More Burda dresses: Burda 116 09/2014

I’ve been working on this shirt dress for about a month now. It’s Burda 116 09/2014. This has been on my Burda to-sew list for a long time, but I struggled to find the right fabric. Burda’s version is in grey chambray. The variant design (tunic length, with a hood instead of a collar) is made in wool muslin – a fabric I don’t think I have ever encountered in the wild.

Mine’s ivory stretch cotton poplin from Tissu fabrics. This makes it more of a big shirt than a shirt dress – at least that’s how I’m intending to wear it. I had the fabric in stash, left over from a very full-skirted McCalls shirt dress I made a while ago, and eventually realised it would work for this. There was only just enough and I had to piece the drawstring casing. It’s so satisfying to only have tiny scraps left over though.

This is a dress with a lot going on. I find a lot of sewing patterns have much less detail than equivalent ready-to-wear garments, but this one can’t be accused of that. About the only thing missing is a back yoke. I haven’t got any modelled pictures yet, but here are closeups of all the crunchy details.

The collar is unusual. It’s a band collar, but it stops where the front placket starts instead of overlapping. This makes for quite a weak point at that sharp inward corner between the band and the placket. I’m a bit concerned it won’t wear well and I think next time I’d add some interfacing there.

There are patch pockets on the front, which I suspect are more decorative than useful, and side seam pockets too.

And then there’s a drawstring at the waist. Don’t look too hard at the buttonhole position; it’s too high. It won’t show when the drawstring is tied though.

The back is plain apart from the drawstring casing at the waist. I think a back yoke would be a nice addition but I’m way too lazy to adjust the pattern.

I love the hem treatment. There is a very deep hem facing which gives a completely clean finish. A weighty hem is so much nicer on this kind of dress than a narrow one.

The sleeves are finished with elastic in a casing instead of cuffs. I like how it echoes the waist.

I’m looking forward to figuring out how to style this. I might try it over my silver jeans or my grey Oxford bags. Lots of possibilities. Ideas welcome!

Pattern tweaks

I need to have pockets in clothes these days. I know a lot of people say they ruin the line and it’s just as easy to carry a handbag. But for me if a garment doesn’t have pockets it languishes in the wardrobe, unworn. And it often happens that I fall in love with a pattern that doesn’t have them and need to add them. This one is a case in point. It’s Burda 110B 08/2017. I found it when messing around with fantasy wardrobe plans earlier this year, and it hasn’t let go of me.

Burda 110b 08/2017 model photo

Sometimes it’s obvious where you can put pockets but this one’s a little difficult. Although the skirt is a basic pencil skirt shape with side seams, there are both pleats and gathering just where a side seam pocket would normally go.

The gathering means it also needs to be made in a fairly lightweight fabric. But as it’s close fitting that has the potential for showing off things I’d rather hide. So I’m going to add an underlining layer to give some extra coverage. My plan is to cut another set of skirt pieces but with the extra fabric for the pleats and the gathering removed. I’ll pleat and gather the outer pieces and then baste the inner pieces to the back of them.

But what about the pockets? Rather than trying to put them into that lumpy side seam I’m going to try to hide them inside the horizontal pleats. I’ve cut the outer front piece across the fold line of the middle pleat and added seam allowance, plus an extension on the top piece to form the back pocket bag. I would have added an extension to the bottom piece as well but I don’t have quite enough length of fabric to fit such a big pattern piece into the layout. Instead I’ve made a separate pattern piece for the front pocket bag that I should be able to fit elsewhere on my layout.

I’ve a feeling this one’s either going to be a triumph or a complete disaster. Wish me luck.

Kimono jacket construction: patch pockets

I actually remembered to take some construction photos of my last project, the teal kimono jacket. I made an effort to document how to line the patch pockets because I originally found the process confusing. Lining the pockets rather than simply pressing the edges under seems like a faff, but it is totally worth it when you put your hands into them because the lining feels so nice!

My pocket fabric piece is 7″ wide by 9″ long and my lining piece is 7″ wide by 6″ long. The interfacing is 7″ by 4″. Seam allowances are 5/8″ and the pockets end up square.

Pocket piece with interfacing

Pocket piece with interfacing ironed to wrong side

Pocket piece with lining attached

Pocket piece with lining attached

There’s a gap left in the stitching for turning the pocket later on. I always think I’ve made this too small, and yet manage to turn the pocket anyway.

Pocket and lining after pressing

Pocket and lining after pressing

Pocket and lining after pressing (wrong side)

Pocket and lining after pressing (wrong side)

Pocket folded in half and stitched around edges

Pocket folded in half and stitched around edges (lining side)

Pocket folded in half and stitched around edges

Pocket folded in half and stitched around edges (outside)

Pocket with edges trimmed (lining side)

Pocket with edges trimmed (lining side)

I could just use a smaller seam allowance rather than doing so much trimming!

Pocket with edges trimmed (outside)

Pocket with edges trimmed (outside)

Pocket after turning (lining side)

Pocket after turning (lining side)

Pocket after turning (outside)

Pocket after turning (outside)

Turned and pressed pocket (lining side)

Turned and pressed pocket (lining side)

Turned and pressed pocket (outside)

Turned and pressed pocket (outside)

And here are the pockets top-stitched on.

P1030385

Almost wordless post (single welt pockets)

I had visions of one of those geometric Courrèges designs with perfectly symmetrical single welt pockets on the front. So I added welt pocket markings to Simplicity 5320, a structured A-line style, and cut it out in camel-coloured boiled wool. The basic dress is an easy sew but I’ve never done this style of pocket before and was pretty nervous about it. Here’s my Saturday morning in pictures.

(Wrong side of welt)
Welt

(Right side of dress)
Thread tracing

(Right side of dress)
Welt sewn to right side

(Right side of dress)
Welt with edge trimmed

(Right side of dress)
Under pocket bag sewn to right side\

(Wrong side of dress)
Cutting open the pocket

(Wrong side of dress)
Under pocket bag sewn to welt edge

(Wrong side of dress)
Pocket bag pieces from wrong side

(Right side of dress)
Sewing triangles to pocket bag

(Right side of dress)
Finished pocket

Success, I thought, heaving a sigh of relief. The rest of the dress won’t take more than an hour or two. I might even be able to post pictures of it on Sunday. Then the zip self-destructed as I was sewing it in, so no new dress this weekend after all. Maybe next week.