A modern Burda Style pattern has come through again to give me a great 1920’s style for everyday summer fun in the sun! For some reason, this pattern company seems to have the best modern recreations of the flapper era (this bias cut beauty and this mock wrap dress are just two examples). They are interesting designs that are practical and modern yet still so very similar to true vintage 1920s style. I have not seen them popping up as much lately, but there are plenty yet to hit up over the years since I started sewing from Burda back in 2012. So – let’s dive into a post about this oldie-but-goodie midi dress that I had made several years back but never remembered to post.
This is wonderful modern sundress has such a sneaky vintage twist. An untrained eye could miss it. The swirl-appropriate full gores on the side of the skirt makes this fun and easy to move in, contrasting to the straight overall lines which visually deceive the eye into hiding my hourglass figure. Together with the longer length, here is a strong reference to late 20’s or early 30’s style that makes me feel so much taller and slimmer. I can sense the carefree freedom and reckless spirit of the pre-Depression era wearing this! However, better than a true vintage design, this one has pockets!!!
FABRIC: a cotton and rayon blend knit with a gold foil butterfly print
PATTERN: Burda Style Burda Style “Midi Flapper Dress” #105A, from April 2015 (my ultimate favorite monthly pattern magazine issue ever!)
NOTIONS: Nothing but thread and a bit of bias tape was needed – so simple!
TIME TO COMPLETE: This came together pretty quickly – about 3 hours. It was finished on May 19, 2015.
TOTAL COST: This did cost a bit because it calls for several yards, but I bought this on a good discount when the now defunct Hancock Fabrics, so I’m guessing $25 or under.
This dress was an interesting mix of opposites. It seems so simple looking at the design lines yet was still tricky to make. It was also an unexpected fabric hog for just a few odd shaped pattern pieces, and with most of all the over 3 yards disproportionately below the hips. As I was using a knit fabric there was no need for closures and using bias tape instead of any facings made this much simpler than it could have been. I did not have any problems with the construction or instructions, though, and it finished just as pictured, so I am quite pleased. There is just one caveat to my being fully happy with how this turned out.
According to the Burda size chart, it was not a tall size but it sure seemed to be proportioned for someone with a longer torso. I noticed the low waistline (compared to my body) and didn’t really think too much of it because of the 1920s influence to the style. I mean, ‘waistlines’ at hip length were the trend back then. Only by the time it was sewn up, the hips were not as loose as I expected, and even though I still love to wear my dress no less, I wish I would’ve raised the waistline now. The front pockets do seem to be at a very handy height, so I don’t know…maybe everything is where it’s supposed to be. I didn’t bother to let out the side seams to give myself more room because I liked the perfect points I achieved where the gores come in at the sides, and the straight seams in the body of the dress have more points (and pockets) so get this dress right the first time.
I love a good challenge and all the points were enjoyable details for me, yet I could see these being a pain for other people. Just remember, every point needs good stabilizing before sewing, especially in a knit. The squared off corners at the bottom of the sleeveless armholes are my favorite. My runner up is the tricky corner at the bottom of the front pockets where the godets come into the front panel with a pleat. 1920s fashion was all about expert and creative mathematics in design lines, and this modern Burda dress stays true to the Art Deco era.
This dress post continues the series I began 9 months ago in our early fall season, the “Indian Summer of the Sundress”. In 2018, we had a warm summer that extended longer than normal so took it as a reason to binge on sundress sewing. Since that first post in the series I have begun showing a sundress from almost every decade of the 20th century (30’s here, 50’s here, and 60’s inspired here). This modern Burda dress fills in for the 1920s decade plenty well enough. The 40’s and 70’s are yet to come!