Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ignoring all warning signs.

Sometimes things don't go quite as I expected.  This is usually because I am dying to dive head into a sewing project, muslins be damned.  I'm working on the muslin making, because too many times I've cut into and then sewed up a fabric that I love to find out that the pattern, or the fabric, or the combination of the two just aren't going to create what was in my head.  Sometimes I blame it on misleading pattern photos, but really... it's operator failure.
I love this fabric.  And I love the idea of this dress.  So romantic and sweet looking!  Look, fluttery sleeves but not too fluttery.  Gathered waist and yoke, so early 50s/late 40s.
Burda 01-2011-103 dress.  There is a reason why there is a self belt.

There's even a shirt version, which I have also traced out.  Just as cute as the dress, if not cuter with the peplum.  I had a hard time deciding, shirt or dress, shirt or dress?  Then I decided that if one is to wear polka dots, one might as well go all the way and have a polka dot dress.

Burda 01-2011-102 blouse
I regraded the pattern to a size 36.  Cut into this cute green polka dotted white lawn... and realized that the dress is a sack.  Upon seeing photos, it doesn't look as bad as I imagined it would (one day I will live in an apartment big enough to have a full length mirror) but it is a big dress. 

Burda 01-2011-103 unhemmed, front

Burda 01-2011-103, unhemmed, back

Now, as I so often do, I look back at the pattern magazine photos.  And I realize that the model is seated in all photos so you don't get a good idea of how loose the shirt and dress are on her.

Is she wearing a dress under the dress?

And then I remembered the words of wisdom from the '90s SNL team: Just cinch it.

So I paper bagged it and put a belt on.  This is what it looks like.
Belted, moderately better.

But not quite.
So the debate now -- finish it and wear it with a belt?  Finish it and wear it as a sack?  Give up and move on to something else?


  1. Definitely looks better with a belt. Why not take in the side seams. I know the side seam pockets make this a pain - eliminate perhaps?

  2. I wonder if the fabric in the photos is a lot flimsier than yours? Anyway, it does look big, although the fit at the neckline seems fine. It all boils down to how you feel in it though. I do like the lines of the pattern and your fabric choice.

  3. Fashion advice from Adam Sandler and David Spade? Who knew! But yeah, I totally agree with them. Like, you gotta cinch it. And I would totally get way bigger belt. That would be so, like, cool.

    Humor aside, it looks the dress is meant to be loose, and you could probably use a smaller size. But it does look wearable, and I think a wider belt would give you more waist definition. Maybe a fabric belt in a red?

  4. For what it's worth, it's not your fault. I made the blouse version of the pattern and it was HUGE. I ended up making one size smaller than I usually make, and it was still big- I can fit it over my head without even unbuttoning it. I like the look of yours with the belt, but if it still feels big, I'd go with Gail's suggestion and just take the sides in and eliminate the pockets. The fabric is pretty, and the neckline, shoulders and sleeves look good on you.

  5. I think it looks fine belted and you've done most of the work now so I would finish it. You could take it in though as Gail suggested, or add some fisheye darts in the bodice & skirt?

  6. Shorten it SIGNIFICANTLY and wear it with a belt.

  7. Finish it and wear it with a belt, that's fine without alterations. But I'd agree with the advice to shorten it some. In your defense, this is a 40s style pattern, ie designed to look best on a curvier figure than yours generally. But imho the main problem is undrapy fabric. The models may be sitting down, but the fabrics are definitely silky :-).

  8. It looks good with the belt! I think you were brave to try this dress. I noticed it and thought it was pretty but decided it would be to difficult for me and moved on. You've come so far and it looks promising now. I would finish it.

  9. I think if you make the self belt it would look fine

  10. I am bad about making muslins too. However, I think your dress is totally wearable- and in a very fashionable way. I love the vintage vibe. I think it would look great belted and with a pair of high heels such as wedges or vintage pumps. It almost looks sexy librarian!

  11. It is cute, but I would try to take it in on the sides and if at all possible on the shoulder/sleeve seam. I do think it is worth fixing though. Good luck:)

  12. THANK YOU for posting the sack photos - a photo does speak a thousand words. And I've just removed this blouse from my phone's "to sew" list. Thank you very much!

    (And I'd personally keep the belted dress, but shorten the hem and maybe take in the side seams in the bodice?)

  13. I agree with everyone else that it could do with some taking in and some vamping up with accessories. Go sexy librarian vintage look with sass. The colours are cute on you.