This shirt pattern had so much to recommend it: the cool twist, the interesting sleeve construction, the simplicity. But in the end I can’t see wearing it much.
The fabric is a lightweight rayon/spandex jersey that is super soft and drapes beautifully.
I can’t comment on Burda’s instructions, since per usual, I didn’t look at them. It wasn’t hard to put together, though, and wouldn’t take more than an hour if you have a serger. No bands so the edges are all hemmed.
And it does look pretty neat when you first put it on, but here’s the problem:
As soon as I move my arms, the neckline bunches up.
You either need to accept it as a gathered cowl-like neckline, or be constantly pulling it back to where it’s supposed to be. But it doesn’t stay put.
Standard for me with Burda: Traced out a 38 grading to a 40 at the hips with an FBA in the front (and that was a fun time with this pattern). Overall fine, though I did end up taking it in a bit through the sleeves to get them to stay up when I rolled them up.
Regardless, in linen, the Winter Skirt is very summer-appropriate. Thanks to Dressmaking Debacles for her recent inspiration. Her version was so lovely, and seemed destined to be made up in this fabric.
(It might not be recent anymore by the time this is posted. We shall see.)
The linen is a Nani Iro from my favourite local fabric store. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s Nani! Iro! Linen! The print is so gorgeous, and it’s a lovely light linen. The only downside is that it is a smidge narrow, so to cut out the front pattern piece I had to go selvedge to selvedge, and so there is a smidge of text from the selvedge on the lower right front of the skirt. Worth it, though.
The pattern went together beautifully, as Burda patterns do. The pockets are high enough to be stitched into the waistband on the inside, which is a nice touch–I try to modify pocket pattern pieces to do that where it’s not included, because it’s a good anchor that means the weight of anything you put in it is hanging from the waist instead of the side seam, which looks and feels a lot better.
I can’t comment on the instructions as I didn’t look at them, but it all worked out. The seam allowances are serged to prevent raveling. The hem is blind stitched.
Happily I have several shirts in my wardrobe that go with the print nicely, so I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this skirt.
As I usually do, I sized down by one from where the body measurements would put me in Burda: instead of size 40/42, this is a size 38/40, and it worked out beautifully.
You know how sometimes you have a sewing project in which every mistake that you can make, you do?
Dear Readers, this poor skirt. I tortured this fabric to within an inch of its selvedge. That it exists now as a skirt is testament mostly to my stubbornness.
I bought this (mariner cloth? This is a thing? I googled it, and the top four results relate to online games. It seems like Final Fantasy and Allison Glass have a monopoly on the term between them) because of the lovely, textured, colourful stripes, which are made of something like a thick floche fibre that is woven into the thinner threads. It’s a very lightweight cotton, almost gauze-like, but the thicker fibre stripes give it weight and body. And I thought it would be perfect for this skirt, which I made a couple of years ago, back when I was both a bit heavier and hadn’t yet figured out I need to size down by one in Burda. So that skirt is a bit big, though I still wear it.
Regardless, and wordy prologues aside, the point of the skirt was to play with the direction of the stripes: vertical in the body, horizontal on the waist and hem bands.
On the way, I unconsciously decided to experiment with my tolerance for making mistakes on nice fabric, mostly inspired by Burda’s terrible welt pocket instructions.
How do they do it? I’ve sewn single welt pockets dozens of times. Yet, somewhere between the terrible wording and the flat-out inaccurate illustrations accompanying them, not only could I not make heads or tails of how to install the welt pockets in this skirt, but the instructions somehow rendered me completely unable to comprehend any written instructions on welt pockets. I cracked open all of my sewing reference books, and it was as if the English in them had been replaced by Lithuanian. You might as well have told me to shake a unicorn’s horn at the fabric while chanting Grimm’s fairytales by candlelight. And while attempting to figure it out, I sewed the welts on backwards, sewed the large pocket pieces to the welts, sewed the large pocket pieces in the wrong direction, each occasion for seam ripping bringing with it some little fabric tears given how soft and spongy the fabric is, and, for the coup de grace, at one point cut the pocket opening on the wrong side of the welt, creating a five-inch gash in the fabric of the skirt, and inspiring some inventive new curses for the instruction writers at BurdaStyle. I sorted myself out by watching this youtube tutorial. I have no idea who this woman is, but bless you, Diane.
