Archive | January 2016

Dolman Sweater Knit Burda 2013-12-128

The really nice thing about having several patterns fit, is that I can sew with them and avoid fitting.  I can approach a new/different pattern without frustration because I’ve been sewing with patterns which already fit.  I wanted to sew something different this time. I considered several but chose 2012-12-128 (above- because it is slightly different from the already fit  Burda 2011-04-118

118 is cut with a yoke that includes the sleeves.   128’s sleeves are cut on but there is a lower sleeve portion which facilitates using multiple widths of fabric. For example


2011-09-108 which has the full sleeve length cut on the garment would require wider fabric. YMMV because I’m usually a Burda 44 ease with 1″ added right at the hips. A Burda 32 would not have the same width considerations.

I retrieved my pattern pieces from 2011-04-118 and compared with the newly traced 128 size 42. No that’s not a mistake. Size 42 is the largest size drafted for 128.  I have narrow shoulders and usually make a 1″ NSA.  I thought it might just be possible to use the 42.   I traced the size 42 and add 1″ at the hips both front and back. I also made that neckline 1″ narrower but kept the drafted depth. That’s a first for me.  Usually I need to raise Burda front-necklines by at least 2″.   I added 5/8 SA along the shoulder/sleeve lines and the underarm/side seam.  I used 1/4″ SA at the neckline and the seam between upper and lower sleeve.

My fabric is another ‘semi-opaque’ (grrrrr) sweater knit.  I’m determined to get this type fabric out of my stash before winter ends.  A muslin, wearable or not, fits the bill.  It is again polyester and that bigger knit you get when knitting with needles 4 sizes too large. But that does produces a wonderful drape.  I did not experience any outright runs. The edges frayed so I taped the neckline front and back and then serge finished all the edges.  I basted the pieces together at the Dream Machine using WST and the lightening stitch set at 5mm long .5 wide. Then I tried it on.


To my relief it was not horrible. Oddly the hem seemed  to be too wide but there was not enough ease for my hips; and  the arms felt tight.  Most disappointing were the bust wrinkles

On me, these indicate that the shoulder slope is wrong.  I did not add ease at the underarm. That curve is exactly as Burda drafted and exactly as wide across the back as Burda drafed, but I have bat wings in back:

Which are very movement restrictive. Feels like a combination of too wide and too low.

I serged the lower to upper sleeve. I changed the shoulder slope by sewing a 1/4″ SA at the neckline increasing to the 5/8″ at the 4″ point which is about where my shoulder cap is.  I stitched the hip seams at 1/4″ meaning that for a size 42 I added 1.5″ at the hip. I also stitched from wrist to underarm with a 1/4″ SA.  When I stitched that long sleeve/side seam, I started at the hem using 1/4″ up to the hip where I angled  to 5/8″ at the bust.  At the underarm I continued to serge up an additional 1″ before making the underarm curve and angled out to 1/4″ by the time I was 2″ into the sleeve.  I tried the top on again before finishing.

Emboldened by my mostly successful FOE application on my Refashion, I decided to try FOE again.  I measured the pattern instead of the garment neckline; added 1″ (the width of the FOE) length and made the Quilter’s Join.  The join was perfect (thank you Dream Machine) but the FOE was too long.  I reduced the length by 1″ and again by 1/2″.  Unfortunately the FOE is applied perfectly (again using the Lightening stitch set at 5.oo mm long and .5 wide) but is slightly too long.  It hugs the back of my neck perfectly but not there is a wee bit of gaposis in front:

No I’m not ripping it again. Had I not taped the neckline to begin with, this garment would be a wadder  due to FOE application and reapplication.

The lower sleeve is much too long. I trimmed it to 4″, turned it up to meet the upper/lower sleeve seam line and stitched it to that seam using Dream Machine’s lightening stitch.  I’ve developed a real fondness for that stitch. It stitches pretty quickly, very easily and does not pop during wear.

I had liked the length of the top when I tried it on and did not want to shorten it with a hem.  I cut a 2″ strip of a white,  burn-out knit and serged to the bottom edge. I turned it up and rolled about 1/8″ to the inside.  Then I top stitched at 5/8″ followed by a second row  3/8″ above the first before trimming the excess white knit fabric.  I took 5 pics and this is the best:

Hem inside at top, public side on the bottom

It looks pretty nice in person and has just enough weight to hang fairly nicely.  Unfortunately my initial impression that the garment was too wide at the hem was true. The finished hem appears to flute.


I hope the pic shows well enough to tell that most of the bust drag lines have been eliminated. The garment is comfortable across hips and arms plus it is no longer restricting movement at the underarm.

I transferred the changes (modified shoulder slope, hip ease, sleeve ease, added hem length). I’m not sure if I want to peg the hem or not. This fabric is so soft I’m not sure I’m ‘reading’ fit accurately.  It’s not uncommon for knit hems to flute when they are sewn on a sewing machine.

I’m also wondering about length for FOE.  I made a mistake in measuring the neckline with seam allowances. But that accounts for only the 1″ of the 1.5″ length removed.  The FOE needed to be shortened even more.   Will I ever get FOE right?

I’m going to give you a peak at tomorrow post because I don’t want you leaving without seeing how well the complete set looks.

I promise to explain… tomorrow.