This is NOT my dress: Burda 8-2011-116

Welcome to my Valentine’s dinner dress FAIL.

I wanted to make something really easy, fast and inherently sexy for this weekend out. I had several patterns in mind, but they are all knit with straight skirts. The two times I tried a knit dress with a straight skift, I HATED how I looked.

 I was very inspired by this Suzi Chin dress

I thought this 8-2011-116 Burda was similar enough. And, was only two pattern pieces. What’s not to love?  I was willing to see how a straight knit skirt looked on me in some less-than-loved knit I had in the stash.

Yeah. I still hate my thighs and this is NOT my dress. I’m just too curvy and bottom heavy to get away with a straight knit skirt. There’s nothing wrong with the pattern. Just not my style.

The dress looked terrible without the belt. It needed the belt for waist definition. But, then it had to kind of blouson over the belt. Which made me look wider on top. And, it pulled the skirt up shorter than I wanted it to be. This was a good reminder for me on what does and doesn’t work for my body type.

And, to add insult to injury. I actually like the print again. Boo! The good news is, it made an awesome top, LOL. I cut it down and wore it out on Saturday night as a top. No photos though.

So, I’m back to square one… what to make. I’d really like to use this knit below. Yes, I know.. .an animal print. I saw this one at G Street this summer and I didn’t hate it.

I ‘m not going out to buy a pattern. And, I need to start sewing tonight. I have a couple of ideas. So, stay tuned.


  1. oh honey, you can get away with that dress.
    It’s just not a style that makes you look amazing.

    You are just spoiled 🙂

    Do you also hate animal prints? I know, such a strong word… maybe it’s not the best choice.
    I steer clear of them, too.

    Great on other people, but not for me.
    Good luck on a sexier dress for Valentine’s Day.

    • Thanks 🙂 I am spoiled! LOL. I pick the same styles over and over that work for me. So, I forget that there are some things that I just look better in.

  2. Don’t know if you were planning on wearing the boots with the dress…. but don’t you think it would heat it up to wear a pair of sexy heels?

  3. Well, at least a very fun top was born- my hips are the death of me- they are very limiting sometimes! But I think they look lovely in animal prints!

  4. I like the neckline, shoulder and belted, blousy waist on you.

    Strictly speaking, that is not a straight skirt but a pegged skirt if the hemline is narrower than the widest part of the hip. If you want to experiment, you might try “straightening” the side seams. In the days when women did not consider themselves well dressed without a girdle, they also minimized curviness by wearing taffeta slips under knit skirts. It was actually a knit “taffeta”. Gorgeous Fabrics has it

    • I think very strictly speaking. To me, a pencil skirt is much narrower at the bottom. Either way, I don’t like knits around my thighs.

      I finally bought a slip this weekend too! I’ve been searching for an inexpensive slip for a long time.

  5. That silhouette is hard to wear for anyone with any kind of curves. I think the dress looks very nice, but so not worth it if it doesn’t make you feel sexy on Valentine’s day!

  6. Ms. Celie, Thank you for your ability to change direction so very fast, and continue w/o being bummed, and to tell us ALL about it!

    I am so glad I found you!!

    Have a loverly valentine’s day! trish

  7. I’m glad that you got a top and a wearable one out of the dress. I think the dress looks fine on you but ultimately you are the one who has to wear it and be comfortable in it. Good luck with dress 2.

  8. I actually liked it on you with the belt. But then again, if I don’t feel amazing in something, I know from personal experience that it isn’t likely to get worn. (My 3 versions of the similar Vogue dress show off my tummy, and therefore never get worn.) Glad you atleast got a top out of it.

    • It was that dress Trena suggested. But, I didn’t know how I would feel about it on my thighs and she didn’t think it would work with her stomach. There are like 90 reviews for it on PR! I thought this pattern was close enough and in my stash to see how I felt about it.

  9. Well, as a fellow curvy-hipped black woman I think the dress looks fab on you (WITHOUT the boots! 😉 But if you don’t feel sexy then it doesn’t matter. I suggest you look through your blog archives and pick out the dresses that you felt your sexiest in and remake one of those. Then you’ll be guaranteed to love it on you.

  10. You have a body just like mine. And I know that movement + a real pair of thighs + knit can get interesting. If you weren’t comfortable in it, then so be it.

