Burda Open Back Dress 03/2013

EDIT – New close-ups I found on my phone. Yes I’m one of this people who has a phone that takes better pictures than her camera. I should do something about it but I don’t feel like jumping the “reflex” step yet…

I finally got around taking the pictures and writing the post about this dress that I finished two weeks ago !! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had some issues with the fit, but here is the final result :

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For some reason the picture quality is not nice this time, I apologize!  I made the dress in size 17 (Burda petite sizing, see pattern here), which is my usual size and I normally have very little fit problems. Well not this time…

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I really like the full skirt and the open back but the dress does not seem to agree to stay in place. The back tends to ride up and the shoulders tends to come closer to the neck preventing the neckline from lying nice and flat…

CIMG0073The fabric is a printed silk I found here in Port-au-Prince (I was so happy). I used a brown cotton poplin for the sash and the lining of the bodice. This poplin have been in my stash forever. I remember packing it almost 4 years ago when I moved from France to Zambia. I, of course, had packed my sewing machine and some notions. I added this fabric as a “just in case”. Fabrics were amazing in Zambia so there was no case but it followed me to New York and finally found its use in Haiti where it found its match with this silk.

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I’m not sure if I like it more with or without the sash… Any opinion ?

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Anyway… Regarding the fit, it did not show any issue when put on my form so I was disappointed when I tried it on before putting in the zipper and it was GAPPING like CRAZY on the side. I’m not one afraid to show some skin but this was waaaaayy to close to a potential wardrobe malfunction. I let it rest for a few days and then I decided to scoop the neckline a little and I added some “darts” on the back pieces. See below :

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You can see the diagonal dart that I added at the waist & side seam intersection 

Construction is fairly simple once you figure out the instructions. I fused all the outside edges of the bodice with the fusible tape I got for a ridiculous price one day at Pacific Trimmings in NYC.

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For the straps, the idea is to sew them up to where they are going to connect to the cap sleeve, clip and turn them out. Then you can enclose them between the self and the lining.

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I am not yet fully proficient with my serger so I just zigzagged the raw edges of the sleeves :

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For the invisible zipper, as usual I used the Fashion Incubator tutorial. For some reason in the last few weeks I saw it popping up on other sewing blogs (yes, plural) as a “new” way of finishing zippers and lining with no hand sewing, but it’s been around on Fashion Incubator since 2005!!

Some dressform shots where you can see what I was saying about the back riding up :

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 And finally some better quality close-ups…

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So, sash or no sash ??

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Comments

  1. I vote No Sash. I think it takes the dress which already has little gathered capsleevelettes, gathered skirt into Twee territory, non?

    And how dare you find silk at that Store That Shall Not Be Named, LOL! Tu as le coup d’oeil, c certain!

  2. It’s lovely. I agree, no sash – it makes it look a bit like a flower girl outfit with it. The shoes look great with it too.

  3. The Sewing French Girl says:

    Thanks! I think you’re right and you made me realise why I was uncomfortable with it, flower girl!!

  4. Here is it! Thumbs up for the dress yet another vote for no sash :-) Since I learnt how to hand sew a zipper I never do it by machine.

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      Yes, finally!! I’m not a very good blogger, it takes me time and a lot of motivation to take picture and write the post… I’m also not a very good hand sewer so I try to avoid it as much as I can but I’m always extremely admirative of people who can hand sew properly!!

  5. hello! what a lovely post!

    i also have a diy post that involves sewing today: http://helloscarlettblog.com/2013/07/05/favorite-fridays-3/.

    be sure to give me a like/follow for more!

    see you around, fellow wordpress-er. :-)

    ~ e ~

  6. I love the dress, but also vote no sash. Its so interesting in how it looks more covered in the front even with sleeves, but a backless surprise.

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      Thank you! I think now the sash is officially out… I may wear it next sunday at the reception of the French Embassy for Bastille Day, I will see if it does not “surprise” too much for a semi formal event!

  7. beautiful…& I vote no sash :)

  8. Oh your dress is beautiful. I vote no sash too. I love the fabric and the length is so flattering.

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      Thank you!! I’m liking this length a little more everyday for my full skirts…

      • I think the back is riding up due to the way you put the darts in the bodice. It would of worked a little better to unpick the side seam and take the shape off the side seam. More work, but wouldn’t ride up so much.

      • The Sewing French Girl says:

        Hi Danielle, thank you very much for your input! I think what you are saying makes a lot of sense! Unfortunately (since I did not make a muslin) there was no way to adjust at the side seam because of how much needed to be removed and the very curved line in that area. If I was to make this dress again I would definitely try that though!

  9. That dress is beautiful! The Burda pattern has been on my list since I bought the issue but I still haven’t got to it. Now I feel like giving it a go. But I am scared about the back riding up (I think it’s because the front is way heavier than the back, a problem from the pattern as the back just has the thin straps).
    I am sure you will look amazing for the 14th of juillet.

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      Thank you! After reading you’re comment I thought maybe it’s the front that is too short and it’s pulling on the straps and the back. Also, if you have narrow shoulders like me be careful because the sleeves will tend to fall off…

  10. With or without the dress is simply amazing!! I really love it and you look wonderful in it! I’m going to try makking it soon! Already got the material and i really hope it coes out like yours! keep up the wonderful work!

  11. Nicole Griffin says:

    I believe that the back riding up is due to the length of the back straps. If you lengthen them and angle them differently the dress should behave better for you.

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      Thank you for your comment, unfortunately you can’t make the lenght of the straps longer because they are already falling from the shoulder….

  12. I am trying this pattern Nd having the same problem with the back riding up.. I am only muslin-ing now and want to fix this before I cut my real fabric. I was thinking that letting out the waste a tad would help but then it makes the bodice look very boxy on me. Ugh. I agree, with your comment about the straps.. I can lengthen them so much that they fall off my shoulders and back still wants to ride up. I was thinking of of raising the back an inch or two to give the dress more of my torso to “grab” on to. Since you have made this, do you think it would work? Also, did you put sew in bra cups I yours?

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      No bra cups for me but my lining was cotton poplin and it had enough thickness to prevent anykind of fresh-weather related incident… (also the weather does not get actually fresh in Haiti!)
      On the straps, I really wonder if raising the back would help. Maybe… But for me the interest of the pattern was all the about the back being low so I would not go that route. As I said before, I think it would be interesting to lenghten slightly the front as it may be pulling the back but of course I’m not sure! I would LOVE to see what you end up trying!!

    • The Sewing French Girl says:

      No bra cups for me but my lining was cotton poplin and it had enough thickness to prevent anykind of fresh-weather related incident… (also the weather does not get actually fresh in Haiti!)
      On the straps, I really wonder if raising the back would help. Maybe… But for me the interest of the pattern was all the about the back being low so I would not go that route. As I said before, I think it would be interesting to lenghten slightly the front as it may be pulling the back but of course I’m not sure! I would LOVE to see what you end up trying!!

  13. I actually like the sash a lot when you view the dress from the front it gives your waist definition and traditions the top to the bottom better . Perhaps you could make the sash like an obi except have it go around the front and the ends would be sewn into the layers of lining and front fabric in the back at the zipper point. It would also conceal the zipper more so in the end it would look like a belt around the dress but without the bow… If that makes sence… I can see it in my mind but it’s hard to put into words. Lol

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