Pattern Review: Puppy Dress, And…

The pattern is also known as BurdaStyle Spring 2014-102

Can't find a linkable image

Can’t find a linkable image

Pattern Description: “The delicate pleating and handmade fabric flowers turn this dress into a true work of art.” Yeah, whatevs. Sleeveless, bateau-neck dress with shoulder and waistline pleats. Optional self-fabric flowers.

Sizing: Petite sizes 17-21. I made a de-petited size 20 (equivalent to a regular Burda size 40)

Fabric Used: French bulldog print silk crepe de chine that I got from the designer. Sorry, it’s not available on Gorgeous Fabrics. Silk habotai in Oyster (sold out, sorry) from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Machine(s) and Tools Used: My Pfaff, Ham, Shoulder Press, Naomi the Naomoto Iron

Needle/Notions Used: Universal 60/8 needle, silk organza for interfacing, 14 inch invisible zipper, petersham ribbon and hook/eyes for the waist stay, hook and eye at the top for the zipper, thread, an old brooch for the back of the flower pin.

Tips Used during Construction: Anything by The Pressinatrix. The Right Bra Makes All the Difference. Make the Lining First. The What and Whys of Waist Stays.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? Sucked. I know BurdaStyle says they have revamped the instructions, but they are still pretty bad. Fortunately, I made a muslin, and the pattern is drafted well, so I didn’t need them.

Note that there is an error in the pattern instructions. It says to use a 9 inch invisible zipper in the instructions, but the pattern is marked for a 16 inch zipper. If you use a 9 inch, you either won’t be able to get into the dress or you’ll have a humongous gap. I used a 14 inch invisible zip because I didn’t have the right color in a longer zip. The 14 inch worked fine.

Construction Notes: I made a FBA, which you can see In This Blog Post. I added shoulder darts in the back. I also underlined the bodice (the pattern is unlined) and lined the skirt. I finished the bodice seams and the facing edges with a Hong Kong finish:

Front inside, showing the facing and lining

Front inside, showing the facing and lining

I inserted a waist stay, made of rayon petersham ribbon and two hooks and eyes. It’s attached to the dress at the side seams, the darts, the center front waistline seam allowance and on either side of the zipper, where it emerges from between the lining and the outer fabric:

Waist stay hooks at the zipper

Waist stay hooks at the zipper

Waist stay as seen from the outside of the dress

Waist stay as seen from the outside of the dress

I machine hemmed the lining, but I wanted a really smooth, elegant finish on the outer skirt, so I hand hemmed that.

I machine-hemmed the lining, but I hand-hemmed the outer shell

Damn, I’m good!

The shoulder pleats add a lot of bulk at the seam. You really need to use a lightweight fabric for this dress. Even a cotton would be too bulky. I think that’s why Burda put the flower pin there: to camouflage the seam, since it is noticeably thicker than the other side. Even with thoughtful pressing and grading, you can see it.

Three pleats in a very small space

Three pleats in a very small space

Likes/Dislikes: Love it! It’s very comfortable to wear, and the print is darling without being twee. What’s not to love?

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I probably won’t do it again, but I do recommend it.

Conclusion: A great dress. This is one that would make a great dancing dress. Here’s a picture on Shelley. Sorry it’s wrinkly – I took it this morning, after wearing it last night.
Front on Shelley

And here it is on the hoof. I accessorized it with a black patent leather belt, ivory silk peep-toe pumps that you can’t see, alas, (Phyllis, I liked them better for this occasion than the pink Giuseppi Zannotti shoes) and a Milly clutch. I wore the dress to dinner last night, and our waitress kept exclaiming that she loved it. She was floored when my husband told her that I made it. It’s a winner!
Puppy on the Loose

And…
The reason we went out to dinner? Because 29 years ago today…

Wedding Party

The gown! The hair! The mauve dresses! How very 80s :)

Like the first picture in this post says, “Love Story”

Happy sewing!

About Gorgeous Fabrics

I own an online fabric store, www.GorgeousFabrics.com. The name says it all!
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22 Responses to Pattern Review: Puppy Dress, And…

  1. Holly says:

    Gorgeous woman in a gorgeous dress. You are such an inspiration. Your pattern reviews are the best. Helpful and educational. Really well done.

  2. Amanda R says:

    I was very “meh” about this pattern until I saw it on you. You look amazing. And I love that print. So cute!

  3. Rachel says:

    Soooo cute! Your looks even better than the one on the magazine. And congrats!

  4. IsabellaM says:

    beautiful dress and expertly sewn, great applause!!!!

  5. Martha says:

    Your dress is simply lovely.

  6. Angela says:

    SOB….. I WANT the fabric!! Ok, I’ve ranted…. LOVE the dress!! Both the fabric and the pattern, I’ve never seen fabric like that. If you ever were able to get it for the website I’d snap some up in a minute.

    I was seriously considering trying this dress. I’d need to do some serious de-petiting though, as I’m a touch over 5’9″. Also, I’ve never inserted a waist stay, but I’ve been wanting to learn to do them.

  7. Jenny says:

    Pretty! This gives me the thumbs up that it looks nice complete. :-) I’m thinking of trying my own.

  8. Luisa says:

    That could be my wedding picture! 29 years ago next week, same mauve dresses!

  9. QSSSue says:

    Beautiful dress – Congratulations on 29 years!

  10. Suzanne says:

    Love it! As my 3 year old says, super awesome!

  11. Donna Kaufman says:

    gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Looks divine on you!

  12. suzanne says:

    Meant to ask… you used the organza to underline the top, and the habotai to line the skirt, right? How did you finish the seams for the skirt? I’ve always had trouble with lightweight silks and fraying, and opted for french seams where it wouldn’t be too bulky. But I’ve never really found the best option, other than hand overcasting or hong kong seams. I don’t own a serger, and the results I get with an overcast foot aren’t always pleasing either.

    • Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I don’t finish seams when I line a garment, Suzanne. The lining hides the seam allowances, so you don’t see the fraying. For exposed seams, here I used a Hong Kong finish. Another option if it really bothers you is to run a line of straight stitching inside the seam allowance, and then pink the raw edges.
      HTH!

  13. Jeannie says:

    Adorable—and elegant, at the same time! So what is the purpose of the waist stay? Not that I have much of a waist to worry about now. Looks great!

    • Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      In this case, Jeannie, the purpose of the waist stay is simply to keep the dress properly in place – no worries about riding up when I sit. I was able to get up and move around without having to adjust anything.

      “Waist stays – they’re not just for strapless anymore.”
      ;)

  14. Dear Sis says:

    Re: Wedding Pic. In the words of some fun Texan: The Higher the Hair, The Closer To God!! Big hair, big dresses, big day, little sleep. That was a fun wedding. Congrats on the longevity of the union of two really compatible souls. XOXO DSis (far left). RIP DSis #2 (far right). Miss you every day. (Bro is behind the Maid of Honor rocking an 80s haircut himself, with a mustache. Handsome, Dude.)

  15. Karen says:

    Adorable and yet chic dress Ann! Loved the wedding photo. I couldn’t help but notice that all the hems of the bridemaids were exactly the same distance from the floor. Did you make them along with your gown? During that decade I was sewing numerous bridemaid dresses in burgundy for all the Texas A & M graduates (Aggies). I do live in Texas so it is quite normal.

  16. Phyllis says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful. If the flower is removable a black Bakelite dress clip or a black beaded applique would make it a great day look too :) http://www.rubylane.com/item/16629-663/Large-Unusual-Dress-Clip

  17. Piarve says:

    I love how this dress falls. I am even more in love with the huge shoulder display on the wedding dress.

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