Sometimes Purple, Sometimes Cranberry Pleated Dress: Burda Magazine 10-2009 #119

I don’t know what happened to me. This dress has just needed hemming for the last four weeks. It sat on my dressform. It sat on my ironing board. It sat on the floor. It sat everywhere but my sewing machine. Perhaps it was the bow tie business. After making the ones for work, I had an order for three. Maybe it was the pants business. I decided I wanted some black ones and muslined not once, not twice but SEVEN times. Seven times for me to still have wrinkles in my seat and a big fat bottom half. But, more on that later. It was actually a blessed relief to return to this dress on Sunday.

This is my second go round with Burda 10-2009-119 . I first made it in January 2010. I wore it consistently but shrank it in a vigorous wash over the summer. Sadly, I’m not in love with this version as I was with the first.

I started this dress over the MLK weekend. The first stretch wool version was so snug around my chest it was tough to wear with a turtleneck. Well, this time I added a full inch for a FBA.

In addition, I sewed my non-stretch woven with an extra 1/2 inch at the seams. And because the sewing fairies have jokes, it came out huge. I went back in and took in the sides by everything I added and then some. But, there is just something off about the proportions. This dress could almost use a tuck in the waist so the skirt is level and the sides swing inward. Now, the sides are very curvy, wide and off grain. This makes them swing outward makes me look hippier  than I (think) I am. You can see what I mean here on the bottom right of the skirt.

Both the fabric and lining are from the Carol Collection. The Carol Collection has been a goldmine of solid bold colors for me. Again, I wouldn’t normally pick out this cranberry, but me likey.  Unlike last time, I managed to press my pleats through the front.

I’m also still on my combination facing / lining kick and did the same here.

I finished the dress with my machine’s blind hem.

I’m fine with the dress. Not disappointed enough to fix it. But, very curious about how it behaved so differently.  There are three more former dresses I would like to recreate this year.  This includes the notched collar dress, the Sherlock Holmes dress and the knit jumper.


  1. The cranberry is fantastic on you! For that matter, so’s the blue. I wasn’t so sure I was wild about the blouse (the grey dress looks so good without it), but somehow those over-sized sleeves work really well.

  2. It is very beautiful and the color is fabulous on you. I love your work. I like it better as a dress than a jumper – the neckline just looks dress to me….and 7 muslins! You are so dedicated. I am not good with fitting, but I know Summerset had a similar situation and posted pictures and had input from readers that helped her solve her elusive issue.

  3. What a gorgeous color/dress! I am biased towards jeweled tones and they happen to look great on you.

  4. Two things I see might look better if you make this dress again. Your side bust dart should end 2 inches from your bust point. In the photo is looks closer to your bust point. If you draw a 4 inch circle around your bust point on the paper pattern then you can back the dart off a little because the whole point of the dart is to release fabric where you need it for the whole breast.
    The other thing is while your machined hem looks very nice, using a shade darker thread will always disappear into the fibers better than a shade that matches exactly.
    Using solids always shows up more little things you wish you could change but you have done a superb job and with lining too….wow!

  5. I like the swing out myself, it looks like you are so happy you could start dancing any moment. The colors are wonderful too.

  6. I just love that dress!!! That pattern has been on my todo list for quite sometime. I want to make the second version of it that has the different fabric in the front.

  7. I love the color and style of that dress, and am in awe of your muslining dedication!

    I’m not completely convinced about the poufy-sleeved blouse underneath, though. It sort of detracts from the tailored fit of the bodice, and overbalances the fullness of the skirt, if you know what I mean. Like, instead of looking like this shape – )( – it looks like this one – [ ].

    Great blouse, great dress, but I’m not sure about the combo.

    • I love the color and style, Cidell, but I think I agree with Rachelle here about the blouse and dress combo. If I’m poufy on top, then I aim to wear something slender on bottom. If I have a full skirt, I want to wear a form-fitting top.

      So true what you say about the sewing fairies – they do like their jokes. I don’t sew enough for them to hang around my house much, but I am well familiar with their cousins, the knitting fairies and cooking fairies.

