Emerald A-line Burda Dress

In October 2019 I have excepted Burdastyle.ru’s Instagram sew-along challenge. I had to complete any Burda pattern dress in 4 weeks, posting my progress and the final result.

Materials

My better half was asking for a warm dress and she pulled out emerald wool serge I bought some time ago at Value Village. I had a matching invisible zipper in the stash. It was also an excellent opportunity to use the vintage fur collar that came from Mrs. M.’s mother’s coat.

I chose Burda 7114 pattern, cut the fabric and realized that adding the lining to the dress will help it not cling to the body. So, a quick and successful trip to Fabricville later, I had a polyester satin that matched the wool fabric perfectly. This lining fabric is very fluid and difficult to work with. It is a dream to the touch and it was worth the effort!

Process

This dress pattern is very simple. There is a dart in the front and a dart in the back, one-piece sleeve and a simple stand-up collar. Invisible zipper is in the center back, which I had to put in on a domestic sewing machine, because I still don’t have an appropriate invisible zipper foot for my industrial one.

Veering slightly from the instructions, I added a little backing to the end of the bust dart to help support it and equalize the thickness of fabric in this spot. As well, instructions don’t accommodate lining, so I had to improvise with the sequence of putting the dress together.

I enjoyed sewing the raglan sleeve (my first). It is very unnerving to set in the sleeve before sewing the shoulder seems. But the good news is that this pattern and this type of sleeve don’t have any ease.

Pockets

Ah, pockets… Easy to make, if the lining plays along. I spent the most time sewing these, especially pocket bags, because the lining fabric was going each and every direction. There was a lot of basting to stabilize the seams. The welt is secured at the sides to the front by hand.

Finishing touches

Mrs. M. and I, we have opted to longer sleeves, which did not give me much room for hemming them. I calculated that the shorter lining should hem the sleeves perfectly. This, however, did not happen, so I had to calculate, iron and secure the sleeve hem by hand after I put the lining in.

Learning from the sleeves, I hemmed the bottom of the dress by hand, and then attached the lining to the hem by hand as well. I did not realize that a simple pattern like this will require so much hand sewing! But I am happy to report that it is becoming faster and more accurate!

Final shoot

It was the last day before the deadline. The dress has already been worn for a day. After work, we just stepped outside in the brisk wind and took a fast couple of shots.

Christine’s Dressing Gown

Pink Dressing Gown for Christine

Our good friends Christine and Berney (that Berney who received a me-made bath robe earlier in the year) were planning to leave on a cruise vacation. To celebrate the occasion, we thought of gifting her with a “perfect” morning dressing gown — semi-sheer, sensual, light. And yes, the project had to be mailed in 2 days.

I started with the bathrobe pattern I used before – Burda 6740. I made a few changes: eliminated the shawl collar and facing and replaced them by a 2-inch trim, shortened the sleeves, lengthened and widened the bottom part of the garment.

The cutting and sewing was not harder than expected. The fabrics where fair to handle, both the burnt-out printed something and the solid pink polyester crepe. I interfaced the pink crepe fabric with lightweight white cotton poplin. I used the french seams throughout. Belt loops are made of black satin ribbon.

Bon voyage, Christine and Berney!

Prada FW19 inspired Nylon Coat

This fall I had to replace my jacket of 18 years. I needed something to stand up to the winds and rain, and be long enough to wear over blazers. My inspiration came from Prada’s 2019 fall menswear, look 31: a nylon jacket (a Prada thing), mid-thigh length, with trendy oversized patch pockets, and lots of shiny hardware.

Prada FW19 menswear, look 31

Materials

I picked a Burda 6932 pattern. It is straightforward and fairly easy to put together. I would recommend it for sewers with some experience. I simplified the pattern by eliminating welt pockets. But I also added a few patch pockets, epaulettes and cuff belts (to emulate the look that inspired me as closely as possible).

I used Polar Shield Navy Nylon Z040-NVY and Quilted polyester lining. To match the fabric I recommend Gutermann #118 and Coats and Clark 4980 thread.

Nota Bene

A word of caution: this Burda pattern runs very true to size. I did not follow the pattern’s recommendation based on my measurements and regretted it in the end. By using the quilted lining the size of the coat felt smaller. I would have benefitted from using the size the pattern called for. However, if I were to sew it without the bulky lining, I would have used the same 1 size smaller pattern.

One more thing. There is a generous amount of ease in the sleeve cap. This particular nylon fabric did not want to cooperate: it created a lot of little pleats in the cap. To counteract it, I have cut 2cm off the cap height and was able to set the sleeve with almost no ease at all.