Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tiki Dress, Perfect Bombshell Dress, Burda Bustier Dress with Draped Detail 5/2011 #122A - Whatever you call it, I'm so late on this, everyone else did this four years ago!


It's been a long time. Has anyone missed me?
Perhaps not, but none the less, it's good to be back!

You know what? I just don't have enough time to sew and therefore it takes me an age to complete anything and I've not yet mastered the art of blogging when I haven't got any garments to show.  This is going to be the most picture heavy post I've ever done, hope you'll remain on board!

Let's get into this!

The Craftsy class : Sew Retro- The Perfect Bombshell Dress came out years ago, but I've never been first in the queue for anything so why start now?


Lemme tell you right now, if you're looking for a quick sew, then this aint the frock for you. We're talking hand sewing, boning. lining, underlining - you get the picture. Anyone who's done this frock will remember the time and love that needs to go into it, but with Gertie the class tutor guiding you through the journey it's not so bad.  
Now this class is no longer available at Craftsy, but the pattern still exists it's Burda Bustier Dress with Draped Detail 5/2011 #122A, just leave off the weird flappy piece on the side, I don't think it looks cute, but feel free to disagree with me if you do.

Muslin/Toile - Mandatory.   Please don't skip this step as there is no ease in this bodice.  It's strapless so unless you want to run the risk of exposing your boobs, muslin it is. Now is the chance to make sure your cup fits right.Yes, its a huge time stealer, but it least you get a run through on how to put this thing together.

Know your fabric: My fabric is a peach cotton which has a bit of body, but the class advises underlining it for stability.  I used muslin to underline the bodice and poly cotton to underline the skirt. Gives everything a bit more oomph, but I tend to underline everything, this is becoming a bit of a habit.

Structure: This thing needs to stay up and hold its own. Padding out the cups and boning is required.  For the padding, I used cotton batting.  It seemed a bit flimsy, so I doubled up on it.  


For the boning, I used spiral steel on a roll.  This was extremely time consuming. Sewing in the boning channels was okay, but I'm telling you now, cutting the spiral steel to size was no fun. See the cutters in the picture?  Couldn't touch it.  In the end, the technique that worked for me was to mark the length with tape and the then bend the steel forward and backward until it snaps. Then cover with end caps. 

Vintage details : This pattern featured a waist stay and also a zip guard - so good so that you don't catch yourself in your zip.  I opted to make my own zip guard and interface  instead of using a length of petersham as suggested. Figure that I'd gone this far, might as well make the zip guard nice. The tried and tested Sunni Standing Mastering Zipper Techniques on Craftsy worked for me.  Sorry Gertie, I couldn't get with the technique used in the class, but I suspect that would be a good method if you were pattern matching at the back seam. I finished the hem with ribbon and handstiched the hem. 

 The gathered skirt is a nice feature, but I found out that unlike the rest of the world, gathering on the machine didn't work for me.  Gathering by hand was the key and it was a whole lotta material to sew through. An unexpected time stealer that turned out nice in the end. Almost forgot to mention that the halter straps are removable - attached via buttons inside as suggested in the class.

I'd make this frock again, maybe with a different skirt, but it's a no quick sew, but it's a solid pattern and the Craftsy class is good.


  1. Hi Miss J,

    I was delighted to see a new post, especially one with such delicious detail.

    This was a VERY elaborate project, you did great! I'm hoping to finally sew a bustier dress soon, once I get over my fear that it might be difficult. Lol

    I love the peach colour, it's a pretty pastel. That gathered detail adds a touch of elegance to the skirt. I do gathering by hand too, it gives me more control of the process.

    Well done girl!

    1. Hello Nedoux, hope things are going great for you and so lovely of you to leave a comment, they are alwasys so lovely and encouraging! Girl, I've been so bad with blogging and so slow with sewing. Aaaaaahhhahhh!!!

  2. I want to make this pattern but as a bodysuit rather than a dress. Do you have any suggestions for an ambitious beginner?

    1. Hello Ashley. First let me say thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I am so into the phrase "ambitious beginner" - it's a lovely thing to be!
      I say go for it! It sounds like a great idea and funny enough, I was looking to make a bodysuit myself. I would advise you to think carefully about the fabric that you use,if it has stretch you'll have to take that into account for the fit. You might not want to put boning throughout the garment, you might choose to only put boning under the bust cups with channelling (like bras have). This sounds like an interesting project and I do hope that you give it a go and post the outcome!

  3. I found you! Beautiful dress too....keep in touch. - Miss Cara from Craftsy

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! It's appreciated, I'm motivated to get sewing! thanks for your kind words.

      Take care,