Burda 04/2016 Dress #122: Sheath Dress? and something stuck to the bottom of my shoe

The website says this is meant for jerseys and knits; the magazines says “dress fabrics with or without elastane,” which I take to mean wovens. As I went shopping for fabrics with my phone and not the magazine, I bought a poly jersey, and only figured out that might not have been what they had in mind when it came time to install the zipper–which, as it’s jersey, I skipped with no issues.

At any rate:


It’s cute, eh?

It was a bit bigger than it should have been, but that might have been the fabric choice. I’d have to make it up again in a proper woven to see how that affects the fit. The neckline is a bit wobbly–I’m not a fan but I see it on the sample photo so my guess is that was intentional. I’d take it out next time though, and probably change it to a deeper scoop.

What the fuck did I step in? Also, The Side
What the fuck did I step in? Also, The Side

Alterations are challenging given the way it’s put together, but I made what I think are my standard alterations.

JFC I just can't get it off! And, The Back.
JFC I just can’t get it off! And, The Back.

The pattern goes together well and it is an interesting and well-thought-out design. The gore is a nice, very swishy touch; but it does alter the line somewhat from a sheath dress in my opinion.


Maybe I'll just burn the black shoes ... That's better. Side note: Wearing this exact outfit to work one day about a month ago, walking to my car afterwards, a man was kind enough to tell me that I looked like a god-damned whore. I love humanity.
Maybe I’ll just burn the black shoes … That’s better.
Side note: Wearing this exact outfit to work one day about a month ago, walking to my car afterwards, a man was kind enough to tell me that I looked like a god-damned whore. I love humanity.

A Conversation:

Me: When I told him I wasn’t going to see him again he said “you will always continue to know me.” I thought that was pretty ominous so I told him not to contact me again. He was traveling a lot this summer and I thought that by the time he came back things would have blown over, but instead it was escalating. Just before I went on vacation, for example, a group of us went dancing. He grabbed me and started dancing without asking and, when he saw I was looking pretty miserable (seeing as I was feeling pretty miserable), he said, “It wouldn’t cost you a lot of money to smile, you know.” Then the next day at a dancing class he was there and he got … gropey when it was my turn to dance with him, then afterwards he was telling all kinds of insulting jokes and saying awful things about women to try to provoke me into reacting. I don’t even think he wants to date me, not really. I think he’s just punishing me for saying no.

H: It could be both, really.

Me: I guess … Then a few days later there was another class and he was there again and he was gropey again, and afterwards he was just following me around trying to bully me into a conversation. I’d ignore him and walk away and he’d just follow me around. He wouldn’t stop. So I got fed up and left and he followed me into the parking lot and stood knocking on my driver’s side door while I started up the car and drove away.

H: Are you going to call the police?

Me: I will if I have to. I’m not planning on it yet. I’ve gone through things like this before and in my experience the police are pretty useless. They won’t do anything, they won’t even take a report, until after he’s basically punched you in the face. So, probably not. And besides, they’d only tell me to stop dancing.

H: That’s upsetting.

Me: It is. It’s really very unhelpful. It’s kind of a crap world to be a woman in, isn’t it?

H: Have you thought about getting a gun?

Me: [laughing]

H: Well–I’m South African, so I have different experiences with guns than you do, but I’m not kidding.

Me: Oh. Um, no, I don’t think I’m going to get a gun. I don’t–I’ve told a bunch of people about what’s going on and they’re helping me to enforce some boundaries and distance. I’m going to see how that works out before I–but I’m not going to get a gun.

H: It’s something to think about.

Me: Uh… I mean. I have gone through this before. Eventually they do leave you alone. Like in about six months. They get bored and stop. You just have to not interact, not react, not engage, at all. It’s just getting to that point is a huge pain in the ass.

H: Are you afraid?

Me: … Somewhat. It’s the escalation. But we’ll see in a few weeks, what’s going on then. I wish I had a better radar for this kind of thing. It’s just ridiculous that this keeps happening. I have to be doing something or …. One of the women in my dancing class was telling me that she’s seen him doing this thing when we go out for dinner, where he’ll just pester whatever woman is sitting closest to him to eat a french fry. And she can say no a dozen times and he’ll just keep pushing. He tried it on her once and she just kept saying no, and she said it took him five minutes or so to stop asking. Stupidly of course he tried it on me and I ate the damned french fry. But it seemed like such a small thing so I didn’t even think of it, except that’s probably how he figured out I’d be his next target. And I can’t even say that if someone else tried something like that, that I wouldn’t fall for it again.

