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Added Feb 14, 2010

by threadsquare

Somerville, Mass...






At long last, my January project is complete! I got an amazing deal on some designer poplin, and this dress was brewing in my mind for a while until I decided to give myself an assignment for the year. Halfway through, the Coats & Clark challenge was announced. Alas, I didn’t make the deadline, but I did happen to finish right before St. Valentine’s Day. I’m not a huge fan of the holiday, but how psyched was I when my office-mate showed up with these doughnuts?! Perfect match! So I bought up a few on my way home from work & had an impromptu photo shoot.

I hand-dyed the chiffon. I hadn’t dyed fabric since summer camp tie-dye day, and I don’t really think that counts, as I never made the mixes myself. It took a lot of trial and error – I was mixing colors, trying to get the perfect hue. In the end, the color I liked best was a straight dye, not a combo. I splurged on the lining, a lovely charmeuse that feels amazing on the skin (I’m always cold!). Actually, it wasn’t much of a splurge at my local best-kept secret, especially considering the deal on the poplin.

As you can see from my muslin, the bodice was very baggy. And, I was still working out the length of the sleeve! I made a size 40, graded the hips to 42, but ended up taking in an inch on either side of the bodice (grading in from waist & underarm). Along with these adjustments, I also shortened the length of the skirt about 3" on the fashion fabric and added a third pleat to the front bodice. But it didn’t occur to me until everything was almost done that the bagginess was a result of the bodice also needing shortening. Lesson learned :) I reworked it a bit, and am happy I did. I also made tiny stitches (pickstitches?) on the collar so that the chiffon doesn’t flop down. The hem brushes the top of the knee. I think this is a good proportion for me, but I should really consult guru Gunn on that ;)

ps – This was my first BurdaStyle pattern. Not to quibble, but are all the (fantastic!) patterns on here filled with errors & inconsistencies? Maybe it’s just the editor in me, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard a waistband, collar or cuff called a placket. Those serve a different function.

Material Notes

cotton poplin, hand-dyed silk chiffon, silk charmeuse, sew-in interfacing, zipper, self-covered button



Related Techniques


Garment Type
Business, Classic, Preppy, Vintage
Chiffon, Cotton, Silk

11 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 718839f1e666b60ba89825066c66b0e93b61e21c_large

    May 20, 2010, 01.50 PMby ink

    wowsa, So nice to fish around and find pieces missed on the projects page that are so beautiful! (was that a run on?_) Love, love, love this dress, the saturated hue are deliciously tactile! So ice-creamy, two-flavours I would never imagine beside each other but they really make each other sing! I love this dress! Tres chic!

  • Me_pecks_large

    Feb 24, 2010, 12.01 AMby nessys

    Hiya Darl, your dress looks fab! Love the colour combo. I am actually making this myself at the moment and have had to make practically the same adjustments as you did (in fact I used the same sizes as you did too – 40 for bodice, 42 for skirt). I really think it is the pattern style though, I came on this morning to check out how the photo on the actual pattern looked – and the back and the sides of the bodice are really quite “puffy” – I was beginning to think my body was a freak . . (well – some bits of it ARE a little freaky!) – but I think if you (and I) prefer a little more tailored look those adjustments need to be made. After reading what you did – I feel much better and more confident to move on to the real dress after fiddling with the muslin. Just curious – how much did you shorten the bodice? And do you find the skirt sits smoothly? I may have to take out the skirt around my hips a bit. . (this is probably the case!!) – Anyhoo – you did a great job and your “dying” skills rock!

    2 Replies
    • Cali_large

      Mar 3, 2010, 12.08 AMby threadsquare

      Aaaaw! Thanks so much :) Isn’t it just lovely to have to compensate for hips all the time? Gotta rock what you’ve got, I s’pose ;) I totally agree with you – I’m always finding that I do like a more tailored look on myself, simply because the lower half of my body is wider. If I don’t tailor the top or cinch the waist, I simply feel like a wreck. Those puffs are cute on the model, but frump city on me.

