Rescued from the scrap pile – Panelled bodycon dress

Burda 02/2012#117A

Spring is here, hurray, hurray! I’m sat in the courtyard of a wonderful decrepit historic mansion in Bucharest, now a cool bar, looking at hip young things rummaging through endless rails in a now famous yard sale. A friend of mine has been organising it since two years now. Let me tell you, retail fast is so hard to maintain when there are lovely bargains to be had. More about this in a future post.

But I digress…

What I actually wanted to tell you about in this post is another March make that I only got a chance to photograph last week. And tough spring is here, I was not brave enough to suffer for my art and actually take pictures outside. So indoor living room studio it is…

So, how did this dress come about? I am going through a “scrap pile recycle” phase, I really want to challenge myself to make something out of the small-ish left-over pieces from other projects. It’s a shame to use them for small craft projects, but they are not big enough to make into a proper pattern project. So it’s a problem solving challenge to find the perfect solution to use them into a garment.

Enter Burda Style 02/2012#117A.

Burda 02/2012#117A

This ticked a lot of boxes. I already had it in my collection from a Burda Style bundle sale back in autumn last year. Also, I did not need a continuous yardage, because of the panels, so I could get creative with what I already had in my stash, which was some stretch denim with a slight metallic sheen, that I had used for an aborted pair of high waist trousers meant for my friend. I had to abort them because I had only realised after I cut them that the stretch was parallel to the grainline, not perpendicular, so they were stretchy length-wise, not width-wise as they should be. So I had to go buy new fabric and left the freak pieces in my UFO pile for another day. I also had some orange heavy jersey knit from this funky dress knit and faux leather dress. 

Burda 02/2012#117A

I had to get a bit creative with the denim fabric, because the pieces had to be make-shift assembled in order to be usable with the new pattern. You will notice a line on the back that should not theoretically be there, where I joined two shorter pieces. But in principle, I cut out out of denim all the parts that fitted and the rest out of the jersey knit.

Burda 02/2012#117A

I used a PDF pattern, cut out a size 10 and graded a bit at hip level.

I must admit, there was a bit of head-scratching assembling all the pieces together, especially given Burda’s infamous lack of clear instructions. I couldn’t be bothered to make a toile, so I stitched up the front and back, then basted together the side seams, to try for fit. It pretty much worked ok, except for a few modifications:

– I removed the zipper and reduced the back width, by taking out 1.5 cm out of centre back. tapering down to nothing at waist level

– I swapped the facings for bias binding for both the front pieces and the neckline, which made life much easier over all (and also because I threw away the facing piece with the paper scraps – don’t you hate when that happens?- and I couldn’t be bothered to print them again). I stitched the front pieces together by hand and it’s fairly invisible.

Burda 02/2012#117A

I used the overlocker to finish all the raw edges before joining the pieces and also for the hem, which I turned once and top-stitched.

Not sure I’ll be making this one again, though it’s really comfortable and I got loads of complements when I wore it to my friend’s party. It’s a bit fiddly and I think one of it should be more than enough in my wardrobe, plus I’m pretty happy with the way it came out and don’t feel a nagging desire to fix any mistakes.

Burda 02/2012#117A

The techie details:

Fabric: stretch denim (left overs from the stash), originally from Goldhawk Road; orange jersey from Komolka store in Vienna

Pattern: Burda Style 02/2012#117A, size 10

Notions: none

Alterations: Removed back zipper; took out 1.5 cm out of the back bodice piece at centre back; replaced facings with bias binding.

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So that’s all folks for today, I’m off to enjoy my last day back home in Bucharest. I must admit, I am very pleasantly surprised with the weather, I’m usually cursed to have worse weather than in the UK whenever I come here… Though if I keep eating the way I did for the past few days, I might have to let this dress out a bit 🙂

Happy sewing!

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