A Mess of Stripes

(With special guest star Rowdy, the miniature Australian shepherd)

Last summer, I had been seeing several wrap dresses with vertical stripes and I bought this light blue/black striped knit fabric to make one up.  Until IPM 2016, I’d been using mostly Burda patterns with decent results, so I picked this Wrap Dress with Sash pattern.  I cut my usual size for Burda, a 42, and thought it would be a quick make.

Wrong.  This pattern is a mess.  It comes with extra unidentified parts, for one thing.  For another, the sizing was totally off in comparison to other Burda garments I’ve made.  I’m kicking myself for not having done a muslin – went straight to my good fabric based on past experience and the assumption that this would be a forgiving silhouette.  I spent a week tweaking the shoulder/bodice area before I got too frustrated and left it in a pile for two more weeks.

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I came back to it a couple of days ago to see if I had been overreacting, if I can make it work somehow.  (You’re always your own worst critic, no?)  I’m still disappointed in the final product, but I’d also like to put it to the community to see what others think!

I shouldn’t write off Burda because of this one bad experience.  I’ve made a lot of good stuff using them.  Though, I’ve been reflecting on different designers thanks to IPM, and I feel like indie patterns may be less prone to disaster because they seem like they’ve been, I don’t know…touched by human hands, I guess?  It just seems like there is more thought put into them.  I’ve had similar poor results from Simplicity and a few others, but not yet from an indie designer.

But maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Please feel free to weigh in.   Also, please feel free to suggest ways to style this dress and make it wearable for a casual office environment!  (A scarf, maybe?  I’m not loving the high neckline, but I can’t change it without messing up the shoulders.)

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11 thoughts on “A Mess of Stripes

  1. I may be projecting my own sewing issues onto you here, but it looks to me like you need a Full Bust Adjustment. It looks like your back piece would be fitting correctly, but is currently being pulled further over your shoulders and sides because there isn’t enough room in the front?
    However, as I type this I realise that doesn’t actually help you, unless you have enough fabric left over to re-cut your front pieces… Sorry.

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    • Haha, that is the problem (no more fabric). But I think you’re probably right. I don’t know that I’ll give this pattern a second chance, though!

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  2. Good on you for sharing something you weren’t totally happy with! It’s hard to tell for sure without a proper front view but I think a lower neckline is probably all it would need to fix it. 🙂

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      • Thanks! I debated about it but figured that I learn just as much (if not more) from my misses than hits, and maybe it will help somebody else. I definitely like seeing others’ reviews before I dive in to an unfamiliar pattern/designer! Since I can’t lower the neckline without wrecking the shoulders, I’m thinking maybe this will become a cold-weather dress that will be worn with a scarf…I’ll just hide the neckline completely! 🙂

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  3. I don’t have enough sewing success under (or above) my belt to offer anything in the way of sewing advice, but here’s my two-cent’s worth: the side view proves to me that this type of sillouette is flattering to you, however, the front view tells me that this specific pattern is cut for a different body top (a problem I run into All.The.Time.). From the pattern issues you described, I think you did a wonderful job of completing this dress. Here’s a thought: could you shorten it, remove the belt (or make it optional) and wear this as an open topper, instead of a dress? That would give you the freedom to work with the front pieces to reform them in a more flattering way.

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    • Hmm, I’ll have to think on that. It’s a true wrap dress, so it needs the belt as a closure, but maybe it could become a long cardigan instead. Good ideas!

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  4. Feel your pain. I’m not a wrap dress fan as my figure doesn’t work for them so I can’t really offer any advice. But as Christina said, I don’t think it’s as bad as you think!!

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    • Aww, thanks! Wrap silhouettes usually work on me, which made this extra frustrating. But we might be at the point where I’m just disappointed that it doesn’t match the version in my head. 🙂

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  5. I’d like to see a front view of this dress. The back view looks like the seams need to be pressed, but perhaps the fabric doesn’t press well. The side view looks like it fits you well and looks good on you. I’m not a big fan of Burda patterns (personal opinion), but you’ve worked with them before and they have worked for you in the past. I think this dress is better than you seem to think it is.

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    • The top photo should be a front view, no? Or did you want something more straight on? There are pleats in the back which cause those wrinkles, but I have to wrap it so tight for the bodice and cascade to line up properly that it distorts the pleats. Grr.

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