  11. Well, bummer that it didn’t work as a dress, but good save on making it into a top! 🙂 Can’t wait to see your actual V-day dress. 🙂

  12. I’m glad you made it into a top because it looks good on you and I like the print, too. I’m interested to see what you do with the animal print. I adore animal prints of all kinds and have a lot of unsewn lengths in my stash. I know they’re a bit low-rent and you have to be careful about how to use them, but I absolutely get sucked in every time I see them! Maybe that says something about me …

    • LOL! I kind of avoid them. But, there was something about this print I really liked. But, now I am of course worried about getting the right look. I’ve got a pattern laid out (after dithering around for HOURS tonight). So, hopefully tomorrow I’ll cut it out.

  13. I too think it looks good on you, but you have to feel comfortable about how you look, esp on V-Day! Good luck tonight. Can’t wait to see what you pull out of the hat!

  14. That’s a cute print and you’re lucky to have curves. The dress looks fine on you but I would add a little length. I would also go for something sexier/edgier for Valentine’s. Good to see you blogging/sewing again.

  15. It’s so fun watching people sew for Valentine’s Day. I panic. It goes wrong. Speaking as someone with very athletic, short legs (aka big thighs) I like knit pencil-y skirts that hit the knee… with tights. I don’t know if that’s your style but it seems like the knee-length part is what works with me. Good luck!

    • I’m totally panicked and it’s just not coming together! I may just focus on another project and wear something else. I am not good with the sewing under pressure! Can’t make decisions. Not sure what I want. Blah, blah, blah.

  16. I think the dress looks nice on you too! Wearing it as a top with leggings is a great option. I have a few knit dresses that I have had to cut off and make tops/tunics as well. Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration!

  17. Oh no, this dress is on my list so I am glad to hear that it works as a top if I also end up not loving the end result. Good luck finding another dress pattern – I don’t sew well – or rather choose patterns well under pressure either, but I am sure your wardrobe is full of fabulousness is you can’t decide.

  18. For an easy dress with a similar aesthetic, what about Vogue 1250 (DKNY)? Tons of positive reviews, curvy bod or not…………

  19. I think actually the style works b/c it does show curves, which for you is a figure asset (you look much cuter than that boyish model). However, I don’t think the fabric suits this type of dress–it looks structured & businessy. Perhaps try it with a wider & more defined belt?

    • i agree with mary D, ms celie–i thought the dress was lovely! but if you were unhappy with it, better for it to spend life as a top that gets to go out an play. these days i’m all about recycling unloved FOs into something new, and your attitude about it is really fantastic. good luck with your valentine’s dress!

  20. The dress looks better on you than you think it does, and that appears to be a consensus, but you can’t wear something you don’t like. I’m glad it made you happy as a top. Good luck finding something to wear this weekend.

  21. If only there were a way to help you fall in love with your curves…. A lot of other people have already said it, and I’m going to add: the dress looked fab on you. It would’ve looked great with a pair of sexy heels and a smile. You said a while ago that you were interested in looking more chic. I think being more comfortable in clothes that show off your body would help you do that. You definitely have the skills to make gorgeous clothes.

  22. I agree that it’s more flattering as a top. I have a similar shape to you, and while I’m attracted to this dress as a whole – a good swishy skirt with a neat waist does a whole lot more for my figure than accentuating my hips and thighs ever would. That being said, I think if the dress were longer – just below the knee- and more accentuated in the pencil line then it would reclaim its ability to suit a curve.

  23. Thanks. :-/ I just found you, and I am certain I will be summarily fired since ALL I HAVE DONE TODAY at work is read through your amazing blog! I appreciate it. I cannot sew worth a DAMN, so I am awestruck of your talent in this area. And? you are GORGEOUS. And? Your writing-style kicks ASS. My last stalkerish comment has to do with the beautiful vintage pieces you’ve unearthed- I am looking to bust my vintage cherry-WOW. that SO didn’t come out right- and I wanted suggestions/recs on where to start? I live in Howard County, and am just a short drive from Baltimore. I shall keep you know that I’ve found you, and enjoy your blog thoroughly while I find a new job. Carry on. 🙂

  24. If you want a dress like this, perhaps you should try the Vogue pattern that has been made successful by a lot of sewers including me. It suits all shapes and sizes is is pretty foolproof. It takes an experienced sewer a few hours to make.

  25. The dress and skirt looked great on you. I love the fact that you made it work and turned it into a shirt. I also made that dress but I did not like who the cowl came out. The fit on me was all wonky. Maybe I will give it another try with a knit.

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