Beautiful blue butterflies

This was an experiment gone right.

The pattern is sized for me and it’s for a knit. The dress is made for my daughter, two sizes smaller than me and with different proportions to me and the fabric is a woven. The fabric was also one of those too-good-to-use fabrics that both she and I had been lovingly caressing in my stash and dreaming about for several years.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster doesn’t it?

Luckily, it was not my turn for a disaster for this project.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 05-2008-121

Size: 38-46. I made a sort of 38.

Fabric: I’m not sure what I would call it. It’s like a discontinuous brocade but out of cotton: the blue threads all end at the edges of the butterflies: they don’t extend all the way across the fabric. It’s not completely opaque, so I lined the waist insert with white cotton batiste. It was one of my first purchases from Gay Naffines designer fabric sell off that happens twice a year in Adelaide. It’s been in my stash for at least three years. I still have almost 1.5 metres left, so perhaps there will a garment for me too from this delightful fabric?

Converting from a knit to a woven:

I had already converted the pattern for the wrap skirt to a regular skirt and raised the V neck by 3 cm for the version I made for myself. Also from Gay Naffine’s fabric.

My knit version was in my usual Burda size of 42. Felicity is a 38. When she put my knit version on it was a bit too long through the bodice but otherwise looked okay. So I figured all I might need to do to convert it to a woven pattern that would fit her would be to shave some height off the shoulder seams and make sure there was enough ease through the waist. I could have retraced the pattern in a size 38 and added extra ease to all the pattern pieces to account for using a woven instead of a knit, but that seemed like more work and unnecessary. No, I’m not slapdash. Why do you ask?.

Changes I made:

I took 15 mm off the shoulder seams (this made the bodice a size 38 in the shoulder seams but a size 42 in terms of width).

I measured the waist insert pattern piece (a rectangle) and made it a bit longer so that it fitted Felicity’s waist measurement plus 3 cm for ease. It seems surprising that a waist for a size 42 would be too small for a 38. Either I made a mistake when I converted the waist from the wrap style or, because it is for a knit, there was negative ease built into the pattern piece. My dress fits well, but it is snug through the waist.

I checked the measurement for the top skirt pieces to confirm they would still be larger enough to sew onto the waist insert. They were. Again, another example of patterns for knits differing for patterns for wovens. In the knit version, the waist insert piece is stretched to fit onto the skirt.

I added a centre back seam allowance so that a centred zip could be inserted. There is enough stretch in the knit version not to need a zip.

I also made a tab for a button for the back neck over the top of the zip. And the seams do line up better in real life!

PS Felicity does know and approve of the photo. Goofy as it is, it was the best of a not-very-serious-but-a-lot-of-fun photo shoot

PPS More Gay Naffine loveliness is probably coming up. Her summer designer fabric selloff is next weekend.

6 thoughts on “Beautiful blue butterflies

  1. I just traced this dress today as well as the sleeveless blouse you’ve just made. It’s always nice to see Burda garments made up on a real person. I love the blue butterfly fabric and your daughter looks lovely in it.

  2. I bought this gorgeous fabric too! Your daughter’s picture caught my eye because of the print. Mine became an BS 5/06 no. 123 empire waist dress with 3/4 sleeves that I wore to my sister’s wedding this year. Originally it was destined to be a tunic…

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