Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 and Kwik Sew 3504: DIY Red Dress and Men’s Jeans: Valentines Outfits

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Hello Dear Readers,

Life has been busy and it’s taken me longer than I would have liked to have blogged. But here I am back today, sharing my most recent makes: a red wool crepe dress I made for myself and a pair of jeans I made for Philip, both for Valentines day.

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Let’s talk about my dress first! This was made using a Plus Size Burdastyle pattern 08/2016#131. This is my first Burdastyle dress. I really didn’t know where I would be in terms of fit with this pattern, so I made a muslin (long time readers of this blog will know how much I dislike making muslins!). Anywho. Thanks to Instagram friends (who helped an awful lot with this dress), I learned that Burdastyle Plus Size patterns are apparently drafted for a D cup. Who would have thought? I refer you to this post from the Curvy Sewing Collective which is a great resource for plus size sewists. Long story short, I didn’t do an FBA on this dress, and the fit through the bust is good. In fact, I did minimal adjustments – you can find the full details in my review below.

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

The fashion fabric is a wool mix crepe. When I made my muslin I felt it would benefit from some extra width through the hips and I added some extra to the seam allowances. But this fabric behaved quite differently to the muslin fabric and I ended up removing any extra I had added in. The dress is unlined, and in an effort to make the insides feel special I made around 18 metres of bias binding from left over viscose lining and used it to bind every seam using the hong kong method of seam finishing. Time consuming but worth it I think.

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish
Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish
Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish
Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress – inner hong kong finish

You just get to see a cheeky peek of the gold binding at the back vent slit.

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Over on Instagram there was quite a discussion as to what might be causing the diagonal wrinkles through the forearms of the sleeves. THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to comment on that post and offer up suggestions. Sheryll (who authors the amazing blog Pattern, Scissors, Cloth), offered up what I thought sounded the most promising solution: she thought the sleeve head was too short, and the way to fix it was to lower the underarm of the sleeve only to balance things out so that the bicep line becomes horizontal. Well, I tried pinning some fabric out of the underarm of the sleeve only, and…it didn’t seem to work. So…the next approach was try and slim the sleeve down (I had, of course, already bound all the edges by this point – thank  you Amanda who suggested looking at that). Well…that’s what I ended up doing: I ended up removing approx 1.5 inches of width from the sleeves. It is better. I can live with it…but if I made this dress again I would try and figure out what was going on a bit better.

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
A sheath style dress. The inlaid pleats and the attached tying band give definition at the waist, while smoothing over any extra padding in the area. Darts in the elbow add extra shape to the sleeves.
Pattern Sizing:
44 – 52
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Not really. This is burdastyle. I think the first part of the instructions are missing. I didn’t understand how they wanted you to do the vent, so I did my own thing. Saying that, everything worked out ok in the end. It’s probably worth making a muslin so you can understand what they want you to do – particularly in reference to the pleating at the waist.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the finished dress with the asymmetric waist pleating and the tie which comes around the back and ties in front. I love that Burdastyle patterns are apparently drafted for a D cup – I didn’t have to do an FBA on this dress. In fact, minimal alterations were required. There are some diagonal lines in the forearm of the sleeve – most of these seemed to come out when I tightened the sleeve up. I would need to investigate this further if making this dress again.
Fabric Used:
Wool mix crepe. This dress is unlined so I made around 18 metres of bias binding using left over viscose lining fabric and used a hong kong technique to finish every seam.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • 0.5 inch sway back adjustment.
  • Shortened skirt length by 3/8ths inch
  • Shortened sleeve by 1 inch
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment (turned out this was probably unnecessary – at least in the wool crepe – as I ended up narrowning the sleeves by approx. 1.5 inches)
  • Interfaced zipper openings and hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t know if I would make another of these, but it’s a great pattern. I recommend.
I love this modern classic style. I think this dress could take me to many places.

Now, a brief mention of the jeans. I first made these back towards the end of 2015 for Philip. The main alterations to these jeans were to shorten the rise by two inches, slim the legs down, add interfacing to the waistband, remove approx. 5/8ths inch from the waist either side, front and back, and narrow the hips down. Here they are being modelled – the fabric is a lightweight denim purchased I think from Mandors in Glasgow.

Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans
Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans
Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans

I also added some valentines day appropriate embroidery to the inner waistband and made some bias binding to bind the waistband.

