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I’m feeling a little upset that the September BurdaMag preview has yet to show up on either the German or Russian Burda websites, so I’m handling this situation in typically diplomatic Selfish Seamstress style: by picking a fight.

Burda, here is your version of the 12-2006-108 tux dress:

And here is the Selfish Seamstress’s version. Don’t get me wrong, Burda. Obviously you are the geniuses behind this dress and I fully acknowledge that, but I think I WIN:

See how smug I look?

Look- even my back looks smug.

As usual, Burda provided a wonderfully drafted pattern. I graded it down to a 32 and the fit is just perfect without any alterations except for shortening at the hem and dropping the waistline about an inch. Oddly the bodice was really short before that, and that was without any petite alterations.

While I was making it, I was trying it on with my orange shoes just to check the length, and surprisingly, I really like the dress with these shoes. It’s extremely unintuitive to me, not because of the plum, but because of the gray. I never think of gray and orange working together. But Dan commented as well (without any prompting or query from me) that the dress and the shoes look unintuitively good together, so don’t try to tell me otherwise because I am not listening. I am a WINNER. Albeit a bowlegged one.

I think the photo of the skirt material I showed in the last post about this dress gave the false impression that I was using a rather coarse herringbone tweed. That’s not the case, though that would have been a great look. No, this dress was meant to use up remnants, and the skirt is actually a rather heavy rayon suiting with a very fine herringbone weave.

Here it is with no Selfish Seamstress inside:

As you can see, I made a few small cosmetic changes. I omitted the bow at the waist (though now that I think about it, I don’t think it would have looked so silly as I thought. But I do like wearing this with a skinny belt and the bow would prohibit that.)

I had meant to do the little skinny bow tie around the collar, but then I realized I’m never ever going to wear this with the collar closed all the way (makes it look very much as though my head is just balanced atop the collar), so I had to skip the neck bow because it would have just been two untied strings hanging off of either side of the collar. I also changed the placement of the buttons accordingly. Here’s a close-up of the collar:

I realized later that I actually installed the top collar ruffle wrong side out, which just means that the less neat edge is showing. The fabric itself is the same on both sides. Oh well.

And here’s a glimpse at the inside- I did French seams wherever possible and skipped the lining. Instead I used self bias strips as armhole facings. You can see that I hand tacked them at the shoulder seam to keep them from flipping outwards when I wear it:

Anyway, that’s about it. No hard feelings, okay Burda? You can’t win them all. Especially not with moiré.

After a day of hiking boots, fleece outerwear, fresh air, sunshine, socializing with other humans, and rigorous exercise, all counter to the Selfish Seamtress’s natural tendencies, there’s nothing she loves more than unwinding with painstaking precision sewing and a little alliteration. Hence the plum poplin and pintucks:

This is the beginnings of BurdaMag 12-2006-108, the tux dress pattern that I posted about earlier:

I’m planning on making several changes to this dress- making the collar band a little less tall, eliminating the waist bow, doing the whole bodice in one color rather than with a contrast bib, skipping out on the prescribed tulle petticoat (Petticoat with an A-line skirt?  Hrmmm.), and ditching the pockets. I’m not so keen on pockets right over my belly on a dress. I’m also finding that the bodice of this dress is super short even though I didn’t make any petite adjustments to it at all, so I’m going to drop the waistband a smidge. And I’m going to skip the bodice lining as well. It makes sense for BurdaMag’s original fabrics (moiré and taffeta!) but not so much for the lightweight poplin shirting I’m using (leftover from Dan’s Valentine shirt and the still-unfinished Camicia #9).

Here’s where I am so far:

I’m planning on doing the skirt in some dark gray herringbone rayon suiting that I purchased in Germany back in 2007 and have had in my stash forever (somehow or other 6 meters of it seemed like the right amount to purchase at the time):

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got going on now. What are you up to?

Slow progress is being made on the BurdaStyle book coat– I managed to cut out all of the outer pieces yesterday and get started on assembling it. But as I mentioned previously, the fact that this feels like S.W.A.G. sewing rather than selfish sewing means I’m not particularly driven and am dragging my feet. (This, incidentally, is through no fault of the BurdaStyle folks who have been great, or the project, which is a fantastic opportunity. Rather it is the direct result of the Selfish Seamstress having a particular tendency towards whining and self pity, even when they are not appropriate to the situation.)

As is often the case when I get tied up in any sort of S.W.A.G.-ish sewing, I start fantasizing about all the stuff I would make were I not S.W.A.G.-bound. And this dress from Burda 12.2006 is my latest obsession:

I’m sure the first time I saw this dress, I had a serious WTF moment. It’s so over the top, it’s so tacky, it’s so ridiculous. Dare I say… ugly? Oh, the black moiré (when was the last time you saw someone wearing moiré in real life?? I’ll tell you the last time I saw that- it was on the gown of one of the parents in the party scene when I was in a production of the Nutcracker at the age of 10. I’m pretty sure I thought to myself, “Man, I can’t wait until I’m a grownup and can wear moiré too!”). Also, the iridescent purple bow, the high ruffled collar, contrast bib, and sleeveless bodice. All together, it’s the female equivalent of a Chippendale dancer costume, or perhaps the uniform of a cocktail waitress at a seedy casino in the 1980s. Who on earth would wear such a dress? Well, as it turns out, I am strongly suspecting that I would, which is why I went to some lengths recently to acquire the 12.2006 issue of Burda from German eBay. Just not quite like this.

I think tux styling is a bit like animal print, ruffles, or metallic leather. A hint of it can be elegant and ladylike. Push it a little further and it can be edgy and daring. But push it a little bit further over that very thin line and suddenly you’re splat in the middle of Tackyland, which is where I believe the moiré dress above resides. TOO TUX-Y. (Side note, wouldn’t Tackyland be the greatest amusement park ever?)

But look what you get when you strip down some of the bells and whistles and craziness, and stop trying to force it to be a lady tux, and instead just a pretty dress with some tux-inspired details:

Lots and lots of cute potential! Imagine it all in one color- maybe a lightweight brown sateen (sooo Zara) or a pale yellow lawn. Or navy with tiny white pin dots and white accents. Or the whole top in ecru with the waistband and skirt in black. Or plum batiste on top with businesslike gray wool for the skirt?

Myself, I’m thinking the whole dress in white poplin with the tie at the neck, buttons, and waistband in black, minus the bow at the waist. After all, I’m not a 10-year old in the Nutcracker anymore. Or a Chippendale dancer.

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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