Saturday, May 8, 2010

Burda's Heidi

I finally made the Burda Heidi dress which Erin has made, like, fourteen of: I got it done in time for Anne's garden party in April. This was quite the experiment as I had never used a Burda pattern before. I decided to make size 38, since it seemed to be the closest to my measurements. I wanted to use this sky blue and white fabric, though, and I realized how reckless it was to be using fabric I paid $ 9.00 a yard as a muslin. But then I thought, Wait, I have a dress form! So I cut out the bodice lining first (yes, Vicki, I used the bed sheet for the lining) and tried it on my dress form. It looked okay:
So I proceeded to go forth and experience the World of Burda. After I had it cut out, I realized that I had NOT cut the bodice back or skirt back on the fold. DOH! But still, the dress form lining assured me that I had plenty of room in the bodice. I wasn't so sure about the skirt. I decided to continue forward.
I got the dress together despite Burda's instructions which I didn't use because they were unintelligible. Fortunately, I have made a skirt with these kinds of pockets before, or I would have been totally lost. Here is a photo of the dress on the dress form with the back seam only pinned:

Pinning the back on the dress form made me realize that a 5/8 inch seam in the back bodice wasn't going to do.

I ended up sewing a 7/8 inch seam at the top of the bodice, a 3/4 inch in the middle of the bodice, and a 5/8 inch seam when I hit the waist. By not cuting the bodice on the fold and by putting the 7/8 inch seam at the top, I figure that I took 2 and 1/4 inches out of the back of this dress and it is still big. Clearly, I don't wear a size 38 in Burda's sizing, despite what their sizing chart says.
Here is a close up of the pocket:

Here's a back view:

The busy print of the fabric doesn't really show the design lines of the dress. Another of the pocket:

One change I made was to take a small hem so as to lengthen the skirt about 5/8 inch so it would cover my knee. I like my skirts and dresses to either cover my knee or hit above the knee - right in the middle of the knee looks weird on me, like my skirt is too short.
This is the first garment I have ever made using my dress form and it kept this project from becoming a complete wadder. Without it, I would have never figured out where, and how much, to take it in. I decided that when I make it again, though, I need to start with a smaller size and basically begin from scratch - but then it dawned on me like a biblical revelation that I don't have to make it again. If I'm not totally in love with it there is no law that says I have to whip up another version. I think I subconsciously believe that I have to keep making a pattern until it fits perfectly. I think it is time to let that go!
Parting Shots: My yellow rose bush is in bloom! With all the rain we have had in the past year, it is particularly stunning. I don't know what variety it is, but the flowers have a sweet, spicy smell that just makes you want to stop and sniff the roses.


Vicki W said...

I think it turned out great and your rose bush is beautiful!

gwensews said...

That's a lovely dress. The blue/white print is so summery and cool looking.

Summerset said...

Welcome to the world of Burda instructions. Now you know why people complain about them! The dress turned out great, even with the adjustments.

The roses are absolutely beautiful! Enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

You look fabulous in that dress! You know I didn't understand a single thing you said about making it - but you look mahvelous! And the roses are gorgeous - yellow roses are my favorite kind. Eileen

Mary said...

Yellow roses are my favorite and yours are beautiful! As always, I'm very impressed with your sewing ability too!

Audrey said...

I am glad to see you are using your dressform. I had heard that some of the ladies in that class had already disposed of theirs because they were too "depressing". Reality Bites! The dress turned out so well! Good fit and pretty fabric.