Hot! The “Violin Recital” dress

The Facts
⁃ Fabric: polyester lace, black cotton, white muslin
⁃ Pattern: Burdastyle Magazine 05/2011 #128
⁃ Year: 2011
⁃ Notions: zipper, self-made bias tape
⁃ Time to complete: 5 hours
⁃ First worn: January 22, 2012
⁃ Wear again? Who knows?
⁃ Total price: about 15 euros


The dress to recreate

I’ve been a big fan of the “Make This Look” posts since the beginning, they’re so inspiring! I myself keep a “Modcloth” folder on my desktop where I save images of the dresses I like the most from the shop and that I eventually want to make for myself.
I must admit I really underestimated the task of finding a pattern to recreate a certain dress, because, man! I had a hard time finding one to match the Violin Recital dress.
What I was looking for were: peter pan collar, princess seams, short, gathered sleeves and skirt with inverted pleats. I have A LOT of patterns in my collection, more than I’ll ever need, but I could not find one with all those features.
After excluding the possibility of buying a new pattern, I had to make do with what I had. At first, I decided to use Colette‘s Peony, but then I realized that this Burda pattern would have required less alterations. No princess seams, no gathered sleeves, no inverted pleats but at least it had a peter pan collar.
If you’re considering buying this pattern… DON’T! The fit of this thing is TERRIBLE and it’s much easier to draft a peter pan collar for a pattern with a better fit. I made an FBA and added darts to the back (that is basically a droopy sack) to make it acceptable. I didn’t use the skirt part of the pattern, I used two rectangles the width of my hips and then created the inverted pleats at the waist.

Since I wasn’t too sure about the result, I used a very cheap poly lace that is a bit whiter than the one of the original dress (should I try tea staining it?). I must say that, for being so cheap, it’s quite cute. I underlined the whole thing with white muslin.
I decided to keep the scallops of the lace selvage for the hem, although I might chop them off in the future because the dress is already a bit too frou-frou. Another alteration I’m considering is narrowing the skirt a bit to make it more similar to the inspiration dress.

In conclusion, it’s not an exact replica, but I’m quite proud of the result. I don’t know how many occasions I’ll have to wear a white lace dress (I guess it’s a bit First Communion, perfect to attract strange looks), but you never know!

A detail of the bound neckline - no facings for me, thanks!




Paunnet is actually Anna, an Italian girl who thinks that sewing is the best thing in the world. In 2011, she started a blog to document her sewing adventures.


Comments are closed.

  1. I think you have done a fantastic job with this dress, it looks great. Wearing it with the black tights etc makes it look quite funky – definitely not a “communion” dress! Great job.

  2. It looks great! I agree with Deb, paired with the black, it looks much less frou-frou or First Communion. (I made a white lace sundress this summer and paired it with black accessories too.)

  3. I had simular problems with patterns so far, I think you did a great job of modifying yours.

  4. Oh I think it’s gorgeous! I think you should definitely wear it again – and not just for Church related activities. ;) Good to know about that pattern though – thanks for the heads up!

    • Thank you! a terrible thing about living in a small town is that if you wear something unusual, you’ll get strange looks from everyone…

  5. A beauty! Way to tough it out against the Burda pattern!

  6. I think it looks lovely with that scalloped edge, but I can see how some might consider it too frou-frou. Love that patterned bias binding inside!

  7. i think the way you styled it, using black tights to balance the black peter pan collar, makes it very wearable. just embrace it and have fun :-)

  8. I adore it with the black – very non Communiony, but very stylish and eye catching! Personally, I love the scallops on the hem – very classic. Well done!

  9. I love this dress. I don’t think you should tea-dye it at all! This is something that will transition nicely to spring/summer with little effort!

  10. Great adaption, Anna! I’m intimidated by lace fabric and you conquered with lovely results.

  11. Fantastic Anna, I love the black and white contrast, it’s a shame the pattern was such a pain to work with, your clever modifications worked out a treat. I think she is darling, well done.

  12. This is really super cute! Well done battling the monsters of a poor fit- it’s worked a treat :D

  13. Tea staining so like Avery interesting idea.

  14. I absolutely love this dress, Anna! Your modifications really did the trick, as it looks wonderful on you. Not First Communion-esque at all!

  15. I love it, if I owned it I would wear it all the time. Seriously. I also love the scalloped lace, please don’t cut it off!

  16. I think it’s gorgeous! I love tea staining personally b/c I love a vintage look but it’s pretty the way it is too.

  17. I love the white and black combi! I’m making something very similar to yours, a peter pan collar dress in black (the dress) and white (collar) too!

  18. It’s lovely! I think the black collar prevents this from being to ‘frou frou’ or like a first-communion.

    Mega thanks for the warning about the burda pattern. It’s too bad since it looked like a good one.

    • Thank you! I was so disappointed with the pattern, I’ve been buying the magazine for years and this is one of two ot three pattern with a peter pan collar, but it reallt sucks.

  19. It’s a sweet dress but I can see what you mean by the pattern’s failings. i do like that you persevered and completed it.

  20. Gorgeous!!! I love the hem and the collar and the little sleeves, I just love the whole thing.

  21. Oh please don’t chop off the scalloped hem! It’s perfect.

  22. So cute, especially with black tights – not first communion at all!