Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Finished: Burda Plus Fashion SS-10-427

Introduction:  My youngest sister is throwing herself a big 40th birthday party.  It started out as a formal affair but has morphed into a less formal party in which the guests are being asked to wear black.  I bought 6 yards of black crepe during PR Weekend in San Francisco and made BPF Spring/Summer 2010 #427.

BPF SS-10-427
Pattern Description:  Dress with princess seams that begin in cut-on sleeves.  The center front panel gathers into the side front seam.

Pattern Sizing:  Plus size range 44 - 52

Fabric Used:  synthetic crepe

Were the instructions easy to follow?:  The trickiest part of the dress and instructions was the inset corners on both the front and the back.  I remember inset corners I made many years ago.  They were horrible.  Burda instructs the sewer to stitch the seams in two steps; breaking the seam at the corner and clipping the seam allowance between steps. There is another way to do an inset corner using organza, but I didn't remember where I saw the method so I depended on Burda's instructions.

Adding seam allowances to the sleeves was interesting.  The pattern piece was oddly shaped and there wasn't enough room to draw on the  5/8 inch seam allowances.  So I didn't add them to the area.  Instead, I rough-cut around the area and marked the stitching line with thread tracing.  The pros mark stitching lines and rough-cut seam allowances.  I didn't freak out when I realized I couldn't draw in 5/8th seam allowances, but felt very professional using this method.

I sewed on the thread traced seam line, then clipped up to the stitching line as instructed.  It worked on three out of the four corners.  I can't explain what went wrong, but one corner didn't come out evenly.

To gather the front, I marked the finished length on a strip of stay tape.  I used the stay tape as a guide when gathering so that the gathered section was  the correct length and sewed the stay tape to the front piece.  The stay tape is sheer and didn't add bulk to the seam.

Burda translations are usually awkward and sometimes funny.  The instructions referred to the left and right front pieces as "center front with right sleeve front" and "center front which lies beneath with left sleeve front".  Every time I read it, I though of a 1950s horror movie like "The Creature That Lies Beneath".

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?:  I liked the gathering because it hides my belly.

Conclusion:  Once the dress was finished, I realized it wasn't festive enough for a birthday party.  Very appropriate for a funeral, but not a birthday party.  I have another plan for the birthday party that will allow me to stay within the party dress code but not look like I'm in mourning.

I wish I could do a better job of photographing a black dress.

It's not easy to tell from the photo, but the dress turned out very well.  I won't wear it to my sister's party, but every woman needs a black dress.  Now I have one.


  1. I really like this one you, Elaray. You are right that is a bit different construction. Could you buy a bright statement necklace and that would make it more festive?

  2. This looks fabulous! Surely a fancy oversized necklace would make this festive, or an over the top neckline trim ( removable!)

  3. What they said. This looks fabulous on you.

  4. Looks good! I would have thought you could party it up with some bling, makeup etc

  5. It looks good on you. I can't see the gathering in front but overall the dress looks really nice on you. Everyone needs a nice black dress. And like Vicki stated, some serious bling bling will make your dress festive enough.

  6. That dress looks great on you!!!

  7. It looks great on you. Not funereal at all. She did pick the color. How about wearing it with dressy earrings and necklace, a great pair of shoes? Or stacks of sparkly bracelets? If you want to get the details in a black dress you need to lighten it in an editing program. It will look gray, but you'll see the details.

  8. Isabel's DaughterMay 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Dress looks great! The fit looks spot on and very flattering. It may not work for the party but I'm betting you will wear it more than you expect. I am working on a top with similar side gathers. I am going to try your stay tape idea to get them even.