Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-116


Summer is here and I have been itching to make some summer dresses, especially a Maxi Dress.  Enter Burda with the July issue and I was off and running.  With fabric in stash, this pattern was cut and sewn almost immediately upon receipt of the issue.  Although some BWOF devotees did not find the July issue inspirational, I am in LOVE!

Pattern: BWOF 07-2009-116 Maxi Dress

Pattern Description:The perfect dress for your dream vacation. It‘s long, flowing, sun-backed and colorful. Contrasting straps trim the plunging V-neckline, creating a pretty décolléte.

Pattern Sizing: Burda petite/half sizes 17-21.  I made a 23.

Fabric Used: Knit fabric found at M&L in the discount section.

Notions Used: None

Pattern Alterations: I increased the size to a 23 and then again at my hips to a 25. Took in the top portion of the bodice by 1″ and took off 5″ of length at the bottom. Did not use the suggested zipper in the side seam

The Good:


  • Burda patterns are made for me.  They only takes minor adjustments unlike the Big Four patterns.  Although I had to take in the top portion of the bust area by an inch and flaring back out to the size 46 at the skirt connection point and shorten the pattern by 5″, I still call this a winner.   Just wait until I actually get GOOD at making these adjustments.  Then there will be no stopping my rampage through my Burda magazine collection.
  • I love the fabric although the colors have been hard to match jewelry wise.  I got this in at M&L fabric in the discount bin.  The colors did not sing to be at first because Black is not really a color I love, but the border print was fantastic.  I wish I would have done a better job cutting the pattern out with the print in mind, but originally this was supposed to be a muslin.
  • Maxi stylings.  Ok, I know that some fashionistas do not like  Maxi’s and especially dislike them on petite women.  However, I absolutely love the style and had to have it.   It just feels so comfy to me.  Probably because it is only a step or two away from being a nightgown…LOL!  Anyhoo,  I am hoping the abundance of  skin up top balances out all the fabric on the bottom half.  I tried to get the suggested day wear ankle length for my maxi but after 3 adjustments with the hem, I gave up so it is not quite as short as they suggest.


  • Strapless Bra.  Ok people.  I am 32 and this is my first time sporting a strapless…LOL!! I just have a major fear of wardrobe malfunctions and the girls, if let loose, are probably liable to hurt somebody…LOL! However, this dress called for it and it is one of my 101 in 1001 goals so here I am!  I actually wore another dress out already with strapless stylings (soon to be posted).  This dress is particularly good because essentially the bust area works as a second bra of sorts.  SCORE!


  • Super comfy.  Did I say that already?  That is because it is so true!

The Bad:

  • Excessive Length.  I have already told you about the 5″ that I cut off, but I reiterate because this is a petite sized pattern made for 5’3″ women.  I am 5’3″ and 1/4 inch and the original length was dragging the floor.  I was especially sad because I cut the pattern with some really cute details at the hemline that had to be hacked off in order to make the dress wearable.  Ah well, still cute 🙂


  • A little maternity in the side view.  Yup, kinda looks like I am a stubby stick from the side.  I probably could have adjusted the bust more at the bottom to have it cinch in the front a bit more, but then I think I would have needed the zipper to get in and out of it.  Laziness won over fit this time.


  • The strap thickness is thinner than what is shown in picture.  I actually thought I made a mistake and kept looking closer and closer at the picture.  The models straps just look much wider than mine.  Once again, still cute, but not what I expected.
  • IMG_5943_filtered

The Ugly

  • While making this dress I decided to google “sewing with twin needles” where I came across an excerpt from Power Sewing.  While perusing the advice my eyes fell on a passage regarding sewing knit fabric with the blue banded twin needle instead of the red to prevent skipped stitches.  WHAT?  There is a difference?  Why yes!  So I went out and bought one at my local sewing shop, as Joann’s did not have them and/or I have never seen them there, and it sewed like a dream.  All inspired by the ease of it all I decided to attach my straps with the same needle.  One spool located thread snarl later and SNAP!  No more twin needle 😦
  • I adjusted the gathering in the front to be a little more gathered in the middle.  The original design was just a little bit of gathering and evenly dispersed.  I ended up getting a little bit of a weird gathering where the middle black part starts.  Nothing big, just a little personal pet peeve.

All in all, highly recommended so you better get started so you don’t miss the summer heat 😀


33 thoughts on “Peacock Collection ’09: BWOF 07-2009-116

  1. This is a gorgeous summer maxi dress and I absolutely love the fabric. It’s also helpful to know that the back is not so low that you can’t even wear a strapless bra so I may give this one a try.

  2. You look gorgeous! I have also been looking at that pattern, but I’m big AND 5,8″, so I haven’t dared yet. But I just might have to after seeing yours.

  3. I loved this dress in the issue as well! And this fabric is fabulous!! I don’t even own a strapless for the same reasons, probably should get to that. I think you did a great job, and I didn’t know about the difference between the twin needles. I have a red, I’ll have to look for blue – thanks!

  4. I love this on you!!! I can’t wear maxi dresses myself, but I’m envious of yours, and that fabric, oh my!

    I feel you on the twin needle front – before my coverstitch investment, the ONLY twin needles that worked for me were the ballpoint ones that were impossible to find. And I snapped my only one exactly as you described, midway through a project once. I feel your pain!

  5. This is my favorite pattern from the July issue! I LOVE it on you! Bummer about the length – I will have to keep that in mind.

  6. What a stunning dress and fabric. You look beautiful! Where in the world would I get BWOF magazines when I live in South Africa?!!!

  7. I’m tring to figure this style out on my own. It is nice to know I can buy the July BWOF if I just can’t work it out! Looks great in this fabric!

  8. Love the dress and the colors are gorgeous and to think… the colors did not sing to you at first because black is not really a color you love……..gurrrrrrrrrrl it looks fabulous on you, the black the colors and the fit.

  9. I’m totally jalous! When I got my BWOF issue, I was so attracted to this pattern, even though I know I can’t wear something like that (I need to wear a good support bra, and I wouldn’t be able with this dress). And I just love your fabric too. I’ve just landed on your blog by searching something else, and I’m glad I did, I’ll be coming by again…Again great dress!

  10. I love your dress. I was just telling my Mom that I wanted to make that dress… but I’m NOT petite. I hope that I can size it up to fit me. She told me about your blog and I love it. Cute clothes!!!

  11. I just found your blog through while doing a search for Burda patterns on crafster…Wow! I think you did an amazing job, not only on the sewing but knowing what fabric to choose for your body. You really chose a print that worked well with your height, I think the length of the pattern really worked at making you appear taller. Awesome job.

    Now, I have a question that I hope you could answer. I am a self taught sewer, with about 10 years experience, and until recently I had always made my own patterns. I have done a a few Simplicity (yuck) and McCalls (better) and wondered how Burda ranked on difficulty. I had heard that their patterns were very hard and wondered if they were even worth an attempt?! I love their styles so much more than the others and I end up having to alter anything store bought anyways…..

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