Butterfly shift dress

Happy new year!

I’ve enjoyed the summaries and reflections from other bloggers but have left it too late to make a serious post about my sewing year. Expect to say (see I can’t help myself!):

  • Almost 40 garments sewn, and only two complete wadders (I think I have been playing it safe)
  • More fabric sewn than purchased (just as well, I was running out of room for storage)
  • I still love BurdaStyle (but I have bought some Vogues, Collette’s Macaron, some of Paco Peralta’s designs and some Style Arc patterns)
  • The sewing blogging world is marvelous. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me be a small part of it.

So, on to the last project from 2013:

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 02-2011-141

Size: 44-52; I made a 44 with no adjustments. I usually make a 42 in Burda grading out to a 44 at the hips but I wanted a dress with more ease than normal. I did the same, sizing-wise, last time I made this dress.

Fabric: Cotton woven, a sort of discontinuous brocade: the blue threads all end at the edges of the butterflies: they don’t extend all the way across the fabric. I’ve made a dress for Felicity out of this fabric.

I reinforced the neck and armscyes with strips of light weight iron-on interfacing and then faced with silk habatoi.

Changes I made:

I made the dress 5 cm shorter than Burda drafted it.

I didn’t add the band around the neck and I made the slit a little wider than Burda suggested, angling down to the point right at the very end

The slit is perhaps too soft and floppy. Not an interfaced facing and using very soft silk as the facing will do that to you! Beautiful on the skin though.

I am toying with adding eyelets and some blue cord. Since I’ve already worn it three times, I can’t be very serious about this idea…

I drafted an integrated neck and armscye facing, rather than using the separate pieces Burda suggested. I find the separate armscye facing on my first version of this dress tend to flip out. An integrated piece seems to stop this (I know, I know, so would hand sewing the facings down, but I didn’t want to handsew)

There are lots of good tutorials out there on drafting these facings, but one blog post that shows what I did (and has lots of info on other neckline variations too) is ikatbags.

This is a very comfortable dress. There is a little shaping though the back, but it is still delightfully loose through the waist.

The perfect hot summer day dress. Loose, light and made up in cool refreshing colours.


19 thoughts on “Butterfly shift dress

  1. With the temps being frigid in Chicago, it’s difficult to imagine hot summer temps at the moment, but your dress lets me dream. Such a lovely, breezy little dress.

  2. I LOVE this pattern of Burda’s, and am so pleased to see it sewn up. And in butterflies!!! What could be better? I like your blue lacing idea, but it looks great the way it is.

  3. Very pretty and summery. Love the fabric! I am very impressed by the fact you have sewn 40 garments and only had 2 wadders! That is quite a record! I need to get busy!

  4. Lovely for our hot weather, glad to see you also got a dress out of this. I love this fabric and wore my version (lined and 3/4 sleeves) last week before it got too hot… 40 garments, you have been busy…

    1. Your version sounds lovely. It is gorgeous fabric.
      Well I will really test out how this dress will stand up to the heat with today’s forecast of 46°C (115°F). I have a workshop to go to in McLaren Vale, about 45mins drive away, and although this is not my normal work uniform, it will be today!

  5. What a lovely butterfly print, it adds to the lightness of the fabric I think. And you’ve sewn more than you bought, wow, I think I will struggle with that one for the rest of my life. Here’s to another great year!

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