I then patched up the gash with fusible knit interfacing, a lot of handstitching, some more cursing, and then sewed the pockets the right way. Then later on serged a side seam to the skirt front, but thankfully without cutting anything, so it was just a mess of seam-ripping rather than a new catastrophe. (Cutastrophe?) (Ha!)
So the one pocket is a bit of a dog’s breakfast and the inside is super messy (seams finished with serging after sewing because this fabric is super ravelly), but it is so pretty! On the outside! And so lightweight! And I will wear it with joy.
I bought mariner’s cloth in the weight/neon pink colourway too, that I’m hoping to turn into a top, preferably with fewer issues than the skirt presented me with.
In Burda’s sizing, based on body measurements, I should be a 40/42 skirt. This is a size 38/40, and it fits perfectly. Sizing down by one is standard for me in Burda patterns.
Back in my ignorant youth, I would roundly ignore the ends tables at Fabricland. Why would I bother? I wondered. Clearly the ends table was where they stuck all the crap they hadn’t been able to sell previously, and it would be ugly and awful.
I can’t remember how it happened, but one day I found some really nice wool suiting on the ends table for an unbelievably good price, and I couldn’t remember it ever being for sale in the store generally. And the clerk, when I took it to the table for cutting, confirmed that; it turns out that Fabricland regularly gets ends from other fabric suppliers and they just go straight to deep discounts in the ends sections. I’ve found some really great stuff there over the years for really great prices, but my favourite finds have been the silks.
This one, a bright yellow silk noil, was $8/m. And for the fabric illiterate among you, a generally cheap price for silk is maybe $20/m; a standard price for a decent silk is around $40 or a bit more; and you can find good silks at $100/m or more. So $8/m for silk anything is like a new hardcover book for $2. You don’t think about it or look at it too hard. You just get some and trust that you will find a use for it in good time.
I think this skirt was a pretty good use for it.
The pattern uses about a metre, so including the lining and the zipper, this is probably a $15-$20 silk skirt. And it’s yellow! Making it my third yellow handmade skirt, which is probably excessive, but … yellow … and silk … and a pencil skirt.
Also, while this isn’t a faux-wrap skirt, I think this is close enough to one of the projects in my 2018 Make Nine list that I’m counting it.
The pattern was picked up for the very cool seamlines. And one of the things I found out after I got it that made me like it even more is that the separate lining pieces are basically a standard darted pencil skirt, so if you are missing one of those, you can use the lining pattern for a basic pencil skirt.
The silk isn’t the highest quality (but for $8/m, can you complain?). It’s a bit flannely, it’s very soft, it creases easily. You can see the wear from a day or two of office work in the pictures, and you can also see some weird drag lines on the back that were not at all apparent until I saw the photos. I’m going to blame the camera and lighting because I seriously can’t see them in real life.
For the cost (and the colour!) I’m not going to worry about it too much. I’m just going to love it. Also it gives me the best reason ever to wear the blue floral blouse I made last year. Yes?
At any rate, I loved the pattern so much I got some nicer fabric and made it again.
This was picked up at The Wool House in Toronto, which is lovely, and never ever on a deep discount. My conversation with the shop owner went something like this:
Me: I’d like a yard of this one please.
SO: (Unravelling from the bolt) There are 2 pieces of 1 3/8 yards each left on the bolt.
Me: Oh! I’ll take 1 3/8 yards then.
SO: If you buy both pieces, I’ll give them to you for the price of 2 1/2 yards.
Me: That’s tempting, but I really only need one piece. I’m just making a skirt.
SO: Or I could give them to you for the price of 2 yards.
