Monday, March 24, 2014

OOTD/Made by Me File: Burda 7137...Just in Time for the Derby.

Hey, all!  First up will be the ootd portion followed by a closer look at the Burda dress pattern and how I made it work for my body.

Day: Saturday, March 22, 2014.

Where: School Auction (theme this year is Kentucky Derby).  You can see what I wore to last year's auction here (fourth outfit).

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I took a half-point off because the Boden shoes pinched just a touch by the end of the evening.  I didn't have a seat, so I stood the entire live auction portion.  Whatever.  I felt so good in my dress I didn't care.  :-)  This dress is so comfortable since I made it exactly to my measurements, in a stretch cotton sateen, and lined it it in a stretch nylon tricot. 

Cool Factor: (3 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.)  I'll give it a 3 because I am so stinking proud of my creation, but I *know* it really isn't *that* cool.  I definitely resemble a lady who is on her way to a proper English wedding, though, so I am sure I would fit right in with that crowd.

BTW, we were asked to wear the hats.  If you have been reading long enough, you'll remember me picking this up after spending an evening trolling Burlington Coat Factory with my brother last year.  So glad I found a reason to wear it. 

Anecdote from the Day: The Mint Juleps were so strong, OMG.  The first one I drank nearly tipped me over the edge.  I chased the next one with some diet ginger ale and that seemed to help cut its effect.

The quilt I had made for CW's kindergarten class went for $325, so that made all that freaking time and energy I put into it worth it.  It was my first quilt and although it is technically not as good as it could be, it was really cute with all the squares having been hand-painted and drawn by all of her classmates.

I saw this beautiful fabric first when I spied this McCall's pattern a few months ago.  While in Joann's searching for some quilting and knitting supplies, I caught a glimpse of the same fabric, just in a cotton sateen and not a knit fabric (still hunting for the knit fabric, fwiw, would love a tee in this print).  I was sold on it, but was trying to figure out what to make with it, and then it dawned on me that I could use it for the auction dress, since I had plans to make it anyhow.

Pairing it with a pattern proved more challenging.  I initially wanted to use a vintage Vogue pattern from the 60s, but I knew that the button back and other details would make it a more time consuming project than I wanted to sew up.  I also thought of using this Kwik Sew pattern, but I thought the challenge of grading the pattern's top half and bottom half to match my pear-shaped measurements may be too hard (it also wasn't as fitted looking as I wanted), so I scrapped that idea.  Then I spied this classic sheath pattern from Burda and realized that I could make it work since the pattern could be graded out at the seams rather than through a slash and spread method.  I was stoked.

I cut all the bits out (only three pattern pieces total) and measured the tissue and determined that a 12 up top (equivalent to a 38 Euro size) and an 18 at low hip (equivalent to a 46 Euro size) would work best for me.  What I ended up doing was starting at the waist of the dress pieces (very clearly marked, btw, on the pattern) I took my hip curve ruler and carefully drew a long curved line (over a span of about ten inches--I have a L-O-N-G hipline) from the size 12 at the waist to a size 18 at the hip.  It ended up being the precise right measurement to draw and it perfectly follows my own natural curve.  If I had shortened the length, it would have had too much fullness at my high hip, which is much narrower than my low hip.

A bonus of this fitting so well is that it was super comfortable in this stretchy fabric.  I could, if I ever so desired, go *down* a size (so grade from a 12 to a 16 instead) the next time I make it in a stretch woven.  I also am thrilled to know that I can make this exact pattern again, with my alterations, in a non-stretch woven, and I just happen to have a really pretty textured ivory cotton that may look very nice in this silhouette.

I love that I have a pattern that can work as a sloper since it mirrors me very well.  I plan to use it against other patterns when trying something new, and definitely can use the skirt portion of the dress pattern to create a pencil skirt pattern.

The sleeves were not super tricky to set in, but of course I still didn't get them 100% perfect.  There is a touch of puckering in both.

The zip was easy to install, and I absolutely love my Bernina invisible zip foot.  I feel like a rock star every time I put an invisible zip in, lol, even though objectively I know the foot is doing all the work for me.

The vent was kind of a pain, and I don't think Burda did a great job of explaining how to properly do it.  I think my version looks okay, but could definitely be better.

The lining went in well and will be great for any time I want to wear this dress with tights.  I still need to attach the lining to the vent pieces, but having not done it did not mean it showed, so thank goodness for small things.

Conclusion--I will make this dress again, and I highly recommend it for any woman with a pear shape who will take the time to find the right measurements and curve on the paper pattern since it worked so well for me.  I turned to sewing, in part, because of dresses like this sheath dress.  Often if I wanted a dress like this from ready to wear I was forced to wear a sack up top to ensure I got something that fit properly through the hips and legs.  No more, hahahaha. 

Okay, that's it for now.  Anyone else try this pattern?  Would love to see what you all made!