You can’t win them all

Last week I finally managed to complete a dress I started making at the beginning of May. It’s taken nearly a month – real life took over from sewing for a while! I tried the finished dress on with great excitement, only to realise that the project is a complete failure. It’s wearable enough to photograph under strictly controlled conditions though, so here you go.

This is what I was aiming for. It’s Burda 134-06-2012. An unusual but comfortable summer dress with pockets.

Burda 134-0-6-2012 model photo

The line art gives a better idea of the shape of the pattern. The fabric recommendation is cloqué. I think that’s some sort of textured woven fabric – maybe a bit like a piqué? I used a mystery twill weave stretch woven I bought in Birmingham last year. It’s a lovely shade of petrol blue and has a slight sheen.

Burda 134-06-2012 line art

And here is my version. It’s a good thing the fabric has a bit of stretch or I wouldn’t be able to get it on! I made my usual size in Burda, but the skirt has come out much too tight over the hips. I really should have gone up a size, or possibly two. The lack of length of the skirt is a problem as well. Because of the position of the pockets I have a choice between belting it short enough that the pockets are in the bodice (as Burda has done) or on the hips as I have here. Suffice to say the ‘pockets in the bodice’ look is not one I shall be posting on the Internet. The skirt on my version is unhemmed, so I think this pattern just comes up really short.

Burda 134-06-2012 front view

The sleeve bands have worked out quite well considering my fabric is both stretchy and almost unpressable. This is definitely a dress to wear a vest under though because the armholes are deep. Don’t know what’s going on with my expression in that picture.

Burda 134-06-2012 sleeve bands

And then there’s the back view. The zip’s definitely too heavy for this fabric. I couldn’t get a matching zip or even a grey one in the right length, hence the beige. It looked OK against the fabric under artificial light but I’m less convinced now I see it in daylight.

The skirt is hanging very badly; again that’s because it isn’t large enough for me on the hips so fabric tends to pool just below the waist.

Burda 134-06-2012

I think there’s a really nice dress in here that’s been killed by a combination of horrible fabric choice and dodgy pattern sizing. Right now I’m dithering as to whether to put the pattern in the recycling or hang onto it for another try in the future with a fabric that’s got more body. This version is going in the scraps bag! One more slightly silly photo to finish with and then never again will this see the light of day.

Burda 134-06-2012 front view

39 thoughts on “You can’t win them all

  1. Oh no, what a shame Catherine!!! I hope you give this another go in a different size, as I reckon you could totally rock this style!

  2. Oh shame! The top part is awesome. I love the sleeves. You could always wear a cami, underneath. The colour is great on you too. I really like the contrasting zip. It breaks up the block of colour and looks like a cleverly cut piece on first glance. I would give it another go if you can bear it. I agree its a great style for you. x

  3. Why not turn it into a top? The work you have put into those sleeves needs to be kept and looks lovely on you. Or can you pull it up higher like the model and wear leggings?

  4. I love it! I see what you mean about some of the fitting issues, but you should definitely give it another go because it looks great on you. I might even check out this pattern myself!

  5. I definitely think this has potential. It reminds me of a jersey dress pattern – Burda 05/2010 – 105 which I have made twice and love (oh! in fact I am wearing it right now), so you could consider that one for an easy fitting dress with a similar silhouette. Or just make the top half of the new dress and wear it with a pencil skirt?

  6. I agree with Vicki, I’d try hemming it even shorter, get those pockets into the bodice and wear it with leggings. Burda is very annoying at times with their sizing! It seems to happen more with their non traditional styles.

  7. That is too bad, Catherine, because this silhouette does have a lot of potential on your body and is a good style for you.

  8. Is there a way to save the dress by adding a couple of strips of fabric down the hips – kind of like tuxedo stripes? I love the top shape on you and the colour is great, it would be such a shame to bin it.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking! Especially as you have the sleeve bands, so that style line would then be reflected along the hip too. You could maybe also do the same for adding length on the hem? Having the bands elsewhere could tie the style together quite nicely?

      It’s awful when you make something nice and it just doesn’t fit. Too many times disappointed makes me physically measure every pattern piece now!

  9. last year I made the shirt version of this pattern in a soft jersey and i wear that a lot and yes also with a cami under , otherwise i was like half naked :). You had the problem with the skirt being to tight but my blouse ,also due the not so good fabric choice tend to get wider and now falls down on my hips.But I like your dress, even if you had those problems with the skirt I think you should definitely give it another try, the upper part fits you really nice I find.

  10. This is a lovely style for you so I cannot wait till you take the lessons learned for another version. Seems like we both bought dodge fabric from the same stall, I made a Lola and the fabric was terrible. The colour is lovely on you. You are so chic.. One of my fav closets of the Internet. X

  11. Ah bummer the silhouette is great though. Your next one will look brill I bet.

    PS. As I was reading this my hubby walked passed and sang the word Tilda and I said yeah totally. ; )

  12. It’s a pity you don’t love how it feels; I actually think the dress *looks* fantastic on you, and suits your sleek indie style beautifully. You really have the most elegant wardrobe. The contrasting zip adds visual interest too.
    Thanks for that valuable tip about the hip sizing too šŸ™‚

  13. I think this is very pretty on you!! It’s definitely not long and flowing, you are right, Lol. But, I like it that length, maybe you can bias bind the bottom so you don’t have to hem it and make it any shorter.

  14. Bugger though I do think that this, if sized up in the skirt, would be cool with, as you say, the right fabric.

    I do like the top half of this though : I agree it could work as a top even with the zip….

  15. Aa damn-it was such a nice colour on you as well.. any chance of harvesting the top bit for a top or something?Or make a body suit with the top as the shorts and some white cotton for the top. Bias tape out of the skirt maybe…
    While you can totally carry that style-those sort of sleeves (can’t remember the technical name at the mo’..or even if there is one) are used to hide jiggly upper arm bits and therefore are associated (in my mind at least) with that unfortunate situation. Which you lack. What I’m saying is don’t wear this because of it’s associations+the fact that you don’t need it for camouflage purposes.
    No offense meant, none taken I hope.

  16. Gosh, even through the bad combo of fabric and sizing… I can see that this would be such a great style on you. My favourite shot is the one showing the sleeves – really interesting with that band joined at the shoulder! What I absolutely love is the way the soft gun-metal grey plays so beautifully off your hair colour and matching shoes… that’s definitely a win. So it’s going to be a ‘wadder’ as the americans say?

  17. I really like it. That shape is great on you, and the colour. Such a shame it didn’t work out the way you wanted but it is definitely worth trying again, and applying what you learnt from this one.

  18. The shape is good on you, as is the color. I can see that getting the ideal fabric could be tricky, drapey enough for the top part, but not too flimsy for the skirt part.

  19. I think you should try it again, same size on top and next size up or two on bottom (you don’t have to muslin the whole thing,just muslin the bottom half… wear with a cami underneath and it will be amazeballs!

  20. Give it a try! It is really amazing dress – and it always can be a top. Or use top and then attach different skirt… but – as Audrey said – if you do not feel comfortable in it … sell it šŸ˜‰

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