BurdaStyle 12/2012 Dress #110

tburdaempire01My first BurdaStyle pattern! And no, it wasn’t a printable .pdf this time. On a recent trip to Cotonou, I found a bookstore with imported magazines and newspaper. The fact that I found a sewing magazine here in Benin just makes me realize just how different Benin is from Mali. It was the French version of BurdaStyle, but that works for me.

tburdaempire02At the same shop I found carbon paper as well.

tburdaempire03I chose this little black dress not necessarily because I really liked it, but because it was rated as easy. French isn’t my first language and I wanted to choose a simple pattern to learn the basic sewing vocabulary in French. Good thing I did, I had to stop and look up so many words: froncer, piquer, encolure, emmanchure, épingler, arrondis, ourlet… I’d hate to have had to learn these words with a more difficult pattern.

tburdaempire04Another reason is that I wanted a simple tracing job too – this was my first time making something from a magazine, and well, I wouldn’t have been very motivated with tracing lines for a more complicated pattern.

tburdaempire05The fabric I used was not double-sided, which is quite rare in Benin. It is also difficult to find solid colored fabric if you aren’t in Cotonou. I took full advantage of this opportunity to use the reverse side for the top,  and the print side for the dress. I omitted the lining because it’s too hot here for a lining, and also I didn’t feel like learning how to do a lining in French. But I still wanted to do something for the top. But what?

 tburdaempire06Homemade bias tape! Yeah! I used a tutorial from Colette for cutting and piecing the strips together. Afterwards I used the ironing tutorial from creative little daisy to make the actual strips.

tburdaempire07It’s such a simple thing, but saves so much time and creates such perfect results. First I placed a pin on my stack of fabric (which is my ironing board) so that 1 inch was exposed.

tburdaempire08Then I folded the beginning of my bias strip and fed it under the pin.

tburdaempire09Finally I put a hot iron on top and pulled the rest of the bias tape through.

tburdaempire10Bias edges!tburdaempire11A subtle detail, but finishing the edges with a the matching print really connects the top to the dress.

tburdaempire12I forgot to mention – this dress was made from my mistake pieces from the Simplicity 6628 dress – so I am happy for two reasons, 1) I made a dress and 2) I didn’t completely waste my fabric.

tburdaempire13I’m very happy how this turned out and can’t wait to try more patterns from this issue of BurdaStyle.

tburdaempire14Also knowing that there is a bookstore in Cotonou  gives me something to look forward to when I go to Cotonou each month – a new magazine full of patterns!

tburdaempire15You can’t tell, but there is one major error I made.

tburdaempire16I didn’t line up the bodice darts to the dress darts on the left side. Oops! Lesson learned, I’ll try to avoid that in the future.


Pattern: BurdaStyle 12/2012 #110
Fabric: Super Opulent Java 5396
Outfit Photos: Rob H.

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