Friday, May 6, 2011

Downloading Patterns

One of the big barriers to more people sewing their own clothes here in the Philippines has always been the fact that you couldn't buy patterns here. Fortunately nowadays there are many that you can download from the internet. I've been wanting to make a simple dress for the hot weather we are currently having and found one I liked on Burdastyle.

Burda is a large German magazine conglomerate who has been publishing magazines with traceable sewing patterns for decades. They also have regular patterns sold in envelopes which you can also order at various websites online. And now you can also download a selection of their patterns from their different language websites. I speak German so went straight to the German website. Strangely enough the German site has many more patterns available than the english language site and the particular dress I choose (115 from magazine 4/2011 ) is not available on the english language site (yet). Downloading and sticking all the pieces together were pretty easy for this dress, as there were only 2 main pattern pieces and a few facings.

This is my review of the pattern which is also posted at Sewing Pattern Review. There is another review for this dress in a completely different fabric which shows how versatile it is. Funnily enough this reviewer is from Singapore so it shows that this is a particularly good dress for the tropics!

Pattern Description: 
This is a simple straight dress with gathers at front and back in the neckline and elastic dropped waist. The magazine has a blouse and a couple of dresses ( pattern numbers 112 to 115) which use the same pattern.

Pattern Sizing:
I used size 38 which I always wear in European sizing. I just added a bit of width around the hips as I didn’t want the dress too clingy.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I rarely use instructions for easy patterns but I glanced through them ( the german language one) and they seemed pretty easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The only problem I had was with the neck facings, which kept popping out despite being under-stitched and tacked down at the shoulders. This is mainly due to the gathering at the necklines so the body of the dress is much looser than the facing. I ended up trimming it down to about half an inch and sewing it down with small stitched between the gathers so that they wouldn’t be flattened. The next time I would use a wider facing (more like a small yoke on the inside) so that I can tack it down on to the sleeve facings as well. A one-piece facing including the armhole and neck facings would be better.

Fabric Used:
I used a thin cotton jersey.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As above. Personally I don’t like side seam pockets as I find they bulge whenever you put something in and make funny bumps on the hips so I did not make them in this case. I also dislike necklines, which are too high as I feel they are strangling me, so I lowered this around 1/2inch in front. Next time, I would probably lower it a bit more, maybe down to 1 inch. I also made the skirt slightly wider at the hem so that I would be ble to walk more easily and have no need for slits.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I would. I live in the Philippines so I am always looking for loose dresses which are comfortable in the heat, but don’t look like a sack!

A nice simple dress with good details, which keep it from being boring.


  1. Nice! And I didn't know that patterns differ on BurdaStyle according to language settings. I just browse English and I was just browsing there last
    Friday looking for ideas. I didn't find any I like that I know I can actually make, haha. I like this one you found though.

    And thanks for the tip about cotton fabrics not being available in Divi... you just saved me a trip.

  2. To be able to use the german site, you really should be able to read german...... but I also didn't realize that they carry more patterns then the US site. There is also a french site with some free patterns and a russian site asw ell!