Me: (Quickly calculating in my head if 2 3/4 yards is enough to make a skirt suit) Sold!
It’s a lovely orangey tweed blend of silk, wool and linen. It feels wonderful, sews beautifully, and will make a gorgeous suit for when I need something more formal in the summer. And it’s perfect for a structured skirt pattern. It also means it wrinkles as soon as I put it on; believe it or not I ironed this before I took the pictures. But I can live with that
Both skirts are lined with bemberg.
I highly recommend reading the instructions through on this one. The first time around I did my usual figure-it-out-as-I-go thing and, while it worked out fine, the front dart would have been a lot easier if I’d done it in the order they recommended (which I did the second time around).
This is a great pencil skirt pattern. Highly recommend it if you’re looking for something classic but with interesting seamlines and construction.
And now I need to dig up a nice summery collarless blazer pattern.
The sizing is consistent with Burda magazine; I should be a size 40/42 and this is a size 38 grading to 40 at the hips, and it fits perfectly.
Preamble to prologue: I owe you all a Miss Bossy post, I know, but April kicked my butt three ways from Sunday and I’m still working on the dress. It is coming, and I will post it. In the meantime, lots of other things are done and ready to share.
Just in case you were wondering: in the case of this pattern, 2-way stretch definitely means it needs to be equally stretchy everywhere, because the pattern pieces put the hip and waist on a different grain.
It’s cute, and the pleats are nice, and the flounce at the bottom is fantastic, and there’s no stretch at the waist because this jersey is definitely only stretchy on the horizontal, not the vertical. I can get it on, barely. But I do mean barely.
I had about 1.5m of this fabric, and it was enough to make the skirt, even with the pleats and the flounce. Construction wasn’t too hard, though it was a bit time consuming and the pleats–all sewn together on one side–do make for a lot of fabric. Something to keep in mind, depending on the capacity of your sewing machine or serger. I ended up cutting away some parts of some pleats so that there wouldn’t be quite so much to put under the presser foot.
That said, I would make it again, if I had something that was very stretchy in all directions and hefty enough to make a skirt without being too hefty. It’s cute and it’s pretty simple.
And I’ve already borrowed the flounce for an upcoming dress project, so you’ll see it again soon.
I should be a size 40/42; in this pattern, I cut out a size 38, 40 in the hips, and it worked out fine. The waist is a bit loose, but I think that’s more to do with how hard it is to get it over my hips, given that the waist ended up being cut in the not-stretchy direction. Woops.
It’s pretty gratifying, because this is the same size combo I use in Burda magazine patterns, so it’s nice to see that it’s consistent and translates over well.
This is made from a polyester charmeuse, which isn’t something I normally go for, but it was so soft and drapey and didn’t feel plastic-y at all. And when I saw the December 2017 Burda blouse, it seemed like the perfect match.
Of course, it took me four months to sew it up. But here it is, finally, and worth it. It’s a really lovely blouse, and if you’re looking for something drapey, but not shapeless, and with some interesting details, this is a good pattern.
A few details are kind of fussy:
The shoulders are meant to sit back from the joint, as you can see; I didn’t adjust the seam because I didn’t want to end up with the shoulder seam too broad and mess up that bit of puffiness, but as it turns out, it really would have benefited from a bit of an extension. It’s just a bit snug.
I did the FBA and ended up with my usual enormous side dart, but didn’t add a waist dart–I kept the blousiness instead. I think it works but your mileage may vary. As per usual I basted the dart and left it unpressed so that I could shift it if I needed to–and I did. The dart point was several inches too low so I ripped it out and moved it up. A lot. It took about five tries to get it right–oy. Mostly this is because the FBA was 2″ per side so things moved around a lot, what with all the cutting and pasting; but I find bust darts on most patterns too low for me.
Burda has general pleat instructions, consisting of the number and size. But the last thing you want is wobbly, crooked, uneven pleats on the collar, so a few suggestions:
Pin each pleat securely.
