Burda 6/2016 #112 is a fairly simple tailored sheath, but the cutouts and unusual darts bring it up to the next level. I absolutely love the neckline cutouts – it eliminates the need for a necklace while still drawing the eye upward. It isn’t obvious from the line drawing, but the waist attachment seam is approximately 1/2″ above the waistline. The skirt length is 24.5″ from waist to hemline.
This pattern is the illustrated “sewing course” pattern for the 6/2016 issue.
The fabric I used was a stretch sateen, purchased a little over a year ago from Apple Annie Fabrics:
Normally I’m not crazy about even a part-polyester fabric, but I have to say that this sateen wrinkles less and holds its shape better than a normal cotton/lycra sateen.
The interfacing I used was the regular weight Pro-Sheer Elegance from Fashion Sewing Supply. The YKK zipper and pearl half-dome button are from Cleaner’s Supply.
I kept the front of the dress as-is, but for the back I rotated out the darts to be in the more traditional vertical position as I knew there was a 99% chance I would need to take them in.
Other adjustments for the size 38 I cut include:
- Added a 3/4″ back shoulder dart (and 1″ width across the mid upper back)
- 3/8″ rounded back alteration
- Added 5″ to the hips
- Added an additional 1/2″ to the front of the skirt at the thigh level
- 1/2″ swayback tuck
- Lowered the back kick pleat 3″ – the drafted height is very high!
- Added 1/2″ to the hem length
- Added another 1/2″ to the center back hem
- Added 3/4″ width to the front waist and removed 3/4″ from the back waist
- Extended the back waist darts down another 2.5″
After trying on the dress I took in the waist 1.5″ and the hips 2″. This is a fairly stiff fabric and it looked best with minimal ease in these areas. From the looks of the photo Burda used a softer fabric with more drape.
Originally I also changed the skirt from pegged to straight, but after trying it on decided to peg the hem 1.5″.
I am not sure if this is an issue unique to this pattern or just the Burda draft, but I found the back neckline was drafted very wide (I compared it to some of my other dresses). It made for a lot of gaping at the back cutout. That’s why I ended up overlapping the back neckline instead of having the button at the center back.
In addition to interfacing the facings and neck band pieces, I also interfaced the back vent. In my opinion it helps it hang better and keep its shape. I also mitered the back hem. (The instructions don’t show you how to do this.)
Instead of having you cut out those neckline ovals on the cutting table, Burda provides a neckline template pattern piece. The front bodice is like that of a normal dress without cutouts. When it comes time to attach the front facing to the front bodice you use the template to draw the cut-outs on the facing. Then after you finish sewing this section you cut out/trim/clip the ovals. I made the cut-out template from a couple of pieces of card stock paper so I would have a firm edge to trace against.
I think the most tedious part of constructing this dress was turning out the cutouts, particularly the center front one. The edges for that one are particularly narrow in one section – I really had to work at it for a while. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my collar clamp tool from Fashion Sewing Supply.
After you sew the cutouts it is crucial that you be aggressive when it comes to clipping/notching the seam allowances. I clipped every 1/4-3/8″ to make sure that those ovals ended up nice and round.
I would have liked for Burda to have included placement notches on the front neck band piece. It was a little tedious having to keep measuring the distance between the cutout edges on the template.
I should also mention that Burda has you sew the bottom edge of the inside neck band by hand. Normally I do anything possible to avoid having to sew something by hand, but in this case it gave me far more control – and a better result – than stitching on the machine would have. It also looks much neater.