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Burda Twist Knot Dress

Pattern: Burda 3/2012 #108
Fabric:  Riley & Blake medium chevron stripe quilting cotton
Size: 38

Finally!  This was the sewing project that kicked off the summer sewing spree and I just finished it last night.  My goal was to make the first of a few casual summer dresses to break up the capri/t-shirt uniform.  I don't have anything against dresses, but I find that I don't really have any anymore unless it's one I had to buy for some special occasion. So, this whole dress thing was a bit out of my normal repertoire.  And really out of my normal repertoire are sleeveless dresses.  For some reason, I'm not fond of my arms and at some point decided, nothing good would come out of exposing their shoulders.  But I took a chance on this dress because I like it so much and now I might never wear sleeves again.

I've realized a few other interesting things about myself since I started sewing again.  For example, I tend to go into auto-pilot pretty quickly when sewing which is really rather ridiculous because that would lead you to believe that sewing is so easy for me, it comes second nature.  Unfortunately, my auto-pilot is a terrible driver.
Although this was a relatively easy dress to make (they always are post-construction), my auto-pilot had a bit of a hard time with the instructions.  Also, many other factors converged to make this dress a not-good-example-of-how-garments-should-be-made.  (1) I couldn't find the fabric I was trying to copy from the Selfish Seamstress or anything remotely like it anywhere on the web or land.  So, I was forced to buy quilting cotton with this lovely gray chevron stripe.  I decided I liked the graphic look of this even better.  Then, I realized the chevron was really more of an old school zig-zag as the pattern runs vertically down the grain of the fabric : (  (2) Hence, I had to buy more fabric.  The fabric was out at the local quilting fabric store.  I had to order it.  It was back ordered. ..... (3) I was forced to cut the pattern perpendicular to the grain line.  I think that's akin to walking under a ladder.  I'm not sure exactly what kind of badness will happen but I know you should never do it. (4) I washed and pressed the first piece of fabric but not the second. ??  I can't think of an excuse for this. (5) I was very fearful the dress wouldn't be long enough as I was limited to 44" across the fabric to cut the whole length of the dress.  The math involved with this issue was too much for my auto-pilot to handle so I just went for it.  (6) Because the pattern has both a facing and lining for the bodice and maybe because I was trying to right some of the wrongs I'd already committed, I decided to line the skirt portion of the dress too.  I also didn't want my underwear to show and I don't own a slip. (7)  I don't know how to line things, really, so I winged it.  I cut the front lining without the section that is twisted up.  Then I serged it together with the fabric on the side seams.  Then, I realized I wouldn't be able to hem them together nor separately.  I later (last night) fixed this by undoing the seam up the sides about 12", re-sewing the fabric sides by themselves, finishing the edges of the lining and letting them hang separated.  Then hemmed the fabric and lining separately.  I wasn't sure if it was going to work without making the dress look like something was pulling and tugging at it.  Much to my surprise, it seems to have worked.  However, I will never be able to wash this dress.  I'm pretty sure it will pucker up and get completely contorted.

Finally, I can wear my Aldo patent leather, platform shoes!
I wish I hadn't been bending my knee there.  Or maybe I'm not.  Apparently, I'm pretty bow-legged.  I had forgotten that.

It was getting hot.
Thought I'd try some bright colored shoes.  I also have some yellow ones that would be more casual and probably look good when I'm shopping at Walmart.

I don't know what this is, but I will tell you, the left profile of this dress is not so flattering.  The twist puffs up above the belly a bit.

I'm pretty happy with the dress, despite it's Frankensteinean construction.  I find it pretty flattering on me which is a thing that is hard to find.  It's probably one of the nicest things I've made for myself.  Although it's true, I haven't made anything for myself in a couple of decades.  The only problem I had wearing it today was that when I sit down, the front kind of opens up.  No not kind of, what am I talking about, it really opens up.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  Maybe, never sit down.  Or, possibly try to hand stitch the front together a bit?  I also like the luxurious feeling of wearing a dress that is lined.  Especially compared to my usual mom uniform, capri pants and a t-shirt.

When, I decided I had to make another trip to the store to get more lining material, I had a bit of a nervous realization that I might be getting kind of serious about this whole sewing thing.  Lining means serious sewing to me.  It means commitment.  It was kind of scary but I'm now over it.


In this section, I wish to make a formal statement of how much I dislike pictures of myself.  They automatically bring up all kinds of issues that I'm happy to not notice when I'm blindly looking in the mirror.  First, I'm immediately horrified to realize how short I am because I don't feel like a short person and most of the time have no real knowledge of this.  (Maybe I should get a full length mirror).  Then, I'm like, "Where did my waist go? Or, did I ever have one?"  Then, I'm like, "Where are my ankles? And why are the bottom part of my legs so short and stubby? etc. etc. And what happened to my face?!  Oh yeah.  I'm almost forty.  That's what happened.

Then comes the fact that I've never been photogenic in any lenient sense of the word, not even as a child.  Plus, I have no idea how to stand and look like a normal person.  Trust me, I tried several ways and none were much of an improvement over the others.  So I would like it to be known, that this was a sacrifice for the purpose of documenting sewing but I still squirm as I try to ignore the, what did my husband call them? --"cankles", which he assured me I did not have, but which I know I'm on my way to getting.  Luckily, my seven-year-old photographer was relatively patient as I'm sure she was feeling rather important to be allowed to handle my camera and take my picture for a change.


  1. I like it, especially with the Aldo shoes.

  2. Its lovely - I looked at it in the mag and thought it was a bit formal to make for me (don't wear much formal or many dresses!) but this looks great! Am reconsidering :-)

  3. It's a fantastic dress, very classy.

  4. That is a darling dress! i just love the chevron stripe and the more dramatic a-line. It certainly is a flattering fit!

  5. soooo nice!
    I'm have to buy the pattern...

    Helene From France

  6. You are amazing, I also have this very frustrating pattern, but I can't for the life of me work out how the heck to sew it from the vague and confusing instructions, despite making a sample with a scrap! Grrr....


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