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Wool Burda dress with pleats

Added Oct 4, 2007

by elainemay

Aachen, Germany






Inspired by Wyn, Lilo, Jj, Corals and others, I’ve decided to try to make chic clothing that is appropriate for the office (though really, at my job I could probably wear the same jeans and Google t-shirt every day and still be one of the more fashionable employees). This is Working Wardrobe Item #1- a grey wool dress from this month’s Burda. If you haven’t already bought the October 2007 issue, I can’t recommend it enough! This dress was quite simple to make, and the seamed bodice and pleats make for a nice fit without being flashy. I got the fabric from a store here in Aachen that buys remainders from clothing manufacturers and sells them good prices. This wool was lovely to work with- it has a beautiful drape and a fine weave, it irons wonderfully, and doesn’t fray at all. The satin lining is a remnant from another project- white probably wasn’t the best color choice, but I wanted to use it up and it doesn’t really peek out at all. Only thing that bothers me is that the hem is too visible, despite invisible hand stitching and a lot of pressing. Anyone have any suggestions as to how to fix this?

Material Notes

grey wool, off-white satin lining





Burda for the pattern, and many Burda Style seamstresses for inspiration

23 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Dsc09336_large

    Dec 21, 2009, 05.57 PMby Laura Jane

    how do you make thiis ?

  • 0714f1503c9a944b51c15377f3e9d6275fd87071_large

    Jul 9, 2009, 09.53 AMby allaboutart

    This is great! I do not mind the hem at all…a wonderful dress!

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    Mar 21, 2009, 01.08 PMby nochi

    Looks absolutely wonderful ! great fabric choice as well. I would have only a 1.5cm seam allowance ( sergered and folded inwards), that way it will be less bulky…

  • Missing

    Feb 12, 2009, 08.00 PMby lynnh

    Hey looks good. I didnt notice the hem at first but if you wanted change it i would reccomend undoing it and pressing the fabric flat. then re hem it and only press the fold line in. do not press the seam as the bulk of the fabric will leave and indentation. if you want to press the whole thing take another peice of the fabric (or another fabric of the same thickness) and line it up with the hem inside, this will mean that the top outer layer will not kink as you press it. hope it helps.

  • E2c11eb5b6806b6b01fe0a0b6b0204c170e45479_large

    Feb 10, 2009, 07.11 AMby pinksunflower

    This is lovely. It has a really nice shape. Well done.

  • 7a3b8ba2dc6730b7c974c509278de51abde886e4_large

    Jan 16, 2008, 11.12 PMby zzory

    It’s gorgeous and I’m absolutely in love with it, but unfortunately it’s too late for the October issue of Burda ;( The fitting is wonderful and it suits you perfect. Great, really great job!

  • D0e037429a3ab79e04c472e91d003894b6d10c82_large

    Nov 14, 2007, 10.01 AMby katherineoj

    Sorry…pressed “submit” too many times. I’m still getting used to things here.

  • 0e2084efda059eac3ad44716ae2af024c563d86e_large

    Oct 7, 2007, 04.02 AMby sylicious

    It looks delicous! Especially the combination with the white blouse.

  • 9042c0bf5223511d5cc13e721fdeef21914bb56c_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 02.56 PMby lauriana

    I also think it looks great and you got a perfect fit! I’ve seen this pattern when flicking throught the new BWOF at the store, and considered buying the magazine because of it. I didn’t, but you make me wonder. It looks amazing and I think the hem might show less after the garment has been worn and washed. That tends to happen to me when something I just finished looks ‘over-ironed’

  • 2ec794ad0aab31308b80ae690170adc92f1f5e0e_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 02.47 PMby marmota-b

    It’s awesome! Awesome work dress! It looks especially great with the shirt and the boots.

  • F35d27f05e16edfcefa7c0309b8663362aa86d17_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 01.09 PMby wyn

    I love it! And you’re a great model!

  • F73ae75c85bfa0c3044028abd57f1c9a2953cd72_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 03.20 AMby elainemay

