Made by me / My makes

Burda dress with puff sleeves

Do I need one more summer dress? Probably not. But they are one of the things I enjoy sewing the most. And wearing. I love the sensation of airy cotton against my skin and summer dresses make me feel light and joyful. Although the smiley face in the photo doesn’t tell the complete picture, I’m actually not entirely happy with the outcome of the Burda magazine dress. Mostly because some design quirks on Burda’s behalf, like the insanely low décolletage and the snug shape around the hips which doesn’t really work with the suggested batiste. This dress would probably look better in something slinky and drapey, like the wedding version, which is sensational.

I was a little surprised by the shortcomings of this pattern. Burda are usually very reliable and I have the exact chest/waist/hip measurements of their size 38, so I didn’t really expect the fit to be slightly off. But then again sheath dresses are generally hard to fit and in hindsight I should have used my personal sloper instead and my own puff sleeve draft. Because another object of discontent are the sleeves – they’re huge. I ended up pressing the puffs into pleats to make them more subtle.

The puff sleeves before I pressed them down.

The neckline up close.

All things said, the end result looks pretty good and the overall design is very nice. I will definitely wear the dress, at least if the darn weather could be more cooperative. The two week heatwave was wonderful, but now we are back to a classic Swedish summer. i.e. mostly cold and rainy. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For more info on the pattern see my review.


  • Cindy
    July 25, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I think, it looks great on you. The fabric makes the dress. Where did you get it? I am assuming it is from a local shop. My girlfriend just returned from Sweden with the past prints–so jealous!

    Love the dress!

  • Gail
    July 25, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I think it looks great on you. The colours are beautiful – just like Sydney's flawless winter sky at the moment.

  • senaSews
    July 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    The dress suits you so great. I like the fabric and also the style of this dress!

  • Shannon
    July 25, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Despite your misgivings, I think you look great in your new dress!

  • Johanna
    July 25, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    >> Cindy: I bought it in London, it literally just jumped at me in the fabric shop :)Oh those retro prints are very special, I just wish they made more clothes fabrics in those prints. Or maybe not, as it could become a very expensive habit…

    >>Gail: That Sydney image sounds absolutely wonderful.

    >>SenaSews and Shannon: Thank you!

  • Lisette M
    July 25, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I love this dress! I made it but used the fluttery sleeves on mine and used a flowy rayon. The print is just fabulous!

  • melissa
    July 25, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    ooh I love it even more from the detail photos! I don't think the sleeves are too much, and I love the shoulder pleats and that button opening… And is that London fabric? 😉

  • Antoinette
    July 25, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Adorable dress! Even though I think the sleeves look great, as the wearer of the dress I might also struggle with their poofiness. (Is it because we are not tall and want more tailored shapes?)

    I bet that fabric just threw itself on the cutting table. It's fabulous!

  • lsaspacey
    July 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I think what it is with puffy sleeves, is that they since we see them out of the corners of our eyes at all times, they seem so huge, when in fact they probably do a great service to our figures by giving up broader shoulders. My Simplicity 4077 shirt gives me problems too because of the sleeves but I always get compliments on it.

  • Johanna
    July 25, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    >>Lisette: You know I kept thinking that a lovely printed rayon would be the perfect choice for this dress when I was sewing it. Great to hear that it was a perfect match! And ditto on the sleeves, I think I like them more too.

    >>Melissa: Yes it is that fabric, from the store where you bought your corduroys 🙂

    >>Antoinette: I think it might be a height thing, I am pretty small framed too and puffy sleeves sometimes feels like an UFO that has landed on my shoulders. But as with fashion in general it's all in our perception.

    >>Issaspacy: Yes that distortion sounds reasonable and in fact I would probably benefit from bigger shoulders too, but there is definitely something that throws the eye off with puffy shoulders. But then again high end designers uses them all the time and I too really like them when other people are wearing them. Maybe I should give them a second chance?

  • Anonymous
    July 28, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I agree with everyone: you look great in that dress! The sleeves are definitely not toomuch- they make the dress look special. I made it last year and found out, too, that it was strangely tight fitting around the waist and hips. I remember being a little sad, because I thought I had put o weight. But maybe it was not me, it was the pattern!


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