Grey Dress of Doom

It’s taken four weeks in the magic closet and a brief separation of about 12000 kilometres … before I can smile when I wear this dress.

To be fair, it’s not the pattern that was the problem. It was not reading instructions, making decisions about lining fabric based on look not function and not cutting out the striped fabric single layer to make the stripe matching easier…

I’ve loved this pattern even since I received the August issue of BurdaStyle back in 2009. The architectural lines appeal to me. I like the horizontal darts and the way the stripes almost make chevrons.

The funnel neck and cap sleeves are cool too.

Technical details

BurdaStyle 08-2009-124

Size: 36-44. I made a 42 (sort of; 42 at the top grading into a 40 waist and then out to a 44 at the hips with a 15 mm swayback adjustment).

The fit is not too bad. It would probably look better with Spanx, but that’s almost always true…

Fabric: Twill wool cotton blend, lined with a very slippery, monstrously-prone-to-fray mystery fabric purchased for Spotlight for $2 per metre. The print on the lining is nice (but the niceness factor stops there). The wool cotton fabric was a delight to work with. It was a Gay Naffine fabric from May 2009; almost the same vintage as the pattern.

What I did wrong:

The main problem was inserting the zip into the outer layer before sewing in the lining. I wanted to check the fit, but didn’t think ahead or read the instructions to realise that sewing in the lining at the neck and the sleeve edges required an open back seam. I unpicked one of the sleeve edges to see if I could rectify the problem. Of course that didn’t work. Then I unpicked the zip. Then I reinserted the zip, then I resewed the sleeve, then… that’s when I called it the grey dress of doom and hang it up to contemplate…at a distance.

This was one of Burda’s sewing course styles with detailed instructions and diagrams, so I have no excuse.

I still like this pattern, despite the journey.

13 thoughts on “Grey Dress of Doom

  1. Great shape – I don’t have that Burda issue but I’d have gone for that one too!. Hope you had a great trip. The Pacific Northwest is one of our favourite destinations.

  2. This is a very smart dress; you’ve done a good job with the stripes. Did you finish the mystery lining seams at all? I have a similar mystery lining which frayed even worse when I tried to overlock it.

    1. I did end up overlocking and it stopped the fraying, but I had avoided overlocking all through the garment construction because it made the edges so thick. Another bad decision!

  3. So often when we have so many problems, the piece goes in a bin and that’s the end of that. Your perserverance really paid off. Such a great dress and it looks wonderful on you. No Spanx needed!

  4. I’ve thought about this dress a few times and never was brave enough to make it, but now I’ve seen it on a real person, I think I’ll give it a try. i agree that you’re brave to do it in stripes. I will stick to a plain colour!

  5. I have always liked the style lines on this pattern. So it was exciting to see it sewn up and looking very chic, just like I thought it would. I really like the way the stripes chevron and the fit is wonderful. I also don’t see any need for spanx.

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