Little red dress

Wow, thanks for all the lovely comments on my last dress! I’m overwhelmed. I wore it to a wedding last week and even managed to dance in it. Think I’ll take some length off the skirt before I wear it again though. I stepped on it more than once and pulled out a a bit of one of the side seams near the hem so it’s now awaiting repairs.

What I’ve been up to in the meantime is making another version of Burda 117-02-2012, a little knit dress that’s been very popular in the blogosphere and rightly so. I really don’t understand why Burda haven’t made it available for purchase as a download.

The pattern’s designed for colour blocking, and there are some great versions of that out there, but it also works well in one colour. This is a good thing as I’ve yet to come across a suitable knit fabric that’s available in even three complementary colours, never mind the four the original pattern uses. You need something with a bit of body. My first version was in a black wool/lycra mix, and the new one’s a red viscose lightweight doubleknit. Although the viscose is very stretchy it doesn’t cling. I guess the best way to describe it is that it needs a lot of force to make it stretch (high elastic modulus) but you can stretch it a long way without damage (high elastic limit). It was a remnant from Misan Fabrics in London.

Anyway, here is the dress.
Burda 117-02-2012

The original has a zipper down the back but I left it off for this version as I thought it might be a bit much with the red fabric. I haven’t got a photo which brings out all the seamlines on the back, but rest assured there are plenty which are what give the dress its shape.

Burda 117-02-2012

I also left off the pleats on the shoulders this time. There’s supposed to be a small pleat at the end of the shoulder seam to make the end of the sleeve curve down onto the arm. It’s not needed for fit and I think this version looks better without it.

Burda 117-02-2012

The dress is supposed to have an opening along the slanting seam running from the v-neck that you can see in the picture below, but I sewed it shut as I did on my other version. In a reasonably stretchy fabric it’s not needed at all. I also shortened this version before cutting out, unlike the previous one where I ended up lopping off quite a bit of length at the hem at the end. The problem with that was that it messed up the seamlines on the skirt so it’s much better to shorten the pattern pieces in advance.

Burda 117-02-2012
I’d still like to make a colour-block version of this if the right fabrics ever come along. Unless something really exceptional turns up in the autumn I reckon this is my pattern of the year.

26 thoughts on “Little red dress

  1. Oh this is cool and you’re right about the sleeves – I agree it looks better without the little shaping pleat.

    Oh my god sandals. And you danced in them for the wedding too? I’m assuming you wore those gorgeous things to the wedding?

  2. I would never have thought to do this dress in one colour – but it works absolutely beautifully. The dress looks fantastic on you and the colour choice is perfect for you. You are such an inspiration to me.

  3. I love this dress in a single colour and the colour blocked versions I’ve seen. You should wear more red, it is very becoming on you.

  4. What a fiery dress! It’s stellar! I can see why this is your pattern of the year.

    I look forward to seeing the color-blocked version. It is going to look incredible, no doubt.

  5. Another stunning dress for you. I love all of the seams, even in a solid. And it looks fabulous on you, of course!

  6. WOW!! You look absolutely stunning, and you have the perfect figure for a redhot number like this. I like your single colour version just as much as the colour-blocked version. Beautiful!

  7. Oh, Cybe, you can make this dress work and I still haven’t worn my version a second time. And you’ve made all the right amendments to the pattern, no zip, no neck opening, and it looks gorjus on you. I might try again with a single fabric, (as you recall I had that very problem matching up my different fabrics for the blue colorblock version) AND YES! those pleats on the sleeves look dorky.
    Admiring your work, as always,

  8. My “little red” version was cut out as a muslin and just awaits cooler weather to be made for real. It seems I am a faithful follower of your excellent example!

  9. This dress was made for your figure, you look like a model from a fancy mag in these photos. Fantastic job and the colour is great on you too.

  10. Red dress, red hair… I love the defiance! And the shape of that dress is amazing on you. I’m so glad you sewed it in a single colour, not only because I love red but because it demonstrates why all the pieces are necssary… to achieve that fit! I know exactly what you mean about the availability of colours in stretch. I was looking only just yesterday…. hugely frustrating! x

  11. Wow, it’s a great dress and you look fab in it!

    I hadn’t thought about defining the elastic properties of fabric, but now that you have done it, I find it very interesting. I must look up more on that.

  12. Wow Catherine, you did a superb job on this dress. I love all the pieces and the colour, my favourite! the cut on the sleeves. Perfect! Killer shoes too. You are kicking serious sewing goals. LOVE IT!

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