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Summer project - panel dress

Added May 20, 2012

by leore

North Vancouver,...






Firstly I would like to thank Marina Von Koenig for her great Blog post and writing about this pattern and her beautiful dress, it is very helpful and the discussion was very useful too.

Secondly I’d like to share my learning experience:

So I was in University all year and finally summer is here so I decided to start a sewing project for some pure fun.
I have only made 2 dresses using Burda patterns and with little experience I just learn as I go. This dress caught my eye because if its cool retro style.

Fabric: I used a blend of linen and cotton. the fabric store I shop at has huge collections of everything but linen. For some reason, it wasn’t abundant (and also was quite expensive). And so I bought my fabrics and started researching more about linen. Since my two fabrics were slightly different in density I wanted to pre-shrink them before I even start (there are so many approaches on how to do this), I went with the good old washing machine on gentle cycle and ironed it to dry (it does fray easily so zig zaging the ends might have been a good idea).

I was surprised that linen is so heat resistant, which is good for me because I was too lazy to iron with protection ;)
I also bought fabric for lining but ended up not using it because linen is so nice and breezy (though very transparent).

I was very excited to start cutting and sewing after so much research, that I didn’t really see that the pattern said “seam allowance not included”…mmm…the last pattern I used did include it… It took me some time to really understand the significance of my mistake. So what was supposed to be one easy day of just sewing ended up being a bargain over seam allowance! This is such unprofessional sewing but I did not have enough of my precious fabric to start over.

Another problem that came up is that I have a big…but. Small waist, big but, you do the math.
So with seam allowance of zero I hoped for the best… after I saw that it might still fit me, I added long darts in the back, I referred to a different pattern but basically just drew them blindly.

Bias tape was interesting since I’ve never used it before! I could not figure out the patterns’ explanation on how to use it so I went to my know-it-all friend – YouTube. I definitely did not do it the traditional way but it works:)
I also made the front collar slightly more rounded and skipped the pockets…

The sewing itself was very easy, the curves were much easier than I thought, I just pinned and basted before stitching. I find the invisible zipper more challenging!
I will have to iron it every time I wear it since it is so prone to wrinkling and I also hope it doesn’t fray the first time I wear it out:)

So that’s pretty much it, If you can call a cascade of trial and error and fix, a couture dress, than I did it!

Material Notes

linen-cotton blend




Garment Type


Marina Von Koenig

13 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Screen_shot_2015-07-29_at_2_21_43_pm_large

    Jun 25, 2012, 04.10 AMby thewallinna

    What a lovely dress! Despite some troubles you’ve ran into, it looks great! Lean by doing is sometimes the most sure way to success :) While making my very first Burda dress I did not include seam allowances either.

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    May 27, 2012, 11.25 AMby calzie

    Funny post! Entertaining to read. Nice finished dress, too.

    1 Reply
    • Dscf5716_large

      Jun 1, 2012, 07.09 PMby leore


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    May 24, 2012, 09.30 PMby tmcguire

    C-U-T-E! Great job! You just made me elevate this to one of the next 5 dresses I’ll sew. I definitely understand you’re smaller waist, blessed butt issue but never thought of just adding the darts in the back for shape. Thanks! :)

    1 Reply
    • Dscf5716_large

      Jun 1, 2012, 07.09 PMby leore

      Lol! Thanks;)

  • Dscf5716_large

    May 22, 2012, 10.35 PMby leore

    Thank you everyone for your kind comments! You encourage me to sew more and be part of this great community:)

    making this in jersey sounds like a good idea, it will be very comfortable. Also the curves shouldn’t put off anyone from sewing this dress.

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    May 21, 2012, 11.35 AMby hdk100

    Congratulations!! What a great color combo! Your story gave me courage to try this dress! You did a wonderful job with it!

  • Fleuriris315_large

    May 20, 2012, 09.22 PMby vmmNOLA

    Absolutely gorgeous! This is a perfect dress for New Orleans summers and work. It’s definitely in my queue. I love the reference to Burle Marx and the sidewalks/promenade of Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. I"ll be using a linen/line combo or linen/cotton combo.

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    May 20, 2012, 06.26 PMby sofiatunes

    Looks lovely!

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    May 20, 2012, 03.26 PMby Irina Schwab

    Great dress!

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    May 20, 2012, 01.20 PMby Mary Athey

    i’m thinking of making this myself but in jersey, you did a great job and the colours are lovely, very striking x

  • 20170310_191639_large

    May 20, 2012, 01.20 PMby Mary Athey

    i’m thinking of making this myself but in jersey, you did a great job and the colours are lovely, very striking x

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    May 20, 2012, 12.23 PMby EllenMarieS

    The dress looks amazing despite all the trouble over the seam allowances. The perfect summer dress and it looks great on you.

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    May 20, 2012, 09.58 AMby jadealamode

    you definitely did it!! such a lovely dress

  • Missing

    May 20, 2012, 09.26 AMby strickmeise

    It’s a lovely dress, the colors are very nice and you did a good job! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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