Burda Strapless Corset Dress (03/2010 #107)



Pattern Description: Women’s strapless dress. Fully lined and with structured boning.

Pattern Sizing: I’m pretty sure I cut a 10. But many modifications were made.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Not especially, but instructions for Burda print-at-home patterns tend to be minimal.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that this pattern was kind of hard. It was a pain to make, but I learned how to do cool things like sew boning casing into lining seams and make a fitted corset.

Fabric Used: Woven cotton and Bemberg lining.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I only used the pattern for the bodice design and I drafted the skirt myself. I didn’t make many alterations to the bodice other than I sewed an extra seam up the piece below the bust to make it fit better, and I added a bit more boning than what was called for.

Would you sew it again? Definitely. I loved the way the bodice turned out, and I’d like to make it again but with a narrow pencil skirt instead of a flared skirt.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but only to experienced sewers. If I had attempted this during my more amateur days I probably would have scratched my eyes out in frustration.

Last June I had the extreme pleasure of attending Sewing Garments Camp at The Make Den sewing studio. I am not exaggerating when I say it was the most magical, recuperative week of my entire summer, if not my entire existence.

I chose this particular dress for sewing camp because it looked like a huge pain in the ass to make; it did not disappoint. The bodice in this pattern is structured and fully lined, and I got to play with boning for the first time.

Boning is somewhat laborious to insert, especially the steel coil variety, but once it’s in something magical happens: the garment becomes structured enough to hoist up your fleshy segments all by itself, thus eliminating the need to wear a bra. SERIOUSLY. I’m going to sew boning into absolutely everything I own.

I made this dress to wear at a friend’s wedding, and here’s a photo to prove that I did indeed wear it:


The pattern for this dress (the bodice, at least) can be found here. This is a downloadable pattern, which means you get to spend an evening printing a gigantic PDF file, scaling the pages, cutting everything out, taping the pieces together, tracing them into pattern paper, adding seam allowances, and cutting the pieces out again, which is an oddly satisfying process.

My enchantingly stunning friend Sora was kind enough to model my sewing camp dress for me, and doesn’t she look lovely? Just the loveliest.

Here’s one more shot of fair Sora, who wears this dress far better than I do:


I realized mid-construction that this dress looks just a little Snow White. A lot Snow White, actually. My dark hair and pigment-devoid skin only exasperate this issue. I may have selected something other than yellow for the skirt if I had realized this earlier, but instead I’m going to pretend this is exactly what I was going for.