The last thing I need in my wardrobe right now is an animal print wrap dress, but I just couldn’t help myself! I’ve already traced 2 patterns from the June 2011 issue of Burda magazine, which was exciting after nearly a year of issues that didn’t thrill me.
Photos from style.com
I am a sucker for a sewing pattern that has a designer’s name attached to it, and the Blumarine wrap dress in the latest issue of Burda was no exception. The dress is from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection, which is full of soft color and animal prints.
I was even more excited once I realized that I already had the nearly perfect fabric for this dress (I am on a mission to sew up my stash - which is taking up precious real estate in a huge dresser in my daughter’s room (AKA my former sewing room – sigh…)). In 2009, I bought an animal print jersey during my vacay in Italy . Bingo – animal print Italian fabric to go with the Italian label dress!
Rayon/lycra jersey (I think) from Bassetti Tessuti in Rome, Italy.
Notes on construction/alterations
I made my pre-pregnancy size 38, but I could have probably benefitted from a 40 in the waist and the hips. Even though I'm back to my pre-baby weight on the scale, my measurements aren't there yet, a fact about which I'm still in denial. The line drawing and runway dresses appear much more loose and drapey in fit than my dress does.
The Burda magazine instructions do not call for any interfacing at all in this dress, but I decided to apply interfacing to one side of the collar and one side of the front band. The jersey I used is super soft, so I used Sew Exciting's Pro-Sheer Elegance, it's a barely-there fusible interfacing and was perfect for this project. I also fused bias tape to the shoulder seams to prevent them from stretching out.
If you decide to interface the collar, it's important to use something that leaves the collar very soft and malleable. The collar and the front band are both stitched to the bodice along the same stitching line, and the collar needs to be able to fold back over the front band.
The bell sleeves are fun, the perfect long length (on me, at least) as drafted, but they do have a tendency to slide and bunch up around your elbows if you lift your hand up (i.e. while sipping a cocktail, as one very well might be doing when wearing a dress like this). In fact, while I wore this dress, I was thinking about the thumbholes that Trena added to her ballerina wrap sweater...
We had a babysitter booked for Saturday night, and I finished this just in time to be my date-night dress. The v-neck of my dress isn't as low as me as it appears in the runway garments (all a matter of how much you cinch the dress I think), but I still needed a U plunge bra in order to not have to worry about exposed undergarments. If I were to make this again, I would add some length to the skirt, since I personally think this would look best on me if it hit right at the knee. And, I would love to raid Tany 's jewelry box for the perfect bling to accessorize this!