Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Parachute Dress

My latest dress and my first parachute (short tiered) dress. My finished projects were beginning to pile up again - I have yet to take pictures of another dress I completed last week and a pair of cargo pants for my husband from the week before last - both fairly big and intricate projects, which I want to photograph properly and therefore am postponing their photo sessions, risking their season to be soon over. So today I decided to be quick and organized and to take a few less artistic, but timely photos of this unpretentious dress.

If you haven't been under a rock lately (like my husband and son), you must have noticed that tiered dresses are everywhere this summer, and Burda has been publishing various tiered dress patterns in its recent issues. I was skeptical of the silhouette and resisted the trend, until Burda 07 / 2021 came out. Then I gave up and bought model 104. And when I saw Ellen's interpretation of the pattern I knew what my next project would be.

As this year I'm trying hard to sew from my stash, I took out the remnant from a cotton voile I was gifted a couple of years ago. The fabric I received was at least 4 m, maybe more, and I made a dress out of it for Gaby (which she never wore). Then I overdyed the remaining fabric and made a tunic for me I never wore. Hopefully the last pieces of this fabric will have a better fate, as I truly love my new dress.

Size: 36, modified
Fabric: Cotton voile
Time to make: 2 days

My notes and modifications:

I am short and a long voluminous dress would have drowned me, so I decided to skip the last tier and make the dress much shorter. To add up to my desired length I elongated the upper part by 10 cm, thus bringing the gathered volume of the first tier below my bust, and not just across it, as is in the pattern. 

I also changed the sleeves from long to elbow length and moved the elastic from the edge to 5 cm above the hem. For this purpose I sewed a narrow tunnel out of a bias tape of the same fabric, inserted the elastic and then closed the tunnel with the end of the tape. This is the first time I am doing this and I love the end result - so much more comfortable and higher quality than simply zigzagging the elastic to the sleeve.

Overall impression - I LOVE the style! So comfy, so breezy, I get it why it is so popular this hot summer. This version out of a simple cotton voile will be a house/lounge dress, but I want to sew a proper viscose version. Things I would change - the gathering around the neck and shoulders is too voluminous and makes me - a narrow shoulder person, look broad-shouldered. The raglan line is longer on me, I should shorten it for better comfort. Also, I think I would prefer short kimono style sleeves, it's simply too hot this summer. So, I will probably look for another tiered dress pattern or construct my own based on a favourite top pattern, we'll see.

On a side note - husband and son both didn't like the dress and were amazed I had sewn something so shapeless, which to them looked like a maternity dress or a nightgown. I hope a more expensive viscose fabric would change this impression.


  1. It's a fun dress. When it's hot no woman wants her clothes to stick to her/hug her body, okay?!

    1. Yes, exactly my point! We are having a record hot summer this year, two continuous months already, and breezy clothes are becoming a living necessity!