Third time’s a charm? BurdaStyle 02/2014 #141

Not a very accurate title, as fourth time may be the charm. But whatevs

Diagonal Panel Dress (Plus Size) 02/2014

I really like this pattern. Have wanted to make it for a long time. Finally it made it to the top of my to sew list.


As I was drafting it, I realised how fabulous it would be as a simple sheath dress for border prints. And I had a laser cut faux suede in my stash that would be perfect.

I could not get this idea out of my head.

I know the fabric has absolutely no stretch (its backed with some sort of black synthetic layer).

I know sheath dresses are uncomfortable in fabrics with no stretch. Ask me how I know. African wax fabric cut on the cross grain, I’m looking at you.

I know I’ve put on weight and am probably not the same size. Perimenopause, its all your fault, not my diet or lifestyle.

I went ahead anyway.

You know how this ends.

The style was fine.

The cut outs on the hem worked really well.

It has a lovely darted sleeve head.

But the sizing, not so good.

Sadly it’s too tight through the upper body and sleeves. So tight I can’t move my arms to even try and zip it up. Once zipped up it dreadfully uncomfortable and reminiscent of sausages. I’ve spared you the photographic evidence.

The dress is now waiting for me to lose weight. Or turn it into a skirt. Now that’s an excellent idea!

But I still saw possibilities with this pattern. I added width to the pattern and made another version in a scuba print.

I know.  I’ve both sized up and used a fabric with stretch. Not the cleverest move.

This scuba print has the best pattern (also I love my strawberry thief background).

I finished the neck with bias binding. And scuba meant no zip and easy zig zag hemming. Colour matched of course!

It’s a very comfortable dress to wear, but this ridiculously busy print hid the fitting issues.

It’s too big through the back and the bust darts are too low.  But I only know that because I made third version. I don’t notice any of this with this fun dress.

The third version was made with a ponte and another stretch woven from my stash, both with LOTS of 4 way stretch.

Look at all that extra fabric through the back!

I really am not winning with my fabric choices!

But my children are delightful.

Bottom line is that

  • I love this pattern
  • I wish I had been smarter with adjusting the fit
  • A fourth version, that fits perfectly, with some of the width taken back out, needs to be made

16 thoughts on “Third time’s a charm? BurdaStyle 02/2014 #141

  1. Pity about the stretch as the ‘suede’ looks fabulous, and I love the scuba print.
    I always find fitting for stretch the worst. Tissue fitting only gets you so far, as you can’t account for the stretch, and the garment has to be your muslin as there is no cheaper way to sort out fitting issues.

  2. I tissue fit, with aim of having enough width and right length.Then pin fit fabric, then sew with long stitch if I’m still not sure, as unpicking knits is a pain. Scuba’s not so bad but some are near impossible.

  3. Oh I hear you about perimenopause! I’m at the stage of wondering when the actual Thing will happen……
    Real shame about your first dress as the fabric is truly fab, especially the cut-out hem so don’t waste it and convert it to a skirt.
    We all live and learn, even at our age!

    1. I feel so silly about making such obvious mistakes. But you are right. Live and learn. It’s a life long activity.

      Don’t get me started on perimenopause. Just like having babies. When you think you’ve got it all sorted out they go and change again….

  4. I’ve loved this pattern since first seeing it, too. Your cutout fabric dress is gorgeous, and I agree with everyone else: don’t waste the fabric – make it into a skirt! I did that with a BurdaPlus pattern with just AWE(!)FUL bust darts. The fit through the hips was just too good to pass up!

  5. I know sewists have their standards, but if the scuba and the swirl dress were RTW, you wouldn’t think twice. Both look lovely on. I do look forward to version 4 though.

  6. Sewing with stretch woven fabrics is incredibly exasperating when you are trying to sort out fitting. The dresses all look terrific

    1. Thank you. I took a break and made a simple skirt in a beautifully behaved wool cotton woven. What a dream it was to sew and the fit is spot on!

  7. It IS a beautiful pattern and you have made steady progress towards perfecting it. I love how all the dresses look so different! If it makes you feel any better, I think proper fitting is the most difficult thing to do well. I almost never feel confident and am amazed if something ends up fitting the way I think it should! I admire your perseverance and I’ll bet #4 is a total winner!

  8. Well this is a good way to show how versatile this pattern can be! I really hate altering anything and would usually prefer to just make another one, but with unique fabrics like you have here it’s worth it, although they still look good as they are to be honest. Can you just take the too big dresses in a bit through the back darts? I’m not sure if the colour blocking will still match up if you adjust through the side seams, but you can definitely do this on the scuba one.

    1. That’s what’s stopping me with the colour swirl dress. The alterations would have to involve altering the colour blocking to make it line up again as well as taking in the seams. But I should not let that put me off, I know!

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