Sunday, 20 March 2016

Vintage BurdaStyle Dress - Indulgent Sewing Frivolity.

It is not very often that I get to sew something a bit more special. Most of my clothes are utilitarian because that is what I need both at work and home. So when my youngest daughter decided to do the school deb I grabbed the chance to indulge in some sewing frivolity . I love my Kwik Sews, Simplicities and Knipmodes for good sewing basics but when it comes to designs with a bit more I turn to my collection of Burda magazines. A couple of years ago I found 10 recent release Burda magazines in an opshop for $20. I raced to the counter heart beating fast and greedily purchased all 10 but it is only now that I have finally made something. ( I also own about another 1/2 dozen Burdas I have picked up over the years at newsagents ) I finally chose a vintage dress reprint in the May 2012 issue .

The dress has a bias cut top with a slim fitting pencil skirt. From the front it is a quite conservative high cut blouson top . The back tells a whole different story !

The back is low cut with the most elegant draping folds. I just love it . I used some pale blue striped georgette with swirls of leaves and small mauve roses . I have had this fabric for about 10 years and it survived a couple of past culls . I only kept it because I have few pieces of material over 3 metres and thought at least it would be useful for making a toile of some unknown dress pattern. However when I saw this burda pattern I knew this fabric would be perfect for it . It is very drapey , the stripes quietly enhance the bias cut top and the soft subtle colouring contrasts with dramatic styling . I mean I don`t want to take attention away from the young slim 16 year old debutantes -ha ha.

I lined the upper bodice with a stretch knit lining as suggested but unfortunately did not have enough for the skirt so I am just going to use a slip . ALso instead of using ribbons at the shoulder seams which did not appeal to me I managed to use another long term resident craft item . Mum gave the beaded , sequinned appliques to me over 25 years ago and I was never quite sure what to do with them but realised they would be perfect for this project . In truth the shoulder seams do not need covering at all - with Burda`s drafting the pleats at the front and back match perfectly and look really lovely left alone .

Burda and I did part ways in the construction of the dress when they started describing lining the bodice. I think Burda was trying to tell me how to line the bodice so all the seams would be neatly concealed but head scratching and peering closely at the instructions did not enlighten me further so I did my own thing and it all worked out . It did mean that to finish the arm holes I used some home made satin bias binding . Also I left small slits at the bottom of the skirt side seams instead of sewing them completely up because I want to be able to walk and parents do also dance at the deb. Overall the dress was not really hard to make at all.

  I am ridiculously happy with how my dress turned out . I might make a matching belt and use a small diamante belt buckle I have but I am on the fence about that as it is not really necessary . I hope I can get some pictures of the deb night too as any proud mother I think my daughter looks stunning in her chosen gown. Happy Sewing Janine.

 Costings - Material - so old I can not remember , Pattern- Dress 133 from BurdaStyle May 2012 - $20 . Knit lining , appliques , thread , invisible zip and satin bias binding from stash . Total - $20 + .


  1. It's absolutely perfect for the occasion. Isn't it wonderful when a piece of forlorn stash suddenly and perfectly comes into it's own?

  2. Gorgeous! I really like the added embellishments on the shoulders too!

  3. Wow Janine, you've made a beautiful dress. You are right to be so happy with your creation.

  4. Just lovely - always a bonus when you find the perfect project for stash fabric and trims.

  5. I have always loved that dress pattern... Your dress is gorgeous, you've done a great job. I love the back drape.

  6. Really pretty dress, the shoulder trim is subtle, but a gorgeous addition. Have fun at the deb night!

  7. Ohh! This is lovely! I do love a drape and Burda has nailed this 1961 one! Beautiful shoulder details, it's lovely that they also had a family story and got an outing for the Deb ;)


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