Burda 101 2/2021

This dress is a bit of a departure from usual for me. I don’t often wear colour, never mind prints. I’d originally been planning to make Burda 101 2/2021 in a very luxurious grey Tencel twill as part of my wardrobe sewing plan, but then I read some slightly worrying reviews of the pattern. Here’s the line art: what it doesn’t show is that you’re meant to cut the bodice on the bias, which combined with the weight of the long skirt means the bodice tends to grow.

Burda 101 2/2021 line art, burdastyle.ru

I didn’t want to risk my expensive fabric on a possibly dud pattern. I also couldn’t see any good reason for the bodice to be on the bias in the first place. The original Burda version is made in a horizontal stripe which produces a nice effect with the bias grain, but in a plain I thought it would work perfectly well cut straight. Time for an experiment.

Enter this mystery print fabric which has been in my stash for years. I got it on Goldhawk Road in London. It’s a lightweight twill and at the time I thought it was polyester based on the price. I did a burn test when I pulled it out for this project, and was amazed to find it’s most likely silk – certainly not polyester anyway. But I have never found a project for it and it seemed like a good choice for this one because there aren’t many seamlines to break up the print.

So I traced the pattern off and rotated the grain line on the bodice pieces. I also eliminated the centre back seam which isn’t needed if you’re cutting on the straight grain, and would interrupt the print. I completely missed that the front facing is meant to be cut on the fold and added a seam allowance to that. I made my usual fitting adjustment of lengthening the bodice. That was slightly tricky to do at the front because of the shape of the pattern pieces with the cut-on sleeves and the ties meant I couldn’t cut straight across and spread. I had to cut a step shape in the pattern piece instead, so the length got added below the cut-on sleeve at the outside edge and above the ties at centre front. And I added side seam pockets which are sewn into the waist seam at the top in an attempt to avoid sagging.

Cutting out was an ordeal. I did it single layer because of the print, which meant working on the floor. I should have stabilised the fabric with starch or gelatine because it wriggled about all over the place. Some of the cut pieces bore very little resemblance to the original pattern. And I completely messed up matching the print at the skirt side seams. I didn’t even try at the waist because the ties hide it there. But amazingly when I sewed it up it all fitted together. The print lines were useful for making sure things were on grain at the hem and waist seam.

I was really careful not to stretch out the neckline edges, but I still had to rip and resew the centre front intersection a couple of times to make it sit right. The bodice looks best slightly bloused over the ties, but the slippery fabric means it tends to slip down. I should have put some elastic in the waist seam but I didn’t have any handy.

I promise the hem isn’t as wonky as it looks, the bodice has just slipped down on one side. The sleeve bands tend to move about too: in most of the photos the right one has sneakily unfolded itself.

I do like the big block of print that ended up sitting on the upper back. The bow on the other hand just vanishes into the print.

I added a tie on the inside so I can attach the point of the v neck to my bra and avoid flashing people when I bend over. It’s a bias tube made from a scrap and caught in the stitching that attaches the facing to the centre front seam. You can also see my lazy overlocked seam finishes here. I’m forever seeing people on the Internet assert that overlocking is a sign of poor quality, but I’ve never had an overlock finished seam fray and fall apart in the wash yet.

So what’s the verdict? I like this dress and have worn it out of the house, but I won’t be making a version in the Tencel. Not because this is a terrible pattern, just a little fussy to wear. It needs plenty of ironing and the skirt isn’t a great length on me. Best kept for garden parties and summer weddings. Thanks as always to my husband for the photos.

37 thoughts on “Burda 101 2/2021

  1. I like the tip about attaching the v-neck facing to the bra! I have relegated this dress to housewear status, but my new complaint about it is that the sleeves are surprisingly restrictive. It’s impossible to raise the arms without disarranging the whole thing. And I like the look of the dress better (on me, anyway) when the ties are brought all the way around the bodice and tied in the front, but they are a little too short for that. Some of the Russian projects out of stiffer fabrics, like cotton, seem to look pretty interesting: https://burdastyle.ru/fotoforum/pattern/plate-s-effektom-zapaha-burda-2021-2-101/ But opinion on the pattern continues to be mixed.