      • I actually really like the pouffy sleeves with it, but I think the neckline is off on the blouse underneath the dress, but like Rachelle said it’s a great blouse & great dress!

  8. I agree, the color is fantastic! It would be so cool to see a Carol Collection roundup post showing what you and Trena have made.

  9. I love the color and the pattern, one of these days I am going to bite the bullet and get a burda mag subscription. I also don’t think it does anything bad for your hips. I think we all look at our sewing and our bodies a lot more critically than we should. It looks great 🙂

  10. I like the dress on you and it’s a pretty color for you as well. The Carol collection has pushed you into colors that you’d never have bought but they look good on you. I agree about the dart being too long, but 2″ is an arbitrary number and probably too short for you. There’s some rule about a dart having to end in the circle around the bust point and that varies by your cup size. Do I remember how big? No.
    No, you do not look hippy in this dress at all.

  11. The cranberry dress is fabulous. The blue blouse is equally great. But would you forgive me if I tell you that in my opinion they don’t work together?

  12. For what it’s worth from a stranger, I like this version wayyyy better than your first. I don’t think the flare of the skirt makes you look hippy at all, I think it’s really flattering (although this may be because I’m all into 1950s/early 60s silhouettes). For instance, when I saw the photos of the first one on here I though, ‘meh’. Seeing this one, I wanna go make myself one RIGHT NOW, and am so happy I have this issue! And I would hope mine turned out half as lovely as your’s (ok, all the way as lovely, actually, lol).

    As for the grain issue, as my grandmother says: “If a man on a galloping horse won’t notice…”, and if it’s not causing anything really weird to happen don’t worry about it.

    I think what’s throwing me off about the ensemble is the blouse. It’s a BEE-UTIFUL blouse, but it doesn’t quite work with the dress/jumper. Somehow it’s just too much. Have you tried it with a jersey turtleneck or some such?

    Also, as many others have commented, this colour is phenomenal on you!

  13. I feel the same as you about recreating the things I loved last year, and I agree, this color looks amazing on you. I remember seeing this dress in Burda magazine and thinking I would like to try it. Glad to be able to reference your notes if I decide to make it. Thanks!

  14. I really like this dress alot. Maybe you should just put it away for a few days and then just look at it again?

  15. I like the dress and I can’t see a problem with the hips at all! I think the style works better with a cardi over the top than a shirt underneath – I’ve made this one twice and always seem to wear it with a waterfall cardigan. Give it a day or two, I think it will grow on you.

  16. That cranberry color is indeed very good on you.
    But I think you like the dress less than the former one because it’s not as drapey, and so the pleats poof out more in a kind of stiff way. We think of pleats as tailored, and so unconsciously as crisp, but that doesn’t hold with released pleats like this.
    Also, frankly I like it a lot better with thinner sleeves underneath. It’s not that this blouse isn’t good on you, it’s just that stiff poofiness on top of a bit too much skirt poofiness is too.. poofy :-). Try a nice shofly shirred dec Burda turtleneck instead?

  17. Ooh, this is freaky – not your dress, it’s lovely by the way… but I have also just ALMOST finished this exact same dress in a black linen-bamboo blend…and I’m PROCRASTINATING over the hem! It’s currently in a suitcase and I’m off to Mali for the next 6 weeks, tonight.. I should get around to hemming it whilst I am away!
    Nice job, and awesome colour!

  18. Gorgeous! This is another one I’d marked for myself a long time ago. You’re always one step ahead of me!

  19. Beautiful color and I really like your dress. I enjoyed reading about the differences you noticed making this up in two different fabrics – it’s amazing what a difference the fabric makes, isn’t it?

  20. I think it looks very pretty combined with that blouse. It made me smile, no it was a big grin, when I clicked on your blog. LOVE IT!

  21. I think everything about this dress is very flattering. I wouldn’t know you were hippy if you hadn’t mentioned it. The color is wonderful.

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