H: Yeah, I don’t know either.

Predators do indeed test or “groom” their victims. They intentionally violate boundaries in small ways and wait to see your reaction. Then they up the ante. An example of this could be as simple as insisting on eating pizza on a date if you have expressed not liking it.

The art of “no.”

Let’s pause briefly for some Basic Important Safety Stuff:  “No” is a complete sentence.  If you say “no,” and the other person keeps talking and trying to convince you to go along with whatever it is they want, do what you can to extract yourself from the situation. This person is trying to manipulate you, and you don’t have to let yourself be manipulated.  And if you hear a “no” from someone, the correct response is to back off immediately.  No insults, no whining, no pressure.  Just say “Okay, sorry to hear it” and move away.


In real life, being overly persistent is not romantic. It is called harassment. Sure, sometimes a little persistence is necessary to win someone over, but incessant badgering to the point of making a girl uncomfortable is not going to get you anywhere. If a girl smiles politely and says, “That’s very kind, but no thank you,” she is not playing hard to get. She does not want you to “get” her. She is simply not interested.

Perhaps the worst part about persistence is when a guy realizes his defeat, refuses to accept it, and still subjugates a girl to unwanted attention. Let me make this clear: if we reject you, WE. DO. NOT. WANT. TO. HUG. YOU. Don’t try to play the good guy. Don’t act all sweet or ask us to press our bodies against yours. Not only is it humiliating and extremely uncomfortable, but it makes us look like heartless bitches if we say no. We do not want to give you a hug.

24 thoughts on “Burda 04/2016 Dress #122: Sheath Dress? and something stuck to the bottom of my shoe

  1. Your food analogy made me remember something from long ago. I was dating this guy and there were two incidents. He was Irish and said, “I’ll make you corned beef and cabbage some time!” I apologetically informed him that I don’t like corned beef and cabbage. Then he turned to me and said “You will like it when I make it.”

    The other time we were driving down the street and discussing where to go for dinner. Me: “I don’t care really. Anywhere but Italian.” He answers “Let’s so to Salvatore’s!” which was obviously an Italian place.

    We didn’t last much longer.

    Love the dress by the way. 🙂

  2. The gun thing? Not. However, there is always pepper spray if he continues to follow you to the parking lot.
    Also love the dress, especially with the red shoes. There is this liquid called ‘Goof Off’ that might clean your shoe. Or get rid of Mr Nag, for that matter.
    I am not sure what neckline I would like with that dress. It is a slick fit and I like the drape. You sure can fit a pattern.

    1. Thanks, Mary. 🙂 Jersey helps with fit, for sure.

      I’ve been told that he’s glommed on to someone else recently. Fingers crossed that’s true, though I feel pretty badly for the other girl.

  3. Love the dress and the story of the pictures.

    And WOW to the conversation! I wish I had better words to say than “you shouldn’t have to deal with that” but really, you shouldn’t have to deal with that. Can you get him kicked out of your dance class?

    1. No–but I did tell the organizer and she’s aware of the situation and has agreed to step in if needed. Honestly I can’t see this guy not continuing to be a problem but hopefully if given a lot of rope he’ll hang himself.

      And thanks. 🙂

  4. That dress is gorgeous, the situation is horrible.

    I’m upset that H’s suggestion was get a gun. Women are often killed with their own guns.

    I’m really upset that the organizer won’t kick him out.

    Sending hugs and love.

  5. I just love your blog, I really do.

    I have been in that french fry scenario many times, and I always eat it. And I also often get latched onto by creeps. I’ve never made that connection before now, but boy am I going to be paying attention from now on. Yeah, I’ll probably still fall for it, but maybe not every single time. So thank you!

