Meet My New Friend, Heidi

by Erin on December 1, 2009


BurdaStyle Heidi

So over the Thanksgiving break I FINALLY made a BurdaStyle pattern … this one above, Heidi. (The picture above is NOT the one I made, but one from Isobel M — I'll get pictures of mine up soon, maybe even with me wearing them, ulp — but I did want to show one all made up, and not just the pattern illustration. And anyway, Isobel's is LIBERTY!)

Anyway, I actually made this twice over the holiday break, which should tell you how easy it is. I thought I would dislike printing out and taping together the pattern, but in fact it was very easy and soothing. I also discovered Netflix streaming video over the holiday weekend, and managed to inhale Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend … I have a BBC Dickens obsession. (Not to mention a "watching David Morrissey lose his shit" obsession, cf. Blackpool and State of Play.) Costume drama plus scotch tape is an incredibly relaxing combination.

I also liked the heavier paper — compared to pattern tissue, it was super-easy to alter, and having all the sizes meant I was able to cut different pieces for the bodice and skirt without worrying about doing anything unfixable — if I screwed up, I could just print those pages out again and start over. (And there's a nearly endless supply of BBC costume dramas, after all …)

Alterations I made: I raised the neckline about an inch. I cut one size for the shoulders, another for the bust, and a third for the waist/hips, and it was simple to smooth the pattern lines to do that. I changed the tucks to darts on the front and back bodice (but left them as soft pleats in the skirt). I shortened it by about three inches, to hit just above the knee in one version and just below the knee in the other. I also made the pockets about an inch and a half deeper — when I put things in my pockets, I like them to stay there (with the exception of my hands).

The pattern went together really quickly, even though the bodice is lined (my fabrics were heavy so I didn't line the skirt). And compared to what I usually sew, Heidi uses *no* fabric. Seriously, I got away with less than two yards of 54" for this one, with maybe another yard for the bodice lining. Needless to say, I am re-evaluating the "short cuts" in my fabric closet in the light of this new information. I have some green cotton satin that is begging to be this dress.

I really should post pictures of the ones I made. I'll try to get them up tomorrow, if I can find my camera connector cable. I'm planning on wearing them with a cardigan (quel surprise) and maybe even a belt, and I have to say it reminds me of nothing so much as the Michelle Obama look: nice dress, sensible cardigan, cute belt (link is to her Tussaud's figure, so if that's not iconic …). If it's good enough for the First Lady of the United States, it's good enough for me …

[Also, I haven't really looked at how the new FTC blogging rules affect me, but I should point out that while BurdaStyle is an advertiser here, I paid for this pattern (it wasn't a freebie).]

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen December 1, 2009 at 9:01 am

yes to the Netflix! I always find a movie to watch on my laptop while I sew – and they keep a list of what was viewed instantly, which is nice when inspiration fails.The Burda pattern sounds great. Usually I find their photos puzzling, with awkward poses that hide important details. Your version sounds perfect. I noticed the viewer results for this pattern on their website look rather vintage too, which is fun.

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Danika Paige Myers December 1, 2009 at 9:12 am

Yay for a sewing post! I love your pattern posts, Erin, but Ive really missed this type of post. Does this mean you are a bit settled from the move/new job/new place and able to sew again?

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Sheila / Out of the Ashes Collectibles December 1, 2009 at 9:16 am

I love Burda! So many of their styles are edgy and unique

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Susannah December 1, 2009 at 9:42 am

What a great dress! I too adore the winning combination of BBC period dramas and craftiness. May I recommend:- Little Dorrit (same screenwriter as Bleak House)- The Way We Live Now (not Dickens, but again, same screenwriter)…and, actually, anything adapted for TV by Andrew Davies.

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smiller December 1, 2009 at 10:06 am

I have this Burda pattern, too, but have yet to get moving on making it up–so many dress patterns, so little time. But its absolutely chic and adorable at the same time, and Im glad to hear it goes together easily. Ive never used a non-American-sized pattern before, so your comments about it are really encouraging.Cant wait to see your Heidis!