    1. Interesting! I haven’t noticed the sleeves being restrictive but my fabric is so slippery that they tend to slide up onto the shoulder when I lift my arms, so maybe that’s the difference.

  2. I love the print you’ve used for this style. I was looking at this yesterday and you’ve answered my question about whether the top would have to be on the bias. I’m going through my magazines trying to find my next project, I’ll keep this on the list!

    1. Heh I’ve now browsed a few other people’s versions and it does look really good in a stripe with the top on the bias…but I think I’m done with this pattern for the moment.

  3. What a great print for this dress. I’ll have to keep your step adjustment in mind for potential hacked patterns.
    I’ve cut out on the floor one time and vowed to never do it again.

  4. Great review of a garment that you were hesitant to make! We are soul sisters for the fact that both you and I are plain, “black and white mostly” fabric wearers. I cannot remember the last print I ever bought both in fabric and/or RTW. A difference between us: you are wonderfully tall where I am wonderfully short! That’s OK! Your fashions are simple in line and elegant. When I opened your post I was surprised..a PRINT ! and a very colorful one! You conquered all of the trials involved in this dress and look wonderful wearing it!

    1. Thanks! Come to think of it this is probably the last print I bought…there’s nothing else printed in my stash. I find it very hard to visualise how prints will make up into garments.

  5. I love this dress on you! I love your normal blacks and grays, but this print totally works, and the shape is interesting and suits you.

  6. I think that is a fabulous dress, plus maybe it is in support of my theory that the most flattering prints have some of the wearer’s hair color among the colors?

  7. The sewing and construction gymnastics that you performed with this are impressive. I might have been in tears. It looks great on you and I love the print! You should wear more bold prints like this- you have the perfect body for it.

  8. Not used to seeing you in prints but this dress looks fantastic on you! You make some excellent points about whether to cut this on the bias or not. I was actually wondering if the Papercut Mirri jumpsuit / Meridian dress, which have similar bodices, are constructed in the same way on the bias? Does anyone know?

    1. Hmm, I just looked that one up and it looks very similar indeed. But all the samples are solid so it’s hard to tell! The grey Meridian dress sample looks like the bodice is on the straight though. The fabric requirements are about the same as Burda so no clues there.

  9. I love this print on you, and the dress too. Your version is so soft and fluid, great work!!! I also made this dress, in a print (kind of vertical chains) but a sateen cotton. I do like it but it is not as “fluid” as yours and needs a lot of adjusting during the day. It did get a lot of compliments though when I wore it ….

  10. I love this! As you say, it’s definitely a bit different for you, but I think it’s a nice bit of variety to the plans you’ve been sewing lately. It’s a really fun print and looks great in this pattern. I hope you are able to wear and enjoy this dress!

    1. Thanks! I think it’s going to be a good ‘mum’ dress for children’s parties and things like that so hopefully I’ll get a few more chances to wear it

  11. This is such a great departure from your usual aesthetic! You always look so cool in monochrome but you carry this bold print off as well. You’ve given a great insight into the pattern and its quirks. I have a Grasser pattern that looks similar and you’ve given me a few tips for making that up. I completely get you with the slippery fabric, one of my recent makes has a very variable hemline. Also, thank you for the tip for making the internal tie, I’m definitely going to use that.

  12. Wow I was so surprised to see a print on you. I actually love that fabric and think it looks great on you. it’s also nice to have something out of the box for a party! I will also keep the stepped adjustment line in mind… genius! I always cut on my beautiful wooden floor particularly as I usually have to do fabric tetris as I buy fabric because I love it and usually 2 metres which is normally not quite what the pattern asks for. Normally I can fit it in!

  13. Great outcome for a Bleh! dress pattern. Love the print and it really looks quite smart on you. I would have snatched that fabric from your stash had I been offered a chance, very much my style. As always helpful thoughts.

  14. Many readers complimented you on the print, but if you feel not yourself, you can still dye it black. Most likely the print will be kept but only with slightly different shades of black.
    I am a solids (almost) only person myself and can not imagine to feel relaxed in this print myself. That’s why I bring up the dye thing, even if you did not complain about the print 😉

    1. Definitely a possibility! I like having the odd brightly coloured dress for weddings and the like, but it would be very cool with different shades of black

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