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Louisa Dropped-Waist Dress

Added Dec 14, 2012

by heatherlou

Montreal, Canada






Jamie Lau, the author of Sewing Vintage Modern asked me to make a dress using one of the patterns from the new BurdaStyle book. I decided to work with the Louisa Dropped Waist dress from the book since I’ve been pretty obsessed with the dropped waist this season. The pattern is a classic 1920’s silhouette, but unfortunately for a lady with my birthing hips, flapper dresses are not always the most flattering – but give me a waist and we can talk.

In the spirit of the book, which gloriously celebrates pattern modification, I made a muslin and fiddled and twiddled until I came up with a fit that I liked. I added a boat neckline, took in a lot at the waist, and added a few darts in the back to prevent the fabric from pooling in unsightly ways. Rather than doing multi tiers as the original pattern called for, I added one gathered tier.

I made the real thing in a beautiful red double knit. Because jersey is very clingy, I thought it wise to line the entire dress with more of the double knit to minimize the old “belly button shadow” issue (am I the only one who notices this in tight fitting dresses?!) The tier was also doubled, so the entire dress has some heft to it. It is practically reversible! I had purchased a beautiful gold zipper and had intended to do one of my classic exposed zip moves, but this lady in red is so stretchy I didn’t even need it! It’s so comfortable. It’s basically the dress equivalent of jogging pants!

So there we have it. My take on a 20’s flapper dress. I am so happy I managed to take a silhouette I’ve always loved and make it work for my body. Can’t wait to get cracking on some of the other patterns from the book!

More pictures on my blog here

Material Notes

red double knit jersey




Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Garment Type
Romantic, Vintage

6 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Jul 2, 2013, 12.27 AMby MissMaddiePi

    Wow! You look gorgeous – and comfortable! Was looking for a little inspiration on what I wanted to do with this pattern . . . and now I’m totally inspired! Thank you for sharing with us!

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    Dec 18, 2012, 04.18 PMby fairladyofcardigan

    Wow! I always thought drop waists were for twiggy girls, unlike myself. Well played, heatherlou.

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    Dec 18, 2012, 03.17 PMby georgiet

    Very nice. Love it!

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    Dec 18, 2012, 11.10 AMby LittleSewingBee

    The colour is amazing! You look fab :)

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    Dec 15, 2012, 03.30 PMby adrie00

    Absolutely fantastic, Miss Heatherlou!

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    Dec 14, 2012, 07.11 AMby bethmaryharley

    Beautiful colour, beautiful dress, and you look beautiful in it! Wow! I have the same issue with my hips, but you’ve done such a great job and the use of jersey is very cunning! :)

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