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Retro Bombshell Dress

Added Aug 10, 2011

by HandledwithCare

Gillingham, Unit...






This is based on the Burda pattern (Modell 122 Burdastyle 05/2011) but significantly altered, based on the input from Gretchen Hirsch’s online sewing course at Craftsy.com – boned bodice and several handsewn finishes and techniques.

Material Notes

I chose (a probably totally unsuitable ;-)) thin cotton for the fashion fabric, so underlined the skirt section as well as the bodice – and it worked out fine!
The bodice has 11 boning channels and is boned with spiral steel.




Garment Type
Classic, Vintage


Retro bombshell sewing course

12 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Sep 16, 2011, 01.41 AMby jon994

    great job. Do the cups have underwire and is it comfortable?

    1 Reply
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      Sep 17, 2011, 10.46 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks, yes it is comfortable. The cups are not underwired, but the bodice is boned (sprial steel boning) and has a waist stay for support.

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    Sep 7, 2011, 07.21 PMby Laura Bolčina

    Beautiful! Are the cups padded?

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Sep 10, 2011, 01.02 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! I followed Gretchen’s instructions, making a lining from thin quilt wadding (she used needle punch), more to give structure to the cups than to pad them out. I’ll definitely do the same thing again, it stops the cups from wrinkling and sagging. :-)

  • Borsa_gatto_large

    Aug 23, 2011, 08.11 AMby robygiup

    Great job!!! I’d love to learn how to make boning: as soon as I have a bit of time, after finishing the dress for the September wedding, I will make (several) attempts.

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 23, 2011, 11.21 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! It was pretty easy! The hardest bit was cutting the spiral steel, just because my wire cutters weren’t made for it.

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    Aug 14, 2011, 03.28 AMby molly-sews

    That looks really cute, and like it will stay up!!!

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 23, 2011, 11.27 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! Yes, I I used twill tape across the top and lined the cups, so I think it should be okay. ;-)

  • Me4_large

    Aug 11, 2011, 02.52 AMby poppykettle

    It looks stunning! And so…‘complete’. A little attention to small details goes such a long way!

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 13, 2011, 03.01 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! I’m a sucker for hand finishing. :-)

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    Aug 10, 2011, 10.23 PMby ahand

    I love the print you used! I need to get started on my own bombshell dress! Did you find the bust difficult?

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.33 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! I made a couple of muslins to get the bust right, it wasn’t really very difficult, I’m just not used to making such close fitting garments. If you are followin Gretchen’s course she gives a lot of input on the bodice and making adjustments to the cup sizes, if necessary. I uploaded a picture of my muslin and she got back to me to tell me to make it tighter! And she was, of course, right ;-)

  • 126_2__large

    Aug 10, 2011, 05.54 PMby Madame Pelagie

    Neat job. I also took Gertschen’s tut, but even though I ordered the spiral steel boning and the casings atc, I still haven’t gotten to it. Brava, for making it so well!

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.35 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks, I wasn’t sure if I would wear a dress like this very often, but I think making it from cotton makes it more every day(ish) and even if I hadn’t made the dress, I think the course was interesting. The boning was my favourite bit! :-)

  • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

    Aug 10, 2011, 05.50 PMby HandledwithCare

    Thank-you! The fabric was really sheer, but the underlining worked beautifully, now i just need to find somewhere more appropriate to wear it than my spare/sewing room! ;-)

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Aug 10, 2011, 05.33 PMby turtlegirl00

    this is adorable!!! the fabric is devine!!!

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.37 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks! I chose it for the print especially for this dress, it was really a little to sheer for this pattern, but it wprked out okay. I still have about a metre and a half, so I’m wondering how it would look as a floaty blouse – too much?

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    Aug 10, 2011, 05.23 PMby Nickiejc

    So neatly finished! I am quite envious.

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.38 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thanks, I like neat seam finishes, strange but true. ;-)

  • Missing

    Aug 10, 2011, 05.07 PMby anneecharri

    looks very skillful!

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.39 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thank you! The course really helped to guide me through the process step by step.

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    Aug 10, 2011, 04.56 PMby Dee Durrant

    WOW – I love this. The material is beautiful.

    1 Reply
    • D64be93236529e14528932444530313fdea515d5_large

      Aug 10, 2011, 10.40 PMby HandledwithCare

      Thank-you! I chose this material online specifically for this dress, though hadn’t realised how sheer it was, still it worked out okay with the underlining. :-)

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