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Topic: Altering shift dress from Burda 8304?  (Read 6041 times)
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« on: June 30, 2006 06:15:30 AM »

I bought a Burda 8304 pattern; here it is.

It's my first time sewing from a pattern, and pretty much the first time I'm sewing something that's actually wearable, so I'm doing View B first.

However, the dress turned out looking JUST as straight up and down like the technical drawing. Here it is on my floor.

On me:

Gosh I'm like wearing a potato sack.

That's how much excess waist space I have.

The instructions said to pick the size according to my hips, so I did. However, I guess I'm more pear-shaped, so the top puckers loosely like that. I envisioned it to look just like it would on the model; sharp and chic.

I used a size 10 for the dress, my vital statistics are: 34 - 27/28 - 34. I'm also quite petite; only 160cm. That's why I shortened the dress by two inches, one each on the lines the pattern said I should lengthen or shorten the pattern from.

I'm thinking of shortening the pattern again. How should I go about altering the pattern? Should I go down a size and use size 8 instead, so it wouldn't be so broad? Advice greatly appreciated!
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006 06:48:44 AM »

What I would do is use this dress as a muslin to figure out what you need to do differently to your pattern.  You know that you want to shorten the dress some more, so go ahead and change this in your pattern. 

Now move to the waist.  You've pinched off those areas in the picture, now do it with some pins and transfer these markings to your pattern as well (both front and back).  (Unless you decided to make some other changes to the look of this dress in which case play around with it and just mark your pattern so you know how to cut).

That should do it.  You don't need to go down a size, because if you do that, you don't know how it's going to fit again and you may still need to make some changes to it as well.  This way, you know what you're working with from the start and are making changes based on that. 

Hope that helps!

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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006 07:01:33 AM »

wait a minute--did you sew the fisheye darts???  it's hard to tell from the pictures but it looks like the side seam is swinging forward at the hem which says to me that either you left the darts unsewn or they aren't the right length.

i would be very careful about taking this dress in, because you need at least 2" of ease in the hips just to be able to sit down.  Smiley

also, i think you need to pinch out a dart in the PATTERN at the neck in front, that will take care of the gaping and should put the shoulders in the right place.

you WILL have a lot of waist ease in this dress--don't be mislead by the model, they usually pin the dresses on them so they look better for pictures.

let us see a back view so we can tell if there is anything else to be done.


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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2006 05:38:01 PM »

Can't really tell by the pics, but it looks like it's missing its darts on the back and the front (as the above post mentioned)..

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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2006 06:23:42 PM »

the only darts shown in the line drawings are the bust darts and i see those hejin's dress.  but the back should have fisheye darts, that is why i wanted to see a back view of the dress.

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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006 03:44:03 AM »

There's an image of the back. I pinned up where the zip is supposed to be. And yep, I did sew the darts on the back.

I guess the seam which you see swinging forward is actually a fold in the fabric - I didn't iron it out.

Rostitchery, what did you mean by placing darts on the neckline? I don't really know how to go about doing that. An image please? I suppose the shoulders might turn out alright after I use the interfacing and all... but you're the expert; so do give me more suggestions.  Smiley

So basically, I just need to do the neck dart and perhaps take in one inch on the waist?
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2006 04:19:05 AM »

these are not darts that you would sew in the garment--they are pattern adjustments. pinch out the excess until it lies flat.  then transfer those pinches to your pattern.  when you cut the pattern, leave the pinches intact. 

it looks to me like when you put the zipper in, everything will fit much better--with the center back pinned, there is now a defined waistline. i wouldn't be so quick to take in the side seams--i think you'll get a better shape by putting in fisheye darts in the front instead.  notice how when you pinch the side seams, the whole front pulls and all the skirt fullness goes to the side--if you use fisheye darts instead, the skirt fullness will stay more even and the waist will get some shape.

who i am: www.ella-echo.com
what i do: www.rostitchery.com

"when was the last time you did something for the first time?"
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2006 09:21:14 AM »

I made this dress just the other week.  Mine was a tad too boxy aswell, I just took it in more at the sides, and more at the darts in the back.  It turned pretty okay in the end.  I also shortened it quite a bit-now it's kind of like a minidress (well by my standards)  I was going for the mod look.  Hope yours turns out okay.

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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2006 12:40:34 PM »

It is a boxy dress with very little waist shaping, so if that is what you want, what I woud do is make the top from the waist mark up in a size 8 and from the waist mark down in a size 10. I would just blend the line gradually. That will take out a lot of the extra from the waist up and still leave you with plenty of ease in the hips to sit down.
If you want to preserve the work that you have done on this dress already, I would take in the side seams about half as much as you are pinching.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2006 04:11:22 PM »

Here's a hard lesson that I'm sure a lot of seamstresses have learned the hard way: Never pick a commercial pattern according to the body measurements on the package. It's amazing the amount of ease they put in those things. More and more the major commercial pattern companies print the actual finished measurements of the garment on the envellopes but I don't think Burda is one of them. I've actually taken to opening packages at the store to double check the numbers. You'll learn with experience how much allowance you need, it can be as little as 1/4 inch to a several inches. The way I pick the pattern size is that I look at the finished item on the package and I try to figure out how much extra allowance I need. After a while you'll come to know what size fits you.

I agree with rhiandmoi, about using different sizes for your body, sadly I have to adjust dress patterns like that the time. Your dress looks to be roomy all over, including the hips. Maybe a size 10 is just too big for you.

Good luck.


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