Open Duro Roundup (with non-bonus whining!)

by Erin on September 26, 2006


Butterick 4849

So. Despite what Butterick 4849 says above, my day today has NOT been "fast & easy." My flight home was delayed last night; I woke up this morning to find that my access to the pure sweet rushing stream of electrons that I like to call "the Internet" had inexplicably dried up; there were various moving-house tsurim (tsurises?) that had to be dealt with, with the urgency level set to "right now, immediately, c'mon we're not foolin'"; I thought I had the Internet problem licked, at least on paper, but then realized that what I thought was a router was really a switch (not the switch's fault — there's this neat little trick called "reading" that I really ought to look into, it would have helped me out). And the entree of "Blackened Bad Day" comes with two sides, your choice, of the so-forth, and the so-on.

But — all's well that ends well, and it looks like I have Internet access now, especially if you turn your head to the side and squint a little bit. And tomorrow all of the moving problems that don't involve the eleventy-hundred unpacked boxes (e.g., the Troubles of the Old Place) will be firmly marked "somebody else's problem." Hurray!

But — dresses. Remember dresses? I remember dresses, and if I unpack all the boxes marked "who the hell knows" on Saturday, then on Sunday I'm going to make one of them-there dress things what all the young-uns are wild about. Nancy O'C. reminded me of this pattern (yeah, that one, up there above all my whining) and I think I'm going to try it.

Also, while we're all here: I wanted to make an Open Duro Call, in the comments for this post. If you have links to similar patterns, or to other folkses' blogs where they have made Duro-type dresses, or catalog or retailer website facsimiles, or Pattern Review reviews, or whatnot, please leave them in the comments. I'll do a once-through in my sadly-overflowing inbox over the next little while, and then do a big wrap-up post that I can keep in the sidebar as a handy clicky-link for those who want to know what the big deal is.

Does that make sense? Because it would be nice to have all the Duro-nalia in one place, would it not? It would also be nice to have all the boxes unpacked, and a really watertight scientific explanation as to how books I am SURE I gave away years ago have mysteriously reappeared among my possessions, causing me to need even MORE bookshelf space than I thought I did. And since I need roughly one linear foot of shelving space for (it seems) every minute I've been alive, a solution to that problem would also come in handy. But I think I will settle for three hours on Sunday to make a dress. Keep those fingers crossed!

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

vapidnotb September 26, 2006 at 9:56 pm

man, those patterns are a joke……the reasonably simple/easy whatever the heck it was homecoming dress for my daughter was a freakin’ nightmare last year. I had to practically staple her in it at the last minute — as i was still sewing it when her date arrived to take her. YIKES! next time, dear daddy takes his princess shopping, no more trauma for the mama. i have a digital embroidery machine that still is in the box (i’ve had it for 3 years now) — i’m too chicken to open it up. how lame is that?take care! b.

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oracle September 26, 2006 at 10:05 pm

Having all the Duro-nalia in one place sounds like a wonderful idea. But can’t you wait? I haven’t had a chance to make mine yet, and my Bernina’s in the shop getting fixed, and I think I’m not going to have it back for a few more weeks because where it has to get fixed is so far from where I live! So how can I send you a picture of it to include in the Big Deal Blog, if it’s not yet made?Once, years ago, a friend called me to say that she’d been to a used book store and had purchased a copy of Gestalt Therapy Verbatim in paperback. Interesting, because I had a copy of the same. More interesting, when she said that my name, in my handwriting, was written inside the cover of the book! I thought that book was still sitting on my shelf at home! I know I had never sent it away. But I had once shared an apartment with another friend who bought and read books prolifically and then boxed them up and took them to used book stores and said goodbye to them. I had to have a very good talk with the latter friend, after this incident. We had some — er — unfinished business to clear up.

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melissa joy September 26, 2006 at 10:08 pm

that’s the duro i want. actually seems to hit close to the waist. thank you!

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Anonymous September 26, 2006 at 10:53 pm

I just bought this pattern at a 99 cent sale. I think it will look nicer on more “mature” figures and it doesn’t have those preggo gathers under the bodice!

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Marcia in austin September 26, 2006 at 11:08 pm

Yes, this one is less fluffy, sleeker, and the sleeves are closer-fitted with higher armholes. Much better for those of us on the curvier end of the spectrum.

