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A Burda Style pintuck pleated smock dress.

Well this dress was a long time coming. It’s dress number 106 from Burda Style magazine issue December 2019!

I first noticed this when the lovely Jay Jay from The Camden Stitch mentioned it in one of her Christmas Vlogs last year – this one in fact! She flicked through it whilst having a coffee at St Pancras Station and when she paused to look at this dress I instantly decided that I needed that issue of the magazine too.

It’s been years since I bought a Burda magazine, and turns out they’re really good value. This was £5.99 for 221 patterns apparently! Not quite sure how work out 221 patterns, they must be including each size of each pattern I reckon, but there certainly are quite a few. In fact now that I have made this one I might get around to making another pattern that I also really liked in the same magazine..

Don’t worry if you don’t have the magazine, but still like this dress. I’ve got your back. It’s available as a individual pattern purchase here. You are welcome! Ha!

Line drawing from Burdastyle.com

The dress is a smock style pleated dress. I have called it a pintuck dress, not sure if this is exactly right as I imagine pintucks to be really tiny, and these are fairly wide. But hey ho, whatever you call it it’s pretty cute right?

Alongside the pleats/pintucks it has a fantastic tie at the back of the neck – you know how I am a sucker for a tie back! It also has an unusual flounce insert at the bottom of the back of the dress, which I actually left out because I wasn’t that keen on it. Simple long sleeves complete the look.

The sample in the book was made up in a viscose which is probably my absolute fave fabric to sew with, so I used a pretty mustard floral viscose from my stash that I bought from Like Sew Amazing during the Summer. Sadly this particular fabric looks like it might be sold out now, but there are plenty of other beautiful alternatives over in her lovely shop.

Before I even start we need to address the reason why a lot of people are hesitant to use patterns from the Burda magazine. It’s the tracing. The magazine comes with one pattern sheet containing the all the pattern markings for every pattern in the book. It’s completely crazy. Take your time to read through what you need and where to look for them and don’t do what I did which is start to trace out late afternoon when the light is starting to go. Big mistake. To make it a little easier for myself I used a Frixion highlighter pen to draw over the lines that I needed to trace off before placing the tracing paper on top. This makes it much easier to follow the correct line when tracing and not be distracted by the others. Seam and hem allowances are not included in these magazine patterns by the way, so don’t forget to add these in before cutting out.

I made up the size 40 (with no adjustments), and my measurements are 36-29-38

The pattern was super easy to sew up actually. The main thing that I was concerned about was keeping the pleats nice and neat when I was sewing them as I thought the viscose might be too soft. Turns out they were no problem at all, they pressed nicely when I pinned them in place and stayed put when I sewed them in. Winner winner. I’m very surprised with how nicely they turned out (I was not expecting that)! It’s a shame the pattern on the fabric makes them really difficult to see from a distance. This would be a super dress using a chambray or lightweight linen so that you could really work on showing off those tucks.!

Silver button acrylic necklace available from my shop here

I also love love LOVE the tie at the back of the neckline. Sadly once again this kinda disappears into the pattern of the fabric but I hope you can get the idea. The ties are really long which is super cute I think.

Finally as I mentioned before, the dress has a flounce that is added to the bottom of the dress back. I didn’t particularly like this so when I cut the pattern out, so I just made the front and back dress pieces the same length and ignored the flounce piece.

I must be honest, the back view is not very flattering. I mean, I guess a smock is never going to be. I’ll add a pic here. Hmmm I did wonder if it would look better a little shorter. We’ll see. I can always go back to that. Or maybe I could add a belt?

The finished result has really pleased me, I wasn’t expecting to love it as I do. I was wearing a navy cardigan with it before we took the pics and that looked really nice – I should have taken some pics of it as that is definitely how I would wear it at the moment. With thick coloured tights and shoe boots or trainers. It’s a yes from me!

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

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A Pattydoo Marie dress

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I continue to be a real fan of this company. Pattydoo provide great patterns at an incredibly low price that are well drafted for everyday wear, and are easy to make.

The Marie Dress  is no exception. This is a fairly recent addition to their pattern collection, and it’s beautiful. It is only available on their German site (ie – it’s not written in English), but it is still really easy to understand with a little help from Google Translate and the brilliant YouTube Sew-along tutorial video. Whilst the video is spoken in German (I don’t speak German), the visuals and on-screen prompts enable you to easily understand what is happening.

It’s only 3 Euros for this download, which is such good value, and what is more, I only needed 1 metre of fabric for my dress! Such a budget make all round!

The good news just keeps coming – the dress comprises of only two pattern pieces, it really doesn’t get much better than this!  They are rather peculiar looking, and it was fun to see how they fitted together.

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My fabric choice is a scuba which I picked up on eBay. I’m not totally happy with it – it’s not as vibrant as I was expecting IRL and I don’t think that the colours suit me that well either. Hey ho! That being said, scuba fabric is perfect for this dress. One of these days I will get myself a colour consultation from a professional so that I will always know which colours to reach for.

Because there are only two pattern pieces, this comes together really quickly. The princess seams front and back create soft flattering pleats which create a pretty shape over your hips.

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I have a curvy figure and find that the pleats have just the right amount of body to them so as not to exaggerate an area that I don’t want to add width to!

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The princess seams and pleats are a feature of the back of the dress too and fall in just the same manner as at the front. Oh, and there are no fastenings for this dress. Pop it on and off over the head.

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The pattern has a slightly curved hem, and this was the only alteration that I made. I cut the hem straight across so that it has a completely horizontal hem line now, just my preference.

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So, the neckline and arms are finished by simply turning under and sewing with a double needle. There are no facings or bands, but it would be simple to create these if you so wished. I will perhaps make a neckband for my next version.

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I must admit, I would prefer if this dress had sleeves. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps at some point there will be an expansion pack with some sleeves for this, and maybe in the meantime I will try to have a go at drafting my own as I think this style is a little too severe for me, and think I would wear it more if it had short sleeves. I also think the neckline sits a little too high for my taste. Not sure.

The design lines are stunning though, and I think that this dress made in a simple plain fabric would be amazing. If you’re a fan of Instagram like me, check out all the Marie Dress inspiration that there is using the hashtag #pattydoomarie

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Thanks for taking the time to hop on over here today, take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x