Tag Archives: burda patterns

BurdaStyle Twisted Maxi Dress, with literal blood, sweat and tears

I sewed through my finger for the first time ever in the making of this dress.

Fortunately the blood washed out.
Fortunately the blood washed out.

Not intentionally–though I have been assured that this sewing-through-fingers business is a rite of passage–but I still think it could add a touch of gravitas: I bled for this dress. Stupidly.

You know how it is. This fabric is a super slippery, very slinky rayon jersey and it did not want to stay lined up properly, so I was using my fingers to hold edges together even though I’d used a ton of pins, and the machine was going really fast and my finger went up and over the presser foot and, yeah. Yelling. Blood. Half a roll of toilet paper to staunch the bleeding. Band-aid. And then, because I am hardcore, right back to the sewing machine to finish the dress.

The Back, with the tie.
The Back, with the tie.

(OK, it’s not that big a deal, but it’s the first time it’s ever happened to me. Any sewing injury stories to share, Dear Readers?)

The dress, by the way, is the Burdastyle Twisted Maxi-Dress 02/2013 #115.  It turns out pretty much exactly as it looks on the web page, it fits well, it’s very heavy due to all the fabric in the folds and twist, it’s incredibly low-cut in the front so beware of that (I ended up stitching the front pieces together an extra 2″ or so to provide bra coverage), and the front twists and folds are fiddly to put together. There was quite a bit of sitting on the floor with the fabric pieces and the instructions, and squinting back and forth from one to the other to figure out how it went together–but it did, and here it is, and look! Not bad, eh?

Front twists and folds.
Front twists and folds. I do look a bit maniacal in this one, don’t I? 

It would look really smashing with a border print, if you have a border-print jersey. If you don’t, it looks plenty nice in a regular jersey cut on the straight-grain, which is what I did, so long as it’s a four-way stretch. It took 3m of narrow fabric and I cut a size 40/44 mix with a bit of shoulder-broadening thrown in for good measure. The hem was just finished with the serger.

The fabric, by the way, was dirt cheap at $6/m, so altogether with the thread and pattern this is a $30 dress, sewn up in a fit of productivity/procrastination for the Dragon Ball. It’s also super-comfortable to wear, and you can’t even see the blood.

Now it’s a pleated pencil skirt (Burda Pleat Pencil Skirt 03/2015)

This was a pattern that did not want to be a pleated pencil skirt at all. What it wanted to be, based on the skirt as first sewn up, was a hot air balloon.

for visualization purposes


But this would have required me to install hot air jets on top of my feet which, in addition to sounding quite painful, I’m sure would also have been much too expensive. So I cut it down.

A lot.

In the front piece on the hips I took out at least 2″ per side and maybe half an inch per side on the back. I also pegged it below the hips slightly as originally it was pretty straight (and still is, so that tells you something).

The Front. With eye-contact, just for fun. Can you see the pleats? No? Me neither.


Despite the fact that the skirt pieces made a skirt that was much too big, the waist band as measured out was too small. One day I will learn to wait until after I’ve got the rest of the pattern assembled before cutting out the waistband piece. (I cheated and added a bit of fabric to the end to get it to fit the skirt waist.)

The Back.
The Back.

I’m not sure if I totally understood the zipper instructions as this has them going up partway, but not completely, through the waistband. It’s a little weird so I added a hook and eye at the top to keep it completely closed.

And there was obviously no attempt at print-matching whatsoever.

The Side. Do you know, I had no idea that my hair matched the exterior brick on my house until I saw these pictures?


But I don’t care. It’s a casual skirt, and at this point it fits and looks pretty well like I want it to. The back centre waistband is not going to be on display much, so whatever.

You can't see them from farther away since the print is so busy, but they are there.
You can’t see them from farther away since the print is so busy, but they are there.

The fabric is a stretch cotton sateen bought at Fabricland for less than $10/metre, and given that I only used a metre–with a $5 pattern, a $1 zipper and a bit of interfacing–this skirt cost less than $20. The fabric has a good stiff hand, which works well with the pleats, and just enough stretch to make it comfortable.  I’ve got enough fabric left to make a pair of summer shorts, and I can’t wait.


The Side-Back.
The Side-Back.

Now if only I could insert an entire week of free time between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon…