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Aug 16, 2010

"I dreamed I was a peasant in my Burda muslin"


Readers, can I be real for a moment?  Sometimes I wonder what people think of the stuff that goes on here.  Those poor innocents who stumble upon Male Pattern Boldness for the very first time, perhaps while doing a random search under "SEXY SEXY SEXY" in their office cubicle, or "kathy girdle fun" --

What do they make of all this?

Occasionally I read past entries and even I am aghast.  I will say no more, we must move on.  But if you are one of those people visiting for the first time and now frantically deleting your entire search history as a result, rest assured that there is nothing strange about me.  I just happen to find myself in very strange circumstances.

What would you do if you'd been ask to sew a BurdaStyle pattern for a competition and you had to make a muslin and your identical cousin was on the other side of the planet cavorting in the company of various Bollywood B-listers?  I am confident you would look a lot like I do right now -- admittedly ridiculous.

So here's the back view.  For the muslin I used an old flowered cotton sheet.  Does my ass look fat?

Obviously I took these shots before inserting the back and front panels.

I hope you don't consider these inappropriate and it is not my intention to titillate, merely to archive my progress.  Some people actually prefer me dressed like this, but not anyone you'd want to spend the day with.

Here's a close up of the tucks.  Tucks, pleats, to be honest, I'm not sure if these are what was originally intended; I can't make any sense of the directions even in their English version, which an MPB reader so generously helped me track down.  I think they're supposed to be inverted this way....but maybe not.  Anyway they work as-is.

Here's the almost finished muslin on the bodyform with the front panels simply pinned.  You probably can't tell, but the right (as in right-left) side of the front has the wrong side of the fabric showing and there actually shouldn't even be a right and left side: I had to cut it in two parts because the cotton sheet I used to make the muslin wasn't wide enough.  That's the short version (of the story, not the muslin).

I still have to add the band collar, the cuffs, and the button loops of course.  And hem.

In case you've forgotten, this is the dress I'm making.  I am hoping the Westminster Liberty Art fabric arrives this week.

It's a little Dr. Zhivago, a little Laura Ingalls, a little Rhoda Morgenstern, and a little Yves Saint Laurent 1976 peasant collection, don't you think?

By the way -- and if you're an employee of BurdaStyle, Inc., please take note -- I love this dress and I think the final version is going to be gorgeous.  It's going to be all I can do to rip it away from my cousin Cathy.

Now then, do you see a dress like this more with Roman sandals or wedge espadrilles....?  Bare legs, right?  Big dangling earrings?  Head scarf?

I hope you all had a pleasant Sunday, my friends.  I kid you not when I say I didn't even leave the apartment.  Too much to sew.

So what do you think?

Does the tuck fold show on top of the fabric or underneath or doesn't it matter?


  1. Hmm. Reminds me of the moment one of ANTM's on a go-see told a designer that she loved the dress because it was like wearing pajamas, it was so comfortable. I think on Cycle 4.
    I frequently wear maternity-ish clothes because I am a fan of bell shaped tops, so I am not one to talk but I'll whisper ~ egads!

  2. The fold of the tuck goes on top. (Otherwise you'd just have what looked like a boring seam on the yoke.) Love those tucks! They're really just little pleats, of course.

    I still have a Laura Ashley middy I once made with huge, exaggerated sleeves that featured lovely little tucks where middy braid would traditionally go. I made the middy particularly for the tucks, but the sleeves made it nearly unwearable. What was I thinking?

  3. OK, so the fold goes on top, gets pressed toward the neckline and THEN topstitched down, right?

  4. Super cute, and I love the idea of wearing a head scarf to boho it up, and for an opportunity to mix patterns!

  5. To me, it has an Edna St. Vincent Millay air. I was unable to find a photo of her in a true bohemian outfit. This will have to do:

  6. If I were doing tucks, I wouldn't be topstitching them down. They would be pressed in one direction (I'm thinking *away* from center front), but no other stitching. But then BS, I mean Burda Style may have other ideas. I think this will be very eye-catching in the Liberty print.

