Burda 7513
Burda 7513
Burda 7513
Burda 7513

Me:  Hey G…how d’you like my new sundress?

G:    Huh? Looks like you’re wearing those harem pants….

LOL…okay, he may be right….but…this is indeed a dress. Unflattering? Oh, for sure. Comfy as all get up? Why yes ma’am, thank you very much!

We’re halfway through summer, and the universe has finally turned the heat on here in Vancouver. And what sweet serendipity…I happen to have just finished sewing the quintessential summer sundress; unlined, unstructured, effortless. No zips, buttons, snaps or bamboodles.

The pattern is Burda 7513, view B….with major tweaks. It’s been in my stash for years and every time I picked up the pattern, I talked myself out of making it. I mean…the silhouette…yep, very challenging for me, and the online reviews weren’t overly encouraging. But a few weeks ago, I finally decided to give it a go, with the premise that I would construct it in stages, thereby giving me the opportunity to tweak it or trash it as I went. Coincidentally…the morning of Operation Burda 7513, Coco of Coco’s Loft, published a blog post – Summer Maxi – Bittersweet – that gave me some helpful maxi dress tips! Thanks Coco! I made the top first, narrowing the shoulder lines and shortening the bodice to above my waistline. The lapels are unlined {the wrong side of fabric shows} and so I chose to continue the gingham bias tape {self made} along the exposed front edges. Following Coco’s lead, I added a waistband to the bodice. I actually used the wrong side of the fabric to complement the lapel…but…the difference is barely discernible. So far, so good! I was happy with the bodice and was ready to add the skirt. I did a quick drape of my fabric and confirmed that it was waaaaay too sheer for an unlined dress. But no way I was lining this dress….my HOT weather sundress….so I opted for a gathered skirt to add opacity.  It works…but hello…I got me a whole lot mo’ volume going on now. The large gigantic patch pockets didn’t help matters either. I had to nix them in favour of inseam pockets. The pattern calls for an elasticized bottom hem…ahem, a harem hem…which I hemmed and hawed over. I decided to add it…it’s easy enough to take out, and I actually think it’s kinda fun. It tames the volume a little, and I think it adds interest. The elastic sits very comfortably just below my knees for an ankle revealing maxi. An unanticipated bonus is that I can change the length of my dress to midi or knee length by changing where the elastic sits.  I dunno…a bad idea or a little bit genius?

Edit: I realized I gave neither a thumbs up or a thumbs down on this pattern before publishing my post. This version feels somewhat like a wearable muslin. I don’t feel comfortable wearing this beyond my back garden, unless it’s at the beach. It just feels too light and too voluminous. That being said, I think I’d like to sew the pattern again, but in a fabric like linen. Then I can follow the pattern silhouette more closely. I’ll add the zipper in and shape the bodice more than I’ve done here. It still might not work for my frame, but I think I’m up to trying it.

I’ve been doing a little summer sewing, but really…I haven’t been up to anything exciting…the usual farmer’s markets, some outdoor theatre, dining al fresco…oooh, I did meet up with Melanie of  Bag and a Beret and Suzanne Carillo….lots of laughter that was!

My other bit of news is that I am preparing for a blog platform move. If things go as intended, I won’t lose any of you on moving day…but in any event, I’ll give you a heads up before the switch, which will probably be sometime in the next few weeks. If you are a reader that pops by via a bookmark etc., please note that my blog address has been updated to

I’ll be back soon with…..another pair of harem pants…yes really….


  • Reply Sheila August 17, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Well, Sue, I think this is a whole lotta genius! Love the elasticated bubble hem on this, especially considering it's adjustable. Fab! Jealous about another blogger meet-up in Van…sigh…come to Victoria!

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 18, 2016 at 9:29 am

      One day I'd like to make a proper bubble hem for a fit and flare dress.

      YES…I must plan to visit you in Victoria one day!

  • Reply Coco August 17, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Adorable! love what you've done with this. And thank you for the shout out!

  • Reply barbarajane August 17, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Lovely, looks very cool and breezy. The neckline is very cute, love the gingham bias. Enjoy your hot weather!

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 18, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Thanks Barbara. This hot weather won't last much longer…the nights are already getting cooler.

  • Reply M @ My Closet Catalogue August 18, 2016 at 7:10 am

    This is amazing – now that I've picked up sewing, I totally understand everything you're saying! Now, rather than just admiring and coveting your creations, I can follow along and admire the skills that went along in making them. I love the ingenuity of an unlined lapel – I might just attempt that myself, seeing as how I've shied away from doing lapels because they scared me as much as sleeves had done previously. (I'll email you again and discuss a “new” way I've found to make sleeves easier for me, but I'm betting you already knew about the technique!)

  • Reply pao August 18, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Wow, you and me wearing the same style. Who would've thought. The color and little details are so pretty. And, of course, you can't go wrong with an adjustable balloon hem. Sue on the rocks is your best shot.

    Men, they know nothing of fashion. I asked my True Love if he could tell the difference between what I wear to bed and what I wear to go out and he said …. eh, no. !!!

