I never make dresses that look like they might be clingy or straight. I am a pear shape with my widest part being my thighs, not my hips. Yet, I was intrigued by BWOF 2-2009-119.  I knew Trena made this one up and I checked with her. She said the line drawing was deceiving and it was flowier than it appeared.


It seems what she meant is that my thighs are bigger than hers. ‘Cuz,  I cut it out while grading up three sizes through the thigh and all I can say is ‘giddyup’.


Holy saddlebags Batman.

Nothing like fabric bulging at your thighs and unceremoniously dipping back in. Since I can’t wear this to work, I went ahead and hemmed it above the knee.  Now, before you say ‘It’s not that bad’. These are the most flattering photos I could take. I’m honest, but Vanity is still my middle name 🙂 This still may get cut into a top. Overall it’s a nice pattern. Although, the sleeve construction seems to be more fussy than it should be. I called Trena about three times to understand them. What does Burda have against the word ‘understitch‘ ??

Alright. Instead of making a knit bias strip, I underlined the upper yoke. I think the dress would be better if I had underlined the entire thing in a knit. It would make this print sturdier and give a little more support. dscf7929

From the back. I made a swayback adjustment. The line is pulling some. Probably from the squirrels fighting back there.


And here I have found my Costco brand spanx. Hence the big smile. I’ll see if I can wear this over the summer for going out. But, if I find I don’t wear it. It’ll be cut into a top. I’m going to give this pattern another go. I’ve already altered to add two more inches to the thigh area. Hopefully, that will do it.


  1. Cidell, I know you said these are the best pictures of the bunch, but I think this dress looks really good on you! I actually saw it at PR and came right over to your blog to see it better. The fabric choice is really nice too – is that some of the fabric you got from Ghana?

  2. You look great in that dress. Your figure is cute, don’t be so hard on yourself. I love that print with your coloring. The maxi dress in yellow and brown looks fantastic on you. Maybe you should be naughty and keep it.

  3. I dunno R- I am liking it too. But I think the thing is, you don’t like it. And if you don’t like it, you A. wont’ feel rocking wearing it, and B. will relegate it to the back/bottom of the closet. So I say cut it off. And wear it!
    Do tell more about the Costco spanx…..

  4. I think it looks fine. You have a great shape and it doesn’t look bad at all. I think we are our worst critics.

  5. I think this dress is FAB! I was just glancing at the photos in my reader and saw you pointing to your hips, and I was thinking, “Wow, she looks so great!” Then I read the blog and I don’t think it hugs your hips in a bad way AT ALL! If I were you, I would definitely keep it!

  6. I agree the dress looks Great on you. Sheesh, I wish I could say Holy Saddlebag Batman, I’m an inverted triangle and I’m always in search of saddlebags…lol

  7. I know exactly what you mean. I get like 50-100 photos of each garment. The best 5-10 go up on the site. I don’t particularly want unflattering photos coming back to bite me on the ass, either!

    As an impartial, outside observer, honestly don’t think this looks bad, BUT if you’re not feeling it, chances are you’re never going to reach for it when you go to get dressed, so I’d vote for chopping it down to a top to make it a happy enough garment to wear. I mean, if you took all that effort to muddle through the BWTF instructions, you at least deserve something you’re keen to wear!

    Oh, and that print is fabulous.

  8. Three things.
    1) Who do you know that got you Sept 2009 BWOF already? And can I get in on it?
    2) Honestly, I really like it. I think it fits nicely, though it is pulling from the back or velcro-ing to undergarments? But if you don’t like it, that’s all that matters.
    3)Love the new “do”, hair that is. Very flattering.

  9. I think the dress looks good on you. I love the print. I wish my saddlebags were as small as yours 🙂
    Joyce in NC

  10. Okay I’m gonna trade you my hips and thighs so you can see what it’s really like to make adjustments! *LOL* Cause you look really good in that dress! I’m wondering if you aren’t going to have too much space in the next version…unless you are going for an a-line skirt on the dress?!

  11. OK, so I’m looking at the photograph and I’m asking myself, “What is she pointing at?” Then I read your comments and went back and STILL couldn’t figure out what you were pointing at. Honestly I agree with Carolyn – you look fab in that dress – you have a great shape. Period.

  12. Carolyn’s right, you look great in this dress. The fit is good and I think that the sleeves balance a pear shape very nicely.

  13. Well, I think you should wear it. The print is beautiful and the colors look good on you, besides from where I’m looking you have to look really hard to see any changes if any on the side seams.

  14. oh yeah, just cut it off to become a top! It is so much cuter made up than I thought the line drawing was. V. cute fabric, too.

