My British costume drama dress

May 12, 2016 12 Comments

My British costume drama dress

May 12, 2016 12 Comments
Burdastyle Frills Dress

I do think clothes can be transformative and this dress makes me feel way more glamours than my actual real life is. In fact this dress reminds me of the period pieces in English tv-series such has Downtown Abbey, Brideshead Revisited or House of Elliot. So as you might have guessed by now โ€“ I love this dress!

Burdastyle Frills Dress

I’ve had this fabric for like five years, but for the longest time I couldn’t find the right pattern. And I didn’t want to waste this unique fabric on a dress that just felt โ€“ okay. So when Burdastyle put this pattern out, I was beyond thrilled, it felt like a match made in heaven. That said, the dress wasn’t heavenly to make. Mostly due to the fabric, it’s very thin and delicate and frays easily, so it feels like it could rip easily. And since it is so transparent I wanted french seams and not serged seams. So it took a lot of fiddling to get everything right.

Burdastyle Frills Dress

There is no fusable interfacing on this dress, instead I used silk organza for the zipper opening and button placket. And I stay stitched all the curved seams, such as the sleeves, armscye and neckline to keep them from growing.

Burdastyle Frills Dress

Due the fabric properties, the inside is a bit messy to be honest, but I knew I had to live with it or I could have spent the better part of May on this dress. In fact when you look inside RTW garments made in these kind of delicate cotton fabrics, they often have wonky seams too. I will do a separate post later about some of the inner workings of this dress as I didn’t want to taint this escapist post with all the messy stuff ๐Ÿ˜‰

Burdastyle Frills Dress

Since the fabric is so delicate I don’t know how long the life span of this dress will be. In fact I wonder if I should only hand wash it just to be sure?  Not a lover of hand washing, but this might be a case when it would be totally worth it.

My review of the pattern


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  • Anonymous May 12, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Such a gorgeous dress! You know, when people buy ready to wear garments they never fuss about what the insides look like. Only those of us who make out own garments do that! Just look in the mirror and enjoy how fantastic you look because you look lovely!!!!! P.S. This is Mary over at pdxsquared on IG, I hate being 'anonymous'.

    • Johanna May 13, 2016 at 6:01 am

      Hi Mary! Exactly! And also, ironically, the more skilled I've become as a sewist the more nitpicky I'm about my results and I'm sure many can relate to that! I really need to be better at appreciating my stuff.

  • Summer Flies May 13, 2016 at 2:03 am

    It's lovely, so lovely. I love the colour mix and I think you have done the fabric justice. I really love the gathering. And your hair looks so lovely too.

    • Johanna May 13, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Thank you! I love the gathers too and the bands keep them in check which really helps creating a lovely shape, while still being very comfortable and forgiving.

  • Fabric Tragic May 13, 2016 at 9:07 am

    So pretty! You've made it so beautifully! Yes to hand washing – you've treasured it for 5 years, worth that extra care I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Johanna May 13, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      You make an excellent point. I will do it!

  • Karen May 13, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Very pretty! It's a unique looking dress and the fabric is perfect for it!

    • Johanna May 13, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you! In hindsight I'm glad that I waited for the perfect pattern, even though I was sometimes tempted to just do something with it

  • Amie Rikke May 13, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Lovely! Good decision on using the embroidered part of fabric for the upper part too. I appreciate your French seam tutorial, and the commenter who mentioned using a serger. I love who French seams look but don't like thinking of extra work ๐Ÿ™‚ This dress looks so feminine and floaty. I'll bet you feel great wearing it.

    • Johanna May 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      Oh I do feel great. It is also incredibly comfortable, which is something I appreciate a lot. Yes the french seam is extra work, so I'm happy that there are a few shortcuts to make it less daunting. Using this method I was surprised how fast it was, even though there were tons of seams.

  • Sheryll May 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    What a gorgeous dress! I really like how the waist bands hold it the gathers flat. And the fabric is divine, I hope it holds up for a long time. Yes to hand washing!

    • Johanna May 16, 2016 at 5:21 am

      Yes I will! I can get lazy with the hand washing but in this instance I really need to!

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