Baste through the top and bottom of the whole run of pleats
Pin to the collar piece from the top of the pleat piece rather than the bottom
Baste, and be prepared to rip out stitches to pull pleats in or push them out to keep the top of that piece even
I recommend using a zipper or other foot that allows you to get very close to the bulk of the pleats when attaching it to the collar
I made my ruffled collar a bit shorter than they suggested as I don’t like a lot of bulk around my neck.
I used a very lightweight tricot fusible interfacing on this blouse to keep the drapeyness, and it worked; cuffs and collar are finished with handstitching this time to minimize visible stitching. Seams were first sewn with a regular machine and then serged to prevent fraying. A french seam would have worked, but I’m just not putting in the effort for poly, no matter how pretty it is.
I’m not sure it’s the kind of shirt you make more than once. I would recommend it, though. It’s pretty and different and works very well with a very fluid fabric.
Is this pink or red? Can I claim that it’s red so obviously not part of the pink avalanche?
I’d already made an altered Renfrew out of this fabric (which has shown up paired with other things from time to time), a very lightweight drapey poly jersey, with a nice big scrap left over–just enough to test out this top pattern before cutting into a rayon jersey I’d been hoarding for the perfect dress.
It’s not a quick jersey shirt, by any means–there’s lots of pleats and interlocking pieces–but it does work up nicely. My one quibble is that the shirt is very, very long. I have 11″ between my waist and full hips, and even so, I had to hem this by about 3″. If I make this again I’ll shorten the back at the waist. It’s tougher when it’s one piece, so I may just use the dress back pieces and shorten accordingly.
Otherwise it’s a great top. The pleated pieces across the waist mean it can’t really be tucked in, but they do snug the waist in nicely and add a nice detail.
And so of course I cut out the dress version in the rayon jersey which is–happily–Not Pink! And because it took me so long to take pictures, I was able to trace the new pieces, alter them, take a month to hem the dress, and wear it a few times, and I can still put them in the same post. Here it is:
The main difference is that the peplum is replaced by a skirt, however:
Neckband is replaced by a higher neckline with a facing.
They want you to put in a zipper; I ignored that. Having ignored it, I turned the back skirt piece into a single piece.
The back piece is split and has a waistband seam for the dress version.
The sleeves are shorter.
I really like this dress pattern. It’s too bad, given how cold and snowy it’s been this year, that I haven’t had more chances to wear it; but it’s rayon so I should be able to continue wearing it until short sleeves become necessary.
You can see there’s a lot less bunching and dragging in the dress version, which is really just because it has seams. If you normally do a swayback or short back adjustment on top patterns, you may want to use the back pieces for the dress on the top to make that easier.
I should be a 40/44 in a Burda shirt, but as usual I traced up a size 38 for most of it, grading to a 42 in the hips, and doing an FBA across the bust. In this case, with all the pleat action, I cheated a bit: I traced a 38 for the neckline and shoulder height, extended the shoulder to a 44, traced the 44 armscye down to the bust, then graded from a 44 at the top to a 38 at the waist, making it quite a dart–but it worked out perfectly. I measured the tissue and it gave me just a smidge of negative ease across the bust, and thank goodness because this was much easier than the usual cut-pivot-and-tape of a standard FBA. In the back I also extended the shoulder to the 44 line, and then graded back to a 38 at the bottom of the armscye. I also straightened the curve between the waist and the back neckline because I always find a curved seam there gives me a lot of floof between the shoulder blades that I end up removing anyway.
It’s not that everything I’ve made since the beginning of December is pink. It’s just that everything I’ve made which isn’t a repeat pattern since the beginning of December is pink. (There’s a pair of chocolate brown Style Arc Katherine pants, and a bright yellow version of this Burda shirt, for example.) Except for this absolutely fantastic turquoise bamboo jersey shirt.
Which, to be fair, I made up for the first time in pink.