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Marisa September 27, 2006 at 12:01 am

I *just* started a duro-style dress – New Look 6615, View E – no gathering under the bodice so I’m hoping I don’t end up looking like a house :)

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modmom September 27, 2006 at 1:48 am

hi there!i don’t see sewretro.blogspot on your blogroll. have you checked it out?love your blog!

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Anonymous September 27, 2006 at 4:07 am

Love the cream dress on the pattern cover.Have just bought a duro-type top, ignoring the rule ‘if you wore it the first time round…’ (because I’m pretty sure I had a duro dress in the 1970′s (bought the day after Elvis died, if I remember correctly)). Can’t get a link to it, but if you can be bothered, search Dorothy Perkins and go to ‘tops’ and then ‘smart’. It’s the green flowery one. See what an influence you have on us?Esther A.

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Summerset September 27, 2006 at 4:48 am

Here’s a link to a review of a Duroesque dress and top (with matching capris) that I made for my niece this summer. She’s two and I just happen to find the right fabrics in color and scale for her. http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=14991

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Jen September 27, 2006 at 8:42 am

Where can a girl, who unfortunately can’t so worth a darn but loves these duros, get one that looks like this? The ones in the store that I’ve seen are somewhat similar, but just don’t have “IT”…any advice appreciated, I love the pattern!

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'nora September 27, 2006 at 8:46 am

Please tell us how the pattern works out for you. I’ve been eyeing that one for a while but haven’t had the chance to get it and try it out yet.

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Becky Holmes September 27, 2006 at 9:41 am

I just bought that pattern also, but haven’t started it yet. I got it because of what anonymous and Marcia said above, better for rounder (shorter) figures, less likely to look pregnant in it, but I ALSO bought it because it looks most like the duro-esque dress from the Boden catalog that you pointed out in an earlier post. And that’s the answer for Jen, above, check out http://www.bodenusa.com for a very cool dress you can buy. But my question is, Erin, can you REALLY make this in 3 hours? I bet not.

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S. September 27, 2006 at 9:52 am

There’s a plus size Duro style pattern at Simplicity:http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=4050The skirt seems to have princess seaming for a more flattering line.I have the New Look mentioned above, but I haven’t started on it yet.

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Anonymous September 27, 2006 at 10:11 am

Jen (non-sewist): There’s a whole giant rack of ‘em at my TJ Maxx. Check there.I like this pattern best, too, for same reasons of curvaceuosness. Bustiness + empire waist + gathers is SURE to elicit pregnancy rumors.

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Lucette September 27, 2006 at 10:23 am

After I read about the Duro I looked up the original dresses, and wow they are fabulous. The fabric makes all the difference, light with excellent drape. The designer naturally has access to the best fabrics, and I think that is why his dresses look so great. He has a great pattern too, and highly skilled sewers.So what about the home sewer? I would like to make a Duro and finding a pattern on sale is ok. Finding nice fabric soft with good drape is much harder. Choices in the local stores are limited, and I like to feel fabric so on-line shopping is hit and miss for me. I would like to know about the fabric choices other readers have made, what works well and what does not. Erin, the blog is enjoyable and I am sewing more often now. It has been a great influence on me.Lucette

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Alicia September 27, 2006 at 10:29 am

Ooh, incentive for me to work on my New Look version!And every Fast-and-easy/3-hour/etc pattern I’ve bought has come with the little *sewing time only disclaimer. What the heck? For me that’s the one part of sewing I don’t mind. It’s the cutting/fitting/pinning/ironing that takes FOREVER and which I’d like limited to 3 hours or whatever.Oh well. :)

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Erin September 27, 2006 at 10:48 am

I’ll have to set a timer. :-)I usually think, oh, an hour to cut it out, and hour and a half to sew it together, and half an hour for final hem & press. I think the problem comes when I leave the same amount of time for hemming a circle skirt that I do for something much narrower …

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Anonymous September 27, 2006 at 11:11 am
Andrea September 27, 2006 at 11:38 am

I saw that Simplicity Duro in the Khaliah Ali collection and skipped right over it.In my experience, that particular collection makes up OH MY GAWD huge. So I have resolved not to use it again.The Butterick is nice, and I like the elegance of the cream view as well.What about making it up in a cream wool and using an alpine bric-a-brac (like you would see on a boiled wool jacket) over the waist and neckline insets for the contrast?That could be a pretty and warm winter dress.

