When even my tiny stash is too big for myself…

The other night I was looking into my basket of fabric (yes I have 1 single basket of fabric even if I live 5 minutes away from the New York Garment district) and I looked at this piece of wool blend. I got at Paron NYC last year made a pair of pants with it, folded the leftover and never thought about it again. I realized that I had a yard and a half in 60″ wide. I decided right away that the rough texture would be perfect for the dress burda from this month (up for download on burdastyle). I was extra happy when I realized that the pattern was available in size 34, not that many of burda pattern are available in 34 and I have to grade down the patterns that I really like. It’s slightly time-consuming and often discouraging…

Anyway, I did my usual Burda alterations : “petite” alteration, I’m 5″3 and my bust is short so I remove systematically 1″between the bust line and the waist line, “children arms” alteration, here I took off 2″of the sleeve length, I added 1/2” on each side of the hip (I don’t want to give a name to this one, it’s not going to be flattering).

I had a friend marking taking the back in before I inserted the zipper and after everything I still decided to add back darts for the extra fabric hanging there…

I don’t think that the pictures do justice to the dress, it does look better in person and I had tons of compliment at the office. Even my boyfriend said something nice about it (he usually does not even notice).

The front gathers and the bias make it super comfortable for a corporate dress and even allows some room in case I have a business lunch (French business lunch can require some extra space…). No inside shot but you can see here that the seams are binded. By the way, I found that using 3/8″ or 1/4″ seam allowances really helps me for precision and that since I use Fashion Incubator Tutorial on invisible zippers, they are a breeze to insert!!

Where you can see that I get tired pretty fast with taking pictures…

For some reason I can work on patterns and sewing for hours but 15 minutes of taking pictures really makes me cranky…


18 thoughts on “When even my tiny stash is too big for myself…

  1. Dana October 23, 2012 / 2:49 am

    Soooooooo good! This dress caught my eye as soon as it went up on the BurdaStyle website and yours looks like it fits like a dream. And so flattering!

    I’ve had the same frustration with having to grade down the Burda patterns. How do you find your range of motion with your arms? I often find that I have to raise the armscye on commercial patterns to be able to move my arms.

    Do you find that the shoulders slip off at all? Did you use lingerie guards?

    I’m pretty sure this dress will be at the top of my Winter to-make list.

    • The Sewing French Girl October 23, 2012 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you so much!

      I don’t like to raise the armscye so much but sometimes for my petite alteration I take away 1/2″ between the bustline and the waistline and 1/2″ between the neck and the bustline so it does raise the armscye a bit.
      The shoulders do slip quite a bit but if I was to make it again I think I could take in the center back seam at the neckline (I did it already but not enough) and this would help.

      I don’t have lingerie guards: I saw them on other blogs and I find the idea interesting but I don’t even know where to get them!

  2. Clare Szabo October 23, 2012 / 3:09 pm

    Hey this is really good! Like the previous comment I noticed this straight away and wanted to check it out in more detail. Looks really great and has inspired me to consider making it. Got so much fabric under my bed I need to do something with it! Great work.

    • The Sewing French Girl October 23, 2012 / 3:38 pm

      I really think that once in a while we should have let-s-look-under-the-bed evening and match our existing fabrics with projects instead of going to the store… It really inspired me to go through my bin and see if I can rediscover other treasures!

  3. Ruffles Gazebo October 24, 2012 / 1:31 am

    ah beautiful! looks so effortlessly chich on you, and the fabric is perfect!

  4. Pauline October 24, 2012 / 8:55 am

    I love your version, it looks very polished, yet comfortable at the same time, perfect for the office and going out after. This Burda has to be the only one I didn’t buy for a long time, and this dress was the only one I like (I thought it was not worth it buy it for only one dress, now you are making me reconsider!). Congratulation, you look amazing on your way to work!

    • The Sewing French Girl October 24, 2012 / 2:26 pm

      Merci beaucoup Pauline !! Ce patron justifie complètement l’achat du mgagazine pour moi !!!

  5. yael October 25, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    your dress is beautiful! thnx for the petite tip, i’m going to try it (i’m all so a 5″3 and find it hard to get a really good fit…) hope it will work, since i never got a real “sewing education” i’m learning mostly by making mistakes and does’nt really know how to make proper alterations…

    • The Sewing French Girl October 25, 2012 / 2:36 pm

      Hi Yael,

      Until you’re more comfortable with for alterations you can try to use the petite patterns in Burda (size 17 to 21). They usually fit me without changes !

      • yael October 25, 2012 / 5:26 pm

        thanks : ) i’ll try it both!

  6. Ash P November 9, 2012 / 8:54 pm

    I love the dress! I have this one on my sewing to do list. Yours came out gorgeous!! Bravo 🙂

  7. Juliann Whicker November 20, 2012 / 5:23 pm

    Thank you so much for posting about this pattern. I was concerned whether the front would gape and how the gathers would work because the photo in the magazine obscures most of the dress. You did beautifully!

  8. lasandrou January 3, 2013 / 7:49 am

    Cette robe te va à ravir ! J’aime beaucoup le côté professionnel de la robe.
    Ca me donne envie de retrouver mon burda d’octobre pour relever le patron !

    • The Sewing French Girl January 3, 2013 / 7:50 am


  9. nettie January 6, 2013 / 7:38 pm

    I love it! The color is great, too. So versatile.

    • The Sewing French Girl January 6, 2013 / 7:53 pm

      Thank you very much!

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