  15. I think it’s really really cute and looks great on you. I think we are way too critical of ourselves! Your curves are flattering! Wear it and show it off!

  16. As with all the other comments, I think it looks great. We are our own worst critics. Believe us, it is a great dress for you.

  17. Please treat yourself more gently. That dress looks lovely on you; the fabric is perfectly suited to both the style and your coloring. As for your “giddiup” hips–I should be so lucky!

  18. I love you in it!!!MY eyes travel to your face..Had to really look to see the thighs..Your waist seems so small… LOVE IT

  19. Oh, Cidel, don’t cut it up! You look fabulous in that dress! Speaking as a “round-bottomed-pants-stretcher,” I’m totally jealous of how you look in a straight dress!

  20. Oh, I vote for cutting it up into a top right now. The fabric is gorgeous, it looks great on you. Do you really want to go wallow in a barbecue trough while strapped into spandex?? It’s a summer thing, live a little!

    I understand that your photo knowhow got them all fooled, and actually I think you look fine too, but if -you- say it’s too small I think we have to go with that..

  21. I think it’s really cute on you and slimming. I like this BWOF pattern a lot. It’s youthful but not teenagerish.

    Cidell, have you gotten any comments about how long it takes for your blog to load now? I timed it just now and it took 4 minutes to load this post and then another 3 minutes to redirect me to the comments page. Hopefully it’s just me.

  22. Bummer about the fit, although like everyone else I think it looks great. I also think you are smart for waiting to see if it gets worn.

  23. I made this dress last month to wear to my friend’s wedding in Florida. I love mine and think your version is sooooo cute! I was rockin’ the spanx to hide my tummy so that’s just life. lol

  24. Uh-huh. The exact reason I avoided making this dress like the plague. My lower half is exactly like yours.

  25. If you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t notice anything. Your shape is lovely! And the dress suits it well, but you have to feel comfortable wearing it.

  26. Can we say Hourglass Figure???? Looks great to me! But as others have noted, if you don’t like it you won’t wear it.

  27. I love the dress, but if you don’t like it, make a top of it. The fabric is so lovely.
    And understitching is something I only learned from making US patterns, there isn’t even a Dutch word for it (perhaps amongst tailors, not that I know of). Perhaps it’s the same in Germany (origin of BWOF)? I can’t remember ever having seen an instruction in BWOF using understitching.

  28. Dear Miss Celie,

    Maybe a cliche but about the Burdadress; I think you look fine in them….All in the eye of the beholder and all that…But what about this idea: You can always ‘widen’ the dress, by open up the side seams and make a wider (knit-)dress to wear underneath. Advantage is that also with an ‘underdress’ in a uni-color you can accentuate the pattern of the upper dress and ‘lead’ the eye away from those parts that acquire less attention…Don’t know if you like the idea, but maybe it could work?
    By the way, I read your KnipMode posts…I am a resident living in the Netherlands, with a weak spot for sewing especially working with silk fabrics.
    This months KnipMode (april) features some nice ‘folding like origami’patterns…But the big splash (and why I’m actualy posting this) is that next mont (May issue) they are having an extra special issue (celebrate their 40 years publishing in Holland) in which they will publish around 40 dresspatterns. Don’t know what kinda/sorta patterns they have, but if you like I could send you a copy so that you can have a good stock of dress patterns for this summer?
    Let me know whenever you would like me to send you a copy. Lots of fun sewing and have a good week!

  29. Dress looks fine in the pics. Spanx is a girls’ best friend! Only you know in person, if it fits the way you want. If it’s out of your comfort zone, refashion it.

  30. It looks really cute on you. I see what you mean by going in and out. But you have a great shape overall. How about a petticoat/half slip – would that help? The spanx seem to be working too. Another thing I read somewhere but may not work with a knit is to put interfacing along the seamline to stop it buckling in.

  31. Cidell, your expression in the top picture made me laugh out loud! Oh, how well I know that feeling!

    Gotta join the crowd, though–I think the dress looks great on you. AND, that if you don’t feel good in it, it’s soooo not worth it. Don’t pressure yourself, lady–we love what we love, whether others agree or not.

  32. I see NO pear shape there! The dress looks great with or without spanx! I really like that fabric too!

  33. You’re kidding, right? I think you have a great figure and look adorable in that dress! Every woman’s enemy in a knit dress is VPL, which is where the Spanx come in. You can also try a boyshort panty that has stretch lace instead of elastic for a smooth look – not quite as constricting as Spanx.

  34. I know you are never going to feel comfortable in it so I won’t go there. However, do cut it into a top because that color is very flattering on you. I think the next version needs to be cut more a-line just to move more into your comfort zone.

