Pattern Review: Burda Magazine 10-2009-119

Wow. I thought I would get this dress finished over the New Year’s break. Not so much πŸ˜‰

Somedays, I think I have got to leave pleats alone. Remember this shirt? Or my last dress? Luckily, Burda’s 10-2009-119 was not an epic fail. I actually quite like it. But, these pleats and I have got to go to therapy to work on our relationship.

I was immediately drawn to this dress because it’s in just about my favorite neutral, gray. And, it had that awsome flared skirt that would skim over my legs. I like how the tucks in front Β created interest. What I forgot, is that I am god-awful at sewing pleats! Not one single tuck is the same size as the next tuck. I find myself triple checking every single tuck because the whole concept is a little confusing to me. But, I love how they look!

First, let’s just stop pretending you don’t see it and address my little ‘style’ change to the skirt portion. I somehow managed to not mark the tucks (or extend them) to the hem. And, rather than go back and remark the skirt once I realized, I decided a 60s style full skirt would do me just fine. But, I am not totally lazy– the dress is fully lined!

And, while Nigel has heated seats, I cannot go sleeveless in winter. Today, it was a balmy 40 degrees (after two weeks of temps in the mid 20s, it almost felt like spring). This dress can easily be worn with a turtleneck underneath.

The fabric is a heather gray stretch wool from A 2009 purchase! I’m still on my 2010 fabric fast. It’s very soft and warm and totally a steal at less than $5 a yard. But, it is not pant weight IMHO as they suggested.

I don’t know what I think about the sizing though. I sewed a 40 in this (I normally sew a 38 — but I’m experimenting). It is a very snug fit in the bust. So snug, that without the turtleneck you can see my bra straps in back (again — fully lined). Or, I have back fat now. Either way — not a good look. That could easily be my fault since I can’t sew tucks. But, I have found that Burda’s fitted / tucked dresses don’t work well for me sizewise. Remember this one?

I’m still on my soup / cooking kick.

Tortilla soup is soup #3. Yummy. I went to the Latino store and even bought real crema, fresh tortillas and cotija cheese. I know. I need to work on my food photography skills πŸ˜‰

Soup #4, Garlic Potato soup. Which I think is your basic Baked Potato or Potato Leek Soup. So not really ‘healthy’ between the sour cream, cheddar, heavy cream and starchy potatoes. but, it was delicious.

Soup #5 was today’s lunch. Vietnamese-Style Beef Noodle Soup. There is a Thai-Fillipino store less than a mile from my house with everything I needed. Su-wheet. Never thought I would find my self putting cinnamon in chicken broth!


  1. I love that dress on you. And that Vietnamese beef noodle soup looks so good!! DH is in DC this weekend tending to his dad, so the kids and I are making tacos tonight. Maybe tomorrow night I’ll try that. πŸ™‚

  2. The dress is adorable! I love pin tucks! They are a pain to meaure out and get even, but sooooo worth it.

    Thank you for adding me to the blog.

  3. I think it was John Lennon that said, “Give pleats a chance.” hee

    Anywho, I think you look fab in your new dress, despite the pleating issue!

  4. Ack–those soups are making me hungry! And I just had dinner. *Love* soup in the winter. The dress looks fantastic and really flatters your arms. Is the wool lightweight enough to wear in warmer weather too?

  5. The dress is pretty; I love that color. From the way it hangs, I think you’re probably right that it would be too light for pants. It can be tricky getting the sizing right on a new pattern the first time, so it’s a good thing you went a size bigger than usual. And I love your soups! We’ve been even colder here, so I’m on a soup kick. That said, I’m rejoicing over 40 degrees and sunny today – but it’s supposed to get colder, with “wintry mix” coming in tomorrow. Blech.

  6. Oh what a pretty dress!(and your nails look nice too.) What style change? I thought that was on purpose.
    I would eat soup every day if I could get away with it, but the kids only allow 2 soups a week. Tortilla Soup is my favorite- no wait – Thai beef is my favorite…they are all my favorites

  7. oh wow I love pho but I never thought to make it myself. You go girl! I love the dress too my the way. Keeping kicking those pleats/tucks butt.

