Chain mail wedding dress – Burda 106-03-2011

And having got your attention with that silly title, here it is. It’s not really chain mail, of course, but it is a wedding dress pattern: Burda 106-03-2011.

Burda 106-03-2011

The fabric is a very coarse polyester woven. The threads are two different colours; there’s a fine black one and a much chunkier white one. It was described as ‘linen-look’ on Minerva Crafts’ website but there really is something vaguely metallic about it. It’s very drapey but also quite heavy; perfect for this style. Here’s a close up.

Linen look polyester from Minerva

This is the technical drawing of the dress. I added inseam pockets to it and eliminated the seams that divide the collar into three pieces; however that proved to be a mistake. I think if I’d left the collar as intended I’d have been able to sew the lining to the zip by machine; as it was I had to hand sew it. At least there was some cricket on the telly yesterday to sew in front of.

Burda 106-03-2011 line art

You can just about see the pockets here. The neckline gathers are very uneven. Some of that’s down to the coarse fabric, but I probably should have unpicked it and had another go. Too late now. Probably only another sewist would notice?

Burda 106-03-2011

The pattern calls for lining in self-fabric. The polyester I used is both see-through and rough to the touch, so I lined in grey poly taffeta instead.

Burda 106 03-2011 lining

It closes with an invisible zip up the back. I used lots of interfacing in the collar. I only interfaced the basic pattern piece, not the seam allowances; that made the polyester much easier to work with. I also interfaced the centre back seam. This was in part to reinforce the slit and zip area, and in part because I made a horrible mistake while cutting and only had very small seam allowances to work with on that seam. The fashion fabric frays very badly so the interfacing provides some much needed strength.

Burda 106-03-2011 zip

I’m pretty proud of that zip! Went in smoothly first time and I don’t think you can see the end.

Burda 106-03-2011

This style comes up really long. I lengthened it my usual amount, and then cut all that off and more when I hemmed it. Without the heels it drags on the floor. The hem was fiddly to sew because it’s very pegged. I did it with my machine’s blind hem stitch and foot. I’d hoped the stitches would vanish in the texture of the fashion fabric, but they’re a bit more visible than I’d like.

Burda 106-03-2011

The lining hem hangs free except at the back slit.

Burda 106-03-2011 lining hem

I’ve always been a bit on the fence about this style; it’s fundamentally egg-shaped which doesn’t seem like it would be flattering on anyone. It looks OK on Burda’s model but fashion photos can be very misleading. However I found I kept coming back to it when browsing my Burda collection, so I’m glad I finally found some fabric and made it up. I really like the end result. I don’t think the fabric photographs very well though; it seems to come out much lighter than it looks in the mirror. The style is comfortable but I think has just enough shape to look like a dress and not a sack. And I bet I can fit lots of cake in there. I have a wedding to go to next month so it’ll come out for that, weather permitting.

Burda 106-03-2011

27 thoughts on “Chain mail wedding dress – Burda 106-03-2011

  1. I bought exactly the same fabric and, like you, it wasn’t at all what I expected so its been sitting in the stash pile! I like the idea of it being chain mail… Hopefully it will give me some ideas…. Great dress, carried off with aplomb.

  2. Woooah you’re so wonderfully tall. I’m so jealous over here with my stubby little legs. Very cool fabric. I always look forward to seeing what you make.

  3. That is just sleek and stately and I picture you undulating down an aisle with your matching panther on a lead while minions fan you slightly and look on with adoration. Basically, I really like it on you.

  4. Really stylish :o) I would have not have seen this in the Burda wedding picture, clearly I lack vision but yours is amazing, really great dress.

  5. I’ve always wanted to make this dress. You look great in it. I’m on the fence on egg shapes too. I’m part of the way through a egg shaped coat.

  6. Very futuristic, very striking. The shape is really interesting – it doesn’t look as egg-y on a real person as on the drawing, but still has a sort of sculptural look to it.

    I can’t imagine real chainmail would make a very good dress – steel chain is so heavy it tends to hang straight down regardless of what’s underneath. It’s really not a very flattering material :p

    (That said, I would love to see someone wear chain mail to their wedding. I bet I know a couple of people who could pull that off.)

    (Also hello from an ex-lurker!)

  7. Absolutely striking! what a stunner dress you’ve made, and you look great. The fabric looks very difficult, nice work with the zip, hem, and slit.

  8. I’ve seen this pattern and thought it could be amazing but of course it needs your sylph-like fair beauty. Love the fabric choice – it will be a true head turning dress for a wedding!

  9. Great Rendition of that pattern and the fabric is very interesting – I have something very similar in the stash and this gives me another idea of what to do with it.

  10. This is the prettiest dress I’ve seen in a long time! It is soooo stylish and has a look that reminds me vaguely of 70s fashion. You look stunning, dear Lady!

  11. That design so had your name on it. I can’t think of anyone else who would carry of that dress as beautifully as you do. x

  12. Wow Catherine you look amazing… a lot like Tilda Swinton… which I’m sure you get all the time! But its a compliment, so don’t worry.
    Didn’t even notice the uneven gathers until you mentioned it hehe. You look fabulous in this frock and you have a way of pulling of these crazy styles and making it look easy! thanks for sharing…

  13. I love this dress and, as stated already its perfect on you. You look wonderful. Great colour, great style. Yup. Please do eat plenty of cake and other wedding fare with abandon X)

    I wanted to comment on the grey drape drape dress a few posts back, but for some reason I can’t see the comment box. Prob. because you’re posts have been wildy popular …. ;). Anyway, I like the drape drape dress and didn’t think its too sacklike to wear, though the extra pooling of fabric under your butt was a little unfortunate. Its def. wearable in my opinion and I hope you do make it up again in a stable knit and show us.

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