Why I sew so much BurdaStyle

I received this Newlook pattern as a gift with Sew magazine bought in Heathrow Airport. Yes I am that person who buys sewing magazines to read on long haul flights.

Fabulous I thought. A free pattern that’s looks so useful!

I made up style C in a cream linen from deep stash.

Best French seams and precision sewing I ever did do. Of course I don’t have photos of it – unwearable: the armscye was too low and it was too loose under the bust.

So I did a petite adjustment (2 cms out of the bodice above the bust and some waist shaping) and made another version. This time the square neck line of style D with the sleeves of A.

Now sort of acceptable.

Although the bust point is now too high and its still too loose under the bust, even with my adjustment.

However, let me tell you about the skirt.

It’s Burdastyle and I know what to do to Burdastyle to get it to fit first time.

I know. It’s just a pencil skirt. But still. Those panels are kind of nice.

This is Burdastyle 10/2016 #106

I drafted up one size to a 22 (the petite equivalent of a 44) at the hips and halfway between a 21 and 22 through the waist.

I made it up in a mystery fabric from deep in the stash that behaves like a wool, so probably is a wool or a wool blend. I don’t recall buying it, so it might have been my mothers. That means it’s at least 20 years old.

I love it! Much more than the Newlook top!

There’s something to be said for sewing from a pattern company that uses a pattern block that you know works for your measurements.

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36 Responses to Why I sew so much BurdaStyle

  1. Chris says:

    Although I have been complaining a little bit about Burdastyle recently I certainly agree with you on the fit thing. I have little experience of Big 4 patterns, but the New Look I made up recently was ginormous – I had to size down to the smallest size, move the bust point up (it was almost an under-bust point originally) and it’s still plenty big. So yah to Burda for fit!

  2. sewbussted says:

    I like sewing from my own patterns for the same reason you like Burda. A while back, I made up a vintage DuBarry pattern and it was if it had been made for me. Just goes to show that what works for one, may or may not work for another. Cute skirt BTW 😊

  3. Tia Dia says:

    I completely agree with you about working with patterns that have a relatively good fit right off the bat. I love Vogue’s designer and dress patterns for the same reason I prefer Burda’s trouser patterns: they work! That said, I echo you: I know what to tweak to get them to fit. πŸ˜€

    Love the skirt with those sunburst panels.

  4. nothy says:

    I definitely prefer the pattern companies I am familiar with – which for me is Butterick. So I know what you mean when you say the adjustments were easy but I do have to say, I think those of us who sew are very hard on ourselves. I love the top. The fabric is great and the fit looks great too – at least as good as rtw. Maybe it is just that we have higher standards too. We expect more when we sew it ourselves.

    • SewingElle says:

      Yes that’s a very good point. Those of us who see are very particular about fit and other things like fabric quality and pattern matching. And the list goes on and on!

  5. Nonsuch says:

    The top is fine! but the skirt is great. Definitely make the dress.

    • SewingElle says:

      Okay then! The skirt was a trial version before committing to the dress so I guess I now have no excuse. Apart from too little time and too many othe things I want to sew. Like all sewists everywhere…

  6. I definitely agree that people who sew are hard on ourselves about fit. I can see those things you point out in the top, and I know they would annoy me if it were my make, but also I think they’re objectively fine. It certainly fits miles better than RTW would! And looks really good on you.

    I also very much agree about the benefit of sewing from blocks that are familiar to you. It’s part of why I DON’T sew much Burda! It’s clearly quite different from the other big 4 blocks, which I am more familiar with. I find Butterick is a good base for me – of course never perfect out of the pattern but I know what adjustments to make to it. Simplicity comes a close second and McCalls is ok but somehow a bit off in a way I haven’t quite worked out, so I’ve found myself avoiding those patterns in my stash. Too much work to get right! I sew a reasonable amount of indie patterns but it’s always a bit nerve wracking the first time because who knows what the block will be like! It’s nice to have something predictable.

    I LOVE that skirt, too. Definitely make the dress version!

    • SewingElle says:

      I will make the dress version. After I’ve made a few other things first. You know how that works.
      I’m cautious of indie patterns because there are so many unknowns about them in addition to the fit. I’m impressed with sewists who are prepared to try them out. My seeing time is a bit too limited to commit.

  7. Paola says:

    Seeing with a block that is familiar to you has a lot to say for it! I can trust the StyleArc block and have had success with burdastyle too. On the other hand I’ve seen recently from Mccalls and New Look and the fit is off. Don’t know if I can be bothered getting Big 4 patterns to work for me in fit when I have other alternatives.

  8. It took me a very long time to realise what TNT means! Those patterns which need little or no adjustment and just look right πŸ™‚ I hate wearing really fitted clothes, boxy is best, so for me Burda “Danielle” is a winner, as are StyleArcs “Wendy” trousers, Cake Patterns “Tiramisu”, Colettes freebie “Sorbetto” and a little freebie gem found on Burdastyle.com called the “Port Elizabeth” top. I have also found Japanese patterns really good and am about to launch into a frenzy of making Lotta Jansdotters patterns.

