Friday, September 10, 2010

Burda 9-2005-115 - Construction

My first thoughts upon getting the dress cut out and the front assembled was, "it's a lot of work for such a subtle effect."  Seriously, I think if I'm standing  on the corner all anyone would see is the raspberry dress. You would have to walk up to me to see the seaming detail.  So this exercise has been more about the sewing challenge than the end result...unlike the Macy's dress where you can clearly see the effect of the fabric piecing.

Exhibit 1 
The dress front constructed and hanging from the closet door:

I guess I need to ask if the time and effort was worth it?  I would say yes for a few reasons. 

1.  I survived the dreaded Burda tracing experiment.
2.  I did actually take a pattern that was sized much smaller than I am and enlarge it to fit me, thereby proving to myself that it can be done.
3.  The actual shell of the dress is very appealing on.
4.  It will be a different type of sheath dress than is presently in my wardrobe.

So do you want to see how the dress looks so far?  Here is a close-up of the front on me:

Here is a back view:

(I think it's reading truest to the color in this pic)

Some construction changes:
~ You know that I opted to only cut the front pattern pieces for the dress.  Because of the fabric requirements in the magazine, I thought that the 2 yards of raspberry doubleknit I had would make the dress...well it didn't.  I had to creatively cut the back.  So I added a seam at the hip area.  I think it works okay...and if you think it doesn't, that's okay.  I'm wearing it this way! *LOL*

~ I am going to add short sleeves to this dress.  The sleeve will be made with a seam down its center and a slight opening at the hem.  Hopefully this will go with the pieced affect of the dress.

~ A lining will be added to this dress.  This is a lighterweight doubleknit than the Macy's dress and I think the lining will help with the overall look of the dress.

Some thoughts:
Putting this dress together was a step by step process.  I couldn't miss a step or everything would have been out of whack.  And as I stated before this was definitely more about the sewing challenge than about the dress.  I'm lucky the experiment worked.  It easily couldn't have.

Finally you had some questions:
Laura asked:
"Would you mind terribly doing a tutorial on how to grade up a pattern using a TNT dress pattern?"
You know this is a really simple process if you start with a TNT pattern piece.  I traced the Burda pieces, then laid them on top of a traced copy of the TNT dress front.  Each Burda pattern piece was then elongated width wise.  Here's a pic to show my starting point more clearly:

And here is a picture of the pattern pieces after they've been elongated and seam allowances added:

You can refer to my last post for more information on the process or the pictures in my Flickr Album to see the entire progression.  But really I didn't do anything extraordinary or something that you couldn't do yourself with a TNT pattern.

Meredithp asked the same type of question that Laura asked:
"Did you get the curved pieces that you enjoyed tracing so much, and just draw them on your TNT?"
Hopefully the picture explains it.  If not, please feel free to ask a more detailed question.

Couturearts stated (btw, is this you Claudine?):
"A suggestion, if I may. You might want to consider incorporating the bust dart into one of the horizontal seams. It will look more elegant that way."

Here is a picture of my top with the dart:

The way that Burda instructs you to cut out the pattern pieces, there's no dart.  I don't know if it's included in the seam or not.  However, since mine is not a precise duplication, I did include the dart from my TNT pattern into the piece, figuring that it would help but that no one would notice it but me.  If I were to make this again, I would definitely like to include it in the seam but would have to seek out some expert advice on how to do that.

Several of you stated that I would get better at the tracing if I did it more.  Ummmm, I don't think so.  This is the second Burda pattern that I've attempted in 10 months.  Does that tell you something about how I feel about tracing patterns?!  *LOL*  Gawd, I have a boatload of Hot Patterns and still haven't made one yet because you have to trace them!  Sad, I know.  I'm still working on that part of my journey...okay!?!  ROTFLOL!

So I have to add the lining, cut the sleeves out from the scraps and hem the dress.  I probably will have fashion shots of both dresses tomorrow.  I just wanted to give an update on this dress' progress. always, more later!


  1. Smokin, both of those dresses are TDF.

  2. Looking good Carolyn. I love the color on you and thanks for the tutorial on customizing the pattern.

  3. I love it! Not too subtle, at all. The seams make a nice statement.

  4. It's not hard to incorporate the dart--you can do it. There's probably something on line for a tutorial; has Threads done this lately?

