Valentine’s Parisienne Dress: BWOF 8-2009-128

** updated with DSLR photos

I wish you could see it in person. It’s far more striking than the photos show. My DSLR is still in the shop and my point-and-shoot is what I’m using. It’s fine. But, it renders colors wonky indoors with flash and makes my hair look like a mass of black instead of defined curls. Red is also just makes the camera crazy. Blah, blah, camera talk, blah, blah. And, I’m too lazy to re-take photos. So, forgive my weird skin tone, odd facial shadows and kooky colors.

It’s fitting that it’s titled Parisienne Dress (Burda 8-2009-128) . Otherwise, I’d name it the Arielle dress. As I mentioned in my first post, Patti F. sent me this material when I played shipping agent for the Arielle / Hati / Sewing Supply collection. Arielle has about the cutest accent. Both French and Caribbean at the same time. It’s kind of lyrical really. At any rate, it took me some time to get to this, but I’m really glad I did.

What’s the difference between Parisienne and Parisian? Anyone know? I took Spanish, not French…

This is my second go-round with this dress. The first time was last January. I think this will become a yearly winter dress. It’s so hard to find a dress with sleeves! Like the teal version this one is also made from wool.

 What did I do differently this time? Not too much. I shortened the dress by one inch and pegged the skirt. Two things I said I wish I had done the last time.

I also sewed a size smaller. I thought it was a little boxy the first time I made it (I’ve since taken the first version in). This time I shortened the bust dart and lowered the dart by 1/2 inch. I’ve been making FBAs for one year now and am starting to get the hang of it. The belt I’m wearing is from ASOS about two years ago.

This dress still has my favorite facing / lining technique. I love the facing at the top with the lining below. Except, I am MAD. When I got to work, the lining shredded right at the armscye. SHREDDED as I reached for some chocolates. That’s what I get. I don’t even really like chocolate.

And, I bagged the lining sleeve again.

Machine blind hem finish on the bottom.

I’m wearing this dress to work today and I LOVE a woven dress for work.  Red seemed appropriate for Valentine’s Day. I’m also entering it in the Red Dress contest on

This concludes my string of red garments. I’ve finally moved on to a new serger thread color!

Don’t forget to enter my Kwik Sew bra pattern giveway.

And, Happy Valentine’s Day!


  1. “Parisienne” is the french word for a Parisian woman (“Parisien” would be the male equivalent). I really like the red on you, and the dress looks very elegant, especially with the belt. I prefer it with the brooch rather than with the necklace, though.

  2. That dress really looks amazing on you. The color & fit are excellent on you – it seems to me that most of what you make looks gorgeous on you, though!

  3. Hey there! Love the dress and the blog~
    “Parisienne” means that the noun or person being referred to is feminine. “Parisian” is for the masculine people and nouns. I was a married to a Frenchman for 15 years, so I did pick up some knowledge, other than how to spot a philanderer! 🙂 Thanks for the sewing smiles!

  4. You look divine! While this red is a knock-out you should have one of these in every color!
    Sorry to hear about the sleeve lining but on every project we learn a new little lesson…adding some reaching ease of 1/2 inch or more might help on the next one. I have made tops where the lining was not attached at the sleeves seam, only the shoulder and side seam. You can always line the sleeves as a complete unit but leave the bodice with a separate loose hanging lining even if it is attached at the waist like this dress probably is. Have a super time out and stand back when all the compliments start flooding in!

    • I concur with Mrs. Mole. Linings have to be slightly larger than the shell (counterintuitive, very much!) because they have to conform both to the shell and to the contours of one’s body, which the shell skims over. Not MUCH larger, but a little. You may have noticed that jacket linings, for instance, feature a deep pleat at the center back. It is to accommodate movement, so that the lining does not tear if you move your arms while wearing the garment. Red is definitely “your” color, Miss Celie.

  5. Lovely red dress, Miss Celie! And the perfect length for you. You look elegant. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  6. Joyeuse Saint-Valentin! I must tell you, I would be honored if you made a dress and named it after me.

