Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #111

The Nip-and-Tuck Saddlebag Dress

Why would anyone want to add a little saddle-bag action to their dress at the hips? I’m not sure but this seemed like a good idea many months back when I picked out Burda’s Jersey Dress, 10/2013 #112, to sew.

Burda V-neck dress 10/2013 #112

I think the saddlebags are just fine…but, I haven’t got much going on in the hip area in the first place.

Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #112

I started sewing this dress a long time ago, but it got put aside into the Too Frustrated to Deal Anymore pile*. I had everything sewn together except the sleeves…but the armholes were a big hot mess, all floppy and clearly way too big. I cut a 36 and it came out huge; I spent a LOT of time nipping and tucking and hacking back and resewing to get it down to size. In fact, I have two leftover pieces that I *think* maybe were supposed to form part of the skirt (who knows? Burda’s instructions will never tell), but apparently weren’t needed after all the reduction surgery.

Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #112

My favourite thing about this dress is this beee-yoooo-teeful ponte knit print fabric I found at my local Fabricland. Score! I was very worried I had squandered it all on this pattern until I finally was able to finish sewing it reasonably well despite the sizing and extra pattern pieces challenge. One armhole is definitely still off — I have to give the sleeve a tug every once in a while to get the shoulder seam to sit in the right place — but I haven’t got any idea how I might have fixed that better. It’s worth it to me to do the tugging-at-my-dress thing to be able to show off this gorgeous jewel-tone blue fabric.

Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #112

Just look at this fabric!

Here are Burda’s variations on this pattern. I love them both for different reasons. The pink version (#112) looks so soft and lovely I just want to wrap my arms around the woman wearing it and whisper in her ear, “My dear, soft creature, why are you wearing shoes that are clearly 6 sizes too big for you?”

Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #111

And this military-style version (#111) is right up my alley…if you’ve seen my recent makes you know I am a sucker for any type of colourblocking or contrast trim. It has an exposed zipper up the back which also makes me happy…in theory, at least. I don’t have a happy history adding exposed zippers to jersey dresses.

Burda V-neck Jersey Dress 10/2013 #112


*So what’s in your Too Frustrated to Deal Anymore pile? I’ve put a few half-sewn things into Time Out there. I’m finding if I wait long enough, I surprise myself with what’s in there, and get inspired to try to finish something off. Here are some of my things currently in Time Out:

This peplum biker jacket. The sleeves are painfully tight and need to be ripped out and redone. I also used a shitload of fabric glue to stick those faux-leather strips on (I haven’t stitched them yet), and they’re all stiff as a board now. I don’t know if I can soften up that glue or not. We’ll see.


This jersey dress. The neckline is one hot floppy mess. Must rip out neckline and resew, if the fabric will take the abuse.

Burda Cap Sleeve V-Neck Dress 06/2014 #102

This snake-print tent dress. This is actually the pattern that got me started sewing again a couple of years ago. I wandered into a fabric shop in Portland, Oregon and for some strange reason was inspired enough to buy this pattern even though I hadn’t sewn for at least ten years. When I got back to Toronto I found some similar snake-print fabric and cut out size 10 (the smallest size), and proceeded to sew up a two-man tent with room for storing firewood. This thing is gigantic. It needs some serious reduction surgery. But am I really going to wear a snake-print tent dress? Really?


14 thoughts on “The Nip-and-Tuck Saddlebag Dress

  1. I want the pink dress too. I want so many cold weather dresses that I can never wear in San Diego. Sigh. No one feels sorry for me. The shoes are hysterical. Thanks for pointing them out.


    1. I dunno, Ms Polly Fragrant, last time I was in San Diego — last December, when you had us over for a lovely lunch on your patio — I remember it being suprisingly cool at night…perfect excuse to wear a sweater dress out on a dinner date!


  2. That IS a great print! Please report on how well it wears? I’ve had issues with pilling ponte and now I’m scared of it.

    I’m afraid I don’t have a TFDA pile. There’s one dress I’d cut out before getting pregnant that I should sew up but I don’t think I would wear it. I love turquoise but I just don’t see myself wearing a turquoise rib T-shirt dress… What I do have is a Do I Really Have to Mend This pile. Filled with leggings with holes (what exactly do these kids do?), a tee that needs the sleeve seams resewn, a dress that needs the appliqué resewn in one spot (of course, the child had to pull on it when she saw it was coming off…), a skirt with a broken zipper (the child would still wear it as is; when I told her she couldn’t wear a skirt that showed her underwear, she put these underwear covering shorts on top), and a lace sweater that has magically developed a hole (yay, lace mending, so fun). Why yes, all these items belong to children…


    1. After one wear, so far so good. Will be handwashing it later this weekend.
      The good news, Raphaelle, is your children don’t care if their clothes need mending. Just let them wear the clothes, and if any other judgy mothers give you the stink eye about it just claim you’ve never met those kids before in your life. 🙂


  3. I like the dress — and a dress has to have something unusual (in addition to not being too ‘feminine’ ) for me to like it. I noticed you did a good job on the neck edge — that’s something I’ve had trouble with whenever the neck is not a very shallow curve. Wowzzer on the biker jacket. Get that thing done and you can ship it to the girl in the pink dress to wear over the dress for warmth. Could you take the shoes in exchange?


    1. Thanks, Felicia–glad you like it. Funny you should comment on the neckline, as it’s a pretty borderline job…I ironed the shit out of it and patted it smooth before the pics. 🙂 It has a tendency to go a bit squiggly but I can’t bear the thought of ripping it out to try to fix it. The shoes made me laugh — you know some poor stylist on the day of the photo shoot was all, ‘WTF? Why’d they send me size 11 shoes??’


    1. Thanks, Amanda! I agree about the fabric — the colours are absolutely beautiful. I should have bought the whole bolt when I saw it. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to have a complete wardrobe all in this fabric. 😉


      1. Oh yes! Am glad I found someone with same thoughts! I am trying to make coat, dress and hats all matching!!! I was soooooo born in the wrong era!


  4. Lovely dress and great fabric!

    And agree, you need to get that biker jacket out of your frustration pile!

    I have one of those piles too: Butterick 5950 came out so huge! Colette’s Sencha blouse was too bulky at the back and for two summers now I just couldn’t be a bothered!

    I also have a pile of old shop-bought clothes too bobbly / stained / small to wear anymore, but one day I figure I’m going to clone those clothes. Or maybe not.


  5. GAWD…that fabric!!!!! Its perfect for this dress & you’ve done an amazing job. Great fit….but can we go back to that fabric for a second…!!! GEEZ, its like looking at a beautiful piece of aged copper with its blue & green hues. Stunning.


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