Posted on Saturday the 20th July 2019 by Geo P
The day this post goes live I will be a guest to a 1920s themed wedding. I obviously wanted to make something myself and I found the perfect pattern in Burda.
I wanted to make something that wasn’t too costumey, something that I might wear again after the wedding. The dress consists of a shift with a skirt attached to it and a layered lace top. I think the layered tank would look nice with jeans and a contrasting top underneath.
I traced the pattern in size 40 and shortened it by about 2 inches, plus a petite-ing of 3/8 at armhole/neckline level. After a quick muslin I had to take it in 1/2 at each seam, for a total of 2 inches. That’s a lot more than other Burda patterns I’ve made, this one runs large.
I also decided to shorten the top by 2 1/2" and then moved the skirt up above the top lower edge by 1 3/4" - this was the difference marked in the pattern originally.
Looks easy enough, right? It probably would’ve been much more straightforward, if only I’d picked out different fabrics!
I made the under dress in this beautiful Atelier Brunette Viscose. I have used it before and I knew it had the perfect weight and drape for this pattern. It should be very nice to wear on a hot July afternoon. I went with the forest instead of black, I thought it might give it some depth, showing up from under the lace. And I love green! This part was the quickest and easiest.
For the gathered skirt and neckline panels I picked Silk Crinkle Chiffon in black. I used the remaining bits to bind the lace top. The skirt has a 6cm deep double hem. The chiffon is very slippy and shifty and I was having a hard time trying to fold and press the hem so I decided to do a running stitch on the first fold line. I was going to use a marker to create a 6cm guide on my machine, but then remembered the machine came with this quilting accessory that supposed to help you with sewing equally distant quilting lines. I had to considerably lower the thread tension when sewing the chiffon, otherwise the stitches gathered the fabric.
Now for the last and most exhausting part - the overlying top. I mean, this could’ve been quick and easy too, but the Lace Fabric was very difficult to work with - it’s basically a mesh of embroidered flowers, each connected to the next one by a single thread. This is really cool and I think it resembles a little Paco Rabanne’s chainmail dresses. But it also means it has a lot of huge gaps and it;s really difficult to work with.
I couldn’t think of a way of marking this fabric so I pinned the full pattern in tissue paper on the fabric, then pinned the chiffon bindings on top, then stitch and remove the paper.
After removing the paper I stitched the side and shoulder seams and then I folded the bindings to the wrong side and hand stitched them down.
There was no way I could sew darts in this top but it was easy enough to gather the fronts a bit in the dart area and so create some fullness.
I must have made a mistake when tracing the back top, as the neckline is much lower than the dress neckline. The forest green doesn’t contrast that much with the lace in real life, but I couldn’t make the green look less blue in the photos! I find that usually happens with green, it looks a lot more blue in photos.
I feel like I have worked for so long on this dress, mostly on the top, but I don’t really love it. I actually like it more without the top. Maybe it’s the hard time this fabric has given me, maybe I will forget and start liking it more by the time I wear it?