Saturday, February 7, 2015

January Burda Challenge 2015: Striped Dress using the Burda 01/2014 Asymmetrical Top Pattern

Mieux vaut tard que jamais! Better late than never!
I have neglected this blog because sewing has taken the back seat since homeschool has started. I did manage to whip up 2 dresses in December for a Christmas party. I will try to blog about them and my sewing goals for 2015 hopefully before the end of this month.
I finally manage to finish my January Burda Challenge which was also suppose to be my entry in the January PR's Bargainista Fashionista contest. I wasn't able to finish on time for the contest. I couldn't decide what to make and when I figured it out, time simply ran out.
I was so excited when I saw the call to participate in the 2015 Burda Challenge on PR and Twoontwooff's blog. My Burda magazine collection goes back to 2003 I think. When I used to live in France, I had every single issue from 1989 to 1999. I donated them to friends before moving to the US and only kept a few for myself. Sadly, I have very little to show from my huge stash. It's about time I change that!
I'm glad the rules aren't restricted to the 2015 only magazines. I can opt to stick with the month but use whatever year I want. Since I wanted to do a knock off and there wasn't a lot in January issue that I really wanted to sew, I picked the January 2014 issue. I loved that issue when it came out because of the asymmetrical striped top on the cover. I can't get enough of stripes!

My inspiration for the knock off is a dress from ICB I saw on the Gilt website last year. The original dress was $395. I immediately thought of the Burda top pattern when I saw it and waited to find the right fabric to sew it until this month.

After brainstroming on how to replicate the dress, I drew a few sketches based on the line drawings. I'm in serious need of a sketch notebook!

I had several black and white striped fabrics in my stash to choose from. The ICB seemed to have been made out of a lightweight rayon knit fabric since you can see the model's legs through the dress. Using a rayon knit which I had, meant lining the dress and given the short time I had, that was not an option. So, I went with the ponte striped knit instead. My only concern was that with a ponte knit the gathering wouldn't be as dramatic as it would with a rayon knit. But then again I didn't have to line it, so the ponte it would be. The contrast fabric is a black ponte also from my stash.

The changes I made are:
-adding a 1 inch contrast band to the raglan sleeves,
-drafting a gathered side to the back bodice by using a slash and spread method(I had to cut the back bodice twice because I was tired and cut it backwards),

-shortening the sleeves,
-adding an asymmetrical lower band with a contrast to lengthen the top into a dress,
-adding ruching to the sides of the lower band.

Because of the modifications, I constructed it a little differently than the Burda instructions(which I find easier to read in French than in English). After trying it on, I reduced the length of the elastic band and increased the gathering an inch more than directed. I also gathered the sides together instead of separately as instructed even if it was a little harder to gather 2 pieces of fabric rather than one. I omitted the bias interfacing which I don't think was needed since my fabric was a medium to heavy weight knit.
I don't like the instructed way of finishing the neckline. With a lighter knit, it might be an okay method but with a ponte, it adds bulk to the neckline. I'm thinking about removing the band and serging either clear elastic or regular elastic to the wrong side, turning it under and topstitching it to finish the neckline. I've done it before on a raglan sleeve dress and like the result better.

I like this dress a lot though I think it won't be worn much because it is not a very casual dress. So much for my sewing goal for 2015 which is to make more casual, easy to wear, everyday stuff instead of one of a kind garments that linger in my closet waiting for the right occasion or event.
For my February challenge, I'm afraid it's going to be dressy again but to my defense it's my Valentine's Day dress. Stay tuned!


  1. OMG! It looks just like the inspiration dress. Amazing job! Looking forward to February's challenge. It is fun to get dressed up for Valentine's Day!

    1. Thanks Helena! I am using the February 2008 Burda issue for my Valentine's Day dress. Since it's another knock off, I have to hurry and make it before it's too late!

  2. Wow! What a dress - It looks brilliant.

    1. Thanks Caroline! I can't wait to find an occasion to wear it!

  3. Fabulous! I love your dress way more than Burdas top.

  4. It looks just like the other dress-you did wonderful! Looks great.

    1. Thanks Bryanna! That's why sewing is so rewarding! The dress cost me $10 compared to the original!

  5. AMAZING work! It looks fantastic!

  6. Franchement, chapeau pour avoir transformé le top burda pour obtenir ta version de cette robe ICB. Je préfère d'ailleurs largement ta version. La robe d'ICB, à moins de mettre une combi en dessous, risque d'être très compliquée à porter.
    Tu devrais la porter souvent cette robe parce qu'elle est vraiment très sympa !
    Je ne savais pas qu'il y avait un Burda challenge pour 2015. J'avais commencé un en 2013 mais j'avais vite lâché l'affaire. Je vais tenter de participer à celui-ci.
    Moi aussi, je compte me coudre ma robe pour la Saint-Valentin, je pense faire la Trixi Dress de Style Arc.

    1. Merci! C'est fou le prix de la robe d'ICB quand tu penses qu'en plus tu dois mettre une combi en dessous!
      Rejoins-nous pour le challenge! C'est encourageant de savoir que d'autres le font également !
      Pour la Saint Valentin, je travaille sur un knock off d'une robe Michael Kors. Me connaissant, çà va être un truc de dernière minute!
      J'ai hâte de voir ta robe!

  7. I love your dress! you did an awesome job at knocking it off! very impressed

  8. Wow, I love how you changed this top!!