Spandex Sporto Dress

zipper neck dress
Burda Zipper Neck Dress (07/2014 #113)

Final-fucking-ly finished. It could use some additional work, but no, this dress and I are finished. At least, this slippery spandex fabric and I are certainly finished.

Zipper Neck Dress
Ima check the time…yep, it’s FINISHED with this fabric time.

This is Burda’s Zipper Neck Dress (July 2014, pattern 113), a Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2014 knock-off. (Ha! I say that as if I know what I’m talking about when it comes to current fashion; the only reason I know that is Burda featured a photo of said TH dress in a spread showcasing Neoprene fabric in a separate section of the magazine.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 6.06.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 6.05.31 PM

I had a slew of problems making this dress. The spandex fabric I chose was so VERY slippery, especially on seams with multiple layers. The layers slid across each other as I stitched with either the serger or the regular sewing machine. I had to sew, rip and resew the zipper 4 times, and it’s still totally wonky. And I cringe looking at the photos of the hem–you can see how skewed those seams are. I was sorely tempted to photoshop out all the wrinkles and crinkles at the hem, the zipper and the sleeves in these photos (not to mention on my elbows). But at least this gives a good picture of the slipperiness I was fighting against with this dress. It was a valiant battle but I lost.

zipper neck dress

I made a couple of modifications to the pattern. I doubled up all the yellow pattern pieces to ensure my underwear wouldn’t be visible, and I made the side panels all dark blue. (The pattern calls for the entire back of the dress including the back side panels to be cream–or yellow, in my case–but I thought it would be good to mirror image the front of the dress and help with the slimming silhouette on the back as well.) I added about an inch to the length of the torso pieces, as the dress design appears to have quite a high waist and I’m not a big fan of that look.

zipper neck dress

Can we talk about the waistline for a sec? Gah, it droops down in the back a lot…I’d like to try to fix that but given the personality of this fabric I think I’d do a lot more damage than good. And please, can someone tell me how to sew a waistline seam with a serger or a twin needle so that it lies flat and doesn’t bulge out?? All the stretch dresses I have made that have a seam at the waist have this problem. Any advice you have would be appreciated!

zipper neck dress

Ah, well, I think I will still give this a wear to work this week, wrinkles and pooches be damned! I’m learning to embrace my own wrinkles and pooches so I think I can give this dress the same benefit of the doubt!

8 thoughts on “Spandex Sporto Dress

  1. Sounds like a doozy! Do you have a walking foot for your machine? I have a built in one on mine (older Pfaff) but I know that you can buy them for machines w/o the built-in deal. I’ve found that the walking foot really helps when I’m sewing slippery, thick, or extra thin fabrics. When I’m working with something difficult in a knit, I often baste it with my walking foot before I sew it on the serger.


    1. Brilliant! What a great tip. I recently bought a walking foot so I could try to fix my faux-leather-trimmed biker jacket, but the contraption kinda scares me a bit so I haven’t tried it. Soon, though…. Thanks for your comment!


  2. You see the little wrinkles because you know they’re there, but from where I sit it looks like a cute, breezy summer dress. I liked this one in the magazine and I like it even more after seeing your rendition. I might need to give this one a whirl!


    1. Thanks, Nancy! There’s a great version of this dress on the Burda style website (look for the “Projects Based on this Pattern” at the bottom of the pattern page)…she said she used yellow poplin and black stretch material. Maybe those fabric choices would be a lot easier to handle than spandex. Let me know how yours turns out when you finish it. Enjoy!


  3. I think your dress is really very good; I saw it in the magazine and wasn’t too sure about it but after seeing yours I think I will give it a go when I find the right fabric. I have a similar problem with the hems on some stretchy fabrics – I would also love some tips on that too as I’m not really sure how to avoid it.


  4. I second the walking foot suggestion- and basting would also help hold the layers together. I think it was extra difficult to avoid the hem wrinkles because of the double layer of fabric but it was worth finishing as it is a very flattering dress on you 🙂


    1. Thanks, Chris–you’re sweet to say so. I might just redo that hem with a walking foot once I’ve had a chance to get the hang of it. I don’t mind ripping this hem out and redoing it because I think I could even go a couple of inches shorter on the hem…so I have room to screw it up once or twice more before I run out of skirt!


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