I always return to Burda patterns. I love their styling and because my measurements cross lines, I subscribe to both Burda Style and Burda Plus. This next topper is from the January 2013 Burda Plus issue, Style #428
This is a simple pattern or would have been. I traced the smallest size of the front, back and sleeve pieces from the maze of lines on the Burda master pattern sheet. I did not trace the pocket as I had already decided to use MSS pocket.
I was fairly sure there would be plenty of ease but was concerned about the length. I pinned the front and back together at the shoulder and slipped it on Mimie. Took them off Mimie and put them on me. Walked to the bathroom where I could use a full-length mirror. As drafted, this pattern is knee-length on 5′ 3″ me. Since I wanted to remove so much length I folded it out in two places: one above the waist about 3″ and the other above the hem about 6″. The back was fine. It didn’t need any truing after the length was removed. The front had a very wonky curve which I smoothed out. I didn’t add any tissue, just free hand drew a new curve between hem and shoulder and trimmed the excess (and wonky) tissue.
People often ask, “Should I choose a pattern to go with the fabric or a fabric to go with a pattern?” It depends. This is a case in which the fabric determined the pattern used. I already had this lovely 100% wool purchased from Fabric.com a few years back. I want to say it was advertised as Fair isle wool from the Andes but that doesn’t make any sense to me. Andean wool is usually a mixture from sheep and alpaca — the more alpaca the finer the Andean wool. While Fair Isle is traditionally all sheep wool from the Shetland Islands. Anyway, I purchased what I know was listed as “Candy Apple Red” but when arrived was a beautiful but muted red wine. I’m absolutely positive about the color because I debated on returning it because this is definitely not one of my colors. But the price was so cheap (about $2 per yard) that my thrifty nature won and I put it in the stash to be used “someday”. In the last few weeks I’ve been drawn to the small stash of reds in my stash and decided “someday” had arrived. I wanted to use this wool for my 3rd layer with my other red garments. I could have chosen a highly tailored pattern. But my style is relaxed. This wool is soft and has some fluidity. I mean it’s not slinky but it drapes nicely and stays close to the body. Seemed a shame to change that soft character by adding layers of interfacing and stitching. Hence Style 428 with it’s soft lines and semi fit back.
I used the MSS pocket because it too is simple. The side seams need to be serge finished. All edges of the pocket need to be finished and then the pocket is stitched to the back side seam and the font pocket opening is finished with a strip of self-fabric. OK you could use a contrasting fabric or scrap or bias tape. I used a 2″self-strip which I stitched to the front, pressed up and over the edge and then top-stitched into place. Next, the side seams are stitched on either side of the pocket opening. Finally working from the inside, smooth the pocket out onto the front and pin into place. Stitch the 3 sides of the pocket into place.
On my wool, you can see both the pocket edge stitching and the pocket opening stitching. On other fabrics, the stitching is invisible and people wonder how you serged the pocket to the front. This pocket is nice and deep. Things put in the pocket tend to stay in the pocket. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some pockets wherein the contents like to work their way out. Not with this pocket.
I stitched the shoulders together next and finished the neckline and hems. Well actually I finished the hems first. I knew I wanted a raw edge finish. I’ve used Linda Lee’s edge finishes before. I even have the book she and Nancy Zieman collaborated on. I wanted to have 3 fringed edges along the hem. Thinking I could hide the stitching, I cut a strip of fabric 2″ wide and stitched it onto the hem by aligning with the hem edge and stitching down the center line. Then a trip to the iron to press a fold into the strip. A fold that would align all 3 raw edges. Now wool is normally cooperative and I did get the strip to fold in half and bend forward towards the raw edge but not flat so that the edges were aligned. Rats! I hunted through the decorative stitches on my Ruby Designer. Tried out several and settled upon a lovely feather stitch (just barely visible below the pocket on the above pic). I attempted to ravel and create a fringe. I say attempted because after 2 threads across a distance of about 12 inches I could see it was not going to fringe evenly. I would need to fringe all 3 layers all the way to the stitching or think of something else. The something else (I don’t actually like unraveling fabric to create fringe) turned out to be using the scalloped blade in my rotary cutter to trim the edge. Now this:
is a nice looking hem. The neckline is finished with a cross-cut strip which is stitched to the outside, pressed up and over to the inside and then the free edge turned one more time so that raw edges are completely enclosed– inside and out
Back at the pattern stage, I had thought the sleeve looked a little tight. I compared it with the sleeve from my Otto Vintage Blouse and decided to add 1″ ease. I also decided to line the sleeve for ease in dressing. I used a grey acetate lining that’s been in the stash for ages. With a length of 4 yards, I thought I could make my sleeve linings and still have enough left for a full garment.
Unfortunately, my sleeve is still too tight. You can see it in most the pictures of me. I think I could remove the lining and the wool would adapt and be comfortable, but then I’d have to deal with the sleeve’s tendency to cling when dressing not to mention ripping out all those serged seams. See I used the method of attaching lining and sleeve a the hem. Then serging the seam from wool armscye to lining armscye. Followed by serging the two armscyes together. Lots of ripping. Lots of ripping and no guarantee that’s the answer.
I like that the front can be arranged several ways.
I don’t necessarily like them all and the next one requires a lovely pin to hold into place.
Still, it’s nice to know I have choices. Another surprise to me is how versatile this color is turning out to be. This muted red is definitely not in my spring color wheel. But it doesn’t look bad on me. I also found that I expected it to look good with black and navy. I was surprised that it also looks good with brown. One day I was near paralyzed trying to figure out a trim which would use all 3 colors. That was before I decided upon the raw edge treatment. I wanted more embellishment but still wanted to be able to wear this garment with all 3 major colors. I opted for the raw edge tretment using the same color and to be on the look out for interesting brooches in each of the colors which I can wear even if I don’t make the cross over drape.
Quick shot of the back with an explanation. I heard the camera flash as I was bent forward arranging the drape. I hope that is the reason I look hunch-backed and have those funny drag lines accompanied by the hiked up back hem.
I’ll have a chance to test that theory when I get around to fixing the sleeves and taking new pictures. For now, I’m really pleased. The front drape is easy to arrange and stays in place. That may be because of the wool fabric. Whatev, I’ll take it as a plus. I’m also pleased with the color and the fact that the garment was easy to sew despite the issues I introduced. It’s a great garment. I had thought I would make this pattern one and discard it but I’ve folded and put it into the stash. It’s such a great garment that I could want to make it again.
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