    thanks for all the suggestions - you guys know EVERYTHING! wow! cold brick? seam glue (i think this is called saumfix in germany, but i’m not sure), who knew? i’ll start with steaming, as that sounds the easiest :) the seam allowance is enclosed, so i can’t iron under it though. @OLAR: i sized the pattern down from 36 to 32. check out my how-to on resizing patterns if you need help with this. @JJ you’re right, actually my colleagues here and in the US dress pretty well in general. i just like to make fun of my fellow computer scientists because i’m mean like that :) @JULIETTA & LILO- the store is called Stoffe Mommertz or Reste Markt and it’s on Bahnhofstr. 17. if you come out of the main entrance of the Aachen Hbf and cross the main street to the little platz, there will be one small street that forks left and one small street that forks right. take the street on the right (Bahnhofstr.) and walk about 30 seconds and it’s right there. and if you forget to bring your Burda or Ottobre with you and don’t know how much fabric you need, you can always run right back to the Hbf and look it up in the bookstore. i’ve done that many times :) @LILO- i think this dress would look great on you, since you look good in fitted tops and swingy skirts! the evelyn brandt dress looks so good on you, and the shape of this one is kind of similar with the fitted waist, wide skirt, and cap sleeves. it goes up to 44, so you should be able to resize it if you need. @JELLYBEAN- i understand your frustration with fabric stores; even when i was living in atlanta (4.5 million inhabitants, so no tiny hamlet) it was so hard to find decent fabric. they only had those big chain stores that seem to think that if you want to sew, all you want to do make is curtains, quilts, kids pajamas, and and tacky bridesmaids dresses! they had floral print poly-cotton blend galore, but no chance of finding a nice basic like black rayon jersey or wool crepe. even the sample garments made by experienced seamstresses that they displayed as models screamed “homemade” because the fabric was so unlike anything you’d see in RTW. :( thanks again, everyone, and sorry for the super-long comment! :)

  • B7ac9c599b960e8b2b4c593e62f5903862798f3b_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 02.28 AMby myk

    I love this! Especially with the white shirt! The waist pleating was perfectly done — as usual :) I think the hemline is ok, for this kind of fabric, it will really show especially if ironed several times.

  • Efb472bd8e296043cd7cfd0eb765f2c56f8d3034_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 01.53 AMby lilo

    Looks absolutely gorgeous! I wouldn’t worry too much about the hem, woollen garments look like this. It’s both sweet and stylish, I love it! Thought “Yes, I want one!” when I saw the Oktober issue of BWoF, but then I realized that ahum, let’s see, size 48… maybe not. Where is that shop you bought the fabric from?

  • E278ec15eec3e7f45b1eb386d0e5387993f2006a_large

    Oct 5, 2007, 12.19 AMby meadow

    Excellent details! The fit is to PERFECTION and the pleating is top notch. I would not have noticed the hem had you not mentioned it (looked at pics first, then read your description). I see the hem, but wow it does NOT jump out. Dress is super cute! Really nice job …When you make it yourself, every tiny detail shows up.

  • C94b10e754a19be626dd3ae051241a7e18f9a7d8_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 10.16 PMby jj1

    I love it! Very styling office outfit. Fitting is great. I love that you wear it with fitted shirt and boot, really look sharp. I thought Europeans are so dress up, not in Germany?? -———-As for the hem, if you’re not so happy with hand stitches, I don’t know what to say…may be attaching hem with the lining? Or, using steam a seam tape, which is a glue on tape, I use this on knit hem and top stitch over with machine. Pressing wool fabric flat is done by steam and fallow up with cold object such as clean brick.

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    Oct 4, 2007, 09.52 PMby jellybean

    This looks beautitul on you. Once again, such a neat and professional finish. As for the hem, sorry I can’t suggest anything other than what has already been said. I wish we had a fabric store like that near where I live. So often, I like the look of RTW items, but usually can’t find the same fabric. (I also sew because I find it difficult to get RTW that fits properly.)

  • Eba31fd13ba8df2a4b1efa0700fc4d7e8318c661_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 04.34 PMby olar

    Beautiful! I was thinking in trying this. It starts at size 36, ins’t it? Did you resize the pattern?

  • Sewionista_logo_neu_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 02.27 PMby julietta

    When I saw that dress in the magazine I already thought about sewing it. But now that I have seen your great version I want it even more. Now to the hem- try steaming it without actually pressing or touching it. That usually works pretty well with wool. Also lifting the seam allowance and ironing underneath it carefully might help. And can you give me the address to that fabric store? It sounds like the kind of store I’ve been looking for.

  • 512e90b1e56182f8e311e9b064ffa71a6f1082a6_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 11.56 AMby fashion1

    what a great dress! you look beautiful in it and it suits you very well. —my sewing machine has a “blindstichfuß”, with this i can sew an invisible hem (but i hadn´t tried this!). what you can try is to sew for example a satin band or another edging on the hem seam; perhaps on the sleeves, too. i think it would be look good on it.

  • Af1e9b1701064eba66f564ff006743e68019ac69_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 11.51 AMby justelaite

    and about hiding it, well personally, i don’t make a seam, i just stick it with glue line (don’t know real name of it). but this is ok only for a lighter material.

  • Af1e9b1701064eba66f564ff006743e68019ac69_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 11.48 AMby justelaite

    as for me, that hem doesn’t seem so scream out. and i really like your dress, it’s so beautiful, that i think i’ll buy new Burda and try to make somthing similar for myself :)

  • F73ae75c85bfa0c3044028abd57f1c9a2953cd72_large

    Oct 4, 2007, 11.34 AMby elainemay

    PS- the mysterious thing in the back of the fourth picture is a giant sweet potato :)

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