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BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern Contest 2013 - Scala Dress

Added Feb 10, 2013

by Elochka

Milan, Italy






The story of this dress is quite exciting and adventurous if I think it well. A few weeks ago I found out I finally got the chance to get a ticket to the opera at the La Scala theater in Milan, which has been my dream ever since I had moved here. So I HAD to make myself a special evening dress for the occasion. The same day I got the ticket, I went on Burdastyle.com and saw the contest, and I got the idea of participating with my “Scala” dress (since both the original contest deadline and the day I was going at La Scala were the same day, 8th of February). I immediately bought the book on Amazon.it, it arrived not long after, and after quite some procrastinating on frabrics, I started working on the dress. The faith, though, did not want me to wear it at the opera, because 2 days before the show I found out I was supposed to have a job interview on the day of the show. So this is how I ended up at La Scala on Friday in my interview clothes… and this dress will end up in my Etsy store. But anyhow, it will remain my contest dress here on Burdastyle.

So here are the facts:
1. master pattern used from the Sewing Vintage Modern book: the Elizabeth Gathered-Waist Dress
2. pattern modifications:
- I altered the neckline using the instructions in the book for obtaining the pajama set top, in the front, and designing my own V-neck in the back
- I added a “reversed” collar that I drafted myself, which has the ends at the back instead of at the front
- instead of using the straight gathered skirt that the pattern originally had, I used a flared skirt (almost semi-circle) that I also gathered at the waist for extra-fullness
- I added 2 options of sash: 1 black and 1 striped, and 2 options of bows: 1 black and 1 striped, in order to give more possibilities to create different looks
3. Fabric:
- black silk shantung for the bodice and for the black sash and bow; I bought this fabric almost 3 years ago in a cute little store in Montmartre in Paris, it was the first “Parisian” fabric I ever bought
- black and gold diagonal stripes silk taffeta for the skirt, collar, and striped sash and bow; this one I bought at Tessuti Raponi in Milan and I never quite knew what to do with it until having the idea to make this dress
4. Construction:
- for the entire dress I used a straight stitch for uniting the pieces; the collar is interfaced, so are the neck and arm facings
- all seams are finished with my serger
- the hem is very narrow and also the edge inside is serged

5. Styling
- the dress is pictured in all the photos with a full tulle petticoat underneath for extra-fluffiness and for a more authentic 50s look

Material Notes

silk shantung
silk taffeta




Garment Type


Sewing Vintage Modern

23 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Feb 24, 2013, 01.12 PMby Florentina Taudor

    Sper din tot sufletul sa castigi , pentru ca meriti !

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Mar 1, 2013, 06.49 AMby Elochka

      Multumesc mult pentru sustinere!! :)

  • Img_0006_large

    Feb 23, 2013, 06.51 PMby anabella68


    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Mar 1, 2013, 06.48 AMby Elochka

      Thanks a lot Anabella! :)

  • My_beautiful_daughter_large

    Feb 22, 2013, 07.51 AMby Sally-Ann Hoyne

    Your design choices for this dress is clever, well chosen but not over the top. Well done. I especially like your use of moving the striping to different angles away from the narrow waist. Anyone wearing it will have that ‘hour-glass figure’ look. This is enhanced with the way you’ve made the belt to give a flow right at the waist, moving the eye one way, then the other, then blending right down into the skirt of the dress. They ‘sway’ effect is there, even while it is on the dress mannequin. This shows a great deal of thought and skill in your design. I voted for you, but I really think it’s a winner.

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 22, 2013, 09.52 PMby Elochka

      Thanks a lot Sally! It was tricky to work with all those stripes and I was constantly wondering if I got the right side of the fabric well (the stripes are in various shades of gold and black/grey), but in the end I’m also pleased with the result. :)

  • P1020655_large

    Feb 22, 2013, 01.45 AMby Nikolene

    This is just exquisite. Lots and LOTS of time put in to making this dress and sewing with silk can be tricky! I admire your effort and the result is fabulous. You win, in my book!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 22, 2013, 09.49 PMby Elochka

      Thank you so much Nikolene! Yes I was afraid of this silk for so long but then I said to myself “what the hell… if not now, when?” Anyway silk shantung and silk taffeta are more manageable than crepe de chine or silk satin or silk chifon so are a nice idea for who wants to start to approach silk.

