I was speedy fast with getting this dress done in time for two reasons:
1) It's my super fun birthday dress for later this month!
This is the hi-lo dress #116 from the the August 2014 issue of Burda (also available as a download here.) I'm not one for the mullet dress or a backless look on me but this one whispered my name and said "Hey, go get that bright tropical hibiscus floral print on that rayon challis you bought in the winter and make me now". It came from Fabric Mart's Julie's Picks Club. I cut a straight size 42 with zero alterations. The skirt is so full I had no reason to grade out the hips to my usual 46. I was too lazy to work up a muslin, and now I have several fit issues, but they aren't the end of the world. I totally forgot to add a little extra length to the bodice, I generally add 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) and now the waist is sitting a little higher then I'd like. But I must say, I'm really happy with the location of were the back cutout sits-- it covers everything that needs covering (i.e. bra band and butt.) The shoulder seams are riding back a touch because the bodice is slightly too short. But you'd never notice, so who cares.
The directions are classically terrible Burda magazine directions. This dress is not complicated to sew but to try to follow their poorly translated steps... oh, man, what a headache. But like a good seamstress, I read them over to see if I could comprehend them. It appears
The bodice is fully lined with the same fashion fabric. I had 3 yards of material and it worked out just fine but I had to piece the front bodice lining together and sew a center seam because I couldn't get a perfect full piece out of my yardage. Now what does Burda forget to include in their directions? They don't mention to do any understitching along the neckline, sleeves or back opening. I always understitch because I hate when the lining starts to fold outward every so slightly as the garment is being worn. They forget to tell you to trim most of your seam allowances. They don't specify why you need or how to attach elastic the your drawstring... they give some convoluted explanation on the elastic but I couldn't decipher it. So this is what I did-- I cut about a 2" (5 cm) length of my 1/4" elastic and sewed one end of the drawstring to one side, then the other drawstring to the other. When it's have the drawstring in the casing in back, this little bit of elastic in the center of the string creates a nice ease in the otherwise non-stretch drawstring.
I also had to go rogue with sewing in the facing/casing on the back cutout. Sewing it on was nothing new or mind blowing but the directions manage to blow my face off with confusion. I simply sewed the ends of the two facing pieces together t make ta big circle. I pinned it on the back opening, right sides together and sewed it on with my 5/8" seam allowance I use. I then trimmed the seam allowance and understitched. I flipped it inside, wrong sides facing now, and ironed it. I ironed the 5/8" seam allowance on the other side in and under the facing and sewed it to the dress to form the casing, leaving about 3" (7.5 cm) open to allow me to string my drawstring through. After getting the drawstring through, I sewed up that last little open bit. Yeah, I know, I should have taken photos.
Rayon challis loves a good french seam so this is how I finished this relatively straight seamed skirt. Plus with a mullet hem I didn't really want serged edges flipping around as I walked. I made machine rolled hems. I could have done an invisible hem, but dang... the other option is so fast and works beautifully. I love how you can barely see any of that stuff when I flip the skirt up to see the inside in the photo below.
Check out how full that back panel on the skirt is! I needed a gust of wind to do a saucy Marylin Monroe skirt blowing up sort of photo. But there wasn't any gusting, so I held it up and out so you can see how huge the back is.
I may already worn the dress today and my birthday isn't even here yet. It's summer, it's a fun, colorful dress... I couldn't help myself.
I had to take my pictures in quick shifts. My yard has been invaded by these crazy HUGE bugs called cicada killers-- they are humongous, look like killer death wasps and chase me when I'm nearby. Luckily they are basically harmless and could care less about people. The last photo is of me looking back and realizing I had one of those bugs looking at me while it sat on a flower. Inside I went.