Archive | May 2014


Burda 02/2114 #137/138 are very similar to Jalie  3352 .  Both the Burda and Jalie patterns are Dolman tops with the option of long or half-sleeve.   I have a subscription to Burda.  I may as well use the Burda version and save my $$$ for something else. More fabric, maybe? There is a visible difference between the two patterns. The Burda contains a  yoke seam line which offers more color blocking opportunities. Once I traced the Burda pieces I realized this seam also contained a dart. A generous C cup or better dart.  For my figure a bust dart is important and the Burda becomes the much better choice fit wise. What I didn’t notice, until I traced the pieces, is that Burda version includes a unique shoulder gusset. As I traced it, I thought it would be a PITA; small and fiddly to handle. More like something I’d add as an afterthought to correct a too wide neckline…

…and I discarded it.  The shoulder gusset. I threw the whole piece away.  Just to be sure I had enough fabric to cover my hips, I compared this pattern with 2011/04#118. 118 is very similar and fitted recently. I had to add a bit of ease for my hip but I also said “no way” to the neckline as drafted. The last tweak I did to 118, altered the neckline to the narrowest and highest I would wear (not including turtle or stand up necklines).  As drafted the 137/138 neckline is about 10″ wide and  would fall off my shoulders.  I don’t like off-the shoulder necklines. On me. On you they are lovely. I don’t like fussing with my clothing. I want to put on my clothes and be unaware that I am clothed. An off-the-shoulder neckline tends to drift, drag and shift requiring constant attention. Nope that wasn’t going to do for me. So in addition to tossing the shoulder gusset, I transferred the neckline of 118 to my tissue for 137. However when I cut fabric, I cut the neckline 1/2″ wider (on each side) and 3″ deeper. Much more suitable for a spring/early summer garment.

Speaking of cutting fabric, my choice for this garment is a rayon jersey knit with an interesting foil printed design. I’ve learned that bold patterns can hide all design lines.  I was hoping this would be bold enough that if the yoke design line doesn’t really flatter me, it would disappear into the pattern. This fabric was well-behaved at the cutting table. But I wish I had  spray starched it before cutting.  I wasn’t able to sew for several days after cutting the fabric.  When I sat down at the machine, the fabric edges wanted to curl slightly.  It wasn’t really bad or I would have stopped and starched the fabric. But it was annoying and I’m sure that I trimmed small bits (1/16″) that should have been part of the garment. I wanted to do an up and over neckline finish at the 900CPX, however the fabric kept wobbling slightly. Tighten up the presser foot pressure and the fabric shifted created an undesired, rippled finish. After about 4″, I ripped out the cover stitching and used the SM to top stitch just under than band. Good. Enough and best of all done. The Design Ruby is a much more expensive machine than the CPX and sometimes  proves its worth by handling fabrics with which the serger and cover stitch struggle.

Mostly this was quick serger stitching and pressing. I did tape the back shoulders– those long shoulders that end half way down the arm; and I basted the side seams together to check the fit before finishing. Other than the 5 minutes spent at the CS fussing with the neck binding, this was an easy project. I needed that.  Having struggled with the fabric for the  Loes Hines boat neck top and then fussed with refitting PP113 (and trying out the PBA), I needed something quick and easy.

Now to the fit.

This is a dolman design. It’s not my favorite style. It lacks a smooth close fit and reminds me of when I was 50 pounds heavier, trying to wear RTW.  With my narrow shoulders and wide hips, I always ended up with excess fabric flapping away underneath my arms. It’s almost impossible not to have excess underarm wrinkles when using a dolman design.  I have seen some 40’s and 50’s styles which were constructed with an underarm gusset and tight shoulder fit, that were as shapely as a set in sleeve. However, That’s not this design and I’m not willing to put in the time to convert it. Besides there are times when I rather prefer the soft, casual look.

Unfortunately I can’t be sure of the fit.  I didn’t do one of my standard adjustments, the narrow shoulder alteration.  Because of that I have too much length in the shoulder which droops, well everywhere.

I think for a dolman it is acccpetable.  I’m a little annoyed with the hemming. Done at the cover stitch, I didn’t notice it puckering until I did the final press. The sleeves were hemmed flat, then the side seams serged and finally the bottom hem CS’d. I’m not ripping out serging unless it is absolutely unavoidable.  In this case, I decided to call my hem “tucked” and ignore that it wasn’t what I set out to do.

I like the fit of 118 better. Also the yoke seam is not unattractive but I don’t really like it either.  I think that instead of using this pattern again, I would take 118 and add the horizontal seam for the sleeve. I’ve become so round-shouldered that I hate seeing it. I used the triangle shoulder pads for both patterns which on my figure is justified even with a casual top.

This completes garment 3 for my Spring to Summer 6PAC.