Let me just start by saying how much I love this dress! I loved it the moment I saw it in the Burda magazine last year.
I knew I wanted it for my daughter. The dress, to me, is just classic elegance. I have two daughters and I am hoping that my younger daughter will also want to wear this dress, so I made her a part of the selection process and explained to her that my sisters and I all wore the same Communion Dress. We shall see….the girls have different body types so it could be it doesn’t fit and I’ll just have to make another dress…..
I went to Alfatex which is slowly turning into my favorite local fabric shop. It’s easy for me to get to and the sales ladies are very helpful. I knew I didn’t want a shiny fabric and I knew I didn’t want pure white. After discussing my fabric options with the sales lady, I ended up with Dupioni Silk. ( in German it’s called Dupion Seide in case you were wondering). I got lucky in that out of the three bolts in Ecru, there was one that hadn’t yet been marked with the new price so I saved 5€ per meter! YAY!
My daughter is long and lean. She has the waist of a 7 year old and the height of a 9 1/2 year old! To be better safe than sorry, I made a muslin. Size 128cm for the width and 140cm for the length. Fit like a glove. Phew! The pattern itself is relatively simple. It’s a basic lined bodice and the skirt is cut out without a pattern but rather by referring to a chart. Here is my marked up muslin.
I love Burda, but oh boy…the instructions are sometimes confusing, aren’t they?!? I assumed my lack of understanding the directions was due to the fact that I was reading the pattern in German so I downloaded the directions from burdastyle.com in English. Guess what? Didn’t help. I could not for the life of me figure out how they wanted me to put this bodice together with a spoon handle, so I gave up and sewed the bodice up like I have always done. It worked fine.
The pleats went together very easily, zipper was a breeze, and I was pleased as can be when the skirt lined up with the bodice perfectly.
I stitched the bodice to the skirt with the machine but hand-stitched the lining to the skirt. I also hand stitched the hem which only took me two and half hours. I was watching a movie while sewing…
This dress was a lot of firsts for me. As I mentioned, this dress was the first time I really made buttonholes. I had only ever made buttonholes one other time and that was on inexpensive cotton not 30€ per meter silk. After several practice buttonholes on scrap fabric, I had it down!! The buttonholes went in without and real drama and I am happy with the covered buttons. I think covered buttons could become an obsession of mine.
This is also the first time I worked with tulle or made any type of petticoat. I found this great website with tulle. I emailed them and asked which one of their products would best fit my needs and they sent me three different samples. I choose a fine ivory tulle. I ordered the lining for the petticoat from Frau Tulpe and I’m pretty sure this anti-static lining will be my lining of choice for many different projects.
The Burda directions call for the tulle to be pleated rather than gathered and this proved to be a bit tricky with the slippery fabric, but all and all it was quite simple and went together without any problem.
The Communion was on April 14. It was still pretty cold here and there was no sign it would warm up. I started to panic since the dress is sleeveless. I was running out of time and fabric, but I knew I needed a little jacket. It’s a good thing I
hoard collect Burda magazines. I found this simple pattern.
I somehow managed to have enough silk left over to make the jacket. I only had enough fabric for 3/4 length sleeves, but I think that turned out better. I had literally only enough of the lace left over to go around each sleeve without even a millimeter to spare. Mind you, the picture below is BEFORE it was pressed and with a flash so the fabric looks much more shiny than in person.
The girls don’t wear veils here, so my intention was a simple silk headband. She found it a little boring, so I added a what should have been little fabric flower. Turned out a bit bigger than planned, but it worked.
She told me she felt like a princess with her dress. Isn’t that what every Mom wants to hear on a First Communion??