This dress came as a complete surprise to me. When I bought the fabric, I had no idea what I was going to do with it other than make a dress. I got lucky when I married the fabric to BSM 05-2009-129. I really like this dress! The silhouette is good for my body type; the full skirt balances my "top-heavyness".
The only pattern alteration I made was to lengthen the bodice to accommodate my low bust line. (Gravity and age are merciless.) I used stay tape on the front gathers. I marked the finished length on the stay tape, pinned the stay tape to the area to be gathered and adjusted the gathers to match that length. Finally, I sewed the gathered area to the tape. The stay tape is sheer and adds no noticeable bulk to the seam.
Sometimes the Burda way of doing things is logical and make sense to me. Other times, the Burda way of doing things makes no sense at all. For example, the lining is put in with the wrong side of the dress against the right side of the lining. The recommended fabric is chiffon, so I'm sure the reason for this is to prevent unsightly seam allowances and darts from being visible through the sheer chiffon. That makes sense. However, I didn't understand why the lining was not assembled as a single unit. The bodice and skirt are lined separately and then sewn together at the empire waist. I haven't made lots of lined dresses so I was confused and didn't see the rationale for this method. I wished this lining were more conventional because I wanted to try a technique in the August/September 2011 issue of Threads (Sew Invisible Zippers Like a Pro p. 60) in which the lining is attached to the zipper tape completely by machine – no hand stitching!
I used my serger to make a rolled hem on the sleeve and skirt. Burda's instructions suggest a "closely spaced zig-zag" and I've used this method to finish edges on other Burda projects. It works quite well if an overedge foot is used. It was actually faster to use the overedge foot on the conventional machine than to set up the serger for a rolled hem with woolly nylon. I heard my serger lament, "She never uses me enough! I can do more than sew seams with a 5-thread combination stitich! If she loves me, she'll use me!" So, I listened to my serger and I used it for a rolled hem on the skirt and sleeves.
And, so ends the "Season of the Dress" I've kept the promise I made in April and sewed several summer dresses! This one might just be my favorite.