    I'd tell you how, but it would take pictures. It basically has to do with anchoring the tip of the dart with a pin, cutting in from the side seam, cutting up from the Burda seam directly below the pin, leaving the teensiest little piece of paper for a "hinge."

    Then line up the dart legs to close up the dart. The lower edge will shift and the "dartiness" will then be transferred to the Burda design line. The little gap near the hinge can just be filled in with paper, and the line corrected to adjust. I know none of this probably makes sense, but it is really easy.

    This picture gives you some idea--but I know it's not exact:

    Good luck!

    By the way, your dress looks great.

  5. The "raspberry dress" is looking lovely so far! I love the design lines. Can't wait to see it finished!

  6. Great color on you and I love the piecing detail, especially on the upper bodice. Looks great!

  7. Another fab dress... You could write a book about developing and sewing a wardrobe by using a few basic patterns...You truly are inspiring...

  8. Very flattering dress on you. Love the colour and love the seam detail.

  9. Re the tracing (uckuckuck) have you thought of taking the pattern sheets to your local architects office and getting them copied. Architects are the only people I know who have the ability to copy/print paper that big, but your local copy shop might too....

  10. Yes, that's me. Perhaps one day I will learn how to change my display name on my wordpress ID. The dress looks great so far. You look so great in strong colors. Claudine

  11. Well, even though you may be the only one who knows about the seams, the effort is great looking. And, it is yet another different dress, morphed from your TNT. Thanks for the additional info. on how you did this. Very helpful. Beautiful color too! So far, a productive and very creative sewcation. Off to look at my Sept. 2005 Burda. I'm going to make one of these-either the 2005 or the 2010 version (sans "flanges").

  12. I love the subtlety of the seaming and the color is fabulous on you!

  13. I totally hear ya regards tracing. I almost never do it, and I have a stack of HotPatterns pretty much untouched for the same reason.

  14. I really love this dress and the fit is fantastic. I also don't think the seams need to jump out to be effective - the extra work just imparts extra quality IMO. Thanks again for sharing.

  15. Very nice - and I am with you on tracing. By the time I decifer the BWOF sheets, I am tired of the whole project.

  16. Wow! I mean WOW!!!!! That dress is TDF! I love it. The seaming gives a lot of shape. You look stunning!

  17. Way cool that you did this! The seaming creates a shaping detail that enhances the silhouette, and is flattering on you. So glad you chose a vibrant color too.
    Call me tomorrow if you want to walk through how to transfer the shaping into the seam lines. It's easy peasy - same concept as the dart to princess seam that I wrote the tutorial for a few years ago. The dart legs become your seam lines and the part that you would fold down and press become seam allowances instead.

  18. This dress is coming along nicely. You are doing such a lovely job.

  19. Super flattering! Love this shape on you! Great job!

  20. Lovely, Carolyn! That color looks fantastic on you. Can't wait to see the finished product with the sleeves.

    One question, though...where do you get your tracing paper? The last batch I got from Nancy's Notions and it's thicker/heavier than I would like, especially for fitting. Thanks!

  21. Great color on you and the fit is VERY flattering. Everyone in the room is watching you leave, girl!

  22. I think the Burda dress is coming along very well. Its very flattering on you. Looking forward to seeing the completed dress.

  23. This dress is looking fabulous! Great color, and the seaming may be subtle, but it's adding up to a good shape/fit.

    I hear you on the tracing. I sometimes force myself to do it, but more often cut -- Hot Patterns, too -- because the thought of tracing kills my enthusiasm for the project. It's one reason I still don't have a Burda subscription, and may never get one.

  24. You are an inspiration. Love your TNT spin-offs.

  25. This is looking great! Good job all around-tracing, making the limited yardage work, etc.

  26. @ Marji: But wouldn't using the dart lines as seams change the design line of the dress? Can't you show her instead how to transfer the difference to the existing design line in order to maintain the integrity of the designer's intent? Don't know if this would work, but just thinking aloud, here.

  27. I'm thinking that Burda did incorporate the darts into the curved seamlines. At any rate, I think it was a great exercise for you and you'll end up with a terrifc fall dress with a nice punch of color.

  28. It's coming along beautifully, Carolyn. I'm so glad to see that you're making this dress, as that pattern is TDF.

  29. Love this process post. I'm also all for subtle detail. It may not read well over the computer, but I'll bet that those you encounter in your everyday life will take note. :)


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