22 Sept 2011

Muslin for the Burda dress

Remember my fall sewing plans? I wanted to start out with a Burda pattern. I buy the Burda magazine occasionally, just when something catches my eye. But, I grew up with Burda magazines in Hungary, my mother used to buy them regularly end of eighties begin nineties. The first things I made were Burda patterns. When I was about 14 I made just everything, from jackets to trousers, from skirts to shirts. I wouldn't say everything was successful and I also ended up with tons of UFO's of things that just didn't fit. No, I didn't realize the importance of making muslins back then...

Anyway, I decided to make a dress (model 125) from the october Burda magazine. What I like about is the beautiful lines, the sleeves and that it is a fitted dress. What I don't like is of course the skirt, I would prefer a flared model and I don't like the lace insert. Especially because the insert is quite wide and I already have visions of my bra straps showing through... just don't like the idea.


I don't have a fabric yet but my dress idea is inspired by this pretty dress. It would be easy to add a few tucks and buttons to the insert. I like the contrasting collar too! Instead of the original standing collar I choose to make another one. The same Burda magazine had a few dresses with Peter Pan collars too, so I took one to try out.

I remembered that Burda patterns usually have a lot of ease (too much for my liking) so I traced a size smaller than my measurements. European patterns doesn't have seam allowances included but after working with a few overseas patterns I find it really easy to have a standard 1.5 cm (5/8''). It is just much easier to sew! I used to spend a lot of time for basting the pieces together because I always ended up with a different amount of seam allowance on every piece I cut... Now I just pin and stitch, it saves me hours and hours! As you can see on the picture above I've spent more time on tracing the pattern pieces as usual. After tracing and before cutting I've added the seam allowance.

As usual, I made up a muslin bodice with just one sleeve and one half collar. It turned out sooooo pretty!

So, what do I think of the muslin?
- The overall fit is great!
- I forgot to mention that this one is a petite size dress (= both the bodice and the skirt are shorter but have the same width as the normal sizes), but I figured it wouldn't be a problem because I'm short waisted. After all, the length with the seam allowance included would be the right bodice length for me, so I need to add once more the seam allowances on the bottom.
- The fit around the neck is nice.
- The collar doesn't fit well, so I have to draft another one for the dress, but I definitely like the look of it.
- This dress has a kind of dropped shoulder look which I actually like. (You can see it on the model in the back dress too, so it is not a fitting problem, rather a feature...)
- The sleeves fit just right, I think I might add 1 cm in width to the seam binding just to make it more comfortable when moving.
- I think I keep the upper part of the skirt (which is a basic fitted skirt with 2 darts in the front and 2 darts in the back) But instead of making it smaller towards the hem I'm going to make it in a trapezium shape, just slightly wider on the bottom. I just want to keep it simple because the bodice is already busy.


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