Friday, 1 September 2017

Burdastyle Dress for France

Pinch and a Punch!  First of the Month!  It's September and the beginning of autumn days and probably, possibly, quite likely my favourite time of year.  I love summer too of course and have just been fortunate enough to have nearly two weeks in Jura, France for my holidays this year, which was amazing.  But then I came home to red apples on the trees in my garden, pounds of fruit and veg on my allotment and crisp blue skies in the morning against which my giant sunflowers are beaming and I completely love it.

A few weeks ago I made this dress to take away with me to France.  It's a burdastyle pattern from last year in the June (2016) edition.  

This is me standing near the fountain in Champignole, which was the nearest little town to where we were staying.  Blending seamlessly with the stonework. (The grey linen and leather cross body bag behind me on the floor is also made my me, and is a couple of years old now, but still going strong!). The fabric I chose is a mid weight cotton print that looks a little like camouflage but has a floral design in calm, neutral shades. 

The neckline is quite high, but with cutaway shoulders it makes quite a nice outline I think.  

I'm already familiar with constructing the neckline as I have made a couple of tops with this lapped shoulder from the same pattern sheet.  This is the version from the magazine, and you can just make out the line drawing shape below.  On closer inspection, you can see the dress has a couple of nice design features, despite being quite a simple shape.  There are two inset panels that angle down at the front, which tend to disappear into the print somewhat, but make a nice additional detail.  

This is the first time I have cut and sewn a proper mitred edge on a panel like this and I really enjoyed this little technique.  They insert into the dress at the front of the arm hole and extend downwards and forwards, returning back into the side seam.  To construct them  you are beginning with pieces that look like this.

You then pin one longer one, over the other shorter one and and sew the end together...

Turn it out so that you have a nice neat pointy bit and here you can see I've also marked the centre fold line with stitching.  So when you fold on this line - voila!

A beautifully turned, perfectly mitred corner.  This then fits along the shaped side seams of the dress.  I found this very satisfying to do and if you like to have a bit more help with each step (as I do, although I'm just about able now to follow burdastyle's leaner instruction format in this regard) you'll be pleased to know that this dress is featured in the 'sewing course' in the magazine so there is a fair bit of detail in the instructions and more pictures for you to follow. A solid colour fabric would show all the lovely sharp panel corners off more I think.  But I know they're there!  Here is a dress form picture or two.

Always great to have pockets in a dress, they are in the side seams here.  The back has an invisible zip (not quite as invisible as I'd hoped for actually, I did use a normal zipper foot to put this one in and although I usually find it ok without a special foot, this time I didn't manage to get quite as close to the teeth as I thought).  I used a hook and eye at the top to close the neck band.

This dress was great for the couple of days we visited local towns and once on a trip to the local market, but actually the rest of the holiday was spent in various combinations of swimwear and cut off denim shorts and tees.  Half of the suitcase remained unpacked as we were mostly just swimming in the wonderful turquoise lake nearby and hanging around our chalet relaxing or playing badminton.  Or eating cheese.  Or drinking wine.  This was the lake we swam in every day, surrounded by forest and completely magical.  That colour!

Looking stylish really didn't feature an awful lot, which was very refreshing actually.  Although I'm loving being back and having my full wardrobe to choose from again.

I did find this one perfect outfit accessory though.  This little vintage beauty was one of four, all the same country cream colour (with more than a hint of rust) and all of them gently crumbling away in a local farmyard.  It would have gone with my dress perfectly I think, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have missed just one of them if we'd towed it home.

Back to the indian summer sun and sunflowers here in England now though and ready for a new season's style.  Hope you had a fabulous summer too.


  1. This is stunning! The style is really flattering. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  2. Thank you LGS, yes it was a great holiday and an easy style to wear. Hope you've had a good summer!

  3. A very cleverly designed fabric, and you've made it into a very flattering dress - bet you'll wear it loads. Beautifully made, too.

  4. AWR yes it was really useful on holiday! S x