Anniversary Dress |
Modified Ottobre 02/2016 no. 10 Glorious with Burdastyle 12/2016 #112 sleeves

With longstanding roots in Alabama, and knowing our anniversary was to be spent in Florence, Alabama, this rayon challis was chosen for this special dress because the white flowers reminded me of open cotton bolls from lovely childhood memories of riding my horse around cotton fields enjoying 'Southern Snow'. 
What should have been a project of pure joy, was instead a project of pure pain and frustration.
A mash-up of Ottobre 02/2016.... 10 Glorious Shift Dress....
....that I've made before in linen and love to death.... I misread my own notes on the pattern and cut the back too narrow.  My first mistake.
Added bell sleeves from the Burda 12/2016 #112 Bell Sleeve Dress.  I did not add the lower 'bells'.
Photo credit:
The fabric frayed with every touch.  It was so sensitive, I could not even machine blind-hem stitch this dress and instead top-stitched the final hem as I was running out of time.  This dress was finished in February and I'm only now writing about it because I've not been sure if it would be a wearable garment.... or not.
Fitting issues abounded as for some reason this looked like a complete tent sack on me.... without this belt.   Totally did not get the armscye right when modifying Burda's sleeve pattern for the dress, but am trying to live with it.
So aggravated with the way construction was going, that I really thought this might be my first official wadder,  I used cheap Wal-Mart anti-static lining fabric for the full lining..... and found it was not anti-static.... at all.  Figures.
Even added 2 back vertical darts per Marjorie's suggestion and that helped a little, but not much.
My acceptance of this dress is all about the belt.  During one of the almost breaking down in tears while trying the dress on to realize how awful it looked on me fittings,  I grabbed a scrap of fabric and ruched it in my hands to see what a belt might do.  And I liked the look..... and it was the perfect belt size.  Literally a few minutes later I'd cut and sewn another same-size piece, sewn it right sides together leaving a small turning opening, turned and top-stitched closed, lightly pleated/ruched the fabric and top-stitched that down at the back where I also added 2 medium sized snaps and voila! A self-fabric ruched belt was born.
See that armscye?  It just isn't right but am hoping no one will notice but me.  It still feels odd too.
The dress looks fabulous with the Burda Faux Fur Jacket  it was made to accompany as an ensemble. 
Below, you can see I'm not wearing the belt and it just looks so 'full'.  Pattern includes in-seam pockets which is nice.
And the rest of the story is that we were so busy sightseeing on our anniversary day in Florence, Alabama.... we decided we'd rather continue in that vein, than rush back to our room at The Lodge to change into dressier clothes to make our dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant in town.   Later that evening, tired and in our sight-seeing clothes, we enjoyed a delicious dinner in The Lodge's restaurant.... and THAT was the perfect way to spend our special day. 
So this is the anniversary dress that was not worn on our anniversary and I'm finally coming to terms with its fit after all.

Happy Sewing Everyone!  :)


  1. Rayon is very difficult to work with - it does fray, it slides all over the place as well. I'm gradually getting the feel of it, but it does take time. I'm sorry you had so many upsets with the dress - it happens to us all. No-one will notice the armscyes, and with a belt, you can wear this quite happily. I like the other version too, and don't think it looks bad, but maybe just not your taste in this fabric.

  2. That dress looks lovely Lisa and I even like it without the belt. Maybe it just needs some time for you to like it, because it was difficult to sew. The armscye isn't noticeable because of the busy print.When I saw the pictures all I thought was how pretty you look and how well the fabric and your hair work together. I'm glad you two had a lovely anniversary:)

  3. I can emphasize everything what Froebelina said. You look lovely in your dress! I do like the unbelted version, too!

  4. I think your dress is lovely especially with the belt. Living in hot, humid Houston, TX rayon challis is one of my preferred fabric for garments as it breaths and feels so great on my skin. Yes, it's a bit fussy to sew but I serge all the seams to remedy the fraying. I make all my nightgowns and most of my tunic tops/blouses with rayon challis. Karen

  5. Lisa, don't despair- the red print looks very very nice on you, especially with the belt and black tights. Just a suggestion- shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length....that may look more "dressy".


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa