Burda 7378 is a sleeveless dress with pleats radiating from a raised waistline and two darts at the back. Last summer when I bought the pattern, I wasn’t sure if my beginner’s skills would be up to a pattern marked “average” but having been rather intrigued by pleats that feature so often on Ready-to-Wear clothes, I thought I’d at least get some insight into their construction. Rolls and Rems provided an easy-to-work cotton poplin (at £4.95 a 115cm-width metre) and invigorated en route by the fabric’s fantastic colour I quickly set to work.
I ended up with this:
I wore my Burda 7378 on my last summer holiday and loved the contrast between the colour of the dress and my tan (those were the days!). Though the pleats weren’t perfectly executed, I still gained much satisfaction looking down at them. After my hols, being very much under the impression that the pattern was a thumbs-up, I made two more versions.
A sophisticated, funeral-friendly black:
Here’s a close-up of the fabric. It’s by John Kaldor and was bought at a considerable discount from Geoff Rosenberg. The colours are to die for!
So, having finished all three, imagine my disappointment (here we go!) when I put them on for the purposes of this photo shoot only to be told by my DH that this pattern makes me “look fat”.
Huh? Now he tells me?! Ok, I admit that a couple of times last summer when I wore the lime dress to slap-up meals, I thought to myself: ”Thank goodness there’s enough room in here!” In fact, I’d even made a mental note to recommend this pattern to anyone accommodating a 4-5 month-old fetus!
And in case you think it’s the stiff poplin, let me emphasise that the two more drapey fabrics don’t make it much better: this really isn’t the pattern for you if your waist is the particular feature you like to accentuate. Maybe the dress would look better in View A - a maxi. But I’d still hesitate to recommend it if you aren’t tall.
If all this hasn’t put you off and you decide to give this dress a go, here are a couple of notes on sizing and modification:
If you’re between sizes, go down: you’ll be fine! My three dresses are size 10 (US: 6) though I’m 12 hips on a good day.
Sewing the Straps and the Lining
By following the pattern instructions, you’ll be attaching the lining to the fashion fabric at the neckline and armscyes, handstitching the lining to the zip then sewing the dress straps as in the diagram above. The lining straps are then machine-stitched before the garment is turned to the right side and the fashion fabric straps are slip-stitched (Step 14). The best of my attempts at this produced:
It wasn’t so simple with the silk! But you don’t have to follow the instructions slavishly! Having for some months now been an avid reader of the Slapdash Sewist, I now know that there is another way. If you’re averse to handsewing and if the slip-stitch isn’t your best couture move, I refer you to Slapdash’s All-Machine Clean-Finish Sleeveless Bodice Lining Tutorial. Especially recommended if you’re making the long, fully lined version of dress.
Good luck and let me know how it went!
P.S. I don’t care if it does make me look fat: I’m ready for that Holiday/Wedding/Funeral…