If Something’s Worth Doing

We like to think that posts should be instructive, leading beginners to the summit of couture standards. Jolly admirable, but do you always have the time? Let’s put in a plea for good enough, before ducking behind the parapet.

I rehashed the Burda 05/2016/115, encouraged by Felicia’s idea that maybe knocking out the excess ease, I could get it to fit on my red jersey.

Truthfully, I couldn’t. The extra width of the batwing drapes takes each piece over whatever half of 145 cms is (brain dead this morning!).

Here it is, with a back seam put in so that the pattern could be dovetailed. It’s  not perfectly sewn. The voice on my shoulder was predicting another flop, which is pretty much what I got. The neck band is not exactly evenly stretched, seam finishing was skipped, I ignored  tunnelling on my mock coverstitch hem, and top stitched the sleeve hem instead of invisible hemming.   If something’s worth doing, sometimes it’s worth doing badly. I now know that Burda 05/16/115 makes me look as though I’ve been sniffing fumes in Delphi, and sometime later got put away for it. I like the red though.

Oracle ?

Oracle ?


Shorter might be an improvement, but the side drapes aren’t stopping the post op nightie look.


Gory details of the pattern slashing below

The measurement of the pattern across the hipline showed a good four inches, ten cms of ease, way too much for the fluid jersey the pattern calls for. A quick check, wrapping a piece round myself and measuring it confirmed that the ease should go. It was reduced by taking out on the half pattern 1cm  on the centre back and front, folding out 1cm through the whole length from the shoulder to hem front and back, and removing some from the side seams.

The size I cut was a 38 which should be the right hip size and too small for the bodice (inverse pear). There’s still plenty of ease in the top part, but the armhole drops deeply, so some side bra flash is inevitable if you don’t walk around with your arms pinned to your sides, or make a camisole. The back is designed to overlap the front at the neckline, held in place at the band. The shoulder area falls free and open from there.

On the plus side, it only took an hour to stitch up in the evening after a day spent netting the soft fruit, bathing the dog, and darning the huge entry and exit holes he then made in the aforementioned netting chasing a ball and getting muddy again. Another plus, the dress is very airy and loose – beach cover-up for fat days? swanning about on the terrace on a summer evening?

Stitching goes – two small darts to form shoulder line in the back piece, side seams, hem armhole opening, stitch a band of folded fabric round the neck overlapping shoulders, hem skirt.

This is the predecessor, shortened to tunic length. Eldest daughter visited, fished it out of the sin bin, tried it on and found a fit. For the record her usual pattern size is three up from mine. Your arms go through the line that looks like the shoulder, and the sides drop down in a drape.




About jay

I design and draft patterns
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11 Responses to If Something’s Worth Doing

  1. piakdy says:

    It does look like a difficult design to pull off. I wonder if adding a few more attachment points along the batwing to make it more like sleeved vetsion of the chiton (2nd illustration in this pic: http://www.maicar.com/GML/000PhotoArchive/Secco/slides/secco164.jpg) would make it any better.


    • jay says:

      I tried pinning the seam together for about three inches, but it lost the only part of the look which seemed to work properly. It could be that on someone else, perhaps with a different weight of fabric, this would work better.


  2. Aunt Mayme says:

    The most glaring thing I see is a vertical fold coming off CF, and to me means there is a dart off somewhere, the ease is off, or the fabric chosen wasn’t what I wanted. I have this same fold when I work with a Lutterloh pattern, which is drafted from two measurements: the bust and the hip.

    I’m wondering if there is darting in those sleeves and that might be what is happening in the front, especially after you removed the ease from the hip.


  3. fabrickated says:

    I don’t want to be rude but I don’t think this is your best look or make ever. The fabric is so drapey it looks a bit like it is slithering off. I do like the colour though. As ever – the learning is worth more to us than another dress, I think. I certainly learn from all your posts. Thank you.


  4. Nakisha says:

    I had high hopes for this one! I’m wondering if it would be better to use a fabric with LITTLE drape. Hmm. I agree that the color is fantastic. But got a laugh at post-op nightie! Glad your daughter liked (and could fit!) the top. I’d better find something else for my May Burda project!


  5. Kim Hood says:

    Sometimes things just don’t turn out as planned. It seemed like a good idea but in truth the best thing is the colour. I hope you are able to salvage something from the fabric.


  6. felicia says:

    Yikes. It doesn’t look anything like the pattern envelope picture, does it? Has your daughter tried it on? The colour is fabulous.


  7. I can say I like the red colour. But it is a bit of a strange garment… Sorry!


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