Pattern Review: BWOF 6/2009 #107

I actually almost forgot to review this dress, 6-2009-107! I’ve been waiting for a nice day out so I could get some decent sun photos (navy is hard to photograph). But, it’s raining today and I wore the dress to the office  so sub-par basement photos it is!

Ok. First, this dress is no good without the belt. I won’t like to you. Gah. It looks like I’m in some cult where I’m ashamed to have girl parts.

Jean likens it to a mu mu and she’s spot on. BTW, if you’re not reading her blog, you should be. She does impeccable work and is a knit designer too. Kind of makes me wish I lived next door so I could be all clever and trick her into becoming my friend. But, I digress.

I didn’t make the obi — yet. But, instead tried it with my red Anthropologie knock off belt. The fabric is linen from Denver Fabrics. I washed and dried it a few times to soften. I like the soft rumpled look. But, still pressed and starched it like I was in the military.

Here it is with my pink J.Crew belt knock off — I need to do photos of that sometime.  I know the blousy look trends young, but I think it’s very cute and super comfortable.  As you can see, this is my summer of showing my knees. I read that minis are the rage this summer, and this is as close as I can get for the office. Also, I don’t love myself in black, so navy is my dark neutral of choice.

June 107

You’ll notice mine is not off the shoulder like the original. I didn’t want the off-shoulder look since this is a work dress and I have narrow shoulders. So, I just took much bigger tucks than called for–  which shaved about three or four inches off the neckband. That brought everything up higher, and still made a very cool dip in the back neckline.

So, this dress totally works for me and I think it should only be made in a solid. I feel it could just be too much in a print. For my body type, an X, it’s good because it highlights the smallest part of me, but glosses over my bottom half. It’s super comfortable, can be made I think in under two hours and has elicited loads – o-compliments from the fashionistas I’m trying to keep up with at work. Again I say: I HEART the June 2009 BWOF!


  1. Wow, the difference the belt makes is amazing! I love it with the red belt, and I am a big fan of navy, too!

  2. Your cult comment made me laugh. The belt really makes a difference – in the first picture, I thought you maybe had put a coat on backward. And thanks for the link to Jean’s site – if you recommend it, it must be good!

  3. Now you see, that’s what I get for just looking at the pictures without reading the text – I thought you’d lost the plot there for a minute. But it’s ok, Cidell has still got it, with the belt it’s fab!

    Looks like you had fun in NYC, at least you sew what you buy, so totally deserved.


  4. First let me say it looks wonderful with the belt! I always worry about those kind of necklines (for myself, because I’m terrfied of my short little neck disappearing) but this looks terrific and really makes me want to give this pattern a try. However – when you say “two hours”… what point do you start timing? Because as a sewing-newbie I read so many lovely sewing blogs about loads of fabulousness “knocked out in an hour or two” and I don’t get it. After two hours I’m lucky if my pattern is traced, fabric lined up and everything cut out….how do you guys DO it??! *so jealous* 🙂

    • That’s a fair question. I would say two hours once it’s been cut out. I don’t think I’m all that fast. But, to be fair, I would give it four hours for a beginner.

  5. The red belt it marvelous. You make it look so wearable…I may have to try making one of these.

    The last issue of my BWOF subscription was in May and I wasn’t planning on continuing it because we’re moving soon. But after listening to your podcast I picked up a copy!

  6. LOL, looking at the first picture, I thought I was going to have to contact Trena so she could have a talk with you. However, as I read on I burst out laughing when you made the comment about the cult (as I was wondering what was going on). Love it…with a belt. The red one is perfect!

  7. I’m planning to make this dress. Making a mental note – cut at least one size smaller! Looks great with the red belt. Without it – like a hospital gown.

  8. It looks like I’m in some cult where I’m ashamed to have girl parts. Guffaw!! You crack me up.

    Very cute dress on you. I’d like to see it with the self-fabric obi too.

  9. When I saw the first photo I thought Cydell has done gone off the deep end. And then I saw the dress with the belts–awesome, just awesome.