  8. Mmmm… and I’m vegetarian, too! Hey, those pleats look very pretty. They pass the 1-metre rule (nothing glaring 1m away). Wear it with pride. A BBA might be yield the fit you want with fitted Burda dresses.

  9. The dress looks good. I’d love to see your shoes and can you send over a bowl of that tortilla soup please.

  10. You are being too hard on yourself – the tucks do need a bit of aligning where they end, but the dress looks adorable on you. It emphasizes a slim torso and is feminine without being “frilly”.

    I bought some of that stretch wool in black – haven’t used it, but did think it was a bit lighter than I expected. Thanks for the comment about your concerns for pant weight – perhaps a skirt suit would be in order for the fabric I bought?

  11. You pinpointed exactly why this dress looks great on you! It showcases your great upper body, including arms and skims over the thighs to give you a very flattering, slimming silhouette.
    The soups look wonderful too. Yum. I need to cook a few myself.

    • Exactly! I wish I could go sleeveless all the time with a sign that says: Look Here!!

  12. The dress is really cute and you look great in it. I think I have to go downstairs to make some soup soon (pumpkin-apple soup with ginger πŸ˜‰ )

  13. The dress looks great on you – and I would just say the pleats were a matter of deliberate artistic license! That thai soup makes me hungry..

  14. That dress looks GREAT on you! Issues with pleats/tucks certainly aren’t visibly noticeable, but stretch fabric would make them very difficult to keep even. I’m not even sure what would help while sewing: pinning the whole works to tissue paper during stitching?

    I’m putting that one on my list! And oh…the soups, yum. Particularly the beef one. Yum again!

  15. That looks great! Please add me to your blob subscription jmkim505 a_t yahoo d_o_t c o m.

  16. That dress looks great on you! And I wouldn’t worry about the pleats not matching up exactly, I think it adds it’s own charm.

  17. The dress is lovely! Don’t worry about the pleats evenness–the only one that will know will be you (and, well, readers, but we promise not to tell and we all understand completely).

  18. Great dress! I love how you left the fullness of the skirt… it looks great! Also, I love your nail color that matches your turtleneck! πŸ™‚

  19. You need to hang out with some sewing newbies and give yourself a major break. That dress silhouette looks great on you! You inspire me to be a better seamstress but ya gotta realize how talented you really are.
    (Not loving the turtleneck underneath but wonder if you have a cute fitted jacket or cardigan that you could wear with the dress for a more polished look?)

  20. Love that dress! And your soups look delicious — it has been rainy and cold here in California so a nice bowl of soup would be super comforting!

  21. I’ll take a bowl of that potato-garlic…
    I can’t believe you have so much trouble with pleats. Do you pick fabrics that press well and can take a sharp edge? Do you hand-baste and then press carefully before you get to the sewing machine? Are you careful to stitch in the direction that’ll go along the lay of the pleats, going in 2 directions if necessary? Do you raise the machine foot to relax the fabric before you attack a pleat head-on, if you can’t avoid it?
    It’s a horse to the hedge thing, you’ve got to pick an easy project to get over this traumatic stuff. Besides, this dress looks fabulous :-).

  22. Oh, I love that dress on you! Really cute, both with and without the turtleneck. I just made baked potato soup last night (recipe from Cooking Light) – so yummy. I’m also drooling over that vietnamese beef noodle soup. Mmmm!

  23. Hi!

    I love the way you matched your fingertips to your turtleneck! I also love the dress you made. It’s so pretty and flattering!


  24. How did I miss this post??? Love the dress–it is totally your style, classic, professional, but with a little bit of visual interest and jumper friendly.

    Will have to try a vegetarian version of the tortilla soup.

  25. That grey dress fits you perfectly. As for those pleats, pick one length and make the rest match. No? They seem to be noticeable in the pix. (At least you’re sewing. I still have fabric in the bags!)

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