  7. I would be doing as follows:

    1. fold wrong sides together to form pleat,press

    2. stitch the length of pleat along fold line on right side of fabric

    3. press pleat down, away from centre front line.

    4. Do not sew the pleat down along the folded edge. (Unless that is a particular design addition which could look interesting.)

    Hope that helps - your looking lovely so far...

  8. Could be cute with tights and boots too - depending on the fabric...and the season. Loving LAP's idea about the scarf too. Oh so Rhoda.

  9. As Old Round wrote, Egads! I HOPE it looks better with the Liberty fabric. Honestly, would Cathy have put that on? I don't think so.

    I think I used to have those sheets --well, not yours...The same print.

  10. From the line drawing for the pattern, it looks to me like the tucks are as you've done them, but then the last step is that they are stitched across horizontally in even rows - about every 3/4 to 1 inch (evenly, whatever distance you choose).

  11. Debbie, you mean pleated (or folded) on the wrong side? Or on the right (visible side) and then pressed in and topstitched?

    It is a little nightgown-y in its present state, I will admit.

  12. I saw this pattern in the Burdastyle mag but if I made it in my size it would look like a maternity dress *LOL* However, I am sure that Cathy, with her model's slim physique, will carry it off with aplomb. I think that the Liberty fabric will suit it very well. Very Boho :)

  13. Can I just say -- and then I'll stop kvetching -- that the photo on the BurdaStyle site is so small and "art-directed" that I can't even tell if this thing has a band collar or not? There's a collar piece but the instructions talk about binding the neck edge. The way I've attached the facings (with right sides together and turning) there's no need for binding at all.


  14. After enlarging the photo like 5 times (!) I think that the collar is not really a band, more like a bias strip finishing. The tucks seem to fold away from the center line. As far as top stitching I assume you mean just sewing them flat at the top of the bodice and not vertically top stitching each tuck.

    I think it will be great in the Liberty print. Something I DEFINITELY would have worn in college. 15 button loops, seriously?!

  15. "There's a collar piece but the instructions talk about binding the neck edge."

    --It (pattern piece "b" or "d") looks like a bias strip intended to be used for binding the collar and maybe for creating the placket.

  16. You hand baste (thread trace, that is, baste without knots) the fold lines on the front to make the pleats easier to fold and you should be able to see the stitches from the outside of the of garment.

    You might want to hand baste with silk thread because normally you can press silk thread without leaving an impression (but first do a test on a scrap). And use a pressing cloth on the real thing.

    Once you have pressed nice sharp pleat folds, pull out the silk thread. Then, using your machine, stitch vertically as indicated on the pattern.

    The one time I bought a Burda pattern I found it very confusing and it's still in muslin form. I'm glad to see it's not just me -- these patterns are confusing.

    A funny choice for contest.

    "For example:

    Trace the pattern pieces from the pattern sheet.
    Seam and hem allowances:
    Seams and edges 1.5 cm (5/8 in), hem 4 cm (15/8 ins)."

    Does that mean add 1.5 cm SAs and HAs WITHIN the existing pattern outline or add the SAs and HAs TO it? I assume it means add to it, using a strict reading of "pattern."

  17. I just read that it has an invisible zipper in addition to the 15 to 17 button loops.

    On the real garment, you might want to sew the pleats with thread in a color that's in the fabric or provides a contrast. You might want to do the same thing with the top-stitched hem.

    Your work's cut out for you, to coin a phrase :-)

  18. Oh, Anonymous, you said a mouthful! LOL

    I'm sure I'll have more questions tomorrow.

  19. I read your title wrong (without glasses),
    "I dreamed I was a peasant in my Burka muslim. Just about sprayed my keyboard with diet pepsi. A lesson learned, read Peter's blog with glasses ON.

  20. Pleated (tucks, really) so the pleats show on the outside. The topstitching I'm talking about is done perpendicular to the pleats - IOW across them. Others are talking about edge-stitching the fold of the pleats, which will help keep them, well, pleated. Not sure if that's necessary with the stitching across them, but it won't hurt.

