Burda 6910 Knit Dress with Ruching

Burda 6910 
Feminine, gathered and figure-hugging silhouettes. The flat neck and raglan sleeves emphasize the young style both of the shirt and the dress. Shirt and dress sized for two-way stretch jersey. Sizes 4-16.

I made this for a friend recently who is about four months pregnant and wants to wear her dress this fall. I did not modify for a ‘baby bun,’ as the fabric was very stretchy. Kim is quite tall (everybody is much taller than me!) so I did make adjustments for her height and long arms.

Pattern Error
Proofing the pattern before cutting showed there was a difference in the front and back side seam lengths of 1.25”. At first I thought the extra 1.25” was ease allowance for the bust, but there were no instructions that indicated this. This was not the first pattern that I discovered with this issue. So I did a simple adjustment to fix the problem by adding 1.25” to the back, the shorter piece.

Cutting Knit Fabrics Accurately
To cut knit fabric or any napped fabric, you may find it very helpful to pin the fabric to paper along the fabrics’ selvedge* edge and the fabrics folded edge. This will prevent the fabric from distorting and creeping as you cut out the pattern. Start by drawing a crossgrain line perpendicular to the papers’ selvedge* edge. Lay the fabric selvedges* along the paper edge and the fold of the fabric along the crossgrain. 

Lay out your pattern pieces pinning through all layers: paper, fabric and pattern. Use sharp scissors and cut through all layers including the paper layer. The paper prevents the fabric from moving and you can easily slide/move the paper to made cutting easier. 

I use my Kai serrated scissors, 7240AS & 7280SE, to cut knits, slippery/silky/difficult fabrics; the serrated edge ‘grips’ the fabric rather than ‘push’ the fabric as you are cutting.  

And yes, I cut through paper with my good scissors! Using paper will give you control with accurately cut edges rather than choppy edges.

Kai Scissors 7280SE with serrated edge.

A few helpful steps when making knits are how I measure for the neckband and turn the sleeve hems.
Neck Edge
The circumference of the neck band needs to be smaller than the garment’s neck edge. For the neckband, measure the garment neck opening along the cut edge, then cut the band 1.5” – 2” shorter, sometimes more depending on the stretch of the fabric. This will draw the neckline in to fit your neck closer and the neck band will lie flat against the body.  

The neckline can be measured on the dress form with a string or measure the garment neckline flat on your cutting table with the garment folded in half matching shoulder seams.

Dress on dress form, measure neck edge with string.

Garment neck edge flat with neck band ends marked in RED

A trick I learned many years ago in the industry that allows the binding to hug the neck closely was to stretch the binding along key areas of the garment’s neck edge. Fortunately, Threads magazine has a video with Sarah Veblen covering this trick that you may find helpful. 
Quarter mark the neck and band.
Neckband stitched to neck edge lies flat against the body.
Key is to stretch the band along the curves of the body.

Be sure to try Sarah Veblen's technique on different types of knits to get a feel for how each type of knit fabric will behave. And SAVE those samples along with any notes that you may find helpful for future reference.

Sleeve Hems
For the sleeve hems, copy a quick trick from ready to wear: When stitching the underarm sleeve seam, turn the sleeve hem on the hemline to the wrong side of the fabric and continue stitching through all thicknesses. The garments lower hem can be finished the same way. 

Turn sleeve lower edge up and stitch through all thicknesses.

Turning the hem on the hemline and stitching through all layers makes hemming easier.

The side seams are ruched with narrow elastic cut shorter and stitched between notches that will gather or ruche the side seams along the midsection. Another trick I do is to anchor the ends of the elastic on the garment seam and zigzag or ‘couch’ over the elastic instead of zigzagging through the elastic. Using clear elastic reduces bulk and retains its memory. 

Zigzag or couch over the elastic.
Anchor the ends of elastic with straight stitching along the seam.

This dress was finished in no time, very fast and easy. When Kim tried on her dress the first thing she commented on was the length of the sleeves. They actually fit the length of her arms! 

As soon as I get a picture of Kim in her dress, I will post it here. With five little girls and expecting a sixth child, it is a wonder she has time to even get dressed in the mornings let alone home school her children! 
The 'baby bun' fits pretty good with no alterations!


Ruching - a French term which means to gather/ruffle/pleat into tight folds.

Slevedge/selvage - A selvage (US English) or selvedge (British English) is a self-finished edge of fabric.