Pattern Review: BWOF 10-2008-117: Bubble Dress Redux

I first made this dress in October 2008 for a wedding. It remains my most flattering dress. This is the one I constantly get a positive response in. It’s slim and flattering through the waist and is complementary on the bottom. In fact, it’s my go to ‘Get ‘em gurrrl’ dress. In fact, a few weeks ago I knew I was going to see an ex-boyfriend (Ladies. Do not sh*t where you eat. No good will come of it). The original purple version is what I chose to wear. And, it did what I wanted it to do. Everyone needs a dress like that.

I’ve been wanting to make this up again for some time. Mainly because the original purple (this is mortifying), is stank with body funk. Yes, there I said it. I have a garment that is only wearable in the winter when I have no opportunity to get warm. I have done everything prescribed to it by the incredibly knowledgeable doyennes of pattern review. It’s significantly better (it was once unwearable) but it is not without flaw. Man, last week I soaked the pits for eight hours in  a pure ammonia and baking soda paste. Again, better. But, not perfect. I’ve since moved on to dress liners, prescription strength antiperspirants and washing my knits (with amonia, baking soda and borax) as soon as I wear them. But, I digress.

I bought this material at PR Weekend in Montreal. I have no capacity for remembering how much fabric was.

For this iteration, I left out the CB zip, did not interface the collar (so I could pull it over my head), widened the turtleneck, and did not sew the bust darts. I find bust darts in thin knits super annoying and I was thinking that they weren’t going to make that much of a difference.

Voila! I have a very nice gray almost sweater knit that I think I’d like to make it up in. This dress was especially needed this week as someone thought I was in my mid 40s. Not that there is anything wrong with your mid 40s. But, for heaven’s sake! I’m 34 !!

** I took pictures twice. Now that it’s dark out, the lighting in my living room isn’t great. And, I’m too much of a wimp to take pictures outside in the cold. I had some really nice detail photos on the dressform. But, my four-year old iMac is currently in the shop. I put in a Netflix DVD of Butterfield 8 (great costumes by Helen Rose) and my computer just stopped working. They are ordering a new elliptical drive. But, for now,  all my good photos are on there.  Boo!!

She makes a lovely bride

I finished the #117 dress from October 2008 last night and wore it to today’s morning wedding. Actually, Anna on the right is wearing a dress of mine that I bought two years ago and never wore. I sold it to her last week in a closet cleaning spree.

I don’t think the photo shows just how freaking cute this dress is. As you know, I think I was granted tree trunks for legs (thank you for all protestations otherwise). I was worried the extra fabric around my thighs would be no good, but I feel like a skinny girl in this dress!


I like BWOF’s way of creating motion by twisting the skirt of the dress. It is decidedly uncute without the belt though. And the circle by the right boob is just above the apex. Never been so pleased with having a low bust before :)


The zipper is needed in the back unless you cut the neckband with stretch. I interfaced my neckband because it was too floppy without. No swayback adjustment needed. I think the weight of the skirt pulls down the wrinkles.


The lining inside was white tricot from the summer visit to Panama. The outer fabric is from PR Weekend NYC 2007. It’s been marinating for about a year.


For the first time I used 1/4 inch hems and constructed most on my serger. This is honestly a five hour or less project. And, no hemming of the skirt. I still have about two more yards of this knit. I think a top of some sort will get made from it.

I’m not sure if bubble skirts are still in. I never had one when they were first around in middle school. But, I plan to rock this at work on Monday with tights and boots.