i wish i liked this dress better…

…but I don’t.  It’s been a rough couple weeks, thus the lack of sewing and posting, and it seems like this dress is a symptom of all that.  This is Kristen from Burdastyle and it is a cute style with lots of interesting details, but I think the combination of a fabric/print I don’t like and the fit being a little off = frumpy granny dress?


Funny story about this fabric – I got it at The Knittn’ Kitten in Portland, OR (which I love), thinking it was a vintage fabric (I’m such a sucker, I probably wouldn’t have bought it if I knew it was new), and noticed later that the selvadge had a website stamped on it.  I don’t think we’re that old yet.


  • All the darts and pleats in the top that you cannot see because the fabric is too busy, particularly the deep center back pleat, it’s very classy.
  • The plackets down the front if you use a more lightweight fabric.
  • It really is a dress with a lot of potential; I made a size 38 top and 40 bottom and used the waistband to transition the difference (does that make sense, I sat here for like two minutes wondering what the right phrase is?) and I’m happy with… the waistband.

IMG_2938What I learned:

  • Fabric is too busy to see all the pattern details (see above)
  • I have SUCH a hard time with side seam zippers, I just can’t seem to line the fabric up right, it’s wonky, and if you look closely, it just doesn’t sit right along my hip.
  • I wish I had made the top a little more narrow and adjusted the bust.  Others who made this dress said the top was too big and they adjusted it.  When I tried it on repeatedly, I thought it was just the blousy style, but looking at these pictures, I see that it’s too big.  I have a very small bust and I think the lesson learned is that when there are darts, I will inevitably have to make an adjustment (which I don’t know how to do yet!)
  • The collar is too wide in my opinion.
  • Because of the thickness of my placket fabric (leftover from this dress), not only does it not sit nice, but the edges of the front opening don’t press well either, even though I graded the seam allowance.  See:


Initially this dress was fun because of all the details, and one day, far from now, I will try it with adjustments and better materials, but I got SO SICK OF MAKING THIS DRESS that it just dragged on forever.  And of course Burda instructions are so cryptic, so I totally fudged the sleeves and had to redo them, and the collar took a couple tries too.  Neither are terribly complicated, you just to have to read between the lines of the instructions.

I am so out of love with this dress that I can’t be bothered to wash off my fabric pen markings.  So please disregard them in the photo below!


Overall grade:  Eh.


15 thoughts on “i wish i liked this dress better…

  1. Oh no, I’m so sorry you don’t love your dress! I saw it on BurdaStyle and had to come and look at it further and to check out your blog as I think the dress is absolutely stunning! I love the print and the brown trim! I can understand from looking at the original Burda dress that you can’t see some of the finer details of the dress because of the print, like the back pleat, but perhaps that is more down to the photo not showing it up clearly – in real life others may be more likely to notice more. I can also understand what you mean about the top part being slightly too loose, but I honestly wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out. I would definitely agree with the comment you received on BurdaStyle about putting it in the wardrobe for a few weeks and then getting it back out again in order to appreciate it more, after you’ve gotten over the excess time you feel you put into the dress, as I think it should be something you should be very proud of!

    • Thank you so much! Its nice to hear others’ perspectives. I probably will put it away for a while and then give it another chance.

  2. I’m sorry you don’t like it, I think it actually looks really nice! I like the blousy look. But I know all too well how it feels to make something you don’t love in the end…I just made a top yesterday that is terrible and threw it in a corner.
    Still, I think the dress turned out well and maybe with time you will see it that way too 🙂

    • Thank you – I like the blousy look too I just think the bust is a little too loose. Sorry about your top! I have a BIG pile in the corner like that too!

      • Oh my god you’re right!!! Do you like it? Do you think you would wear it? I feel kind of bad giving someone something that’s not up to par though… I’m going to sit on it a little while like everyone suggested and I’ll let you know!

  3. I think is a classic case of your personal fitting/design issues being more or less invisible to everyone else. I definitely have a few garments that irk me for various reasons and my friends think I’m crazy. I actually love this! I think the fabric & colour story is beautiful and totally unique, but maybe you’ll get around to fixing the things that bother you and you’ll feel the same way!

    • You know you are absolutely right, that’s a very good way of explaining it. I don’t know if I can muster the resolve to fix anything on this dress (besides the throw-a-cardigan-over-it fix) but it is making me more motivated to try it with different fabric.

  4. It’s beautiful. I love the print and the fact you found a matching zipper that goes so well. If you can’t fix what’s bothering you donate it to the charity store. Good to get rid of things that’re piling up and tiring you out with their presence XD

    • Thank you! I will move it along if it sits there too long – that brings up a good point. I have a few handmade items that I never wear but am having a hard time parting with because I made them. I have no problem purging store-bought stuff, but I get a little sentimental (the first top I made, etc.). I probably should let it go, huh?!

      By the way, congrats on your Burda feature!

  5. I am sorry you thought our fabrics were all vintage. We try very hard to put the word vintage on the tag. We truely are not trying to miss lead anyone. Ethel at Knittn’ Kitten

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