    • SewingElle says:

      Isn’t it great to have patterns and styles that you knew will work. I’m interested to hear how you go with the Lotta Jansdotter patterns. But, as you’d know from this post, I won’t be likely to be joining you anytime soon!

  9. Karey says:

    The skirt looks good. Not using topstitching, as is shown on the skirt pattern, but not on the dress (http://www.burdastyle.com/pattern_store/patterns/sheath-dress-102016) looks better than the original. I had my eye on this pattern, but hadn’t registered it was petite sizing – makes it even more attractive.
    I’ve subscribed to Burda magazine for years, & it is my go to source of patterns, with lots of options for mix-n-match, so I know more or less what changes I need to make, and multi-sizing makes it easy to shift from one size to another at strategic points. However, even though I now have a good idea where my issues are, every time I use a new pattern it takes days of adjustments, with lots of thinking time between each one to solve fitting issues. You are lucky you require relatively few adjustments.
    The shirt looks really nice on you, and such a useful, basic pattern that it would be worth persevering with refining the fit. I’ve been working on an old (1995) Burda shell top and the 4 tops I have made are such a useful part of my wardrobe I wish it had a version with sleeves, like your top. I ended up moving the dart to the diagonal, and it really improved the fit but I could still get it on without a zip. Even with FBA the horizontal dart left it way too baggie under the bust.
    I had to look up ‘TNT’ lol.

    • SewingElle says:

      You’re right. I should persevere with the pattern. Moving the bust dart down will be simple and the bagginess will be less obvious in a softer fabric.
      I didn’t think I need the topstitching on the skirt either. The dress version of the skirt is fabulous. I’m a fan of colour blocking and the diagonal panels are very appealing.
      I love Burda’s petite patterns. I’m not petite but I am short waisted so that’s one less adjustment on the bodice.

  10. Katherine says:

    Those skirt panels are nice indeed!

  11. Summerflies says:

    The skirt looks really good and I think you should make the dress version. I like Burda as I think they fit me better but I’m so lazy about tracing. I really need to work out a system I like or just buy them and print them at a large printer. Oh I like the top .. the fabric is very cute.

    • SewingElle says:

      Yes the tracing is time consuming. But if you’re making adjustments you sort of have to do some of it anyway. Plus its less wasteful than printing PDFs. I know, that’s a pretty lame excuse!
      The blouse fabric is cute but almost totally out of my usual style. It was a trial garment and it’s surprised me that I’ve found occasions to wear it!

  12. Jenny says:

    I love Burda too. I like that I can use my own seam allowance, 3/8″. I like that the armholes aren’t huge and that I can set in a sleeve with no gathering. It’s also such a treat to get the magazine once a month in the mail. I don’t mind tracing. As you say, if you’re going to be doing some adjustments you’ll need to trace anyways.

  13. Janine. says:

    I love Burdastyle too. Not just for the fit but the interesting styles that often seem years ahead of the game. You so often make up the patterns I want to as well ! I do use New look , kwik sew and Simplicity too – they seem to fit me better than McCalls and vogue ( too much ease for me ).

    • SewingElle says:

      That’s another great thing about Burda magazines. The interesting styles. Sometimes (ok, almost always) I take months to get to things and that’s given me enough time to come to turns with the newness of the designs.

  14. Anne W says:

    Agreed, I always know what to do with a Burda pattern to make it work, others are a leap in the dark, especially with the indie patterns!!

    • SewingElle says:

      I know. And leaps in the dark are ok occasionally, but not with every sewing project! In fact I’d rather my leaps in the dark to be about style or match of fabric to style. Not fit.

  15. yummy mummy says:

    I love that skirt on you, Liz, it’s interesting that it’s a woven pattern. I am eyeing the dress version eventually, maybe I should make that skirt too. We seem to have similar taste in patterns πŸ˜‰
    As you know, I love the BurdaStyle patterns, I’ve make dozens over the years and the fit is spot on with very consistent adjustments. I am almost a 38 everywhere, with a 40 waist, even the petite patterns need shortening. My favourite makes are almost all BS, they have the interesting seaming I love. Despite buying Vogues, Simplicity and the odd other pattern ocassionally, they often stay unmade because I don’t know what to expect from the fit. (I should just compare them to a similar BurdaStyle.)
    Do you find the Burda pattern book patterns the same draft?
    I’m making the petite vase dress that you’ve made recently in fuchsia and blue purplish navy Ponte. Your post was very useful, I’ll interface the Ponte, rather than the lining, like you did.

    • SewingElle says:

      I love that vase dress. I really should make another one. Yours sounds lovely. I have the burda style book but I’ve not made anything from it so I’m not much help with your question I’m afraid. Yes we both have similar tastes and it seems we are both burda fan girls!

  16. When you find a brand that suits your figure stick with them!

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