"Come on, baby, let's do the twist!" is what I was humming while getting ready to take pictures of this dress.
Twist is it indeed with this red little number! I really like Burda patterns! They are well drafted most of the time and this one is no exception.
For my February Burda Challenge, I wanted to make something red and went through my magazines stash of February issues. I set my mind on the twist front dress from the February 2008 issue, also dubbed as the Tippi Hedren dress by some PR reviewers back then. I also went through my saved designer dress pictures to see if I could knock one off and found this Michael Kors Red twist front dress halter dress worn by Kate Beckinsale in 2012.
My only concern was figuring out how the twist was sewn and how to modify the top into a halter. I am so grateful for Tany for reviewing this dress and for the clear pictures and explanations she provided on her blog. I studied her pictures carefully and had this aha moment after a few minutes! As for the halter, I used Simplicity... pattern for the collar.
I had the perfect fabric in my stash. A yummy red matte jersey knit fabric I have been saving for years for the right dress. What I needed to find next, was a python leather print fabric or something similar at least. I looked online and in my local stores and found nothing. I was kind of apprehensive to sew a round collar in leather because it would need to be ironed and with leather it would have been impossible. After a few days, I remembered that I had some red python print suede ribbon in my stash. The only problem was that it was only 2 inches wide so it couldn't work for the whole collar, but if I cut it up and appliqued it on the collar, it might actually do the trick!
I printed off a giraffe print template online and used it to cut up the ribbon. Then, I appliqued them onto the collar using Steam a Seam light and topstitched them down.
As for the dress, like I said, I used the Burda 02/2008 dress pattern 103.
I traced and cut up the size 42 and later had to take in half an inch on the sides. Great pattern but poor instructions! Nothing new with Burda! I omitted the sleeves and the cowl neck band obviously. I removed 2 inches from the top of the bodice and enlarged it using a slash and spread method so it would gather well.
I love how the twist was drafted. It actually makes your waist look slimmer!
Following the advice of a fellow PR reviewer, I connected both front skirt pieces thus making it a faux wrap to avoid exposure in windy situations. I copied the idea from an RTW wrap dress I own. I will be using that a lot in the future but the only downside is that it uses up fabric.
I didn't cut the back piece on the fold as suggested but added a center back seam and a waist seam. A waist seam to avoid any rippling effect and a center back seam because I wanted to add a zipper because of the collar. I wasn't too keen on adding an invisible zipper to the dress so imagine my joy when my friend/nutrition coach/fitness trainer Natasha who blogs at Fabulously Domestic asked me to fix a dress for her!!!
Isn't her dress gorgeous??? The back of her dress has a slit with buttons. It was just what I needed!!!
So, I lined the top with some red mesh I had in my stash. It makes for a neat inside of the dress.
All in all, the construction went pretty smooth except for the collar and for the loops which I had to undo several times because they kept on shifting. I reduce the size of the collar to make it 1 inch total in finished width. The two buttons are some red pearls I had in my jewelry stash for jewelry.
I also pegged the skirt by removing 4 inches all around at the bottom. I used my coverstitch for the hem. I think I added about 3 inches to the length of the skirt.
I wanted to wear this dress for Valentine's Day and was kind of bummed not to be able to finish the dress on time but at least it's finished. My February Challenge is completed and I have a spanking brand new cocktail dress for a future special event.
The asking price for the Michael Kors dress back in 2012 was a hefty 1795 dollars and it was sold out. I'm pretty sure my dress cost less than $30. I don't recall where exactly I bought the red matte jersey fabric but I don't think I paid more than $20 for it. I may have found it in a remnant bin. I used 2 yards of the fabric and have a bit more than a yard left.
So, Burda Challenge February 2015: checked. Stashbusting 2015: checked. Little red dress: checked. Happy face: checked. So, "come on baby, let's do the twist"!