    Re:accent, and to make things even more confusing, I had a Cuban man (named Ariel) tell me my accent was “musical”. I’ve given up trying to make sense of it all, LOL!

    I love that dress and the belt is very cute. I think you were boat neck tops really well. I never put this dress on my list because I was afraid the waist pleats in the skirt would look odd on me. I need to revise my opinion of this style, clearly!

    (Also, I told my coworkers about the restaurant reservation thing and we are all surprised!)

  7. LOVE the red. and the peg at the skirt hem makes a huge difference—a great dress now looks even more amazing!

  8. You should go through the Carol Collection and pick a few more solid wools to make this dress out of…it is that good! I agree with all the comments before me, this is a wonderful dress and you did a great job sewing it!

  9. Gorgeous! I’ve had my eye on this dress ever since the mag came out, but I’m reticent fir some reason. Your latest version reminds me (again) that I should make it! Enjoy the dress, and maybe fix the lining if you can be bothered, but don’t fret if not – it will all be ok 🙂

  10. If the photos don’t do it justice, then I can’t imagine how amazing that dress must be in real life, because you look great in the shots you’ve posted. Absolutely made for you. I’m sure your lovely man was dumbstruck. BTW your hair is awesome!!!

  11. You look lovely in red. I’ve told you before, but you do really get more beautiful every post. Whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it!. The first time I tried this dress it was a massive disaster, but everyone has made such lovely dresses from this pattern and I really want one. I may just revisit it this winter. I’m tempted by some red wool I have but I don’t want to copy! Perhaps purple? Which reminds me; I saw The Colour Purple on television on Saturday for the first time and now I’ve seen Miss Celie’s Pants for myself!

  12. I LOVE your red dress. It’s a very flattering style and colour on you. Thanks for sharing some of the construction details, too. I know how time consuming it must be to take the photos and share that kind of stuff.

  13. Your dress looks fantastic! It fits very well, and who doesn’t like red?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and saying such nice things about my minoru jacket.

  14. I laughed so loud at Jo Kanner’s comment too!
    Who doesn’t need a red beautiful dress??? that looks really fantastic on you so I can only imagine with good photos. Beautiful.

  15. It’s a beautiful dress, you look stunning in it, but I have to admit this comment “more than a fat kid loves cake” made me a little sad to read it. Back to your dress though, the front pleating is gorgeous.

    • Oh, I’m sorry. It’s a line from a 50 Cent rap, 21 questions. I thought it might be a little racy, but that line always stuck out to me.

  16. What a beautiful dress! It fits you really well, in terms of color and sizing. You look really good in it.

  17. Miss Celie –Your Red dress is just beautiful, and it fits everywhere perfectly.

    i read your later post about the lining tearing , and ‘a patch will be just fine. I love that!

  18. He should love you a lot in this gorgeous dress. Beautiful detailing and the belt is the perfect finishing touch.

  19. This dress is the best garment I’ve seen you in, the skirt is so very flattering for you. You look lovely. Ruth

  20. Ohh, Cidell! Oh-la-la! What a gorgeous, perfect, dress that is — it is just stunning on you! Love the color, love the fit, love the style!

  21. Always late to the party — love that red dress on you and the new blue paisley too. It must be the year of the dress!

    Just wanted to mention a technique for zipping up a dress when no one’s around to help. Get a yard of ribbon — any kind. Turn under one cut end a couple of times and stick a safety pin into it. Tie a knot in the free end. Before you put on the dress, open the pin and stick it through the hole in the zipper pull (my zipper was not invisible — not sure where you would stick it on one such). After you pull on the dress, lead the knotted end of the ribbon over your shoulder. While u hold down the bottom of the zipper, pull up on the ribbon until it’s all zipped up.

  22. That is an awesome colour on you. Goes great with the cut of the dress too. I think I like this dress the best out of all your makes. Will you be making it in other colours/prints?[Parisienne=feminine]

  23. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that you look beautiful in all the things you made. I loved the denim military dress, but then I scrolled down and saw the purple dress, then the red….. You do a wonderful job. I hope you don’t mind that I pinned the denim dress to my board.
    Thanks and Blessings,

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