The Burda 6344 jersey sundress has been on my radar since it was released last summer. So many of the features immediately jumped out at me - the V neck created by the wrap dress design plus twisted spaghetti straps and it's for jersey fabrics AKA ultimate comfort. Tick, tick, tick! Let me tell you all about the making of this lovely dress.
Sewing Pattern and Fabric
The pattern (Burda 6344) is a jersey wrap dress sundress with princess seams, self lined bodice, twisted grown on spaghetti straps and options for a full length maxi skirt or knee length tiered skirt. I opted for the knee length version, but omitted the tier by shortening the maxi skirt pattern piece.
The fabric is a John Kaldor Portia jersey, which I have used many times in my dressmaking endeavours and have always been incredibly pleased.
It is a polyester jersey, which gives it a silky handle, fantastic drape and means it feels beautiful against your skin.
Contrary to popular belief it doesn't make you feel hot either and is perfect for summer dresses. You can see one of my other Portia sundresses here.
I love the classic black and white polka dots with the pretty red flowers and we also have it in a yellow colourway here.
Adjustment and Sizing
I made a straight size 12, the bust measurement was 5/8" larger than my actual measurement, the waist and hips were an inch smaller than mine.
I knew I would be able to alter the bust if necessary thanks to the princess seams and took a chance that the combination of big 4 pattern company wearing ease and jersey fabric would mean I'd get away with it on the hips and waist!
Luckily my gamble paid off - I didn't make any adjustments and I'm very pleased with the fit. Love it when that happens!
Thankfully the sizing was very straightforward, however, there were a few challenges with the construction. Only minor issues, some of which could have been avoided so I'll share them with you lovelies so you can learn from my mistakes.
Sewing Pattern Instructions
The first issue to be very clear on is that the pattern instructions were very lacking. I've made Burda patterns before and, ok, the instructions are never as detailed as the indie pattern brands, but I normally find there's plenty to go off.
For this particular design I had to use my initiative a bit more, but it is a simple design so it was easy enough to work things out by laying the pattern pieces out or on top of one another to see how things were meant to come together.
Also I love the design so much it was a small price to pay and I actually found it quite rewarding realising my sewing knowledge could carry me through.
Grown on Straps
I made the entire dress on my Babylock Desire coverlock machine (overlocker and coverstitch machine combined). I prefer making jersey garments with my overlocker because it gives a better finish and is easier in terms of sewing the fabric and getting the tension right.
One issue caused by using the overlocker came when I was making the straps. The straps are grown on so you have to stop sewing just before you get to the straps when attaching the lining to the bodice. Once you've turned the straps through you hand sew the remaining bodice and lining together.
Stopping in exactly the right place would be easy with a sewing machine, but was quite a challenge with the overlocker. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was quite off on one side and this resulted in the lining not matching up correctly with the bodice.
I fiddled and fiddled and tried to work out if I could rescue it then, hands up, I lost patience and ended up re-sewing the princess seam of the bodice slightly to reduce the amount of fabric so it would match up with the lining. Naughty girl - what a bodge!
Luckily it worked out ok. If you look very closely you will notice one side is a little more scant on the bust than the other, but I can live with that.
To create the straps I used my favourite overlocker trick, which you can see here.
The waistband is double sided, which gives a nice, neat finish on the inside.
Another slight issue here is that I didn't manage to get the seam that joined the tie and the waistband up with the side seam of the dress at the bottom end (see photo).
Luckily it isn't very noticeable and when the bow is tied to fasten the dress you cannot notice it at all.
I should have taken extra care since I was sewing with my overlocker and couldn't easily unpick like I could if using my sewing machine. More haste less speed and all that.
I could probably do with trimming the skirt seam allowance down slightly too, I forgot about that!
I really enjoyed the photo shoot for this dress. It was the first time I tried it on with heels and red lippy and I cannot wait to wear it! It will be a firm favourite in my holiday wardrobe for years to come. The design and fabric are both very classic and the fabric doesn't crease, which is a complete winner in the suitcase stakes!
There were a couple of minor construction issues down to my own mistakes and the instructions required a bit of brain power, but the fit was easy and forgiving thanks to the jersey and it was a nice easy sew otherwise.
I wouldn't recommend this pattern to a complete beginner due to the lack of instructions, but anyone who has sewn a few garments and has an understanding of basic garment constructions should be fine.
Have fun sewing!
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