02 January 2014

BWOF 1-2009-106 (knit dress): Complete

And the award for the most hacked-up inside of a knit dress goes to...

Man oh man.  Sewing this dress tested my patience for knits and Burda World of Fashion (BWOF).  Despite the fact that the dress will never be worn inside-out, there is some real 'damn shame' going on on the inside.  I will spare you the images.  But trust me, Nina would not approve.

Fabric & Notions
  • 2 yards of grey poly-rayon-spandex ponte knit
  • scraps of muslin selvedge to stabilize the shoulder seams
  • serger, sewing machine, coverstitch machine, thread
  • 1/2" steam-a-seam for all hems
  • helluva lot of patience
Adding Seam Allowances
I add my seam allowances right on the fabric when I'm ready to cut out the pattern.  I like doing it this way because I can make my pattern adjustments right at the seamlines and add whatever seam allowance I want later on.  Depending on the fabric, I either use a chalk wheel or colored pencils to mark the seams.  For this garment, I used a chalk wheel and a 5/8" seam allowance.  

I didn't add a hem allowance because BWOF patterns are drafted for NBA players.  I actually lopped off two more inches from the bottom and sewed a 1.25" hem.

Sizing & Alterations
Since this is my first BWOF knit pattern (I think), I didn't know with what size to start and because I am totally lazy about flat-pattern measuring, I started with a size 42.  It's strange, really.  I won't take the time to measure the pattern, but I will take the time (and fabric) to make a muslin.  Sooooo...yeah.  The muslin showed me that a 42 fit fine everywhere except the bust.  Surprise surprise.  I made a 1" FBA and left the bust dart in tact.

Yah hear that Rachelle??  I sewed a bust dart in a knit.  I hate darts in knits and try my best to avoid them.  Seriously.  But Rachelle is right.  The darts help to shape the knit nicely around my bust. 

The front and back bodice pieces are divided into two sections.  I performed the FBA on the top section and removed the extra width from the side seam.  This kept the top and bottom sections the same size.

In addition to the FBA, I also made a 1 1/4" swayback adjustment.  If I make this again, I will shorten the front and back bodices by an inch above the bustline.  The back-waist length is too long and it shows when I wear it.  You can see what I'm talking about in the pictures at the end of this post.

The Freakin' Sleeves (i.e., Source of Said Hacking)

Sleeve Cap
I have never had so many problems with knit sleeves.  There is an INSANE amount of ease in the sleeve cap.  Why Burda?  Why?  Is this a thing with BWOF?  Are all of their knit sleeve caps like this?  I checked reviews for this pattern on PR and only two people mentioned the extra ease.  Everyone else's sleeves appear to be set in nicely.  Either this is a massive oversight or the three of us did something wrong.  I'm going with oversight because there is something criminal about this sleeve cap.

I could not sew these sleeves in flat to save the world.  The first time I tried to set the sleeve in the round, there were puckers and folds everywhere.  I retraced the sleeve pattern and didn't add a seam allowance along the cap.  That didn't work either.  The second and third tries to sew in the round were also epic fails.  By the fourth iteration, I was DONE and just started lopping shit off.  I could not be more pleased.

Do you see that?  That's how much I removed from the sleeve cap with no seam allowances.  Unreal!

Cute Ruffles, Crazy Pattern Piece

The sleeves are kind of cute with the little ruffled area.  Sewing this, however, is not cute.  The pattern piece looks like this:

You're supposed to gather between the asterisks (corners), attach the inset at the horizontal seam, then sew the sides.  This is fine until you reach the corners.  As BWOF instructions are famously scant, how to handle this area is not explained very well.  I tried to do it.  Twice.

Then I read Belinda's review on PR.  Rather than attempt to sew the crazy corner, she cut the sleeve apart into four pieces:  (1) inset, (2) lower half, (3) front, and (4) back.

photo credit:  Sew4Fun

This worked perfectly.  Even though my sleeve has seams all the way to the hem, I still have my sanity.


I knew when I cut out the facings that this part of the construction would not end well.  I sewed the facing on and immediately ripped it out and threw it away.  You know why.  I don't have to go into detail.  Knit facings are evil.
Since I like Jalie's method of sewing a neckband to V-necks, I use the pattern piece from Jalie 2805 and cut it out for this dress.  The neckline lengths were close to the same, so I didn't have to make any changes to the pattern piece.  Awww...my first frankenpattern.  Baby steps.


I'm very happy with my dress.  I will NEVER wear it un-belted because "shapeless sack" is not a look that goes well with my figure. 

After tracing and cutting out the fabric, this pattern is quite easy and quick to construct.  The pattern includes a cut line that shortens the dress into a tunic or top.  I probably won't make either one of those garments, but I may I might make one more in a sweater knit or black ponte.  

Up next:  2013 Year in Review:  Part 2 (Hits)



  1. Mother (that would be me) always knows best! LOL

    1. LOL. You are right about this one. I'm not a convert yet, but learning not to hate it so much. =)

  2. Your hard work paid off. Lovely dress. "there is some real 'damn shame' going on on the inside" LOL. You should see the inside of some of my makes.

    1. Argh. Google ate my comment.

      Thank you BeaJay. I try to keep the insides neat, but I don't always succeed. Most of the time I don't even think about it, but this dress got to me!

  3. It doesn't matter what it looks like on the inside, it looks fantastic on the outside. :-)

    1. Thanks Hazel! I agree: flaws like this on the inside don't affect the function of the dress or how it looks on the outside. I will wear it with pride. =)

  4. Hi L, isn't it always the way - a simple little dress ends up sending one loony:). I agree it's great to have a nice inside look, but this dress looks really nice now on the outside. You do have a great shape, so yes, no tents for you. Do make another one day - you've done the hard work of learning what not to do, so it would be great to have one made up that is nice on the inside as well :)

  5. That is one good-looking dress so who cares what's inside. I'm sure Nina is not going to be chasing you down the street for a peek anytime soon. You made it work, that's what matters.


Thanks for commenting! I appreciate and read them all - even if I can not personally respond.


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