    Regarding the shorter skirts: flaunt them while you still can.

    • LOL. I was apoplectic when I first tried it on. Luckily, I found my belt.

  10. It looks great on you, but I couldn’t wear it. I love the contrast of the red and blue and I adore those shoes. I agree about the beltless look, but maybe in a really diaphonous fabric, as a beach cover all, it could work without a belt. I saw some really pretty silk georgette the other day in a lovely summery print that I like but thought I would never actually sew anything in until I saw this. In fact, I think I’m talking myself into it as I type! As for the summer of the short skirt, you know how I feel about it. You have great legs and need to show them off. I think I only have one more summer left in mine …

  11. I have to agree with you and others….the belt absolutely makes the dress. Well, the belt and YOU. The navy with the red is really fabulous. I like the neckline that doesn’t drop off the shoulders not just for work but in general. Great job and thanks for sharing. Beautiful!!!

  12. Looks great with the red belt. Thanks for the tip regarding changing the off-the-shoulder look. I too have narrow shoulders. Like the rest, I was a little nervous when I saw the first shot. You did that on purpose to rile us up:)

  13. Love the dress with the red belt. You mention Navy is your neutral – have you tried charcoal and mid greys? In the couple of years I have been reading your blog, I have seen a few photos of you in these colours and always thought how great they looked on you.

    • Whoops. You are right. I do in fact love grey. I guess I should have said navy is my summer neutral.

  14. I enjoyed the cult comment too. I love the red/navy look this season. An obi would look great too.

  15. Thanks for mentioning me in your post — I love visiting your site because you have a fun style of writing and always seem to make similar Burda styles! I love the dress on you — the changes you made to the neckline and length are really flattering. I have my fingers crossed that mine will turn out as beautiful as yours!

  16. This looks so good with a contrast belt! Your red belt, especially! Your pictures have convinced me not to do a self-fabric belt with this pattern.

  17. Funny post! The before and after belt pictures are really interesting, the dress is transformed. It looks great on you (with a belt), I know that it would look terrible on me though, bah….

  18. The dress without the belt is not you! I would have been embarrassed to comment on it.
    But with the red belt, yes it looks good on you.

  19. Terrific! Love the navy blue and the bright red belt! This pattern is on my weekend agenda, and I plan to make it out of a rather bold linen print. . . should be interesting to see how it comes out! Looks like I need to factor a belt into the equation.

  20. That belt knocks it out of the park! I have been eyeing that pattern and seeing your version makes it very tempting. Pulling in that droopy neckline was a great idea. Super1

  21. Wow that belt works wonders. It looks fab, did you do anything for swayback? It looks perfect but I was wondering if you had to fiddle with it.b

  22. Cidell – I think this looks marvelous on you. There is great style in this dress and it shows. I even like the un-belted version, but only because it’s chocked full of style. It should be worn with the belt, as that makes it a wow look! I’m glad you made it up – it’s too young fo me and I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise. Thanks for the review and the pictures – even though it’s cloudy, I can see the dress.

  23. It looks like an Omar the Tentmaker creation without the belt, but it’s great with the red belt! I hope your obi will be a bright color, too. I agree that it would be too much in a print. It looks good on you!

  24. wow, I was thinking “has she lost her mine” then I scrolled down and went “lovely” You can wear so many colors and styles of belts to make this dress different each time you wear it. The neckline is very flattering on you as well.

    You are making me want to say “no” to my clients so that I can make some beautiful clothes for myself!

  25. wow, I was thinking “has she lost her mind” then I scrolled down and went “lovely” You can wear so many colors and styles of belts to make this dress different each time you wear it. The neckline is very flattering on you as well.

    You are making me want to say “no” to my clients so that I can make some beautiful clothes for myself!

  26. Thanks for showing this with different belts. What a difference a belt can make! I like your smaller boat neck far better than the original intention.

  27. Love this dress!!! I need to check if I have this issue of Burda..

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