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patsijean September 27, 2006 at 12:27 pm

Your post today made me chuckle. Having moved 21 times in my adult life (only once in my pre-adult through collece days) I can relate–what can I say, I was a risk taking young woman. Nine years after my last move, I discovered a box of vintage record albums missing, including the Lyla album. It seems that something always went missing no matter how careful I was. Oh, well.I will try to finish my Tasmanian Dust Devil Duro.

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Julie The Vintage Goddess September 27, 2006 at 12:39 pm

I saw the plus size Duro pattern and almost bought it then I remembered my promiseto myself to NEVER buy/sew a dress or top that does not have a collar. I look horridin things without a collar.Too bad, those are some freaking cute dresses.

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Stacy September 27, 2006 at 12:55 pm

I made a Duro a short time ago – however, mine became a ‘babydoll’ duro since the length on the original version looked horrid on me. I posted it on my blog:http://www.stacysews.com/projects/simplicity_4072_the_duro/

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oracle September 27, 2006 at 1:28 pm

Does anyone know what “fulled” fabric is? Burda uses this description.

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Robinson September 27, 2006 at 1:58 pm

full2 (fl) Pronunciation Key Audio pronunciation of “fulled” [P]tr.v. fulled, fulling, fullsTo increase the weight and bulk of (cloth) by shrinking and beating or pressing.I found this on dictionary.com in reference to what “fulled” fabric is.I am tempted by this Duro pattern. I just can’t figure out how to hem anything. It always comes out horribly. Is there a trick to this that I am missing?

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Alison September 27, 2006 at 2:56 pm

Failed duro alert…I made a Duro look-alike from Simplicity 4072. It suffers terribly from the high waistline problem; in fact the ‘waistline’ hit at the widest point of my bust. I had a concern when cutting it out that the bodice was short but a) I didnt have any more material and b) I hoped the weight of the skirts might pull the bodice down.I made it in fine cord which I had my doubts about but which actually made up pretty nicely. I have now unpicked the bodice from the waist and plan to add a panel in above the waist to extend the bodice. Hopefully it will look better.Apart from the fit issue, the pattern was rather complex with facings on the waist panel and a lot of stitching in the ditch required. When I re-make it i may line the bodice to do away with the waist facing altogether.I love this blog – it has motivated me to make 2 dresses this summer after a long sewing drought!

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Anonymous September 27, 2006 at 3:28 pm

Alison, sounds like you might need a FBA (full bust adjustment) to make this fit you. If you are bigger than a B cup, then the FBA will help. Here’s a link to a blog with photos of how Sharon (of Sharon Sews) made an FBA to this very pattern:http://sharonsews.blogspot.com/2006/06/simplicity-4072-sewing-begins.htmlErin, if you don’t already have Sharon’s blog in your All-Things-Duro file, it’s a great resource. Several blog posts about making the Simplicity Duro; lots of photos.CMC

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La BellaDonna September 27, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Robinson, in what way does your hem come out “horrible?” Is it uneven all around? Or is it bunchy where you turn it up, i.e., are you actually trying to give it the 2 1/2″ hem so often recommended, and so sublimely disregarded by Yours Truly?If it’s coming out horribly uneven all around, that is, short on the sides, or the back, or the front, you need to use (possibly with someone else’s assistance) a chalk marker to mark your hem evenly, since the size of one’s hips, one’s tummy, or one’s booty, can affect how much fabric length is required to go over it. That means in order to have the dress hang evenly when you wear it, it may swoop or dip oddly when lying flat. If it’s even all around when it’s lying flat, but you have a body part that sticks out, that body part will make the hem pull up, so that it looks shorter in that area.If the hem comes out lumpily when you try to turn it up the 2 1/2″, turn it up … less. Confession: I serge the raw edge, and then make the narrowest hem possible. Where it looks presentable, I will turn the raw edge under twice and hem it. I’ve been known to serge the raw edge of something and hem it to the outside with a band of trim, or a piece of lace.Oracle, boiled wool is a good example of a fulled fabric (think about what happens if you wash a wool sweater in the washer, and it goes into the dryer on a high setting).Alison, your problem may be a full bust OR a low/long bust point, or a combination of the two (a full bust will usually, but not always, mean a longer bust point). Bust point = length from a fixed point on the shoulder (I usually measure from the bone at the base of my neck, as it’s a fixed point) to the nipple. There is no way the weight of the fabric would ever pull the skirt below the bust point – not unless it mashes your bosom flat (in which case it’ll bisect the bosom). You can, however, sometimes lift the bust above the seam by using a bra or corset which hoists the bosom higher. Where the bust sits changes with every bra you wear, which is why you need to fit the garment with the bra/style of bra that you intend to wear with that dress; it’s especially important with very fitted styles. If you were to fit a dress with an underbust seam (like an Empire dress) while wearing a bra, and then wear the dress without the bra, especially if you’re busty, you may find that the same seam which sat below your bosom when you wore a bra with the dress is suddenly sitting above your bosom when you wear the dress without a bra.

