All The Burda Dresses project

I’ve been feeling a complete lack of sewing inspiration lately, while still really wanting to make things. Some kind of system for choosing projects seems like it might help with that. I have had a Burda subscription for quite a while and I know how to make their draft fit me, so I decided to sew my way through my favourite Burda dresses from the collection.

Obviously there are a lot of dress patterns to choose from in ten years of magazines. If I just put everything that caught my eye on to the list it would be completely impossible to get through it. So I narrowed it down by only including ones which either have pockets or are easy to add pockets to. After that I tried to analyse which are likely to suit my figure. I’ve been finding Doctor T’s series on Kibbe style types very interesting. No style typing system is ever going to work for everyone but this one is useful for me because I clearly fall into a particular Kibbe category and more importantly, I generally enjoy wearing the kinds of things Kibbe recommends for it. (Dramatic, if anyone’s interested: lots of long vertical lines, monochrome colour schemes, angular shapes).

Don’t worry I’m not about to go through the whole list of patterns right now…for one thing it’ll be deadly dull and for another I doubt I’ll actually manage to sew them all. But here are the first three. I’ve made one and two, and the third one is in progress.

The first one is 110 08/2017. It has long vertical lines so that’s an instant win. I added pockets hidden in the pleats across the skirt front. I bought shoulder pads (a Kibbe recommendation) but my fabric choice meant they’d be far too visible so I ended up not using them.

Burda 110 08/2017 line art

Here’s how it came out. It’s not perfect but it’s been getting a lot of wear.

Then there is 117 02/2012. At first sight this doesn’t look like an ideal selection according to Kibbe’s guidelines; there’s too much waist emphasis and it’s not long enough. But I’ve made it five times before and the versions done in solid colours have been firm favourites (the colour blocked one and the striped one, not so much). I think it works because of the angular seaming and v neck. I added pockets in the front seams and left off the shoulder tucks which gives a stronger line. Pictures of all that next week.

Burda 117 02/2012 line art

The one I’m working on now is 116 09/2018 which reminds me strongly of the white dress worn by the character Luv in Blade Runner 2049. So, erm, secret evil replicant cosplay.

Here’s Luv.

Luv from Blade Runner 2049 in a white dress

And here’s the Burda dress.

Burda 116 09/2018 line art

The lines of the dress are not quite the same: hers has a separate collar and the princess seams continue into the skirt; there may not even be a separate waistband section as it is always styled with a belt. But the overall shape is similar. I’m not making mine in white though, at least not for the first version. If it works I might do it again in white scuba just for fun.

I’ll keep posting about this as I work my through the list, although I’m certainly going to allow myself to sew other things in between – I still need a winter coat after all!

20 thoughts on “All The Burda Dresses project

  1. Nice selection of dress and love the “secret evil replicant” one! I have tried to find my the Kibbe styles – I think I went through the quiz that is linked from Doctor T’s site. But I just ended up confused. It seemed my body appeared to be one style and my face another. Not sure how that works! Perhaps I’ll have to read more on the topic!

    1. Thanks! I think all of these style systems only work for a subset of people…for example season colour analysis is a disaster on me. And even with Kibbe I find things to disagree with. We don’t fit into neat little boxes.

      1. Yes, I know what you mean – I think it would be nice to get some impartial opinion of what styles might suit me. Also, I’ve always looked younger than my years (obviously less so now I have wrinkles!) Although I’m sure loads of people would be happy with looking younger than they are, it’s a distinct disadvantage looking like you’re twelve years old in the workplace. This has meant that I’ve often veered away from anything that looked too “girly”. I wonder whether I’ve neglected some styles because I thought about them negatively years ago.

      2. I know what you mean. I’m pretty sure I still avoid navy blue mainly because it reminds me of school uniform, which is irrational. I’ve found I’m more adventurous with different styles when I’m sewing my own clothes rather than buying them though. Perhaps it’s because even if they don’t work out I’ve still had a certain amount of entertainment out of the process. And I don’t miss clothes shopping one bit.

  2. Great idea for a way to prioritize and get excited about projects. Your black Burda dress reminds me of a McCall’s one I’ve had on my to-sew list for months. It’s too “heavy” for a summer look, bur now that winter’s here, I have just the fabric for it.

  3. Very nice selection. Good luck with completing the plans. I am thinking to make the second dress for a very long time but the number of pieces turns me off every time.
    I defined myself as Dramatic as well not long ago and still need some time to rearrange and settle the concept in my mind.
    It’s very interesting to watch other Dramatics plan and sew their wardrobe 🙂 🙂

    1. Thanks! I can really recommend the second dress because although there are a lot of pieces, being a knit there is no need to finish the seams, so I find it comes together faster than I expect every time. Although I did get throughly mixed up with the asymmetric pieces the first time out.

  4. Agree, you can pull off dramatic very well.
    I did the online kibbe test three times before I figured it out properly. I already had a few things that suit me… but what category? According to the test, I fall exactly between two types. That made sense, and has helped me cut down on analysis paralysis.
    Thinking about the sewing blogs I’ve seen over the years, it is amazing how different each ladies’ styles are. Most of them really know which shapes and colours suit them, and sew accordingly. It does make me LESS inclined to copy them, and more inclined to figure out what works for me.

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