    Also, your dress is gorgeous. 🙂

  6. The food testing thing reminded me of my terrible (manipulative, gas-lighting) ex. I have a severe nut allergy. He’s a vegetarian. Can I tell you how many times we met up, on purpose, with pre-made plans, and he’d be all, “Ooops, I’ve got to brush my teeth, I was eating peanut butter!” In front of other people, he would refuse nuts so that he could kiss me, but in private, he would constantly forget (or “forget”, I don’t know) that he’d been eating them.

    So one time we were at a restaurant and going to share a pizza.
    Him: “What about this one?”
    Me: “Oh, that one has pesto. Can we get it without the pesto?”
    Him: “Can we find out if the pesto has nuts in it?”
    Me: “Could we just get it without? Remember that time they said it had no nuts but I had an allergic reaction anyway?”
    Him: “But I really like pesto!”

    It always seemed like cluelessness on his part but it felt really really bad.

    (The pesto did indeed contain nuts and we got the pizza without. I still got a bad taste in my mouth.)

  7. ” a man was kind enough to tell me that I looked like a god-damned whore”
    What in the entire #$*@ ?!?! What is wrong with people!?

    Your dress is gorgeous and after seeing it, I’m totally going to make it in a jersey. I’d originally bought a crepe for it but shied off when it had either. Typically when Burda makes something close-fitting in a knit it is CLOSE FITTING and I didn’t want to make it in a woven and have it not fit.

    ANYWAY – oh my goodness I’m so sorry you were being bullied and harassed by this guy. Jerk.

    I recommend getting loud and being firm with a NO! or STOP! Get RIGHT up in his face, making eye contact when you do this. Predators like easy targets. Don’t be an easy target.


    1. Thank you. 🙂 I like the way it turned out too, even if the fabric was a goof.

      He is a total jerk. I’ve been told he has glommed on to someone else (HURRAY for me, very worried for her) and I hope this means I don’t need to worry about it. But I’ll find out on Friday. Ugh.

  8. There some highs (your dress!) and dramatic lows (crap on your shoe! harassment) in this post. Good lord. I’m a reflexively defiant person and from the sounds of your post, it’s actually helped me avoid some gross crap that’s floating around in the world (people and attitudes). I’m so sorry you got hit with some of it. None of us should have to live with our hackles permanently up to be treated respectfully.

  9. Just purchased two Burda patterns, hopefully they will sew up as nicely as yours. Obviously he has mental health issues, hope his behaviour doesn’t escalate with another woman 😦 The organiser should let him know his behaviour is unacceptable, however she may end up being the next target if she does that! )
    Sam from Australia – no guns freely available here

    1. lol No guns freely available here either. Thank goodness.

      I think Idiot Harasser knows full well that if he targeted the organizer, he’d be permanently uninvited to future events. I’m not sure if she’s talked to him or not–she may have.

      I really like Burda patterns. I hope yours don’t disappoint you. 🙂

  10. I just love this dress on you. It looks like that gore will swing very satisfyingly, and I adore the print.

    I am very sorry you have had to deal with this crap from another human. It’s awful – and awful how common it is. i’m glad you have some support and that you can talk about it here. I knew most of that information in those links but the ‘grooming’ one gave me pause for thought – my particular brand of social awkwardness often leads me to refuse things like the french fry situation, and then it causes a fuss and I spend months feeling bad about being ‘difficult’ and then later learning that everyone else in the group has been harassed by that person except me. In fact there is a man I work with who basically did this (except with general emotional harassment, no sexual anything I am pleased ot say) and now he just straight up doesn’t talk to me. I thought that everyone else liked him but recently found out that almost half my department have refused to ever work in his team again. And yet he still works there and I don’t even think management realises how bad it is.

    Not to say I haven’t had my fair share of it (what a great life, eh?) but at least I manage to avoid that one. I’m going to stop beating myself up for maintaining my boundaries, now. I hope this particular situation works out ok for you – and for the other women he’s bound to glom on to. I hope he gets his come-uppance.

    1. Thank you. 🙂 It does swish very satisfyingly.

      I’m glad if it reassures you that maintaining your boundaries is a good thing and isn’t being “difficult.” That’s an internal struggle I have a lot as well and unfortunately too often come down on the side of not maintaining my boundaries, with predictable and unfortunate results. So good for you.

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