It was leftover pink panne velvet I knew it would look fantastic in this pattern; but also, I knew that it would be a good way to test out the fit and alterations because if it didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be crushed, since I already have that fabric in a dress.
As it turned out, the alterations did not work out. It was too snug across the shoulders and the bust, and the biceps were too tight. This velvet was much less stretchy than the jersey recommended, and the photo does show negative ease in the sleeve, so it’s not like it was a surprise. But I still can’t wear it. Luckily for the fabric, I have a good friend close by who is very similar to me in measurements, except a bit smaller everywhere, and I will finish this shirt for her.
And then I altered the pattern to broaden the shoulders and give a bit more space across the bust, and cut it out in bamboo jersey, and sewed it up, and fell in love with it, because it is a gorgeous pattern.
It is fussy.
There’s no denying that putting the yoke and ties together, and neatening the seams up under the facings, is more time consuming that your standard basic knit t-shirt. But the faced front drapes beautifully, the ties are gorgeous, and the fit (once adjusted) is that perfect happy medium where it isn’t too snug to be work appropriate but also isn’t baggy. Everything matches up beautifully: the back neck band is just the right size, and if it’s installed per directions, the back shoulders are exactly the same width as the front shoulders. It’s comfortable and pretty and work-appropriate. Highly recommended.
One construction note: I used fusible knit interfacing tape on the seams of the ties to make sure the bamboo jersey wasn’t stretched out or pulled into the bobbin case (which sometimes happens), and it did help make a smooth seam and a pair of nice, flat ties.
Hang in there: There’s lots of pink still to come.
Standard Burda: Should be a 40/44; this is a 38 with an FBA. Idiosyncratic alterations also included broadening each shoulder by 3/4″; because the sleeve is snug, you’ll want to make sure the shoulders aren’t also tight or you won’t be able to move your arms.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it here, but I take bellydance classes. This has led to any number of awkward and cringe-inducing conversations with men on dates, but despite their belief that the only reason for a woman to take bellydance lessons is to learn to seduce men with all that sexxxy jiggling, actually it’s because:
1. It’s really really hard. It’s a completely different, fundamentally different kind of dancing than western styles I know. All of the ones I’ve ever learned–jazz, tap, ballet, salsa, bachata, merengue, waltz, your standard dance club freestyle–are 95% about where you put your feet and 5% about style, or how you put your feet there. Bellydance is about 2% where you put your feet. The rest of it is how you move the rest of you.
2. It’s also really hard not just because it’s so different, but because the way you’re using your muscles is just … challenging. I felt like my hips were on the verge of dislocation when I learned to do a hip shimmy. And after months and months of practice and repetition I’m still trying to get the backward arabesque. Challenge is good; I like it.
3. There are no men.* I mean that. There’s no sticky hands, no gross comments, no weird vibes, no jerks who won’t take no for an answer. You don’t need a partner to dance–you just dance. There’s no anachronistic and ridiculous gendered expectations like “men have to ask and men get to lead, regardless of whether they’re competent or considerate.” You just show up and dance and no one asks or expects you to be smaller, lesser, or other than you are.
It’s endlessly aggravating that something I do in part because of the absence of men and gender dynamics is taken to be, not only at first but often on an ongoing basis, something I must be doing for men; that because men like it and find it appealing, that must be the point.
4. It’s also, from what I’ve seen, extremely accepting. There’s no fat shaming and no pressure to lose weight, at least in my experience. The bellydance performances I’ve seen have spanned the age and size range, styles from classic to folkloric to fusion and modern, and include people of many different gender identities. This is not the case in social dancing, where you have a Man dancing with a Woman and they adhere pretty closely to traditional gender roles, and you have an easier time finding a dance partner if you’re conventionally attractive.
That little bitch session out of the way, another big difference between bellydance lessons and classes in social dancing is that social dancing women largely do in heels (!!!!!), whereas bellydancing is done in bare feet. Your feet need to be flat on the floor and you need to have grip (socks are ok for warm-up but if you keep them on for the actual dancing, you’ll likely slip).
