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First Impressionism: sewing Burda #104 06/16

Hands up if last minute sewing is your thing.

It can't just be me. I so often find myself in this situation; in a flat panic at 2AM, resetting my zip for the second time and repeating bugger under my breath. Needless to say, it's not how this dress started out.

I bought this painterly, impressionistic fabric at Ribes & Casals while I was holidaying in Barcelona. It's a lovely weighty cotton twill with a slight stretch. Mostly, these kinds of fabrics sit in my stash awaiting a moment that I feel matches their special status.

Abstract floral fabric from Ribes y Casals

My partner's pending graduation ceremony was an occasion auspicious enough to warrant snipping into it. I chose this panelled sheath dress – style number #104 from Burda 06/16.

By the time the pattern was traced, pieces cut out and I'd procrastinated on starting for a few days, the big event was well and truly in sight. That's when things went a little pear-shaped.

My major fit issue was across the back shoulders. Burda patterns generally allow quite a lot of room across the back which makes the bodice sit quite high off my shoulders. As a quick-fix, I lowered the back into a slight v-shape to take away some of the excess fabric.

V-shaped back

It definitely worked, but it didn't solve the larger, overarching fit issue in the bodice. As such, the front neckline is still a bit gapey but doesn't roll, thanks to a bit of understitching along the neckline facing. The whole bodice would have greatly benefited from some time spent redrafting it to suit my shape.

Understitching on the facing

All that said, it's a great pattern to work with and the style lines are very flattering. The top stitching around the shape of each panel adds a chic edge to the finished garment.  

Using a heavy cotton is a great choice because the dress feels fancy enough for a special occasion while still really just being a simple summer shift. Some Sri Lanka holiday snaps attest to that!