concentrations.
I really like your fabric choice and the piping on this dress.

christina said...

I would say your first BWOF project was a great success!

cidell said...

Great job on your first BWOF. I think the bulk of my waders came from them. Matching the piping is tough. I thin the last time I just finally measured and used wondertape to make sure it didn't move. And great save with interfacing the bodice. That's a hard dress to wear a bra with.

Linda said...

Nice job on your dress. Love it with the jacket.