Burda: Vintage Inspired Dress


May 14, 2011 by Janna Roznos

I have completed one of the four dresses I planned on making for summer.  It is this one, Burda  4-2011- 106.

The shirt dress.

My version of  this dress was inspired by this book.

After reading this I really was motivated to make a day dress or a shirt dress.  This one from Burda seemed to be the best choice.  I liked this style because it has the body –fish eye- darts which gives the garment a little bit more of a fitted silhouette vs. a typical shirt dress that just hangs from the shoulders.

Burda 4-2011-106 croquis


However, after making the dress I did remove the back body darts.  So only the front body darts and bust darts remain.


Why?  The dress was just a little too close fitting for my comfort. By removing the back body darts, I got a squish more room and the dress is much more comfortable to move around in.

The  dress is a little too short for me.  It hits me right above the knee.  I suppose I will like it, especially when the temperature here lingers in the triple digits, but right now – Eek!  My legs are the color of sausage casings!  I know. Not a pretty visual.  Maybe some time spent in the garden and I can get a bit of a tan.

The plaid I purchased for this dress.

The fabric for this dress came from JoAnns (on sale – of course!  And, the buttons too!)

I have this undying passion for all things plaid.  I added the green stripe fabric for the placket and the under collar, too.

Instead of the patch pockets that the pattern had, I just made inseam pockets from the green strip fabric.  I just couldn’t bring myself to match the plaids on the patch pockets, nor did I want to put the plaid on the bias.  So side seam/inseam pockets won out.

I did redraft the pattern so it had a sew on button placket that way I could put it on the bias. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t buy enough fabric so this bias piece has to be pieced, but I don’t think anyone will notice.  I guess that’s the nice thing about plaid – I can hide my mistakes or maybe I should call them ‘design enhancements’!

If I make this again, I would definite choose a solid color, because solid colors coordinate with other garments in my wardrobe and – and probably most importantly – solid colors are easier to sew – no plaids to match!  I did make a belt for it, but I really don’t like it.

I think I will wear it without the belt or maybe find a purchase belt to go with the dress.  I keep going back to: It’s a summer dress!  To throw on when it is hot, hot, hot!  So, probably a belt isn’t necessary.

My next Burda dress is this one, Burda 2- 2011-132B:

Burda 2-2011-132B

I am already on my second muslin. Eh! Gads!  The first muslin was too short and the back was too . .  . well, just plain awful.

The second muslin – much better!

Muslin Front

Since this dress is a separate bodice and skirt sewn at together at the waist, I thought I would try fitting the bodice and the skirt separately.  I had read about this in Fit for Real People, by Pati Palmer & Maria Alto but ultimately the final ‘fitting’ was when I had sewn the whole dress together.

The changes I made:  1) Obviously lengthen the skirt (about two inches).  2) I also straightened the side seams.  They were curved in at the waist, which would be nice if I had a waist, but since I don’t I need straight side seams.   3) Also, the bodice center back seam had a box pleat– which was fine; center back seam on the skirt also had a pleat, which was not fine!  Eek!  Took that out and made a straight center back seam.

Muslin Back

And, finally, 4) The second muslin is still a tiny bit snug at the hip, so I think I will just increase the width there. I sewed it to together with a 5/8 seam allowance so I will just add another 3/8” – that should give me a little extra room that I need.

Another change I made to the pattern – which doesn’t really affect fit – is I redrafted the facing from a fold over facing to a sewn on facing.  I do that because I may want to make the facing out of another coordinating fabric – I haven’t decided on fabric yet for this dress – but more importantly, I can reinforce the center front with interfacing easier if the  facing is a sewn on vs. a fold over. 

Another change still to be made: the shoulders.  I have pretty narrow shoulders so I think I might need to take the shoulders in a bit, especially since the dress has a sew on cuff along the armscye.  And, I still need to see if I like the patch pockets.

I know it seems like a huge effort to make a muslin.  Who am I kidding? Yes, it is a huge effort to make a muslin; however, I have found that if I do make a muslin and work out the fit issues once I get the fashion fabric the construction is easier and ultimately, I have a garment that I want to wear.    I know a lot of sewers have success just by pinning the pattern together and trying it on – as you can see, I am not one of those sewers.

As I try and finish these dresses for summer (the other two I blogged about earlier), I have FINALLY started my brother Leisure Suit.

Leisure Suit Supplies - Yes, that is the fabric in the back: Powder Blue Polyester!

We went fabric shopping last Saturday.  Initially, we had planned to go downtown to Michael Levine’s (here in Los Angeles) but instead we went to M&L Fabrics in Anaheim.  My brother lives deep in the depths of the OC (Orange County) so getting him to venture beyond the county line is a monumental task (I can freely rag on him because he doesn’t read my blog and, it doesn’t matter how old we get – sibling rivalry never ends!)

So, I am now cutting out the leisure suit and will begin sewing this, too.   I have some long days and nights ahead of me if I am going to get all this done!


2 thoughts on “Burda: Vintage Inspired Dress

  1. Karin says:

    You’ve been busy sewing! One dress done, another on the way and plans for a suit!

  2. Lauren R says:

    This is the one! Your version looks great. I LOVE the bias-cut facing and the contrasting collar band. I cut the pattern and a muslin out. From pin-fitting the pattern, it doesn’t even look like I’ll need to adjust the bodice, which is amazing. I’ll sew up the muslin and see how that fits, but it does look like a great pattern.

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