The Bardon Dress is a free pattern from Peppermint Magazine designed by Elbe Textiles. Bardon is a loose fitting sleeveless dress with no closures, a bodice with bust darts, gathered tiers, and deep side seam pockets.
I had this quilting cotton fabric stashed from many years ago when I first aspired to sew my own clothes. It is a beautiful Japanese inspired print called Sakura by Robert Kaufman. Sakura is the cherry blossom, the national flower of Japan, and the print also has cranes and fans. Although a gathered pattern is not the best for showing off a print, I decided to go ahead and sew it.
I thought the first Bardon I made was too oversized, and changed the proportions of the tiers. This one is about 7 inches less at the waist and just below the knee. I had to put a seam in the back bodice because of lack of fabric. I only had a few little scraps left over.
I shortened the bodice by two inches, and I did a full bust adjustment to add some length back to the front but it’s still pulling up a little bit.
I like to gather by putting two lines of basting stitches, and then sewing in the middle. The second line of basting stitches is outside of the seam allowance and later must be removed.
The neckline and armholes are finished with bias tape.
I had just enough fabric left to make a belt using a pretty mother of pearl buckle I had. The belt dresses it up a bit, but I will probably wear it most often without and with flat sandals for a casual everyday look.
I also put a quarter inch piece of elastic in the seam allowance in the center part of the front bodice. I dislike the way clothes look on me when they hang from my bust and stick way out from my body. The seam is pressed upward and the elastic is on the inside and not against my body. On my first try, I didn’t stretch the elastic enough and there was no effect, so I unpicked. I may have stretched the elastic too much when I stitched it again. I was trying to get just a gentle pulling in, but this is close enough. I think I may try a different construction order if I make this pattern again so that the dress can be more easily adjusted at the side seams to get the waist no bigger than needed to fit over my bust. The pattern has you put the front and back together for the bodice and each tier before attaching the tiers together. Basically, any bodice can be used for a tiered dress with gathered rectangles for the skirt portion.
I’m very happy with it – it’s a lovely dress!
The colors in the print look fresh together, the tiers are fun to wear, and I love when the dress catches a breeze.
I think I could use another one in light as air rayon or cotton lawn.