Black tie: BurdaStyle Designer original 12/2013 #130

This time the fancy evening frock sewing was for me. He who Cooks and I had a black tie event to attend.

I love how this dress turned out.

I have used this pattern before: Felicity’s year 11 formal. Hers was a fluorescent abstract print. Mine is much more like the designer intended. Black.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 12/2013 #130.

Size: 36-44, I made a 42.


I’ve been keeping a cotton nylon self stripe in my stash for just the right project. This was it!

This fabric has great body and it wonderfully crisp, so it was perfect for the bodice and waist tucks. Plus, french seams were a joy to make in this lovely well behaved fabric.

It’s sheerness was not a problem for this design, because there’s a fitted bodice underneath the crop top and the skirt is also lined. I’m pulling the outer skirt away from the lining in the image above, and you might be able to see the slight sheerness of the crop top in the image below.

The tulip skirt shape is flattering and very easy to wear. A long slit at the back helps even though the shape is very pegged.

As you can see, I left the lining loose.

Changes I made:

The main change was to add a beaded embellishment to the neck line to accentuate the style lines.

This lovely beaded trim was from M&J Trimmings in the Garment District of New York City. Sewing souvenirs are the best!

I used two of the flowers on the back too.

The other change, and you can see the evidence (stitching!) above, was to use bias binding instead of facings on the crop top, and for the hem and slit. M of Nonsuch kindly donated the bias binding. So much easier than cutting out self bias. Thanks M!

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36 Responses to Black tie: BurdaStyle Designer original 12/2013 #130

  1. Absolutely lovely dress. Great fabric, and fabulous shoes! Love the added trim, and I totally agree – sewing souvenirs are the best!

  2. Whit woo! You glamour puss, that’s a lovely job. I’m envious of the opportunity to go all formal!

  3. modaaparentemente says:

    I love it, so glamourous, you look great 🙂

  4. A beautiful dress, and a great foil for those sewing souvenirs!

  5. Tia Dia says:

    This is very elegant! It fits beautifully. I love your shoes. Do tell the details about them!

    • SewingElle says:

      Those shoes! I love them to bits. Green snakeskin, peep toe, almost comfortable and very high banana shaped heels. Purchased at Zomp in Melbourne over 5 years ago. Not many occasions to wear them, but I love it when I can.

  6. Philo says:

    Wow I love it. Will definitely save the pattern to my favourites. (I need a gown next year for an event). You look great! (and your shoes!!!)
    Bye Philo

  7. Lovely! I have a black tie event next year which is a bit nerve wrecking but your dress is very appropriate.

    • SewingElle says:

      Yes, give this one a go. It’s a modest design with no chance of wardrobe malfunctions, but interestingly fashion forward (at least to my middle aged eyes…).
      I don’t think it’s available as a pdf download, but very happy to lend you my copy.

  8. Nonsuch says:

    this is up there with the top 3 of the things you have made – is very lovely.

  9. Christine says:

    Fabulous, absolutely love your choice of fabric. Shoes are stunning as well!!

  10. Beautiful dress! Reminds me of one of those classy ’60s style dresses with overblouses. Hope you felt beautiful when you wore It!

  11. Gail says:

    Very elegant and I love that you used your daughter’s formal dress pattern.

  12. Sigrid says:

    Gorgeous and elegant, love the bead trim you added.

  13. Lesley says:

    I bloody love this. Looking for dres ideas for a wedding next year and this is on the list

  14. La Vonda C says:

    You look so tall & chic! This reminds me of Audrey Hepburn. Gotta go check my stash for this one!

  15. Anne W says:

    This is gorgeous, a perfect make!

  16. sewruth says:

    Oh I meant to comment earlier but hey – life…..
    You look fabulous!

  17. Wow, that looks stunning on you! And those shoes, as mentioned, are just wonderful.

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