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Alveslottet September 27, 2006 at 5:37 pm

I really hope you decide to try the Butterick dress – I have bought the pattern myself, but I think it looks a little difficult…would be great to see what you think, and what the dress looks like in real life.By the way, I really love your blog! :-)

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Debby September 27, 2006 at 6:40 pm

Picked up the pattern today and will add it to the “Things I Want To Do” pile. I know someday they will get done. I too really liked this one because of the line.

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oracle September 27, 2006 at 11:36 pm

la belladonna, thanks for giving me an example of a “fulled” fabric. That was what I needed! I kept thinking of boiled wool, wondering if that was about right. Guess I was on the right track!Robinson I, too, had checked my dictionary and found a definition of the verb “to full” (cloth), similar to what you found. But this didn’t help me. It seems that European sewists use the term “fulled” to refer to some specific fabrics, but in my experience, here in Canada, until I bought a particular Burda pattern a few days ago, I’d never before come across that phrase. What I needed was an example of a kind of fabric that had gone through that process like what la belladonna offered.The Butterick Duro may end up being the one I make after all when I get my machine back! We’ll see.

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cat September 28, 2006 at 3:33 am

Alison,I am also in the process of trying to make the Simplicity 4072. I am very full busted but looking at the picture I thought the waist band would fall on the natural waist and the gathering would accommodate my bust. I had read on previous reviews that many people had felt the size extremely generous. I thankfully talked myself out of cutting my fabric and started with a calico mock and I have encountered the same problems with the midrift band being over my bust. I did notice that the back of the bodice was the correct length though, so I would have to increase just the lenght over the bust. Unfortunatly my second attemt has not been sucessfull either, too much fabric at the waist (just looks too puffy) and the centre is not sitting right either. I am starting to think by the time I have finished my adjustments I should have modified a top pattern that fits and added a skirt.I did look at the Sharon Sews blog and I can see she had some of the same problems but never really solved them. I am now also concerned about her comment that the skirt is no where near the fullness it indicates in the illustration (Which was part of what I loved). Does anyone think that if the waist band sat close to the natural waist line a circle skirt might work? No gathering at the waist to look pregnant but still with fullness?

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La BellaDonna September 28, 2006 at 6:19 am

Cat, it’s always worth a try with a muslin (any dress idea; in this case, the circle skirt idea), but I’m a big proponent, especially if you’d like to try the higher-waisted version, of the half-circle skirt. You still get a skirt with a 120″ hem (approximately), and much less fullness over the hips. Plus (issue for me), if the seam of the half-circle is in the back, the way the front hangs makes my round belly look flat (I go in at the waist/midriff, and out over the belly – a small, or smallish, waist does not mean a flat belly, at least not in my case). For the ladies who are busty, always measure the length of the front bodice on a pattern. Just because a pattern has fullness over the bust – even enough fullness to go around the bust – doesn’t mean the pattern has enough length to go over the bust. Fullness is not length,and a large bust needs both to cover it.Oracle, a lot of high-end European, especially German, designers use boiled wool, mostly for coats or jackets. (Herman Geist is a manufacturer that produces some very attractive ones.) You can even try your hand at making your own! All you need to do is buy knitted (you can full any fabric, but unless you’re making a bulletproof vest, use a knit, so you still have some flexibility) WOOL fabric, and wash it repeatedly in very hot, soapy water, and dry it in the dryer. You can keep it in the washer and just agitate it until you like the effect; the fabric will continue to shrink as long as you do this. You would get a very different effect from, say, a wool jersey, than a bulky, loose, lofty (puffy) knit. It MUST be a WOOL fabric for it to shrink down.I often full wool that I expect to see a lot of hard outdoor use – yes, I WILL chuck a length of heavy Melton wool into the washer and dryer, if I’m making a cape or a coat that’s going to be rained or snowed on. I’ll do it with dress goods, too. Fulling helps make the fabric denser and more weather-resistant. Of course, since the fabric is being deliberately shrunk, remember to get extra so you won’t get caught short!(If you have a sweater you loved that got shrunk, you can always use it as if it were fabric – cut it apart and make a vest, or recycle into a hat. Hello, custom cashmere beret!)

