Not so formal

2010 had a lot of parties/formals, so come fall 2011 I started pulling out the stash and patterns. It turned out to be a lot quieter year, so although I’d cut this dress out and started to fit it, it ended up on the shelf when more pressing needs hit (like a new fleece for DH!).

Then DH called me and said we’d been invited to a dinner with his class, would I like to come? 🙂 But a 4 day lead time is not much for a lined dress, good thing I’d already done some of the hard parts…

Burda Dec 2004 #107
#107 in Burda World of Fashion magazine from December 2004 has been on my list since, well, 2004. Part of the reason it languished so long was that the pattern pictures, and the dress in a shop window I was attempting to emulate with it, were both very formal. And I didn’t need another formal dress for a long time.

Burda World of Fashion December 2004: Dress 107

But when I pulled the stash out this fall, I ended up pairing the pattern with a red linen-look fabric I got from my MIL, probably a poly-cotton by the way it handled under the iron.

Red Linen Dress Front

It was quite tricky to petite-ify, since there’s no full front bodice. I ended up needing to both move the armholes down about 1/2″, as well as take an extra 3/4″ deep seam across the top of the sleeves to shorten the top half. That also meant chopping the top of the back off to be level with the top of the sleeves, but that wasn’t so difficult. I still ended up cutting 2 1/2″ off the bottom of the dress to end it just above my knees – that was a design change on my part, since the modelled version shows it below the knee. I do think at some point I’ll stitch closed the front vents, since the remaining little ones look kind of silly now.

Red Linen Dress Back

I did add a 1/2″ swayback correction. It’s still puddling, but by this point it was less than a day to the event, so I left it. It looks to me like more of a shape correction that’s needed now to the back pieces, I’ll try and puzzle it out when I make it again. Because it did turn out quite well, especially considering I tend to avoid shift dresses!

Red Linen Dress Lining

Lined and everything! With the lining stitched down to the zipper and the bottom hem done by hand on the bus to another event that day. Because I know how to cut things close!

I did try a couple of tricks with the invisible zipper, and got it in first try!
zipper seam mark
I marked where the back seam should hit across both sides of the zipper tape, since that’s the part that shows most obviously when the zipper is closed (I did the lining-top back seam later, so the top of the zipper wasn’t as much of a concern) and
double sided interfacing
I used double sided iron on interfacing (aka stitch witchery, heat ‘n’ bond, steam-a-seam lite…) to adhere the zipper sides to the dress before doing the final stitching on the machine. Much more stable this way than hand basting, or pins+machine basting. Plus, no need for extra interfacing, at least not with this fabric!

There’s something to be said for good materials. Unfortunately, I can’t say them, because @#$@#$%, these things were driving me to curse. The red poly-cotton fraying habit was stopped early on with surging all the edges before using, but was still a little stiff and didn’t press as well as I’d like (which is why I suspect a high poly content). But the really annoying bit was the $4/m lining I picked up from Fabricland off the discount table (100% unknown fibres, as is their wont for the discount table)…

lining pulls

It didn’t matter what needle I put in the machine (universal, sharp, microtex), it would snag a thread every inch or so. Maybe I should have tried ballpoint, but this was a slinky woven, not a knit! Good thing it was just the lining, it’s not like anyone is going to notice. OK, except all of you.

Sadly no pictures from the event itself, but I have it from DH that the red dress, red lipstick, and high heels were a hit :D. And since it’s a suiting-type fabric, I may actually get more wear out of this – it was really comfortable!

Red Linen Dress Front

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