Stripped Summer Dress | Burda Magazine 03/2009 #113A

BURDA Magazine 03-2009 #113A

I once read on a blog about the monsters, i.e projects we made which turned out all wrong for various reasons, but we can’t help but love and keep on wearing in spite of their defects. This is the only monster that still survives in my wardrobe. This little summer dress that I made last year is so utterly flawed that for a long time I was pondering if I really should show it to you. But then, we learn from our mistakes as much (or maybe more) than from our successes. Besides, I wore this dress so many times last summer and this year too, there is definitely a lot of love going on here. I will probably be embarrassed by the end of it, but le blog is not just for showing off, it is also for naming and shaming. Bad Alex, no cookie!!

Anyhoo… The deets:

I got this very pretty rayon in one of my favourite budget-friendly stores in London, Don the Drapers in Shepherds Bush Market. It was some ridiculously low price per metre as it was an end of roll in the remnants basket. So I was not too sorry to hack into it for a project I hadn’t tried before. And by Golly, I did make a hash of it… This was my first stripes attempt and I really did not know what I was doing. It was a combination of a poorly traced Burda Magazine pattern and a bit off grain print, but I should have definitely been more careful with the pattern placement.

The pattern is not complicated at all: a kimono sleeve, waist seam with a drawstring and in-seam side pockets. I cut out a size 38, my usual Burda Magazine size. No particular alterations. Nothing too complicated, right? WRONG!!


Well, here’s just how bad it turned out, and no, it’s not a draping effect, that’s just how crooked the lines are… *embarrassed*

Burda Magazine Dress #113 A 06/2009

I think I got a bit too obsessed with matching the side stripes and it was all downhill from then..

Burda Magazine Dress #113 A 06/2009

It does look sort of ok when I pull the waist string, as it blouses and gives the impression that the crooked lines are a result of it.

Burda Magazine Dress #113 A 06/2009

Burda Magazine Dress #113 A 06/2009


I did learn to:

– insert a facing on a V-neckline (check out this super cool tutorial on Fashion Incubator)

– add a casing for the waist string

– insert sew-in pockets

In spite of all these issues, I LOVE THIS DRESS! It’s comfortable, light, fun, cool and easy to wear in all sorts of situations, (albeit amidst undiscerning public mostly). I wore last weekend to Sunday lunch with friends in London, enjoying the sun. I wore it last year in France on the beach in Biarritz. I wore it to work on a casual Friday. And I’d probably never wear it to a sewing meeting (though a bit late now, ha ha), but anywhere else, game on!

So, what’s the monster lurking in your closet?

Before I go, can I show you a little cutie that joined my jewellery box menagerie? Just how awesome are those earrings? They are a little repurpose, as they had started life as key rings in the V&A Museum Shop. I got two of them, plus a set of hooks and turned them into earrings.

Burda Magazine Dress #113 A 06/2009






  1. 31 July 2015 / 9:31 AM

    Ha I have quite a few of those! A burda cap sleeve tee with a wonky front because I didnt want to bring out my sewing machine so I used overlocker which didnt work!

    • Alex
      31 July 2015 / 9:35 AM

      But do you wear it? That’s the definition of a monster: it’s bad, unredeemable, but you still love it and wear it 😁.

      • 31 July 2015 / 9:43 AM

        Yes I do wear ot a lot. 😃. Ot the most worn monster I wear. Everytime I wash it and I am folding it I always think I need to throw this out but cant quite bring muself to. Its very comfy and great shape.

        • Alex
          31 July 2015 / 9:44 AM

          Hurray for monsters! Let’s bring them out to play!! 😱😁

  2. 31 July 2015 / 9:48 AM

    Argh my spellcheck is not working…sorry for poor spellings. Commenting with kids using me as a climbing frame is not a good idea!

    • Alex
      31 July 2015 / 9:49 AM

      Ha ha ha, don’t you worry! I got the idea… 😀

  3. 31 July 2015 / 7:47 PM

    I can see why you still love it! My 70s Clemence skirt was an absolute bu##er to sew, the air was very, very blue but I’ve worn and worn it and it always gets compliments, so kind of worth seeing it through 🙂 My most recent monster was a Colette Myrtle, so awful it ended up in the bin…

    • Alex
      31 July 2015 / 10:22 PM

      I just went and had a look at your Clemence, it really is very nice. But I hear you about awkward fabric… I had a few of those and because I’m so stubborn about not wasting anything, I persist until I figure out a way to make something out of it, even if it goes straight to the charity shop. Loved your Astor, BTW!

      • 1 August 2015 / 8:46 AM

        Thank you! I hate waste too, but the only place fit for that Myrtle I made was the bin, it truly was horrific! My Astorias are certainly getting lots of wear, despite it being almost August… 🙂

    • Alex
      6 August 2015 / 3:35 PM

      Thank you! I think comfort won over style and perfectionism!

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