  • Missing

    Feb 21, 2013, 06.35 PMby tomari

    Елочка Успеха и всего хорошо!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 22, 2013, 09.48 PMby Elochka

      hm… how do you say thanks in Russian? спасибо!

  • Missing

    Feb 21, 2013, 05.36 PMby Petrila Sergiu-Valentyn

    FRumoasa sper sa castige …..

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 21, 2013, 06.28 PMby Elochka

      Multumesc mult!

  • Me_large

    Feb 21, 2013, 01.01 PMby Lucia Rotundu

    Beautiful dress and indeed a vintage classic … I love the fabric and I loved how you played with the black and the stripes!!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 21, 2013, 01.36 PMby Elochka

      Thanks Lucia! and to think I had these fabrics in my stash since forever and it had never occured to me before that I could actually combine them! :)

  • Z-buburuza_large

    Feb 20, 2013, 12.54 PMby Buburuza Bubu

    A very pretty vintage gown. Well done, kiddo! Good Luck!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 01.06 PMby Elochka

      Thanks so much!! :)

  • Missing

    Feb 20, 2013, 12.29 PMby karina33

    Mult noroc fetita draga!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 01.06 PMby Elochka

      multumesc Karina!

  • Missing

    Feb 20, 2013, 12.27 PMby Ingrid Cotala


    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 01.06 PMby Elochka

      multumesc sa fie!

  • Missing

    Feb 20, 2013, 11.16 AMby Capsunica Prajiturica

    foarte frumoasa rochita! mult noroc! votat, Elouise

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 12.20 PMby Elochka

      Multumesc Elouise!! <3

  • Wp_000854_large

    Feb 20, 2013, 09.47 AMby emmancita

    beautiful dress, just like you, congratulations!!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 10.02 AMby Elochka

      Thanks Emma, fingers crossed! :D

  • 121407f8bd9_avatar_quadrat_60_large

    Feb 19, 2013, 08.33 PMby luisa59

    Cia Ela, inutile dire che sei la mia favorita, sei bravissima!!! Un baccio LUISA

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 20, 2013, 10.02 AMby Elochka

      Grazie Luisa, sei un tesoro come sempre!

  • Pigotta1_large

    Feb 19, 2013, 02.48 PMby anietta

    Complimenti, bellissimo vestito!!!! Anietta

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 19, 2013, 07.46 PMby Elochka

      Grazie Anietta, incrociamo le dita! :)

  • 009_large

    Feb 15, 2013, 11.37 PMby jaslyn117

    Very beautifully done! :)

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 16, 2013, 12.09 PMby Elochka

      Thanks a lot!

  • Missing

    Feb 14, 2013, 10.14 PMby Pamil Vera

    Pur si simplu minunata,felicitari si succes!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 16, 2013, 12.09 PMby Elochka

      Multumesc! :D

  • Edna-incredibles_70x70_large

    Feb 13, 2013, 07.28 PMby christinaz82

    Beautiful dress! Great job :)

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 14, 2013, 08.42 PMby Elochka

      Thanks Christina!

  • 100_2178a_large

    Feb 11, 2013, 03.12 AMby kisses

    Lovely dress and the fabric is beautiful

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 11, 2013, 08.38 AMby Elochka

      Thanks a lot!

  • 405a_large

    Feb 11, 2013, 02.02 AMby MojoHollz

    Absolutely gorgeous! It looks fantastic and you did a great job!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 11, 2013, 08.38 AMby Elochka

      Thank you Monique!

  • Img_1252_large

    Feb 10, 2013, 09.47 PMby krice

    This is fabulous! I really love your choice of fabrics and what you did with the pattern!

    1 Reply
    • Elochka_large

      Feb 11, 2013, 08.38 AMby Elochka

      Thanks krice! Sometimes being fabric-shopaholic and having a huge stash is positive! :)))

  • Elochka_large

    Feb 10, 2013, 09.28 PMby Elochka

    Thanks Mary, thanks fashionfreek! Fingers crossed! :D

  • 20170310_191639_large

    Feb 10, 2013, 09.19 PMby Mary Athey

    This is a stunning dress!!..i love everything about it. Good luck xx

  • Me1_large

    Feb 10, 2013, 09.07 PMby fashionfreek

    Beautiful Dress and fabric. You look great!:-D

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