  35. I like your dress but if YOU aren’t comfortable wearing it, then I hope you turn it into a top.

    I laughed about the comment re Burda and the word understitch. Were you in my sewing room a few days ago? 🙂 I was sewing a BWOF pattern and they took two convoluted sentences to say what amounted to understitch. I thought exactly the same thing as you.

  36. Remember when I said I didn’t like the way a dress fit me and you said I must be on crack? Well, girlfriend, YOU must be on crack, too!!! That dress looks fine!

  37. Well, with those spanx in play consider that your man catching dress. If it proves unsuccessful after a time or two you always have the top. I say give it a go a few times before transitioning into the top

  38. Well, at the risk of getting beaten up by the rest of the posters on here, I’m going to take the plunge and give a critically objective viewpoint. By critical I mean the grad-school-develop-your-critical-thinking-skills kind, not the crrrrriticize kind (the “r” was rolled there like old Mrs Harris does in Anne of Green Gables the Sequel – I finally got it and the first movie just a little while ago, squeee!).


    I do agree with everyone that you have a lovely figure. The only ones among us who are perfect are those mostly made of plastic. I have an hourglass figure, but also runners legs = well developed thighs+skinny calves, ugh. Oh, and my crappy crap crappy hair is THE bane of my existence.

    It is true that we are our own worst critics, but I value being mine. I have no problems with being tough on myself. I want to look my best as often as possible and not save it for my wedding day.

    So, that said, while the dress does look mostly nice on you I can also see what you’re pointing at, literally. The bottom of the dress is not as flattering on you as it could be.

    I agree with your choice of alteration for future versions. If it turns out to be too much, it’s easy as a wink to fix!

    I’m also of the camp that says don’t burden yourself with spanx during the summer, it’s the time to free yourself! Unless you really enjoy wearing the spanx…..for whatever reason.

    I think you are wise to wait on it a bit, and then cut it for a top if it’s not getting worn. It would look great as a top. The upper half of it looks fabulous, as does the print/colours.

  39. I *love* the expression on your face as you are pointing towards the thighs. It cracked me up. Echoing the others, the dress looks great, and I love the print! How on earth, and where on earth did you find an African-y knit?

  40. NO, NO, NO!! It is darling AND sexy! It looks so good!!! You are a curvy, sexy woman. Flaunt it, honey 😀 I really like it.

  41. You are right, the pictures are flattering because I have a hard time observing why you find the dress so objectionable.

    However, I do think the dress would work better if you didn’t try to add all the thigh ease at the side seams. Why not put in side front and back darts? Distribute the fullness at 6 points instead of 2. It will be so much more flattering. You can also make a better sway back adjustment with the CB darts.

  42. You know when I saw the first picture, I went: Wow, you look hot in that dress! I want one too! Maybe it’s tugging and stuff, but it looks great from here 🙂

  43. Exactly. It looks great on you! Cut, color, everything. I think the figure-hugging lower half looks smashing. Here in Europe everyone wears more fitted clothes and you should definetly show off such a lovely figure as yours.

    What on Earth are Spanx? Are they spandex boy shorts or something?

  44. Oh I do not know what giddyup means, but I do not see what you see. I think that the dress has punch, I mean positive punch. It is nice with flat shoes or it would be so neat with brown high heal boots that could melt into brown opaque tights. You have wonderful curves… I know what I say, since I am a tooth pick. I love your dress.

  45. First off, I feel your pain – my thighs are wider than my hips too. I think the dress looks really nice tho, we are our own worst critics. Besides, I think guys like a little bit of curves 🙂

  46. Actually – I think if the hem hit below the knee instead of above the whole effect that bothers you would be *much* less noticable and more flattering. Proportion is as important as fit. Just look at Ann Smith’s projects on PR; she’s a master at proportion, and you’d think from her photos she’s like Heidi Klum height, when in reality she’s tiny, like 5′ 3″ with short legs and really busty to boot.

  47. “I mean really, who tells a not-fat/ healthy kid in elementary school they have a big butt? ”

    My father.
    So many people tell kids things they think won’t stick. Little girls with changing bodies have a hard time – and things just get bigger, even when we wish they wouldn’t. I’m 34 and I’m still surprised everytime it turns out my body isn’t as HUGE as I think it is. 😦

    I like the dress too. 🙂

  48. That dress makes your waist look like Scarlett O’Hara’s 19 inches…you are focused on the thigh area and not seeing the whole picture…it is very flattering. Wear it a few times, I bet you will learn to love it.

  49. Yes, it’s a keeper. but, I know something can look great in a photo, but still bug you all day long. Wear it a time or two and see what you think. If you keep grabbing for something else instead, turn it into a top.

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