The bridesmaid dress that wasn’t: BurdaStyle 05/2014 #103

My beautiful niece let me know her wedding plans in a very cute way: “Aunty Liz, how would you like to make a bridesmaid dress for Felicity?” Of course I would!!

Some research was required, and so she and Felicity duly went to lots of places for Felicity to try on different styles and colours. One of them got the tick, and the mother of the bride promptly purchased it.

I was both disappointed and relieved. Weddings have such expectations and emotions wrapped up in them. At least I wouldn’t be disappointing the bride by making a dress that wasn’t exactly what she imagined when she looked at the fabric and pattern.

Except the size was wrong. And it was lace with french seams. Probably close to impossible to alter successfully.

It was a style I could easily replicate from my large stack of BurdaStyle magazine patterns. I couldn’t get exactly the same lace fabric, but I could get something similar. Back to me making the bridesmaid dress!

It turned out fabulous.

Spoiler alert. This was not the dress she wore on the day *

But you are not here for the wedding details, you’re here to read about the sewing!

Pattern: BurdaStyle 05/2014 #103

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The pattern was in Tall sizes. Felicity is tall but not in a Tall pattern way (she has long legs but not a long torso ). She also requires a FBA. I made a trial version in a stretch cotton after some pattern adjustments.

The fit was okay, but some further changes were needed. I had the bust point a bit wrong and I’d shortened the bodice too much and the waist was loose. Which you can’t really see in these photos because of the awesome bright print.

Also, Felicity detests yokes. Who knew? I had enough leftover fabric to recut the front skirt with darts as long as I added a centre front seam.

The back still has a yoke:

Love this fabric! A gift from Jann. Thanks Jann!

After tweaking the bodice fit, I had the pattern sorted and it was time to cut into the lace.

We were using a stretch lace with a stretch crepe lining.

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The lace had a subtle scalloped edge, and we wanted to put this at the hem of the dress and sleeves and around the neck.

This meant the lace bodice pieces were cut on the bias. I cut the bodice lining on grain which put the lining neck edge on the bias so that was stayed with a thin woven ribbon.

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And because the scalloped edge was ‘free’ around the neckline, the lining was lined. Phew. Lots of layers. Specially at the waist where the double bust darts were.

Sleeves are unlined.

Amazingly, there is enough coverage at the shoulders to hide bra straps. I guess that’s due to legendary BurdaStyle drafting!

I am so happy with the fit and how this dress turned out. Felicity says it is lovely to wear. She looks stunning in it. I am not biased at all, of course.

Gorgeous shoes too. She’s set now for the next garden wedding she’s invited too.

* for those interested: this is the dress that was worn for bridesmaid duties (not me-made)

Bridesmaid Felicity with her cousin but without her bouquet

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22 Responses to The bridesmaid dress that wasn’t: BurdaStyle 05/2014 #103

  1. Karey says:

    Both dresses look great. I like the changes you made to pattern. Hadn’t thought of replacing yoke with darts but it works really well. Lucky niece.

  2. Jann Fyfe says:

    The lace dress and gorgeous shoes get my vote! Shame she didn’t wear them on the day!

    • SewingElle says:

      The other dress was more in keeping with the style the bride was going for. So it all worked out well. Bridesmaid dress that worked for the wedding. And another dress and another pair of shoes she loves!

  3. Tia Dia says:

    What beautiful work! The dress is just gorgeous, and the shoes! Both the printed cotton and the lace versions of the dress are lovely.

  4. Kim says:

    Beautiful! I prefer it to the actual bridesmaids dress. You did a sterling job. Well done 😃

  5. The lace dress is gorgeous! She looks adorable in her bridesmaid dress, but the lace dress is a real winner!

  6. Liz Haywood says:

    You did a beautiful job handling the lace. I, too, liked the lace dress but both are lovely.

    • SewingElle says:

      Thanks. The lace was lovely to work with.
      I didn’t write this post as a comparison between the two dresses. The bride made the right decision for her day by picking the other dress. But I am pleased that many of you like the lace one!

  7. Wow, the lace dress is beautiful. Great pattern from Burda too.

  8. Nonsuch says:

    a gorgeous dress. very clever fitting/drafting too. The. Shoes. x

  9. AllisonC says:

    Wow, gorgeous! It’s amazing how different the same pattern looks in wildly different fabrics – I love both versions and it’s clearly a more versatile pattern than you might think at first.

  10. yummymummy says:

    l love your lace dress for Felicity, so when might that get worn? I hadn’t given this BurdaStyle dress much thought, put off by the banding no doubt. Versatile pattern for a less formal ocassion, who would’ve picked that they’re the same pattern.

    • SewingElle says:

      Don’t know when she’ll have an occasion to wear the lace dress. But hope she does. This really is an excellent pattern. I like the banded version but, like you, wouldn’t have actually made it like that.

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