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The Burda September cover dress (summer lace version)

23 May 2011, 12:53

Remember back in January when I made the winter version of the Burda September 201 cover dress (#122) with long sleeves in purple pont di roma? It looked like this…

Well, at the time, I said I’d definitely make a summery version, too, but then again, I often saw I’ll remake patterns and then I hardly ever do, so I can’t really blame you if you thought you’d never see this pattern again!

But you’d be wrong! This dress is just so stratospherically flattering and magical that I couldn’t resist making a summer version in pale pink and grey lace, even though it meant hours of hand basting the lace onto the knit during our French road trip. And then once I was home, fusing metres upon metres of vilene bias tape to the various curved seams so they wouldn’t ripple during wear.

All this before I even constructed a single seam, but you know what – it was totally worth it.

Even though the fabrics took a bunch of extra prepping, at least this time around my pattern was already exactly the way I wanted it! You can read all about the pattern alterations I made to “un-petite” this pattern back when I did them for the winter version. And as before, I also shortened the hem so this falls above the knee, my preferred length.

I was just reading in a fashion magazine this morning that instead of the usual “little black dress”, this season it’s all about “the little lace dress”! It appears I’m colliding with the catwalks, and for much less than the thousand pounds the magazine’s example dresses cost! In fact, the grey lace cost me €10 (and I’ve got a bunch leftover, too) when I bought it in Paris last summer, and the pink viscose jersey was £10 total from Ditto (and as you’d expect from them, it’s beautifully soft and supple). Ha!

I once again assert that this pattern is magical – not only does it do wonders for my figure, but it made the sun shine so warmly that I didn’t need tights! So yes, ladies, this dress is shown without any added influence of tights sucking me in, too!

I love the side view of the skirt, where the front curved seams all wrap around and stack up on top of each other.

There’s no side or centre back seams on this dress – instead, there’s an upper back yoke and a central back panel, and all the curved front seams wrap around to join that. This gives a really great back view to this dress, I’d be hard pressed to decide which is nicer to look at, the front or the back!

The only thing that bugs me about the winter version is that the neckline facings pop out despite my understitching and tacking at the shoulders. So this time around, I took the slower, hand stitched route of prickstitching the facings to the seam allowance, and then catchstitching the facings down at the CF, CB, and shoulder seams. The busy lace overlay means the odd stitch here or there really doesn’t show at all, and the facings stay put.

Even with the added time, I just love the look of the wide boatneck, it’s such a subtly sexy and underrated neckline…

Burda’s pattern is essentially sleeveless, but with some weird flaps that barely cover the shoulders and hang down, looking kinda weird. From the winter version, I discovered that the armscye was normal enough to substitute in any old sleeve, so for this version I wanted something more special than just your average short sleeve. I used the tulip sleeves here from Jalie 2608, which you saw on my plum top last month.

Finally, sometimes we end up moving around the moorings a bit before we find a suitable backdrop for that particular garment. This part was a bit too busy and the sunlight too dappled for the lace pattern to really standout, but I thought you might like to see the alternative view anyway.

I’m pleased to report that I got a lot of sewing done on my turquoise motif dress yesterday so its about 95% done and my mind is wandering onto the next project. I mentally need a quick knit top before I get stuck in on a big vintage dress pattern, so you’ll be seeing Lekala 4020 in my near future. I’ll post my order of construction in a bit if anyone fancies a wee sewalong…? Get your knits ready!

And FYI – an additional free Lekala pdf (equivalent to Burda’s size 44) is available for one month for all their patterns. So if you’re close to that size, go on and start downloading! I’m really liking their patterns and I’m keen to try some more this summer, too, like that awesome S dress (5975 – which I’ve already ordered in my custom measurements).

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  1. You look fantastic! Really curvy and hour glassy. You did a great job. I never would have considered using lace, but it looks fab.

    Karin    May 23, 01:24 PM    #
  2. The dress is very attractive on you. Love the color!

    Cindy    May 23, 01:43 PM    #
  3. Fab! The lighter colour (& the sunshine too) really help to show off the beautiful curved seams (which somehow are more hidden in the winter version’s pics).

    The tulip sleeves echo the curved lines on the main body of the dress v. nicely too – well done. You look mucho happy ‘n’ great in it :)

    Claire (aka Seemane)    May 23, 01:54 PM    #
  4. You are making this dress work for you. fabulous look, I especially love what you did with the sleeve to echo those great design curves.

    Jane S    May 23, 02:04 PM    #
  5. Love the dress! It’s so lovely! The sleeves are the perfect touch and the color looks superb on you. What a sexy little get up!


    Fashionable Stitcher    May 23, 03:05 PM    #

    Lucy    May 23, 04:18 PM    #
  7. Wow! What a gorgeous, gorgeous dress. I can see how much work went into it – were you sewing it in the car? That isn’t very easy to do! Have you got your Manequim yet by the way – it is a really good one isn’t it. I’m obsessing about the suede jacket and the red tshirt.

    Jacquie    May 23, 04:51 PM    #
  8. Beautiful dress. I love the sleeve variation you did.

    Rebecca    May 23, 05:41 PM    #
  9. Such a sunny, happy dress!

    KC    May 23, 07:25 PM    #
  10. Very nice, Melissa!

    — Meg    May 23, 09:23 PM    #
  11. WOW, WOW, WOW! I have been excited to see how this dress turned out and you didn’t disappoint. It is beautiful. It is so well done and looks great on you.

    Karen    May 23, 09:26 PM    #
  12. Gorgeous! The time and effort were worth it!

    — JenL    May 24, 02:19 AM    #
  13. this is so beautiful!!! love it!

    shivani    May 24, 02:15 PM    #
  14. that dress looks fantastic, both versions. and your sewing looks great too, I think stretch fabrics are tricky but you made it look so good. question for you, re: Burda magazine size 44, can you tell me what are the measurements for that size?

    Beth (Sunnygal Studio)    May 24, 05:23 PM    #
  15. Dude, that is my favorite thing you’ve made so far…and you’ve made a lot of great stuff! It turned out beautifully, well-done on taking the extra steps because it really shows.

    — Cindy    May 24, 11:37 PM    #
  16. OMG! It turned out a-ma-zing. So worth all the hand sewing. You are stunning!!

    Isabelle    May 25, 11:08 AM    #
  17. Fabulous dress Melissa. The tulip sleeve looks absolutely right in that lace. Enjoy wearing your dress – and wear it lots please if it brings the sunshine out!

    Kim Hood    May 25, 07:25 PM    #
  18. Wow, that’s gorgeous!!!!! It’s always interesting to compare different versions of the same dress – I adore both of these, but they’re such different looks. And both great! I love the sleeves on this version. Gorgeous.

    Dilly    May 25, 08:58 PM    #
  19. Beautiful dress – it turned out wonderfully.

    — Crystal    May 25, 10:27 PM    #
  20. I love your dress! Am definitely inspired to make another one for fall.

    Janice    Jul 28, 10:03 PM    #
  21. I have just discovered you made this dress through your review. It looks great! Well done

    sewing princess    Sep 23, 08:50 PM    #

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