Burda 09/2006 #114: Wrap Dress

Some quick photos of my new wrap dress after church this morning. No time today to set up nice lighting and a background, or hide my remote.

The necklace I’m wearing was a gift from my parents this morning. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Burda 09/2006 #114 is a wrap dress with a collar, pocket flaps, shoulder epaulettes, and 3/4 length cuffed sleeves with sleeve tabs. The skirt length from the waist is about 24.5″ long. The front skirt pieces are cut from the same pattern piece, so the underlay extends all the way to the side seam. This uses more fabric than the underlays that stop just past the center front, but it makes this dress much less accident prone. The neckline is finished with a facing, but if you make it without the collar (version #115) you can finish it with clear elastic instead.

This is one of my favorite knit dress patterns. It is probably one of the most pear-friendly styles out there. It is my go-to pattern for silk  and wool jersey. It will work with just about any knit that has 2-way vs 4-way stretch. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it requires a significant amount of fabric – about 3 yards of 55″ fabric. There’s also a limited size range – 34-42 vs the more common 36-44.

For this version I used a deep gray silk jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.

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I stabilized the shoulder seams with the 1/2″ clear elastic from Fashion Sewing Supply. Collar, shoulder epaulettes, and pocket flaps were interfaced with the lightweight Pro-Sheer Elegance, also from Fashion Sewing Supply. (I also added a square of interfacing to help support the back of the pocket flap buttons.) Buttons are the 22L fisheye buttons in Smoke from Cleaner’s Supply.

I topstitched the skirt and sleeve hems with my coverstitch machine, but otherwise this dress was constructed entirely on my sewing machine with the help of the even feed foot. Since silk jersey doesn’t have a huge amount of stretch I was comfortable using a straight stitch for the whole project. I used 1/4″ seam allowances for the collar, neckline, epaulettes, waist ties, and pocket flaps. For all other seams I used a 3/8″ seam allowance. For the front skirt edge I topstitched a 5/16″ double folded hem in place. I also sewed in some hanging loops from 1/8″ cotton twill tape to the underarm of the shoulder seam.

My main style adjustment was leaving off the sleeve tabs and cuffs. I wanted to include them, but my silk jersey didn’t have enough body to hold the shape of the cuff. (Burda used a wool jersey for their sample.) I ended up  I also omitted the topstitching from the pocket flaps, shoulder epaulettes,  and collar.

Rather than work from my old pattern (which I traced off at least three years ago) I decided to start fresh. I traced a straight size 38 and made the following alterations:

  • Lengthened between bust and waist 1/2″
  • Added 5″ width to the hips
  • Added 3/4″ width to the sleeves
  • 1/2″ swayback tuck
  • 3/8″ rounded back alteration
  • 3/8″ forward shoulder alteration
  • 1/4″ sloped shoulder alteration
  • Lengthened the sleeves 1/2″
  • Added 1″ total width to the front and back pieces at bust level
  • Added 3/4″ width to the front waist, and removed 3/4″ width from the back waist
  • Added an additional 1/2″ length to the center back hemline
  • Added 1/2″ width to the upper back

After making this I felt like the center front dipped down about 1/4″ too much, so I removed that amount from the waistline curve of the upper bodice. Overall I feel like it fits better through the bust and back than my older versions do. As you can see from the photos there’s no gaping at all at the neckline.

For next time I want to lengthen the sleeves to full length. I love the look of 3/4 sleeves, but they aren’t as practical for New England winters! I would also move the shoulder tabs about 1/4″ forward, rather than centering them directly over the shoulder seam, so that they are more visible from the front.

Back to cooking Christmas dinner! 🙂

18 thoughts on “Burda 09/2006 #114: Wrap Dress

      1. They’re the Aerosoles Domino from Zappos. I usually walk at least one mile during the average work day, so shoes that are comfortable and have a walkable heel are extremely important to me. These are good out of the box, but I found that adding some Foot Petals Tip Toes really brought the comfort to the next level. I like them so much I also bought them in black and navy! They really are the perfect work shoe if you’re like me and tend to walk out of flats and pumps.

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    1. For this project it was a combo of measuring the pattern, comparing to an existing dress (as I mentioned I’ve made this several years ago), and general experience. I am not big on muslins, unless it is a more complicated project. I suspect that most patterns are fitted/draped to a dress form, so if you look at your body vs how a dress form looks you get a general sense of where you need to start.

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