Burda Unwrapped

It’s been a roller coaster ride with Burda May 2016 108 wrap over dress. I tried to get some liquid-look metallic jersey like the sample but google drew a blank. I went for a 95% viscose 5% elastane jersey from Tissus net after seeing it in a dress on a french sewing blog.  I settled on a print in mainly browns with a hint of blue, based on what I imagine to be photocopied fragments of old jeans and other denim clothing. Not glamorous like the original, but maybe ok for a casual rendition.

Print in Browns and Blue

Print in Browns and Blue

It’s a bit richer in colour than it shows on my monitor, russet in parts.

First Misgivings

As I normally draft my own stuff, sizing isn’t an issue. While others sweat through several ‘muslins’ or toiles, I’m feeing smug about fit issues – my blocks take care of all that. Not this time. The draft is for taller women (I’m 5’4) . Ok,  reduce the pattern length, but where is a note of the CB to waist measurement they’re drafting to? Measuring the pattern isn’t much help either, the magazine sample clearly shows that it’s designed to be a blousy top, draping over the waist. I took out 2cms bodice length, later hacked off another 2-3cms .

Burda is reputed to fit well, without too much ease, and I didn’t downsize. The first hint that this might be a mistake came when I looked at the camisole pattern in my size – and scrapped it. There was at least 12cms too much width.

Quick Slip

I’ve had a hankering to make full length slips of simple design in dress jerseys, working on the theory that sometimes you need a layer uncluttered at the waistline, and capable of being revealed if you need to peel off.  There was plenty of this fabric, my own jersey block was quickly extended to make this item.

The construction was -bust darts, stitch side seams leaving four inch slits, cut strips of jersey, stitch round neck and armholes, press turnings to ws and mock cover stitch with double needle, finish hem and side slits with mock cover stitch.

Another Puzzle

I took about 8 cms out of the bodice width . It’s still pretty baggy, but the skirt, which I left alone, was ok for width and a bit too short for length. I borrowed 3cms from my hem allowance.  I’m in the inverse pear team, and would have expected a too snug top and baggy skirt. Designed for women a few inches taller than me, wouldn’t you expect too much length in the skirt?

Wrap Good and Bad

The underwrap of the skirt works well. It’s cut right across at the top, joining in the side seam, but curving away from the side seam at hip level. This means it stays decent but doesn’t bind on your legs with too much fabric. The bodice wrap is a bit crackers. The V neck continues part way, with a grown on facing, but the wrap doesn’t go to the waist. As the top is blousy, what chance of it staying wrapped ? I’ll probably add a concealed fastening or two inside and dispense with camisole or slip.

The waistline feels a bit bulky in this fabric, with several layers, the top of pockets, and pleats in the seam, and elastic attached to the seam allowance. Were I to make this again, I’d try a channel between the bodice and skirt made from two strips of fabric, with the elastic threaded through. This could give a more comfortable and snug fit at the waist.


About jay

I design and draft patterns
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11 Responses to Burda Unwrapped

  1. mrsmole says:

    Like with so many other fashions, from the outside, it looks so nice and only you know what is lurking on the inside…ha ha. The bodice wrap sounds bizarre and maybe next time some of the waist pleating can be eliminated to suit your figure. I like the slip though and you can certainly get away with that with a jacket thrown over it for chilly venues. Such interesting fabric, we see more and more of these almost photographed designs now. I’m wondering if adding a cool metallic belt might just do some magic?


  2. fabrickated says:

    I really love you in the quick slip. It makes you look so tall and slim and the elegant and simple lines are beautiful in this interesting fabric. lovely.


  3. I love this fabric. So beautiful! The slim one is perfect on you. Your ideas for the wrap sound right on.


  4. Aunt Mayme says:

    I like the sheath much butter. If I made the wrap dress, I’m afraid it would look the same around my hip level, which frustrates me. And I don’t know if it’s because of the bust to waist length in front, or the high hip measurement being close to my hip measurement. So I don’t try this.


    • jay says:

      They are surprisingly tricky to wear aren’t they?


      • Aunt Mayme says:

        The sad thing is, I haven’t made a wrap dress in a very long time. I recall maybe 1975? A Vogue pattern with a split skirt bottom. Back then I was a stalk, so it would stay closed properly but now, I’m afraid to make one!


  5. The wrap is nice but I like you in the fitted dress better. I struggle sometimes with Burda ‘logic’. What they suggest sometimes just seems downright odd.


    • jay says:

      Hmm yes. I’ve just abandoned another from that magazine. It’s shown fairly fitted at hip level on the model, but though I made a 38 (on the small side for my measurements) it has four extra inches slopping around, way too sack like for me.

      Liked by 1 person

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