Saturday, 6 June 2015

Burdastyle Dress (02/2015 #129) - Opinions required!


This is the descriptively named Shift Dress with Slits from the February 2015 issue of Burdastyle. I liked the picture in the magazine and, despite having some reservations, leapt on the cocoon-shaped dress trend bandwagon.

Burdastyle 02/2015#129

The final result has me feeling rather underwhelmed. Actually very underwhelmed now I compare my dress with the magazine picture. Images of Moomintrolls spring to mind...

A Moomintroll Source

Oh dear. The poor lighting isn't helping either. I had a camera problem, combined with a dog barking at new Guinea pig problem resulting in a rather shouty neighbour and a less-than-stellar photo session.


I wanted a winter dress, so chose some ponte pieces from my stash that went together. The grey was used for the main part of the dress, some black and white spots for the under sleeves and front neckline facing and some grey spots for the shoulders, upper sleeves and side panels. The grey spot with random black lines was a very thick and weird fabric I had bought at an op shop ages ago. I have no idea what I was thinking as it's more like something you would cover car seats with than make clothes from. Anyway, the colour went so I used it. I probably should have given it back to the op shop instead.


The lines of this pattern are quite interesting. I like how the side and shoulder panels meet under the arm (below) and how the pockets are incorporated into the side panel.


I incorporated the slits in the front hemline, but omitted the ones in the sleeves as I wanted this to be warm. I added small cuffs instead.


Now, I don't hate this dress, but I don't love it either and I can't quite decide why. I think the shape is not the best on me and looks oversized, even though I went down a size from my usual Burda size for this dress. I have this urge to take in the side seams, but that would spoil the nice seam lines at the sides. I also wonder about the colour. It's a bit bland and pale-looking, although this could be the fault of the black tights and boots. 


I am on the verge of chopping it off into a jumper. I would lose the pockets, but keep the shape and seam lines. I could put a band around the hem to match the cuffs, or not. I wonder whether it would look more sporty and less Moomin as a jumper. I would love to hear suggestions and I will post an update with the final decision.


Hmmm, what to do?

28 comments:

  1. Ooh, cool dress! I love how you see design details in burdas styling. So - I think it's a bit big in the upper- mid back, which will make it sag less in front (right?). It's also doing a funny thing at the shoulders, but I think it's the fabric...Try again with better fabric and I think it'll be a hit. I may join you and make a summer version!

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    1. Yes, I think you are right about the shoulders. There is only so much I can do about the bad fabric, but I will definitely try taking it in there. Perhaps a summer version would be a better idea for both of us. Thank you for the suggestions.

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  2. Hi there Meg. I rather like it - in fact, I like it a lot! I love a cocoon shaped dress though, so that probably impacts on my opinion. I reckon give it a couple of more wears, then decide if it warrants the chop.
    I actually like it so much that I think I am about to go and buy the pattern....

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    1. Really?! Wow, I didn't expect anyone to say that. Perhaps I need to look at it in a new light. I may have over-analysed things! I'm so pleased you like it.

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  3. I like the fabrics up close but it looks a bit 'duster' jacket from a distance if I'm honest. I think the lines of the design are really great. I think maybe some red tights may make it more interesting, overall I like it ... and it does look warm .

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    1. I appreciate your honesty and do like the idea of red tights. I'll give some a try. Maybe it will completely change my mind. Thank you!

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    2. I also thought trying different colour tights might give the dress a different look, and maybe adding some colour with accessories? I agree with the people who said the shoulders look a bit big.

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    3. I vote for tights as well

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    4. Me too I think the problem is the colour at a distance.

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  4. I like it overall. The seam lines are really cool and the fabrics look fun together. Like Rebecca, I wonder whether you should take it in a bit in the upper to mid back? Other than that, it looks fine to me, just wear colourful tights or boots/shoes with it! I would definitely not cut it off, I think that that would throw off the proportions of the diagonal seam lines and ruin it. And like the other ladies, I’m really tempted by the pattern now! (:

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    1. Oh my gosh, I am so surprised this has tempted anyone! Right, I'll think again about giving it the chop and try to fix the back and the accessories. Thank you!

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  5. I agree with the other commenters. The front looks really good but it does appear to need a little something at the back. Perhaps some back darts or reshape the centre back seam.

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    1. Thank you Andrea. I'm gradually plotting how I can try to save this!

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  6. Well, I was unfamiliar with the term cocoon dress so consider me enlightened!

    In my opinion, it's not so much Moomin but it does remind me of a uniform of someone who works on a spaceship which is often a look I quite like! I agree that if you could reduce the ease wherever possible without spoiling the design, you'd end up with very wearable and attractive warm dress for the coming months.

    If you decide it's still not a keeper, another option is to dye it (Dylon) into a darker colour like blue. The panels will take the colour unevenly (depending on natural fibre content) and you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestions. Dyeing is certainly a consideration, but I do need to work out how to improve the fit first. Do I keep the cocoon shape? That is the question!

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  7. Like other posters I think the dress is just too big and the fabric appears to be of low quality. Your sewing is great - no operator error just poorly drafted pattern.

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    1. Thank you, yes sometimes it's beyond your control. I just really wanted to like this!

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  8. Yes I was also going to say it looks very Star Trek to me! I would actually agree with you about cutting it off as I think the sporty look would be better carried off with a pair of jeans. If not then definitely light colour tights and maybe long tan boots? I think if you retried it in darker or brighter colours could be a cool winter dress but maybe you have lots of things on your list instead ;)

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    1. Ha ha, I would never intentionally go Star Trek! I am so torn now between fixing the back and cutting it off!

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  9. Wow. I see a lot more potential in the pattern after viewing your version rather than the original magazine version. It does look as just the back needs to be closer fitting through the shoulders. On the other hand, there's plenty of room for a polo neck shirt under there - it gets cold here.

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    1. Oh thank you! Practicality is always good, but in this case, I might have to sacrifice it for fashion!

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  10. I like this too! Looks like the model has a snugger fit in the shoulder while yours is more of a dropped shoulder - I imagine that would improve the overall look. And definitely a fabric you like more! It might be worth taking the hem up a couple inches if that's not out of your comfort zone. The shorter sleeves probably help balance out the volume, but a shorter hem might do that too. Good luck!

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  11. I can understand your ambivalence. I like it (its totally cool!) but something isn't quite right. Two things might consider - there is quite a bit of excess in the upper back area. You could take the curved seam in a little. The second is the hem. I'd take out the machine stitching at the hem and hand stitch.

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  12. I think this dress would look great colour blocked in a merino knit. For this one though, I agree with you that the end result is a bit underwhelming, but if you decide to give it the chop, would make a great jumper, albeit most likely without pockets. Good luck with whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll make it look great.

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  13. I agree with others - this is a great dress, it just needs some tweaking in the fit department. Brighter accessories will definitely lift it.

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  14. I do like the style lines of this dress. The colour in the initial photo seems quite washed out but later photos seem to have a bit more depth which suits you better. I think the main issue is that grey fabric is too heavy, especially in the sleeves. The main body of the dress seems quite light but the sleeves look like sweatshirt material in comparison. This is the first time I've commented on your blog but I enjoy reading about your makes, so thank you.

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  15. Apart from the excess fabric in the upper back area, I love this dress. It has such interesting design lines and I love the pockets too.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I value every single one.

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