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I want to make this dress

The pattern is only available in tall sizes. I’m 5’1". My bust, waist and hip sizes are burda sizes 18, 19, and 21. I’m looking for guidelines for how to modify the pattern pieces in order to start with a muslin somewhere in the ballpark of a decent fit. My first two attempts were colossal failures. I tried to start by just shortening everything, but everything got distorted and I ended up with a bodice which had a gigantic flop of extra fabric in the back. I could have stuffed it and passed for a hunchback, but that’s not the look I’m after.

Even petite patterns require quite a bit of shortening, and I’ve had problems with weird gaping in the back of other Burda patterns, but nothing as dramatic as this.



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  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Dec 4, 2012, 10.00 PMby sewingfan1

  • Missing

    Dec 4, 2012, 11.38 PMby parsley

    I’ve seen this link, and it is helpful, but since I’m resizing all the way from a tall pattern it would be nice to have the same information about the differences between tall and regular patterns as it provided for regular to petite.

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Dec 5, 2012, 10.09 AMby sewingfan1

    ah! It’s a nuisance cos I know similar questions have been asked before and people have recommended really good pattern books or links and I can’t remember any of them now! If you have a look through the ‘someone help me forum’ or use some key words you might be able to find them.

  • Purplefan_large

    Dec 13, 2012, 04.06 AMby purplefan

    Burda Patterns for the regular person are sized for 5’6". Tall patterns are for 5’9" and Petite are sized for 5’3". So there are about 8 inches horizontally to pinch in to accommodate your size. By your experience, it seems you might need to do some vertical pinching in too to avoid that gaping situation (too wide)

    BTW, is the bust size on the pattern similar to your own? If your bust size differs, then that is another set of adjustments to consider for fitting the pattern to you.

    Horizontal tucks-probably three in the bodice (above bust, below bust, below waistline, then look at the skirt portion for shortening locations (above and below knees). Then look at the width of the bodice-probably tuck in vertically mid-shoulder (it would be above the bust point so that could be good) to shorten the shoulder seam.

  • Purplefan_large

    Dec 13, 2012, 04.15 AMby purplefan

    Took a look at the technical drawing of the dress-those princess seams on the bodice are probably going to have to move towards the centre if you find the bodice pattern too wide at the shoulders. Do you have someone willing to hold the pinned pattern pieces in front of you while you stand to eyeball where the lengthy sections are most likely to need to be folded in? I did something similar for a petite friend who needed something made for her costume and I told her I’d take three inches off overall to help make the garment suit her.

    I suggest you consider making that high collar look like a mandarin collar on the front if possible or put some contour on it because the default collar will visually make your neck look short.

  • Missing

    Mar 26, 2013, 01.10 AMby parsley

    I’m almost done with this dress. I almost completely redrafted the bodice in order to make it fit correctly. All I have left is attaching the skirt lining and doing the hem. Now I have another question. I cannot figure out how to tie the bow as is shown in the pattern. Does anyone have suggestions?

    Bonus: I have enough extra fabric to make a knee-length dress. I’d like to make something which uses the bodice, since I went to all that trouble to make it fit. I’m hoping to use a different neckline and extend the princess seams down through the length of the dress.

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Mar 26, 2013, 08.57 AMby sewingfan1

    I would make a “fake” bow that doesn’t untie if you’re not good at tying them yourself (although they’re pretty easy to do with a bit of practice) so you’d fold the long band into shape and then have a smaller piece that you stitch in place at the centre of the bow a bit like a belt to hold everything in place. I’d look up a tutorial on google about tying bows as I tried writing how I’d do it and gave up – I think you need pictures really if it’s something you’re not used to.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      Mar 26, 2013, 04.31 PMby parsley

      I’ll need to make a bow that unties because the bodice of this dress is very tailored and I have to unzip it below the bow in order to put it on and off. I can tie a bow in a ribbon, but in the fabric it doesn’t hang right and looks messy.

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Mar 26, 2013, 09.10 PMby sewingfan1

    Hmmm,maybe post this query as a separate/new one as members who might have good suggestions may well not notice it as the heading is about resizing patterns. Do you think it’s the actual fabric that’s a problem and isn’t suitable for bows or just needs a bit of practice? Normally i find bows look neater if you make the2 loops first,hold them in place and knot them together rather than the make one loop,wrap the other end of the ribbon round it and feed it through the wound bit to create the 2nd loop method.

    • This is a question
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