    BTW, feel free to email me. djc at cedesign dot com.

  21. Debbie Cook:

    Normally, I'd call them "tucks," too. But Burda calls them pleats. I'm sure cross-stitching won't do any harm; it might create a kind of smocked look, but I didn't see the horizontal stitching on the pattern and photo.

    The instructions and technical drawing are not the best. And I guess the photo is lousy to keep it interesting. God forbid they should actually show you what this dress is supposed to look like.

    Again, considering that a contest is a form of promotion for the Burda brand, I find the choice of this pattern hysterical.

    In addition, and I notice that pattern companies often seem indifferent to this concern, few women are going to be able to wear that dress unless it's lined. Yet they don't include linings.

  22. Tucks on top would be more 70s. Yves is probably spinning in his grave over that sheet though, so we can't wait to see the final version :-).

  23. Too weird: I just read an e-mail from a lady with the name Lara. I was thinking her parents must have loved the movie Dr Zhivago and a few minutes later your post ends with this movie trailer. Strange.

  24. This dress hurts my eyes and I still think you should just make a nice shirt out of that Liberty fabric when it comes and tell Burda you were confused.

    Do you ever watch Sewing with Martha -- not Martha Stewart but Martha Pullan? She's done practically a whole season on pintucks and her instructions seem pretty good. I really don't think Cathy is going to like that dress at all!!

  25. I like the "peasant" styling thoughts . . . I think boots are a great suggestion if you are anticipating fall. Indeed it's looking very like a Folkwear pattern -- a cross between the Croatian shirt and the English Smock, I'd say. Good luck with all the finishing, can't wait to see it completed.

  26. Jonathan:

    I've watched Martha Pullen a couple of times this summer and although she teaches some reasonably good techniques, the projects tend to be incredibly dowdy. I'm not a kid and I like vintage touches, but I feel 70, no, 85 years old whenever I watch that show. Actually, I know 85-year-old women whose style is way too hip for that program.

    I think Peter's dress calls for "blind tucks." Pin tucks are very narrow, while "spaced tucks" have, as their name indicates, spaces between them, sometimes the same, sometimes graduated.

  27. OMG, I come home and two hours later you guys are still arguing about tucks? ;)

    Seriously, though, I appreciate all the help; I need it!

  28. I was only thinking about Rhoda Morgenstern the other day! I've been having a Soap festival at home this week, so I'm back in the 70's.

  29. What is the uh ... prize?

    Is this a First Place = one week in Philadelphia, Second Place = two weeks in Philadelphia situation?

  30. No travel for me, but some for the dress, apparently.

  31. Peter - I find your MPB blog absolutely delightful...just bookmarked it...keep up the good wor..., I mean PLAY!

  32. OMG, Peter - no weigh-in on tucks here but had to say THANKS for including dreamy Omar Sharif in today's post.

  33. Wedge Espadrilles. Definitely espadrilles. The kind with the laces that go up the leg a little bit.

    A big ole 70's ethnic statement necklace would be interesting. Especially if it included macrame. Oh that may be a bit too camp and over the top. Never mind.

  34. I would be happy if my ass looked like that in a dress (so, no, it doesn't make your ass look fat).

  35. I just found the instructions for this dress and take back my earlier comments about the tucks being stitched across. That little line drawing was fooling my eyes. But they are "topstitched" (edgestitched, really).


    "Hand-baste along marked pleat fold lines to make them visible on right side of fabric. Fold front on each first pleat fold line, wrong side facing in. Press pleat and topstitch as marked on pattern. Then press and topstitch remaining pleats, one by one. Lay pleats to the side and press. Stitch front darts and press toward centre."

  36. Actually, based on the pattern drawing, it looks as if the pleat/tuck is to be stitched by machine down the center, as a design element, as well as a structural one.

    As I said earlier, one hand bastes the pleat fold lines in order to get a good fold. One could also use one of those devices like "perfect pleater." If the hand basting method is used, it would be a good idea to use silk thread because silk thread usually doesn't leave an impression when pressed.


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