Burda 4/11 Shirt dress #108

It’s the first day of Me Made May! So exciting. I’m not officially participating (I don’t have that many FOs yet, though I do have enough WIPs that if I get cracking I might be able to meet my “3-a-week” pie in the sky goal).


This is an altered version of the Burda 04/2011 #108 shirt dress.

Burda 04/2011 #108 shirt dress

I finished the buttonholes on this shirt dress yesterday, but the dress itself has been done for about two weeks while I procrastinated. I have a deep-seated, not-unreasonable fear of my buttonhole attachment–it’s adorable and vintage and very noisy and chewed through this fabric rather roughly. Fortunately, it mostly made a mess on the wrong side so no one’s the wiser and also fortunately this dress is more of a wearable muslin as I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out.

I made some changes to the pattern–I used a full length sleeve with a cuff and placket (though I’m apt to wear the sleeves rolled up all the time, I thought it’d be nice to have the option). The placket came from the Threads “How to Make a Precision Placket” article, and I stole the cuff–just a rectangle folded n in half–from a different Burda pattern.

I traced the style lines from version #108 (front and back darts, a-line skirt) but kept one pocket and the hem shape (though lowered quite a bit) from the shirt version. I also traced off two sizes smaller both front and back than my bust measurement and added a 1″ FBA which seems to be a good approach with Burda for me.


I’ve been avoiding all things shirt making because there were so many intimidating parts–all the top stitching, the cuffs and plackets, the buttonholes–but in all it was mostly pretty straightforward. Though I did stretch one front as I stitched the button band down and as a result my plaids (matched in cutting, honest!) don’t match up perfectly. I didn’t bother matching the plaids across the sleeves as I think that makes me look broader across the shoulders, which… isn’t awesome for me :-).

It was too dark when I got around to taking photos, (will try to take better ones in the light at some point) but this is what I wore today, off to the library and out for hamburgers, as well as working from home. It’s super comfortable! And what’s more, Izzy seems to approve, and that’s what matters, right?

I’m not sure of the shirttail hem. It’s been quite popular on shirt dresses lately, and I like it in the photos (of other dresses, on models with very long legs), but on me it feels a little short. Alas, to get the short parts longer, the long part would wind up too long. Looking at the photos, I think maybe if I narrowed the bottom of the skirt that might help–not only would that mean less width (and thus, the short part could be less short and still have a nice curve), but it would also keep the skirt closer to the body which would make it less likely to fly up. Because it was super windy today and… yeah, that was a little embarrassing. (Though I’ve had the same problem with long skirts on windy days, so it’s not a length issue so much as a fullness issue.)

All in all, I highly recommend this Burda pattern–it came together very nicely and I think is a very versatile style. I didn’t use the instructions, though, so can’t vouch for them. (I glanced at them, got confused because I’d made so many changes, and just sort of started stitching things together. I have zero idea how they handle the front button band, especially in the version where it’s concealed.)

Buttons are from Wawak, madras shirting is from Fabric.com (a million years ago). For the hem, I used wash away Wonder Tape and my rolled hem foot to keep it from stretching out (that was after I’d learned my lesson about this fabric. It’s 100% cotton but stretches out of shape more easily than anything I’ve stitched so far.)


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