Kwik Sew 3504 Mens Jeans: inner waistband embroidery and bound waistband detail

Now, I expect you are all dying to know what my husband’s thoughts were on the dress and the jeans. Well, he liked the improved fit on the jeans. But the dress…hmmm…in his (paraphrased) words…the dress is not tight enough or low cut enough. LOL. I have said it before, and say it again, husband, you stick to cutting up and sewing patients together and I will stick to cutting up and sewing fabric to make things that please me to wear. We had a lovely lunchtime valentines day date. Hope you enjoyed the week and have a great week ahead.

Bye for now!

Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress



Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

41 thoughts on “Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 and Kwik Sew 3504: DIY Red Dress and Men’s Jeans: Valentines Outfits

  1. Hahaha!! Your husband’s comment cracked me up! In my opinion this dress is incredible. I love the elegant tie and shaping at the waist. The colour looks amazing on you, and I cannot believe that you made 18m of binding! Well done!

  2. Your dress is just gorgeous. Love the style on you, despite what your husband says. Mine says the same thing. You’ve got a great fit too. I had a bit similar issue with my Style arc coat, those weird drapey lines down the sleeve and I think it’s because there wasn’t enough height in the sleeve cap. There was no ease in the cap at all, it went in beautifully as a result but seemed really tight at the top of the cap and loose further down. Don’t know if that helps. The fabric can have a big impact up there.

  3. I love, love love this dress – such a perfect shade of red on you, looks fantastic. And you k,now I am a fan of the Burda plus dresses, as I have made several for a friend, the styles are so interesting and the fit is much better than other pattern companies in that size range.

  4. I just love this dress on you. The color and style are perfect! Your fabric choice had just the right amount of drape for this pattern. The fix to the sleeves worked well; I’m really impressed that you still had enough length to keep the long sleeve. Great job!

  5. This is uttterly gorgeous! Burdastyle do have a completely different draft for their plus size patterns which is a good thing IMO as they can offer a better fit that way. With regards to your sleeve, I had the same issue in a muslin I made for Lynda Maynard’s fitting class on Craftsy. She came to the same conclusion as Sheryll – that the sleeve required more height – but achieved this in a different way, by slashing horizontally across the sleeve cap and letting it open until the diagonal lines disappeared. And disappear they did! It’s not an adjustment I make a lot anymore as I see it as kind of a trade off, yes a higher sleeve cap is more tailored but a bit of a pain to set in, whereas a shorter sleeve cap gives the more casual look that I usually go for. If you want a better illustration of what I’m talking about, Fit For a Queen talks about this fitting issue on her blog, I think in regards to tee sleeves.

  6. Absolutely loved this dress on you. It’s beautiful, do love Burda patterns their style puts them into another league. I love the Hong Kong finish have not had a lot of success with this it made the seams bulky, maybe I need to use a finer fabric for them. Well done its lovely

  7. Beautiful dress and lovely inside finish. This is perfect for an unlined dress. The color is so flattering to you. As far as the sleeves, I took a look at the original design by Burda and tend to agree with others who have suggested the sleeve is drafted with not enough height in the sleeve cap. Lowering the armhole on both the bodice and sleeve won’t fix that. If you try this pattern again, I would try to cut the sleeve in scrap fabric which has similar draping characteristics of the crepe. Baste in the trial sleeve and tweak it until you are happy with the fit. The dress fits you perfectly through the bust but the shoulders and upper chest on both front and back look too large. Try a size or two smaller and add for a full bust. I often buy cheap fabric which has similar draping qualities of the fabric I ultimately want to use. Probably toile is a better word than muslin. Often muslin behaves totally differently than your fashion fabric. Your husband is lucky that you also spend time sewing for him. Happy Valentine’s Day to you both.

  8. Wow I love this dress! You look fantastic – the colour totally makes it pop! Really impressed with your Hong Kong seams. I’m not sure I’d ever have such patience, but seeing this really makes me think I should invest more time on what’s inside the garment 🙂

  9. Whit woo!! What a stunning couple, shame there’s not a pic of you together! Your dress is every bit amazing as I thought it would be, and really flattering. I bet you feel a million dollars in it. 😍

  10. You know I love this dress on you because I’ve already said so on Instagram! It truly is stunning, and so are the insides!. I’m glad you managed to improve the sleeve – not that it was really bad in the first place. I often admire the Burdastyle Plus patterns, they are totally elegant and fashionable.
    Great job on your husbands jeans too – love that cute detail on the CB waistband 🙂

  11. Your dress looks great. I think the style looks better on you than the Burda model. Trying to work out why, and think it is because you are better balanced above and below the gathers, and maybe because you are not as tall. Nice when a pattern suits regular figures better than tall skinny ones.

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