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The Burda September cover dress (winter version)

19 January 2011, 13:06

I made no secret of my total love and adoration of Burda’s September issue last year. In my opinion (and many of you!) this was the standout, stellar issue in an otherwise mediocre year for the magazine. I’m slowly working my way through everything I wanted to sew from that issue (some good and some bad!) but now it was the time for the cover dress, #122.

I showed you the pattern alterations I made to “un-petite” this pattern, though I reckon I could have even added a bit more to the middle of piece 2 as my pointiroma has less lengthwise stretch as my muslin knit, making the underbust seam just barely under my bust. The horizontal seam between pieces 3 and 4 hits me right at my natural waist on the sides, which I think is just great. I also took 6 inches off the hem of pieces 7 and 8 so that this is above the knee rather than below.

Here you can really see the front seaming:

I really love the way this dress curves and enhances my figure (no, really, I swear to you I don’t normally look this svelte!). In a lot of ways, wearing this reminds me of my olive green twist dress.

Look ma, no side seams!

This pattern calls for pontiroma jersey, and I just happened to have been given 2m of purple pontiroma jersey from Ditto as a Christmas gift from my inlaws! This was too good an opportunity to pass up, and as you’d expect, this nice, stable knit is utterly perfect for this pattern. Seriously, this is just about the nicest polyester I’ve ever felt. Snap it up (and their luscious bamboo jerseys, which I bought at the weekend) while it’s still in stock, peoples!

When I was making my muslin out of a much flimsier and stretchier jersey, I noticed that I had inadvertently been stretching the seams to make the curves match, which resulted in some unslighlty, bubbly seams. So on the final dress I reinforced all the curved seams with vilene bias tape. It was just enough to stop them stretching out while I overlocked/serged, but not so much that it interferes with getting the dress on and off.

I don’t normally like facings on knits, but the neckline is wide enough here that these stay in place pretty well while it’s worn. I understitched the facing to the tiny serged seam allowances, which seems to be enough, in conjunction with stitching-in-the-ditch at the shoulder seams. But I didn’t really want topstitching on the neckline, so that’s the price I paid.

Here’s the back view so you can see the nice upper back yoke and the long centre back panel:

I love love love this dress – the seams are inventive, the fit is both foxy and flattering, and I feel like a million bucks in it. I’m so happy I already decided to make this again in pale pink and grey lace for Spring! I added the long sleeves here (which I talked about in my pattern alteration post) but I think I’ll either make this short-sleeved or sleeveless for my Spring version. In case you’d forgotten, here’s those fabrics together:

Since I’ve got the pattern sorted now, I could get these cut out at any point and start hand basting all that lace to the pink jersey, around all the edges of all those pieces… In small doses, it may not even feel like a chore! We’re headed on a roadtrip through France at the end of April, and it might be nice to wear my lace back in Paris as a homecoming for it (or come to think of it, all that car time might be better suited to all the hand basting!).

Next up: I’ve traced off both KnipMode trousers and the Travel Trio Three turtleneck, plus I’ve got the new February KnipMode to show off…

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  1. Mel—eureka! You look like a model! From Knip Mode! I love the fit, foxiness, colour scheme, wow! This is my fave project evuh! Can you wear it every day? And seriously, you have slimmed down. Hot damn, you look fantastic! You ought to venture outwards with a traffic warning to avoid causing accidents!

    Katharine in Brussels    Jan 19, 01:17 PM    #
  2. Nice dress! It’s super flattering and just a little bit different.

    Karin    Jan 19, 02:02 PM    #
  3. What an inventive dress! I love all those seams. And yes, it is super-flattering. Very inspiring, thank you.

    karen    Jan 19, 02:12 PM    #
  4. That dress is gorgeous – and not just because its purple ;-)

    — Liz    Jan 19, 02:38 PM    #
  5. Wow you look hot !! That dress is very flattering from the photos, you look great . I love the seaming on this it’s a refreshing change.

    lisa    Jan 19, 03:13 PM    #
  6. You totally look like a million bucks in this :-). What nice in-laws to give such a thoughtful present, too!
    But I can’t believe you want to do these many little pieces in 2 layers.. Nothing would drive me more surely to the loony bin, basting or no basting. What if there was a subtle incompatibility in stretch factors between the layers, and one of them sagged or wrinkled up in the end? Wouldn’t you just want to eat the whole thing melted into an omelette?