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 18, 2016 at 9:33 am

      LOL….you're making me a convert Pao!

      Hee Hee…too funny, True Love's response…my pj's are a disaster.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion August 18, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Right, ahum.. well.. I don't know. The bodice is perfect and you were very clever. But all that volume.. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I think it is too much. Would have to see it in reality. Shall I pop over? Haha. I once saw a trick by Catherine of Not dressed as lamb. She took up the skirt on one side and attached it somewhere higher. The waistband? Just halfway? With a brooch? I don't know but it looked good. Want to try it? In any case I vote for the long version rather than the short version.

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 18, 2016 at 9:40 am

      LOL…Please do pop over Greetje. But I'm pretty sure the dress looks the same in real real life! Oh My! But…it is a beach dress…it's just too 'light' feeling for me to be comfortable wearing it beyond the back garden or at the beach, know what I mean?

      I made another maxi a few years ago that had the same skirt volume, but the bodice was fitted. The end result silhouette was much more wearable in my opinion.

      I actually like this pattern quite a bit, and I would like to make it again, but with a fabric like linen. That way I can make the skirt portion as intended…much less volume. And you know what? It still might not work for my frame, but I'm willing to give it a try.

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo August 18, 2016 at 10:22 am

    This looks light as a feather and probably feels like you're naked when you're wearing it. I can see why it would be a great choice for the beach.

    It was a shock to my system to see you in such a subdued pattern. I love the light blue.

    I also think I prefer it long.

    I think it is great giving new ideas a try.


  • Reply Lori August 18, 2016 at 10:35 am

    I think it is a fun dress and you look great wearing it. I know what you are saying about our creations, some days I am just not sure about what I just finished making!

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks Lori! LOL…one of the drawbacks to sewing is the sometimes unpredictability of construction.

  • Reply jen storer August 18, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Love this! The hemline is gorgeous and the colour is dreamy! xo

  • Reply Melanie August 19, 2016 at 9:07 am

    This is not really a Burda pattern anymore – it's more a Sueda pattern with all the big changes you made. Or a Bursue? Anyway, I love it. I love how you raised the waist a bit and I love the adjustable length. I vote for the adjustable length being a genius move. I like it up and down.

    Of course if you're not comfortable you could limit yourself to the yard and beach, but I think it looks very fetching and you would get tons of compliments if you went full-on public with it. Heh. Does it feel light because it's see-through or because it's not fitted, I wonder.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 19, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I got the fabric while thrifting a few years ago. Totally drawn to the colour.

    May just wear it down to the beach tonight for after swimming.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    hahaha…or Sueber…They have some zing to it rather like suebaroobadoo….LOL…I think this warm weather is getting to my brain.

    I think it's a little of both…it's very unfitted, which makes it very easy to pop over my head…and…it's a pretty lightweight fabric to boot.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion August 20, 2016 at 1:57 am

    To tell you the truth, now that I see it again, I like it much more. Perhaps it took a bit of getting used to? With a certain image of a person in your head it can cause a shock when he or she suddenly changes that image. But it is fun. You are right.

  • Reply Flo August 20, 2016 at 5:24 am

    I really like this and I think it worked out very well with your tweaks. I especially like that fabric, and the whole thing screams summer! I hear you on the heat too, as I've said to other people, if I wanted Florida weather all the time, I'd live in Florida!

    • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 29, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Flo. LOL, I love the fabric so much, I was reluctant to cut it up. We aren't getting too much heat here this summer.

  • Reply Connie August 21, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Yet another magical dress from Sue! I honestly do not recognize it from the pattern. It's so much nicer! And a wise move to elevate the waistband. It seems like a lower waist would have given it a bit of a loaded diaper look. Why aren't you designing your own patterns? You would be genius at it.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 29, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Tee hee…I do feel a bit like Titania…Queen of the Fairies!

    I do think about designing my own patterns, but I get so easily distracted. You know what that's like, amirite?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas August 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

    The dress is getting wear, but only hot days and in very casual settings!

  • Reply Carolyn August 30, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I'm not sure why you don't like it because it looks perfectly cool, calm and terrific to me! Fantabulous colour for you… really, I think this is YOUR colour. and the floatiness is too too divine. I just love the feel of soft fabric swooshing around my legs in hot weather.. something so feminine and luxurious about it. I say; wear it out and about proudly! xx 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas September 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks Carolyn! You know…you are RIGHT! I adore the colour and it is mine, mine, mine, LOL!

    When I wore the dress with a lightweight cami of the same colour underneath, I felt more…dressed…infinitely more comfortable! Yes, it is a keeper!

  • Reply Stefanie September 12, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    The dress is so lovely. I remembering one of my first DIY dresses was very similar but in a short version with such an elastic hem… oh how I loved it!
    Hope you love your dress as much as I loved mine!

  • Reply Heather September 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I love it!! It looks so comfy and I bet it’s perfect in the heat!

    • Reply Sue September 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks Heather! Perfect for the heat…didn’t have too much hot weather this summer, but there is always next year!

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