I asked my husband how he would describe my personality. He said 'Friendly, passionate, loving, stubborn (I object!)' ... and then suddenly had something really important to do in another room. His real description of my personality in his head probably went like this "Crazy, obsessive, intense ... and more than a little bit scary. Why is she staring at me? Oh God her eyes! Her eyes! She is reading my mind!"
Well the jokes on you Robin, we're married now! Mwawhahahahaha! (this is probably where the crazy bit comes out).
AAAaannny way, my point is I get a little obsessive crazy. Take Burda pattern 7494 for example. I made it, loved it. Made it again ... and then again .... and then again. Yes that's right. Four times.
This pattern has three really good things going for it.
1.The bodice has such a lovely flattering shape that seems to work on every body type.
2. The instructions are clear and it's so easy to make
3. It has a peter-pan collar. Enough said.
I made these dresses quite a while ago, and in keeping with my personality all in quick succession. The first one I made was the blue dress which was a pretty much exact copy of the Burda envelope pattern. It was made up in a blue cotton with little white polka-dots.
I made it up exactly as the pattern said skirt and all, tried it on and then looked in the mirror. It looked so lovely! The Bodice was sitting well, the Peter-pan collar so vintage cute, I absolutely loved the look!
... and then I turned to see the back ....
GASP! - (Sorry, it still makes me panic to think about it).
What the H was going on back there! Now yes, I am a bit of pear shaped gal, but it looked like a not so small family had pitched a tent back there and had sat down to have their daily meal of pears (how cruel!) My ass looked like the map of Australia!
The positioning of where the pleats stopped and started to spread out was horrible! Maybe the pleats were too large, maybe I just needed more pleats, but they stuck out so much I almost swore on the spot that I would never eat chocolate again (desperate times).
So. I unpicked the box pleat - still looked wrong. Then I decided to continue the box pleat all the way down to the hem of the skirt creating princess seams for a closed look, the result being much better. Welcome back normal heart rate, and once again I was in love.
Having a few brains in my head, I decided to learn from my experience and the next three versions I made using different skirts than what was offered with the Burda pattern.
Speaking of brains, here's a quick side note. Did you know that when you order something from a restaurant that says it's topped with 'sweet bread' they actually mean it's topped with ... brains. Oh.My.God. Traumatised! I fell victim to this just two days ago.
Ok I'm back.
The second version of this dress I made also in the sister fabric of the first; red cotton with white polka-dots.
This time I avoided the whole skirt issue by substituting a half circle skirt for the burda skirt, giving it a fun, flirty look. If I had red hair I'd be looking very 'Orphan Annie.'
This time the skirt is gracefully flared out to avoid my derriere resembling a map of a large country.
I liked the look so much that I made it almost immediately again, except this time in a gorgeous black and white check silk dupion! Delicious!
I love how the crispness of the dupion encourages the skirt to stick out along the hem giving it a sort of 3D look.
With all the dresses I used invisible zippers also to give a more cleaner look.
Who doesn't love silk dupion! Look at that crispy collar.
Last but not least I made another dress up in more of a traditional look making the same shaped skirt, but with my own pattern. I used darts instead of pleats and the effect was much cleaner and a lot more flattering.
The fabric I used for this dress was a silk duchess satin and I have been on the hunt for more of this fabric ever since! All I can find is polyester, or bridal colours. The duchess satin has so much body in it that when I stepped out of the dress, the dress still sat up like there was someone still wearing it. Which admittedly is a little bit creepy. But golly it makes for a flattering shape and absorbes the colour so well.
So there you have it. One pattern, three skirts, four different dresses! I love them all, and still can't decide which one is my favourite. What do you think?
The simple fact is that the bodice of this pattern is beautiful enough that I still highly recommend the pattern, regardless of the skirt fail. If you are going to make this yourself, substitute the back skirt pieces for the back skirt lining pieces and you shall have success! A big thank you to my talented husband for his mad camera skills.