      The light bulb went on concerning shortening the bodice after I’d already sewn the side seams (and installed the zip), so I fudged it a bit. I had taken in the sides so much already (curving in from the armpit and back out below the waist band) that it looked pretty good there (this was on the muslin, transferred to the real deal). So I just unpicked all my serging, stitching and basting (for the gathers) along the back bodice/upper band seam, leaving about an inch sewn together at the sides. I eased in an arched seam so that at the center back the total amount shortened was roughly 1". I think more would have looked a bit wonky. Oh, and because of that, I had to move up the vent and pleats. It all managed to work, and you can’t even tell on the hem that I took it up, because it just removed the bagginess w/o raising the dress. The skirt lays nicely, IMHO. I almost got lazy and didn’t line it, but I’m glad I did. I think it helps the garment out a bit.

      Go for it! I can’t wait to see your results!!!

    • Me_pecks_large

      Mar 4, 2010, 04.30 AMby nessys

      Hey Darl, thanks for all your comments, suggestions and help!! I’ve ended up shortening the bodice by about an inch too! So I must be on the right track – now I just gotta get sewing! I’ll keep you posted! xxx

  • Chris_me_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 09.48 PMby nglalala

    Great job!! It’s an awesome dress and looks great on you!

    1 Reply
    • Cali_large

      Feb 15, 2010, 10.07 PMby threadsquare

      Thank you! I just saw that you’re in Austin – I’m headed down in a few days to visit friends! We lived there for a few years, and are desperately trying to get back :)

  • Cali_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 04.44 PMby threadsquare

    Wow! Thanks everyone! I’m definitely not afraid of color, but lately I’ve been wearing a lot of black and grey. I figured it was time to revisit my loud past :) When that final dye test of chiffon came out, I was really drawn to it, but apprehensive. Hubby said “goferit”, so I did!

    Don’t worry, Almatinka – Mushka definitely got some non-donut treats!

    Nehmah, thanks for confirming – I love BurdaStyle. It’s an amazing resource full of great new & potential friends. I was just thinking that an absolute beginner might get confused by some of the “quick” editing.

    Freakus_Bzzz, you flatter! I did end up adding a third sew-down pleat (pattern called for two). But I think I’ve finally confirmed my long-held suspicions that I have a short torso. At least I’m finally figuring out how to make it work!

  • 5c12b52ace24d7a3f10ec8b35d6cd4d44ba1e7f3_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 07.26 AMby gillthecat

    cool nice retro look,

  • 2d04a0b3aca9a65f65e07e2bb5a1784e9dc3524f_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 06.30 AMby stellacadente

    I love your Kristen version much more than the original, perfect color combination! Now I consider making a Kristen for me :-)

  • Gdac_logo_shirt_only_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 05.01 AMby gdac

    I WANT one of these – I saw the pattern some time ago, but it was in a pale colour, so struck me as summer (which is ending soon here in australia – so running out of time to make!) I love the rich colours you have used… definately anything but common!

  • Closeupthumbnail_large

    Feb 15, 2010, 01.01 AMby classicaljunk

    Your color choice is indeed SWEET!

  • 7ad546f809272746851926b7f874e579e93800b4_large

    Feb 14, 2010, 10.49 PMby susisonne

    You have made a beautiful dress – great color combination. I have made several BS patterns but havn`t had any problems.

  • Holliebell_large

    Feb 14, 2010, 10.46 PMby freakusbzzz

    You’re right, the muslin verion looks awful. you did a great job making it fit better.

    You could have done sewn down pleats on the waist that would have given a very fitted look on your flat tummy and the blouse would have been full enough for your boobies.

    Looks triff , i wish i had the patience to do a muslin first.

  • 990745-073_large

    Feb 14, 2010, 08.39 PMby nehmah

    Sadly, some of the earlier BS patterns had errors. One dress had a page missing from the download, even though the overview/copy Shop version showed it correctly. Ah well, to err does not make for good advertising. I would bet that some over-eager member will try to tell us that the term placket is correct. In your statement, clearly you are correct. Cordially, Nehmah

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