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oracle September 28, 2006 at 7:52 am

la belladonna, thanks for all the info about fulling and about boiled wool in particular. Your reference to making a bulletproof vest made me laugh! I do have a heavy knitted wool sweater that began to full itself in the wash, once. It’s too small and hot to wear, now, but I kept it, hoping I could do something with it one day. In her book “Fabric Savvy”, Sandra Betzina has a tip (p. 57 in the first edition) saying that if you want to unshrink a wool item, to boil it gently in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water for 30 minutes. Then remove it and dry it flat. If you can stand the smell of vinegar throughout the house! I haven’t tried it, but she says it works. (Has anyone here tried it?) Might leave my fulled sweater as is, though, and try making a vest out of it, instead. It isn’t “bulletproof”, but it’s so warm it would be a “weight-loss vest” a person could sweat pounds out from under it by wearing that fabric as it is now!

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Anonymous September 28, 2006 at 8:46 am

As much as I like these dresses, I have noticed that not only are they the top trend at ADAD, they are also a top trend in many stores this fall. I have a knit top that is sort of along these lines, but I think I will need to stop with that, as these are becomming the dress version of Beanie Babies. Everyone who buys/makes one of these dresses will know EXACTLY when their photos were taken in them because it was ‘The Year Of The Duro.’Maybe I will just buy the patterns and put them in storage for 2 or 3 years and stage my own mini-revival then. That is often what happens to my patterns, anyway.Amy

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Ruth Singer September 28, 2006 at 11:57 am

Oh Erin, I am with you so much on the books. I am about to move house and studio with a tonne of books and even more tonnes of fabric. I’ll probably move again before I get it all unpacked!

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Alison September 28, 2006 at 2:43 pm

Thanks for the comments folks. You are of course correct, and like Cat I made the incorrect assumption that the fullness over the (generous) bust would compensate for the length.Anyway – I added a band of the flowered fabric above the waist band, faked in an extension to the neck band and then based and tried on approx 10 times until I got the best fit for me. I still kept the waistband above the natural waist, but below my bust. As far as the fullness of the skirt, its not too gathered and I am pleased with the effect – not too maternity. Ill post a picture on my blog when I get my husband to take one. But thanks for the advice, and the links!

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Anonymous October 1, 2006 at 11:13 am

Duro-esque (scroll down to Pamela Taylor picture):http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/partypictures/2006/07_24_06/partypictures07_24_06.phpThe style seems to be making its way to other designers’ collections, for example Nicole Miller had several dresses that had similar lines to the Duro.

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Sharon October 2, 2006 at 9:49 pm

I just finished this version of the “duro” from the Butterick 4849 pattern. I’m much happier with this style than the Simplicity version (which I also made previously). It was easier to alter, had less excess fabric and is very comfortable. vershttp://sharonsews.blogspot.com/2006/10/butterick-4849-is-done.html

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MinaW October 3, 2006 at 10:54 pm

Hey everybody – go look at Sharon’s dress. It’s beautiful, in a crushed velvet. But also, her unhemmed photo shows what thes patterns can look like with a long skirt.

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Anonymous October 10, 2006 at 11:38 am
nicegirl512 October 19, 2006 at 8:43 am

I think I sent this to you a while ago but it might have gotten eaten by your inbox. This is the link to my review of the Duro I made from Simplicity 4072. http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?readreview=1&reviewnum=15329 I wore it for the first time this week and received many comments (that might have been compliments, but might not have been).

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