Book Review: BurdaStyle Modern Sewing - Full-Figure Fashion
I don't want to rehash that review here on my personal blog, but I do want to go into more detail about the nice shirtdress that I made from the book.
|BurdaStyle Plus - "Vintage Chic" shirtdress|
|Dress pattern from the BurdaStyle Plus book|
Here's where you can find the pattern with the differences noted for each permutation:
- BurdaStyle magazine (print): August 2013 issue (Trace from the pattern sheet, and add seam allowances. Includes a separate blouse view.)
- BurdaStyle download (Print and tape the PDF, then add seam allowances.)
- BurdaStyle envelope pattern B6896 (Standard envelope pattern with comprehensive instructions and seam allowances already added. Includes separate blouse view.)
- BurdaStyle Plus compilation magazine for Fall/Winter 2015, according to this preview. (Trace from pattern sheet, add seam allowances. Includes several new views for this pattern that have not been previously released.)
- I really liked the collar/neckline, which reminded me of the Colette Hawthorn, and I also felt that the Burda's multi-dart arrangement would be more large-bust-friendly than dealing with adding darts to the Hawthorn. I also preferred the larger-scale Burda collar. (I do however like the semi-circle skirt of the Hawthorn better than the Burda--I see a frankenpattern of these two shirtdresses in my future.)
- I love, love, love my Marigold shirtdress and wear it nearly every wash cycle. I liked the idea of another throw-on-and-go woven dress. (Note that if the Burda book hadn't fallen into my lap, I probably would have just made up another Marigold.)
- It was my favorite design out of the BurdaStyle Plus book, with the tunic that Tanya had made up running a close second.
Fabric and Notions Used
I used the following fabric and notions for this version of this pattern:
- Homebody Tacks by Cotton + Steel. Purchased on sale from Craftsy. This is basically a higher quality quilting cotton--not something that I'd typically use to make a garment with, but it was on sale, I liked the print, and I think it worked fine for this shirtdress. Note that this fabric is only 44" wide. Post-FBA, my skirt piece did not fit on the fabric on the fold, so I lost some fullness from the front pleats to compensate.
- Lightweight fusible interfacing (on collar and self-faced button opening) from Fashion Sewing Supply.
- Buttons purchased from my local JoAnns.
Pattern Drafting, Sizing, and Alterations
This pattern is available in Burda’s standard Plus range: sizes 44-52, which equates to 39 1/2″ (100cm) bust and 41 3/4″ (106cm) hip through a 48″ (122cm) bust and 50 1/2″ (128cm) hip.
I started with a size 50, which was the appropriate size to use for my high bust with Burda Plus' D-cup bodice draft. From there, I made a 2.25" FBA, splitting and rotating the dart into the existing shoulder and waist darts. I did end up doing quite a bit of pin-fitting and stitching, ripping out, and re-stitching the darts to get them positioned in a way that I liked.
Note that the skirt on this dress runs long. I ended up shortening the skirt by 4" from the original pattern piece. While I'm only 5'2" tall, I typically shorten skirts/pants by 2"-3", depending on the pattern.
Because my fabric wasn't wide enough for my post-FBA'ed front skirt piece, I had to take out some of the depth of the front pleats. You can barely even see the pleats in my photos. For future versions, I'll stick with making this dress out of wider fabric or will need to purchase extra fabric and add a CF seam.
I also made the following "design" changes:
- Omitted the self-fabric belt
- Omitted the self-fabric tie
- Shortened the full-length sleeves to short sleeves--this is partially because I ran out of fabric and partially because I was afraid that long sleeves on this style of dress would look frumpy.
|Back view, or wow, I really need to get back to the chiropractor|
The pattern instructions in the book were a bit of a disappointment, considering that this pattern has been out in "envelope pattern form" for a while already. The book-version of the instructions was more comprehensive than your typical Burda magazine or download pattern instructions, but lacked illustrations in a number of places where they could have been helpful to a less experienced seamstress.
For example, the buttons and buttonholes are applied to a self-faced opening. The instructions and accompanying diagram would lead you to believe that you fold over the self facing twice to the wrong side of the bodice, which will leave you with an unfinished seam allowance at the top. Instead, you’d want to turn the last fold to the right side of the bodice so that you can get a nicely finished seam allowance when you fold the facing back right-side-out. I found few other oddities, too–mostly to do with the order of construction jumping around a lot, so I just used my own order of construction.
Final ThoughtsI'm pretty happy with the final dress, although I suspect that I'll continue to make some fitting tweaks. I've only had a chance to wear it once in the few days that it's been since I've completed it, so I'll decide what additional fitting tweaks I need with a few more wears.
Overall, I feel like this is a nice shirtdress pattern for plus sized women, and if it interests you, Burda certainly has provided plenty of different ways to acquire it, whether your preference is tracing from a book or magazine, downloading a PDF, or using an envelope pattern.