Home > DIY, Dresses, Tops > Twister Dress

Twister Dress

OK, it’s completely wacky, but how could I resist?  It’s the BurdaStyle Twister Dress.  There is only one pattern piece; it’s placed on the fold of your fabric.  Here’s what the pattern looks like:

The angle at the extreme left is one armhole, and the curve at the top is the neckline.  If you orient to the neckline and the long sleeve, you can see that the top of the dress is, indeed, “twisted” and perpendicular to the skirt, instead of being attached in a linear fashion.

My version is hemmed all around, but if you chose not to finish this dress, you’d finish it in ten minutes, easy, on your serger.

I’m not so sure that stripes are the answer here, but this dress is so much fun!  ( I mean, did I need that swath across my backside???)  It’s also indecently short, and inclined to ride up, so I expect to be wearing it with leggings.  It may be more “top” than “dress”.  But hey, it’s just so easy!  Easy to make and easy to wear:  It pulls on just like a tee shirt.  A twisty tee shirt, but a tee shirt.  Here’s the back view (it’s maybe a little “toga”, but why not?):

Yeah, it really does look a bit carbuncular, but in person it flows much better than it seems to here.

The English version downloads with two sizes:  I think it goes up to Burda size 42 (in spite of what it says on the Burda site), but it’s altered by adding width along the fold line.  That’s easy, on the one hand, but potentially limited, you’ll be restricted by your fabric’s folded width.

Since there was no possibility of an FBA, I added a couple of inches to the width before cutting; some people might want to widen the long sleeve a bit, which is theoretically possible.

I added the strap.  I’m not a member of the “it’s OK to have the bra strap showing” school, so I tacked this on afterward.

Not only is this dress a whiz to make, but it takes just over a yard of fabric.  This print is a light, four-way stretch from JoMar; total cost for the dress was about five dollars.  Or is it a top?  Either way, the pattern is a lot of fun, and worth fooling around with a bit.

The pattern is a free download from the link below, and will use up about about 22 sheets of paper and about an hour of your time to tape them together and cut the thing out.   I’m not wild about this pattern-delivery model; if this one hadn’t been free, and if it hadn’t had only one pattern piece (22 8.5 by 11 inch pages!), I wouldn’t have bothered.

I can see, maybe, a print-on-demand pattern delivery model, where, for instance, you ordered one day, and it was printed to order and posted to you the next day.  But assembling 22 or more sheets of stiff standard paper is a pain; sewing from it is clumsy, ands is storing the bulky pattern afterward is awkward.

Of course, I may be a bit put out because I had some unexpected help:

When these guys saw me spreading all that paper out on the floor, they came running, yelling “Par-tay!  Par-tay!”

Download:  Twister Dress pattern from BurdaStyle

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  1. Irene
    August 7th, 2011 at 15:09 | #1

    I’ve admired the versions that others have sewn, but yours pushes me over the edge–I must try this! Huge thanks for your clear and thorough review. The dress, itself, is gorgeous and flattering. Your pattern photo is worth 10,000 words and relieves the mystery of descriptions I’ve read. I acknowledge gluttony in asking for more . . . a photo of the dress, laid out like the pattern, would help me to visualize how a border print would drape on the body.

    • August 7th, 2011 at 15:47 | #2

      Thanks for your enthusiastic comment, Irene! Actually, though, my fabric isn’t a border print; it’s stripes of varying widths, cut so that they go crosswise. (THe stripes run across the width of the fabric, rather than the length.)

      Much of the flair of this dress is due to the unusual fabric, which I actually didn’t like much when I bought it. (The colors got me, but not the print.) I do think you might get much of the same effect with the right border print. I’ll see what I can do about a picture. It may take a couple of days.

  2. August 3rd, 2011 at 22:42 | #3

    I love your adventurous sense of fashion! This reminds me of the designs from Drape Drape II (from which I sewed two items last year and still haven’t reviewed). They are almost all a single, wild pattern piece.

    • August 4th, 2011 at 10:15 | #4

      Trena, we need to see your Drape Drape II stuff! I haven’t been brave enough to try anything from it yet, but the “one pattern piece” idea is so cool!

  3. Martha
    August 2nd, 2011 at 09:22 | #5

    Your dress is great! I had a lot of fun making this dress as well. But for some reason my pattern printed out wonky and I didn’t even need a kitty to make a mess. My storage solution is to trace the taped together pattern onto tracing paper which is much less bulky.

    • August 2nd, 2011 at 09:40 | #6

      Funny, Martha! And that’s a great suggestion for storing the pattern; much more sensible than trying to keep all those sheets packaged up.

  4. Ani
    August 2nd, 2011 at 08:20 | #7

    I like the fabric you choose, very cool pattern! I know my kitty Splash would have definitely been ‘helping’ me if I were on the floor with paper everywhere! >^..^<

    • August 2nd, 2011 at 08:46 | #8

      Ani, I really didn’t like this fabric at all when I first bought it (it was going to be “muslin”), but changed my mind after making this dress. It had just the right amount of “punch”! I was glad I’d brought it home, in spite of initial reservations.

      Gotta love those helpful felines!

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