So when I saw this leggings pattern in the January Burda issue:
My immediate thought was that these would be perfect for belly dance class.
They’re cute, they’re full length, and they cover the feet partially while still allowing full contact with the floor. Which you know, in summer when it’s hot bare feet are fine, but in winter in a chilly studio you want every bit of extra coverage you can get.
There was a sale at Fabricland and this polyester spandex jersey was $8/m. I mean, you know I’m not going to make something plain. And fortunately I already had a coordinating workout t-shirt or two.
I love them.
I raised the back rise by 2″, tapering to 0″ at the front, and added 1″ to the back crotch curve–personal fit adjustments I make to all Burda pants patterns. The inseam was 30″, which was plenty long enough for me at 5’8″. I did have to shorten the pieces that go over the feet, but I wear a size 6 shoe, so your mileage may vary. I traced a 38 everywhere except for a 40 at the hips, and this is the fit.
It’s really perfect. Just what I wanted. The waistband (which overlaps at the front, a detail I really like) is snugger than the pants and keeps it from slipping down. It was a super fast sew. I put most of it together in a weekday evening after dinner, with just hemming to do the next day.
Can’t speak to the instructions as I didn’t look at them. It’s leggings with a waistband. The only tricky part is the foot covering. (What I did: hem the back leg before attached it to the front; hem the underfoot piece at the heel before attaching it to the front; then hem the front around-the-foot part to fit.) I can say that the outside notches on the legs did not match. It’s possible that I traced incorrectly, but they were way off for me–2-3″. The actual lengths of the pieces matched up fine, so I ignored the notches and it all worked out.
It’s comfortable and pretty and I’ve worn it to class and it was just perfect. I may make a second pair out of something with a bit more heft, if I can find a good fabric, for the really cold days. In the meantime, this is a huge step up from bike shorts.
By body measurements I should be a size 40/42, and this is a 38/40, so one size down all around.
*In the classes I take. In the larger community and as participants in performances and such, there’s a bunch of men. But it’s still a very different vibe.
I started this dress in the fall of 2016, and then it spent a year getting wrinkled while sitting on my ironing table.
I was petrified of wrecking the fabric by pressing the seams wrong. The combination of synthetic velvet plus lurex made me visualize melted goldish-pink gluck on my ironing board, and I couldn’t find a velvet board, and didn’t want to risk a towel. Eventually I just went ahead and pressed it with my regular pressing things on my regular tailor’s board on about medium heat and it worked beautifully. Go figure.
Technically, this is not a dress pattern for a knit, which I suppose this lurex pale pink stretch velvet is; but I thought the angled seams on the front that worked so well in Burda’s striped version would be a super fun way to play with the velvet’s nap and how the lurex catches the light.
So yes, I voluntarily chose to make a dress with half a dozen extra seams out of slippery velvet. But.
I do like it, and it is fun. And the way the light reflects off of the different sections is pretty cool.
Honestly I traced and cut this out so long ago I can’t remember anything about the sizing or alterations, and I would have had to size down for the stretch regardless so I don’t know how relevant that info would be. I do know I did an FBA by adding to the seam joins–I can’t remember how much, but I know I did that because, as I was reminded when I finally got around to cutting and installing the facing, it altered the shape of the neckline piece and thus the facing.
It’s supposed to have a zipper, but it’s so stretchy that I basted the back shut to see if I could wear it without, and it worked, so I went zipperless. Obviously this wouldn’t work if you’re using an actual stretch woven.
The facing is a tricot lining for stretch and thinness, in a flesh tone to match the gold of the lurex.
The panel seams I sewed with a walking foot and as much patience as I could muster; side, back and shoulder seams were first basted to check for fit and then serged to minimize bulk and maximize strength.
It’s incredibly comfortable and it did turn out well, and I think the angled seams would work well for any velvet so long as you have the patience for sewing it. I could stand to take this in a bit more but I’m not sure I will. I’ll see how I feel about that after I wear it a few times.