SEW BAD Saturday #2

We have our second entry from Wadderland!

Tia Dia has posted on her own blog MezzoCouture about this dress but she thought it would help others to see it here too.

Why did you pick this pattern?

In all truthfulness, I chose this pattern because it looks so flattering in Burda’s sneaky photos. Mind you, it’s made up in black, and what isn’t flattering in black?

What size did you think you were according to their envelope numbers?

Well, I’m supposed to cut around a size 46 for Burda and a bit larger through the hips, but I traced off the regular sized version (44) of this pattern from the November 2012 issue because I thought I’d just alter it. How hard could an FBA be and additional width on those seams?

What size did you cut and did you alter before cutting?

I added width to each of the seamlines in the skirt and did an FBA for that pleated bodice. Because there wasn’t already enough fabric in those darned pleats as drafted, of course. I just had to have more across the bust!

Did you encounter difficulties others would like to avoid?

Gosh. Where do I start? First of all, DO NOT MAKE IT IN A WOVEN. Secondly, never ever do an FBA on this dress pattern. It’s not required. Under any circumstances. And for the love of all things sewing, make a muslin. You may want to take out a lot of the fabric in those busty pleats.burda-11-2012-138-armscye

Is there anything in the photos we cannot see that you wanted us to know about?

Yes. The first set of sleeves didn’t fit me at all because I forgot to compensate for the woven vs. knit fabric change. So I cut the 2nd set of sleeves (originally posted) set from a Vogue dress (I can’t remember which), and they were still too tight!!!! And I didn’t add enough width around the skirt, so I had to let out all those seams to the bare minimum of 1/4″ allowances.

Burda 11-2012-138 armscye problemBurda 11-2012-138 sleeve issue

Is this garment wearable with tweaking or not?

Well, I tried to tweak it after putting it aside and taking deep breaths so I didn’t just take the shears to it and turn it into minced wool. I took the sleeves out, took apart the bodice and took out all the FBA-added fabric, which improved the bodice a lot, I thought. You can see from the altered pics how low the armscye is, and there was no fixing that.

Thumbs up or thumbs down on buying this? Worth the effort?

It’s a nice idea of a dress, but I think you’d need the darker fabric of Burda to keep the attention-drawing bust darts to a minimum. And I’d probably play around with just how many of those darts you really wanted if you did try this dress. Seriously, if I had been serious about having this dress work for me in the first place, I should have done a muslin.

Before   burda-11-2012-138-front-before-adjustment   and after  burda-11-2012-138-adjusted


R   Burda 11-2012-138 side  SIDE VIEW

Do you want suggestions on how to “make it work” or is it beyond that?

I made notes of the changes I’d need if I did want to make this up again, but for now, it’s destined to be a skirt. But if this was your dress, what would you do to keep it out of the trash bin?

Please direct your comments and suggestions to Tia Dia.

Thanks for sharing, Tia!

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10 Responses to SEW BAD Saturday #2

  1. I actually like the dress on you; however, I do see your point about the bust fullness. I usually don’t have to do a FBA on Burda ( and I wear a C-D cup, normally), but I’ve doubted myself so many times and had to do the frog stitch to teach me to trust my first instincts. Also, if the dress called for knits, you probably should have stuck to that recommendation. It’s funny that Burda seems roomy in the bust but skimpy everywhere else! Knits seems to be a little more drapey and forgiving than wovens anyway. I also agree about the sleeve needing a little more “cap” room. I know because that is my main gripe in patterns today. All in all, though, don’t be too hard on yourself. I don’t think it looks as bad as you think it looks! You can definitely wear this dress!

  2. Marlene says:

    I made this dress and hated it The neckline was very uncomfortable and I could not adjust it to make it feel right, It didn’t look bad, but was super uncomfortable

  3. Ann says:

    It is a lovely color and fabric for a skirt!

  4. Valerie says:

    Oh dear! I would make a skirt out of it too. Having said that in some of the shots I can see the germ of an idea of a lovely retro looking dress…I am sorry it didn’t work for you.

  5. I can see how it would draw you in, it’s a bit 1930-ish. I initially thought you might be able to salvage it by making it into a sleeveless top, as it might be even cute like that at first glance. Bu the wide dart pleating is the biggest offender, it adds to a lot of heaviness. I think if the darts were minimized to a couple inches from center front, it would have been more flattering. But you might as well drape it from scratch at that point, so I’d rather just make a skirt from it too.

  6. prttynpnk says:

    This really stinks- a dress that wants to be good but just isn’t. Dang, that fabric was gorgeous. Thanks for the lessons.

  7. Thanks for the information. I don’t think i would like it as is neither.

  8. fabrickated says:

    Thank you so much Tia Dia for sharing this with us. I actually like the dress style, the fabric, the colour and the general silhouette on you. As you say it looks pretty nice from the back! I also like the (original) sleeve length, skirt length and the neckline.

    I agree the main problem is not so much the bust dart treatment but the arm scye and sleeve. Even in a jersey it should be cut considerably higher with a slimmer sleeve. The gigantic armhole is just wrong on a fitted dress, and I would blame the pattern cutter for this. I like the bust pleating but this is a style for someone who is small busted and wants to add a little fullness here. I am afraid that your FBA has made it worse.

  9. kathy says:

    What a disappointing project. The fabric is beautiful and the color is so pretty on you, but the dress – well, I’m with you, I think I’d make it into a skirt.

    This is exactly why I don’t sew for myself and prefer kids – they have no shape. LOL! I don’t think I’d ever consider making anything from a woven with a pattern designed for knits – I know that would be a disaster for me! Thanks for sharing your “oops” with us. Should I ever think I’d make a dress for myself, this is one I’ll avoid.

  10. I made this dress but found I had to leave all the pleats done up to get the bust to fit me – you are right it really doesn’t need an FBA!

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