Summer of Dresses - Burda 102 Dress


Well parade goers, some days you're the windshield and some days you're the bug.  My number of wadders tends to be low because I muslin just about everything. That lets me work out fitting problems and weed out any styles that don't suit me.  However even experienced sewcialists sometimes make an error in pattern/fabric pairing and this next dress is a fine example of that.

I give you Burda 102 in a stretch cotton sateen.  So let me just say straight up that this is very nice fabric and would probably look swell as a pair of pants.  But as this dress....not so much
Sometimes I forget how unforgiving cotton can me in the wrinkle departments.  Argh just looking at these pictures makes me cringe just a bit.  I'll pinky swear that plenty of time of was spent fitting this bad boy but it doesn't really look it.

Burda 102 from issue 8/2012 which is also available as a PDF download from Burdastyle.

Fabrics used
Amethyst Stretch Cotton from Gorgeous fabrics (Still in stock) It would make a beautiful pair of pants or a pencil skirt.

Pattern changes/alterations
1. This pattern goes up to size 42, I'm a 42 on top but 2 sizes bigger on the bottom.  To fix this I use the nested sizes to grade the bottom pieces up so that it fits me.  I'll do a little how to on this next week cause pics need to be taken.
2. The armholes on this pattern seemed really big. Since the bodice needed to be shortened anyway because of my short torso I folded out 3/4" length across the bodice in the middle of the armhole.
3. Usual 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment.
4. Since this was fancy type of sleeve I didn't want to do a standard forward adjustment on the sleeve head. The high of the sleeve cap needed to be reduced due to the bodice change, so I used that to also adjust for the forward shoulder.  Instead of folding out 3/4" evenly across the sleeve, I started with 3/4 at the back of the sleeve and increased it to 1 1/4" at the front of the sleeve.
5. Increased the upper back of the bodice 3/8" at the armhole edge.
6. Increased the dart intake on the back skirt an addition 3/8".  Also took in the bodice princess line seam in the same amount.

1. This is a case where you have great fabric and a great pattern but they don't work that well together. I thought having a fabric with some body would be a good idea, but maybe this has too much body. Especially since I used it as a self lining for the bodice, which made it armor thick.  Merche Martinez made her version up in a stretch wool crepe which seems to suit the design much better.

2. The pattern says, for stretch wovens only. No kidding!  I can hardly get this on even though it is a stretch woven.

Husband Comment
"You're making Another dress? What's up with those sleeves?"
Did you say something about my sleeves? Don't make me stab you with my specialty stabbing shears. Love you big sleeves.

My Final Thoughts
I still like this pattern, so maybe I'll give this another go after the sting has passed. Gorgeous Fabrics has some poly stretch crepe that just might do the trick. I'm also happy to report that this dress completes my "Me Made May" inspired list.  Wow I made a list and followed through, don't even know who I am anymore.  A "responsible" blogger? Say it isn't so!


  1. Awww booooooo, hate it when fabric and pattern aren't friends. This color is so pretty on you, though, and it's a really fun dress!

  2. The color is very pretty! And ya- what Ginger said- hate when fabric and patterns aren't friends! You are such a good sewist for muslining everything. My hat is off to you!

  3. What a pity you didn't love this finished dress after all the fitting work that you put into it - the style suits you! And the colour is just gorgeous...

  4. My 1949 edition of "The Singer Sewing Book" says that more handsewn garments are failures because of bad fabric choice than for any other reason. It's so true!

    Your construction is great, the color is lovely, but it stinks that the fabric doesn't have more drape! (Love the shape of the sleeves!) Can you make it into a pencil skirt?

    You should definitely make it again with a different fabric because the style is really nice on you!

  5. This is such a great style on you (and a great color) so I'm sorry the fabric didn't work. I had that recently on my Victoria jacket - the fabric is too thick for the relaxed style of the jacket.

  6. Dang. Why you no play nice, fabric and pattern? I still think you look nice in it, so I hope you do wear it a bit... if not, could you chop it down into a pencil skirt or something? In other news, you hair is looking particularly awesome lately!

  7. I keep on hearing Bruce Wayne's father saying, "Why do we fall down, son? So we can get back up again. " LOL. Learning experiences, yeah that's it.

  8. Thanks Laurie. At least I know that a new version shouldn't take too long since all the fitting is done.

  9. I'm telling myself at least my other summer dresses turned out. Maybe I should just buy some more fabric and make some snazzy pants. :)

  10. So true Brooke. I probably will make it again cause I wanna wear it!

  11. Doh! I'm sorry your Victoria jacket didn't work out either. Sometimes you just don't know till you sew it up.

  12. Fabric and pattern don't wanna be pals on the playground. Sniff, Sniff. I might be able to chop it down, have to put my brain cells on it. :) In these pics it's almost time for a haircut. Maybe you like hair growy out Heather. :)


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