Wow Dress!

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I’ve called this my Wow Dress because I think it is pretty ‘Wow!’
It’s not perfect but I’ll get to that later. I wanted to do this glorious Wacky Animal Print Jardin Stretch Cotton Sateen Dress Fabric from Minerva Crafts justice so spent time sewing and fitting my muslin.Fabric 1

I had made up the Burda 7557 pattern in an American size 14, according to my measurements. It was perfect around the bust but I took it in down the sides, over the hips, and lengthened the back darts.
The dress is an a-line with a top section separate to the skirt. I noticed that I would have to pay particular attention to my dart placement across the join. I went back and checked my traced pattern and saw that I hadn’t been quite as accurate as I could have been in transferring the darts.
A fellow blogger sewmanju mentioned that using stretch cotton might mean I had to take the finished dress in further and boy was she absolutely right! Thankfully I had took her advice and only basted my side seams when working on the real thing. I did indeed take the stretch cotton version another 2cm down both of the sides and ALSO take in and lengthen the front darts over my stomach.

So, with no further ado. Ta dah!

Dress 15 Burda 7557

Here are a few details. I top stitched the turned under bias edging in orange and I think I pulled it off.
Dress 1 Burda 7557I’d picked up a good tip from making a True Bias Sutton blouse a few weeks ago. Once I’d sewn up the side seams I went back and over stitched again just under the arm pit to secure the seam allowances flat.

Time spent lining up my darts paid off.

Dress 4 Burda 7557
And the fit looked great on my dress form, from the bust down, and the zip looked great. However it was slowly dawning on me that the top half of the dress was not fitting as close as it should.

Dress 7 Burda 7557
Dress 5 Burda 7557Dress 6 Burda 7557I was really happy with the insides too.

Whilst posing the dress looked absolutely fine.


But I spent the night in it on Sunday and it’s definitely too big around the neckline and across the shoulders. It got worse throughout the night with rather too much bra strap and cleavage showing going on. Not that I’m adverse to cleavage showing – when intentional.
I could have kept this to myself and pretended a perfect fit but if someone else learns from my experience, well that’s got to be worthwhile.

So what have I learnt from this make? Loads!

  1. A fitted dress will show inexperience more than a looser style!
  2. Be accurate in tracing off.
  3. When using stretch cotton consider going down a whole size as a starting point.
  4. Make a muslin in a similar fabric.
  5. Consider the measurement across your ‘high’ bust as well as your bust measurement.
  6. Consider a smaller size and attempt a ‘full bust adjustment’. I’ve read about these but they sound scary!

But don’t let this put you off. I’m even more determined to have another go at this pattern

Meanwhile I’m going to go back a put a couple of small darts in the front neckline. Not a recommended solution but I think I can get away with it due to the fabric print. After that I’ll unpick the top 6 inches of the zip and take in a whole inch at the top, grading out to nothing.
Then at least it’ll be wearable.Dress 15 Burda 7557

I still love my Wow Dress.

Thanks to Minerva Crafts for the fabric and pattern.

Love, Lucie xx.

46 comments

  1. Very Wow! But maybe more wow than you intended by the end of the night 😉
    I also kept making dresses with gaping necks and too wide shoulders and I think it is something to do with not taking the high bust measurement into account as you have said. I am quite small across the back and shoulders but with a bust and, if I take the bust measurement only, the pattern assumes I need the room in the back and shoulders too, which isn’t the case. I haven’t done any dressmaking for a couple of months now but, when I go back to it, I will definitely bear this in mind.

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    1. Exactly my point. It’s the first time I’ve come across it but it’s the first time with this style of dress. Just goes to show, there’s a lot to learn! I’m just going to have to investigate that Full Bust Adjustment.😁

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  2. Lucie this dress really is wow on you and the fabric is gorgeous. I hope your modifications make it wearable. Something else to bear in mind is that the pattern you selected is not designed for a stretch woven…whereas the fabric is. So the pattern won’t be drafted for stretch. Just saying. It’s another obstacle to overcome when you want a fitted dress! But honestly it is gorgeous on you.

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  3. Wow indeed! I hope you’re able to rescue it to your satisfaction as it does look fantastic on you.

    Full bust adjustments aren’t too scary and there are some great tutorials out there. I seem to remember liking the Megan Nielsen one.

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  4. Whit-woo! You look stunning in it. Fab pattern matching on the back seam. Good luck with the adjustments – we’d never know he’s not quite as fitted as it should be but I’m sure you’ll feel happier in it with a few nips & tucks ✂️

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  5. You look stunning in this Lucy, AND you MADE it: you should feel very proud indeed. I’m guessing even a RTW dress fitting this closely would have been impossible to get spot on. Fab job, even with a few tweaks!

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  6. Looks amazing! Lovely fabric choice and excellent pattern matching – I’ve not tried that yet – it still scares me!
    I have wondered if, as I get better at sewing, if I need to start looking at the Full Bust Adjustment too – but in the meantime, I read this super helpful post from Lauren (GBSB): http://www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk/blog/simple-sleeveless-top-blog-series-choosing-a-size-and-making-bust-adjustmen so if that is helpful at all?

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    1. Thanks for this. I’ve been reading lots about them but this one is very clear. I’m trying to find one specifically for an aline dress. Let me know if you come across one.

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  7. I hope you can alter it to make it a dress you can get lots of wear out of – such a shame if not because it certainly is a show stopper! My fabric has just arrived and the quality is excellent – I’ll bet it feels nice on:)

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  8. This is definitely a WOW dress! You totally pull off the wacky print and your seam matching is admirable. Don’t be scared of doing a FBA. I’ve never done it (I need the opposite!) but know how to do it and it’s easy peasy. Quite fun actually! Your bagginess around the neckline would be sorted if you used your high bust measurement instead of your full bust, and did a FBA. Because you need the bigger size around your bust but nowhere else! Look at me talking like a pro, haha, but I have been studying it!

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        1. My trouble is I don’t have a side part to play with. The darts for this dress were under the bust. There isn’t one at the side. Maybe I need to put one at the side.

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  9. This really is a wow dress for sure. The fit looks stellar on you but Knits have a way of bagging out and stretching in places we don’t want. I love the print and it looks fantastic on you!! Awesome sewing job and it looks so clean and professional 🙂

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  10. Wowza! Thats a stunning dress! Though you need to take it in I think this is a fantastic dress on you! That fabric though! Love love! And thanks for the tips and sharing your experiance👍

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  11. Love this one! You look fab! Thank you for the tips as well- I have some stretch fabric and I’m not sure where to start with my non stretch pattern so thank you 🙂 xx

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