DIY BurdaStyle Elastic Waist Dress For Early Autumn

DIY elastic waist dress

I love to feel comfortable (don’t we all!) and when the August issue of BurdaStyle magazine appeared on my doormat I was immediately drawn to this pull-on elastic waist dress. I was thinking about how perfect it would be for that awkward time when summer transitions into autumn.

BurdaStyle 101 08/2019

My fabric, bought from Sewmesunshine, was originally purchased with a blouse in mind. It’s the Atelier Brunette viscose in the Granito design and I only got about 1.4m or maybe even less than that, yet I felt it would be just perfect for the dress.  

It was time for some serious pattern Tetris and I managed to cut the dress out (with an extra centre back seam and a seam on the sleeve along the elastic placement line). I literally have scraps of it left… like, really small scraps, but I managed it (isn’t it a great feeling when that happens?) result! 

DIY elastic waist dress

DIY Elastic Waist Dress: Pattern Adjustments

As you can see from my photos the waist and the sleeves have elastic inserted and at the centre back neck is a slit plus a button fastening, so the whole thing pulls on over my head. I cut out my usual size 38 which turned out to be mostly ok but there are a few points to mention about fit… I added bust darts (more on that later) and a shoulder dart for my forward rounded shoulders (more about that also later), but I actually found the armholes to be rather a low, deep cut and the bodice to be a bit roomy in width. Also, when I tried it on after doing the elasticated waist, I thought it was a bit long in the neck to waist length because there was a little too much blousing for my liking, so I’ve raised the elastic up by an inch (for reference I’m 5 ft 5 and 1/2 inches tall). I might be ok cutting on a size 36 if I make this pattern again.

So, as I said I added a bust dart. This is just my preference because I feel that it gives a better fit without draglines from the side waist to the bust. I slashed the patterns through, added my darts (they are about an inch in depth) and I trued up the side seam for a clean, level edge.

See those steps here on images that I originally showed on IG Stories:

Adding a bust dart to elastic waist dress

In hindsight and because of the extra waist length that I mentioned before, all I really needed to do was to draw the bust dart and to raise the waistline at the back of the dress rather than slashing my front pattern for the extra length to accommodate the dart, but we live and learn eh?
My other fit adjustment was for my rounded, forward-shoulders and for that, I added a shoulder dart and I straightened my back shoulder seam. I also sloped the front shoulder a little bit to bring the shoulder seam to the front. For more about shoulders and sleeves see here.

As this was a fairly simple shaped dress pattern and my fabric quite a lightweight one, I decided to go all out and make the insides pretty. Firstly, this involved sewing French seams on the main areas (ideal on this lightweight fabric) and for the rest of the dress I did a narrow Hong Kong binding around the neck facing, I bound all around the armholes and I used contrast channels for the elastic to go through. For these contrasting details, I used some lining scraps in pretty, pale blush pink. 

Here are a few details photos:

French seam in DIY elastic waist dress
Elastic casing and seam bindings. on Burda dress

 It’s a fairly comfy easy to style dress and I like how it looks with my burgundy boots. I could really do with a waist slip though as the fabric is slightly see-through when it’s lit from behind as my hubby was quick to point out! 🙂

DIY elastic waist dress

I think this design would be really nice even in a wool Jersey. Obviously it would need a bit of a stretch lining in it though so that it wouldn’t stick to thick tights not nevertheless it would make a lovely autumn/ winter dress.

DIY elastic waist dress

I’m really getting into the sewing vibe for the new season and I’ve got a mental list of possible new projects filling my head (must write it down!). Let me know if you’re feeling the same too and tell me what your plans are for the new season so we can have a chat in the comments section (PS check out my trends post here for the full low down on the new season).

As always thanks for reading and I’ll catch you soon, bye!

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DIY Elastic waist dress


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  1. September 13, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    Lovely dress Diane and you look beautiful in that color and style! Love your outdoors photos too!! Thank you for the ‘adding bust dart tutorial’ as I need to learn that technique too. You make a seemingly confusing process seem doable.

    • diane
      September 13, 2019 / 7:33 pm

      Ohh, thanks so much, Lisa! I’m so pleased to hear how you love my dress and photos. Gald you find the dart tutorial handy too, x

  2. Monica
    September 13, 2019 / 4:37 pm

    I skipped over this dress when I first saw it, very underwhelmed. But, wow. They should use your make to promote this dress. Great job!

    • diane
      September 13, 2019 / 7:33 pm

      Ooh wow, thank you, Monica! So kind 🙂

  3. Jenny Bell Bates
    September 13, 2019 / 9:21 pm

    The dress is great Diane. Fits so well around your bodice with those changes.
    I have to make comment on the artiness of the first photo in this post.
    It catches my attention because you are framed by the door and the lines of the wall seem to radiate from there. Good spot

    • diane
      September 13, 2019 / 10:16 pm

      Your comment makes me so happy, thank you, Jenny! I’m glad you like my dress and I’ve been attempting to improve my photography so your comment means a lot xx

  4. Ekaterina
    September 13, 2019 / 9:50 pm

    It’s a wonderful dress, Diane! I am working on it as well, so fingers crossed as I did not think about the darts, but hope that it is roomy enough to accommodate all the curves)).
    This print is so lovely and the colour palette is perfect for the season and looks great on you!
    Congrats on a wonderful addition to you dresses collection!xx

    • diane
      September 13, 2019 / 10:18 pm

      Thank you! And for stopping by my blog Ekaterina. How cool that you’re making the same dress! Tag me when you post in IG so I can see it xx

  5. September 14, 2019 / 8:06 am

    What beautiful photos! The colours are lovely.

    • diane
      September 14, 2019 / 8:47 am

      Thank you so much Catherine!

  6. September 14, 2019 / 3:42 pm

    What a wonderful dress!

    • diane
      September 14, 2019 / 6:35 pm

      That’s so lovely of you to say. Thank you Irene!

  7. Karen
    September 15, 2019 / 6:05 pm

    This is a very flattering dress for you. I love that you made the inside special – a treat for you. A lesson for us all: slow down and enjoy the process; the finished project will be all the more special.

    • diane
      September 15, 2019 / 9:20 pm

      Thank you, Karen. Yes, it’s nice to know that the inside is special just for me 🙂

  8. September 29, 2019 / 8:04 pm

    Loving your dress, that fabric is gorgeous. Also, that is some Olympic-standard pattern tetrising!!

    • diane
      September 29, 2019 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks so much Lynne! Do I get a gold medal? Hehe!

  9. October 7, 2019 / 7:33 pm

    Oh, I love your version of this Diane. When I saw this pattern in the magazine it went on my to sew list! Now that I see yours I’ve got to move it up in the queue!

    • diane
      October 7, 2019 / 7:57 pm

      Thanks, Linda! Oh, that’s great! This dress will definitely suit you!

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