    — Marie-Christine    Jan 19, 03:21 PM    #
  7. Wow – this is fantastic! Sooooo flattering! Great styling too. Long sleeves are really good with that skirt length too. Did you just use a burda sleeve or draft your own? Thanks again for sharing the alterations, just about to make my muslin

    — racheljm    Jan 19, 03:21 PM    #
  8. Your dress is beautiful and you look great! I’ve also just sewed this dress with long sleeves and I love it! It really makes a slim figure.

    Sabine    Jan 19, 03:26 PM    #
  9. Rachel –

    Oh, sorry I forgot to say – it’s just a standard Burda magazine knit sleeve that I’d already traced off and was handy. Looking at my Burda archives, I’d say that the Jan 2011 one has some good sleeve candidates in #122, #123 or #126 if you wanted to give those a try.

    melissa    Jan 19, 03:41 PM    #
  10. Beautiful!! Also very flattering. You’re right, it does look great on you. I also the purple knit.

    — Mom    Jan 19, 03:56 PM    #
  11. Excellent job! thanks for the alteration and sleeve tips; only thing I didn’t like on that dress was the sci-fi cap sleeves. I missed all the 2008 BWOF issues, and am thinking I need to order some back issues now that I see yet another pattern I want (your olive twist dress!). I am happy to see the wedding shoes again, too ;-).

    — M Kate    Jan 19, 04:04 PM    #
  12. Oooh lala! This dress is so beautiful and flattering.

    meli88a    Jan 19, 04:12 PM    #
  13. It does give you very nice curves. Great dress

    Nancy k    Jan 19, 05:28 PM    #
  14. I love this dress on you and it shows that you love it too. What a great feeling when you make something and you love it.

    — Anni    Jan 19, 05:42 PM    #
  15. Wahou! I’m in love with your dress ! You did a very great job ! Thanks for your explanations on how you altered the pattern, I’ll certainly follow them when I sew this dress ! Bravo !!!!

    lasandrou    Jan 19, 08:07 PM    #
  16. I think this is my favourite version of this dress. I really suits you and is very flattering. I really prefer it with the longer sleeves.

    Something in the Way She Sews    Jan 19, 08:25 PM    #
  17. What a super version. I love that you saw beyond those capped sleeves to this beautiful version. I had looked at this dress and had bad memories of those capped sleeves from a previous decade and didn’t look further. Great alternations also.

    Shelley    Jan 19, 09:52 PM    #
  18. Wow. The dress turned out so well. You look gorgeous, the colour, fit and style really suit you. It looks so much better with long sleeves than the peculiar flappy things in the magazine

    kbenco    Jan 19, 11:08 PM    #
  19. Love the purple. That dress is really cute!

    Elizabeth    Jan 20, 01:27 AM    #
  20. just more of the same: you look Fab-u-lous! Am down with the long sleeves too. Now, where are you headed out to? this is surely worth a date night!

    — Alison    Jan 20, 03:08 AM    #
  21. You look radiant in this dress! The color, the fit, all is perfect!

    — pterion (Terry)    Jan 20, 04:08 PM    #
  22. I didn’t realize this was suitable for a double knit—it is so flattering!

    The Slapdash Sewist    Jan 20, 06:37 PM    #
  23. Wow – you look hot.

    — Lisa    Jan 21, 03:27 AM    #
  24. Love, love, love that dress. The color is beautiful and the dress is so nice and flattering. Love it with sleeves. It looks so much nicer than in the magazine.

    senaSews    Jan 24, 02:33 PM    #
  25. You always have such interesting backgrounds in your photos, Melissa, as well as great articles about clothing and sewing!

    Geoffrey (gedwoods)    Jan 24, 11:03 PM    #
  26. looks great, purple is beautiful, and the fit is fantastic.
    Did you ever receive your See’s candy from my giveaway, hope so.

    Beth (Sunnygal Studio)    Jan 25, 04:13 AM    #
  27. Hi, I just finished the same dress- as well with the sleeves. Had a bit trouble with the neckline- too wide for my narrow top, but even though I adjusted the width at the back, somehow I forgot to treat the front the same way and the neckline appeared too loose- I had to make a set of pleats with a button- looks cute. Just waiting on the perfect chance to take some photos and it wil go on my blog too. Amazing how likeminded we can be))))

    Juliette Esper    Jan 25, 05:16 PM    #
  28. That is a magnificent dress! It looks stunning and unusual, and the colour is gorgeous (particularly with those tights).

    Jacquie    Jan 29, 04:07 PM    #
  29. That’s a really great dress!

    Isabelle    Feb 11, 07:47 AM    #

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