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Anonymous December 1, 2009 at 11:19 am

David Morrissey was so over-the-top (in a good way) in Our Mutual Friend. Great fun to watch. I imagined him having a really good time acting that role!Oh, and the dress is awesome, too…

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evalyn December 1, 2009 at 11:53 am

Very nice dress patern. I do love me some Burda. I also appreciated the link to the dress site so I could see all the versions people have done. Just a little imagination and its a totally new, totally cute dress!

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Jenny December 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Love Netflix instant watch! I do that while I knit and Ive seen TONS of great BBC series. Ill recommend The Duchess of Duke Street, a long-running Edwardian series. Highly enjoyable.

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Nathalie December 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

What a lovely dress. Cant wait to see your version(s) of it! Burda really seem to have upped their game these past few years. Its so nice to see. Although David Morrissey free, I recommend the latest Little Dorrit – it had me hooked for weeks, with some fabulous performances (incl. Tom Courtenay as Mr Dorrit, and a heart-melting turn by Russel Tovey as Amys unrequited love interest).

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Cel Petro December 1, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Cant wait to see your dresses w/ the alterations–gave me hope that someday Ill sew clothing again.Question re: the sleeve: When wearing a cardigan with a sleeve like this, dont you find that it bunches under the cardigan? Im just askin…

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laurageorgina December 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I feel the same about the patterns you paste together–theyre not fragile so I actually look forward to the mindless cutting and pasting (I practically need to be locked into a room by someone else to get on with cutting out tissue patterns, they stress me out).Oh, how I miss Netflix (the mail here in Trinidad is unreliable, to put it politely)! If you can get your hands on the UK Channel 4 series The Devils Whore, your pattern cutting will continue to be pleasant–all sorts of political intrigue, feisty women, evil historical figures, and GREAT costumes during the English Civil War. Or if you need something kinder and gentler, the BBCs Cranford is most excellent as well; you can never go wrong when a one-hour episode has Judy Dench and Philip Glenister.

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Sara December 1, 2009 at 1:27 pm

That dress will look great in green!

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meredithp December 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Love the dress!May I recommend: Pride Prejudice (Colin Firth version, of course)–too obvious?North and South-personally, I wouldnt get much sewing done with this one though. Too much angst and longing looks.

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Erin December 1, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Thanks!Cel, I wondered about the bunchy-sleeve issue myself, but these are non-bunchy. The trick is to make sure that you cut the smallest shoulder size you can manage …

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Marie December 2, 2009 at 2:27 am

The result is very cute! Well done:-)

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Joni December 3, 2009 at 6:18 am

Speaking of Heidis, I thought Cranford was pretty good… I, however, DID NOT like the BBC series Lilies.I have a really hard time watching TV while I do anything sewing related. Not enough brain cells. So I hardly watch any TV anymore.

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Monique Gaido December 3, 2009 at 6:48 am

Love the dress Erin!

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Myka December 8, 2009 at 7:44 am

Hi Erin! I love this dress! Very few dresses suit my big-chested frame, and I think this would suit me just fine. Worn with my favorite Le Mystere bra , a wide patent belt, and sheer black stockings, this dress would be perfect for lunch with the ladies!

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Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I love the dress with the black leggings. I too would alter the pockets and make them deeper like you did cause you want everything you put in them to stay there except I like my hands to stay in them as well; I put my hands in my pockets all the time.

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Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I love the dress with the black leggings. I too would alter the pockets and make them deeper like you did cause you want everything you put in them to stay there except I like my hands to stay in them as well; I put my hands in my pockets all the time.

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Claire June 8, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I normally have no problems following a pattern but this is my first Burda and I’ve got totally stuck on the pocket/hip yoke/front skirt panel bit. I have no idea what is supposed to be basted to what!

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