Monday, May 30, 2011

Pattern Review: BS 02-2011-106

I have been doing a lot of talking about Burda lately, but I haven't shown any of my projects.  I thought it was about time I showed off my first Burda project ever.  I discussed my introduction to Burda here.  When I got the February magazine, there weren't a lot of things I wanted to make, but the more I look at the styles, the more I find to like.  In any case, since I had heard how traumatizing sewing Burda was, I decided to make my first project something simple.  What could be more simple than this top?

The top - Burda Style 02-2011-106B.
I found the softest knit in the flatfold section of the "local" non-JoAnn fabric store.  Now, as I have stated before, I really can't wear prints.  I just can't.  I look ridiculous, like I am in my pajamas.  However, this is the softest fabric ever.  It was only $2/yard, so I got two yards.  I couldn't help it.  I loved it.  It was sooooooooo soft.  While sitting at the pattern books showing my mom the skating patterns I was contemplating (for new sleeve options), I induced they envy of every passer-by who wanted to touch my pretty knit fabric.  When I got it I wasn't sure what to do with it, and I figured that with my trepidation over the pattern, it might be a good fabric for my first experiment with Burda, because I wouldn't be absolutely devistated over the loss.  

I am happy to say that the project turned out well.  Despite the fact that I kept repeating "This has no seam allowances, this has no seam allowances" while tracing, I barely caught myself before cutting out the fabric without any allowances!  Whew!  Disaster averted.  And other than the sewing machine trying to eat my fabric while I was hemming the second sleeve (why is it ALWAYS the last step that gets bungled?), it went together really easily.  While I still don't think I can really wear this in public without looking a little strange (it would be better in a 3/4 or sleeveless pattern perhaps?  Or maybe it needs more accessorizing?  A vest to break up the pattern?), the actual Burda pattern worked out super well.  I love the drafting on the sleeves, and all-in-all a great simple long sleeve shirt pattern.  And, it is sooooooo comfy and soft.  So here is the finished product:

My first Burda ever!

Now for the official review!

Pattern Description: A simple long sleeve t-shirt.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizing 34-42.  I made a size 40.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!  There are two versions of this in the magazine - one with stripes, and one in florals.  Because of the type of fabric used, my shirt looks a little more like the striped version in terms of visible ease.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Actually, yes!  Other than never telling me to sew up the side seams (I sewed them up just before setting in the sleeves), the instructions were very clear.  Granted, this is a simple pattern I could have figured out on my own, but I figured for my first Burda pattern I should at least try to follow them to see what all the fuss was about.  Now, some of the terminology is a bit... odd.  You can tell the instructions are translated, but there wasn't anything that was totally puzzling.  And, this may sound really odd, but I actually sort of like the Burda instructions - they are like a cookbook.  They say what to do but not how to do it.  I usually try to follow instructions (at least on a first sew-through with a pattern), and the basic outline of procedures left me feeling more open to trying new techniques.  I also think the Burda instructions have practical finishing methods.  These instructions included the use of a twin needle to finish the hems.  I had never used a twin needle before, but I love the results!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the sleeve!  The drafting is top notch.  I totally understand why so many people love the Burda patterns.  I have a bit of a full upper arm, but I had no problem with these sleeves - they fit great without being too tight or too lose.  The whole shirt is a perfect blend of easy comfort while being just fitted enough to not look sloppy.  

Fabric Used: Mystery knit from the flat-fold bargain section.  I think it might be some sort of cotton or rayon knit (it really doesn't feel like polyester).  It is so incredibly soft.  I had my reservations about the print, but the softness and $2/yard price tag won me over.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 2" to the length, because I have such a long torso.  I also used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams, but other than that, no changes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes!  I am so making this again in the future.  I think next time I may take it in slightly at the waist, because I have the swayback and small-ish waist (really it is "average," but I always feel like patterns have too much ease there.  I would also probably try a 3/4 length sleeve because I tend to like that length better than full-length sleeves.  I would totally recommend this pattern!  It is the perfect first Burda pattern - only 3 pieces to trace, not too much fitting, simple instructions.

Conclusion: This pattern has started my infatuation with Burda.  My only issue is with the fabric choice - I don't think the print particularly suits me, but I love wearing this shirt because it is so soft.  I am not sure how much I will wear this shirt out and about - but it is so incredibly soft and comfy, so it will definitely get use around the house.  Overall this pattern is a win, I learned a new technique (how to use my twin needle), and I have a shirt that I love to wear.  Highly recommended.

Ok, some more pictures!

The back.
Twin needle stitching and bias binding around the neck.

Twin needle stitching around the hem.
The fabric print.  Perhaps a bit too busy for me, but so soft and comfy!


  1. Great job! I would not have remembered to place the motifs so strategically! When tracing Burdas, I add the seam allowance to the traced pattern immediately after tracing – a lesson I learned the hard way.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, I had the patterns all laid out on the fabric, rotary cutter in hand, and thought, "hmmmm, I am NOT that small" when I realized my mistake. For this pattern I took the time to tape a seam allowance all around my pattern pieces. On my second Burda attempt (different pattern, not yet reviewed) I traced around the pattern pieces with disappearing ink pen and then cut without being so precise about the seam allowances. That project actually turned out really well because all of the seam lines matched up impeccably. I think I might get one of those Olfa cutting guides where you can set the seam allowance and just cut around the pattern that way. Still experimenting, but so far all of the Burda patterns have sewn up well, I am really liking my results.

  3. Hi I love this Tshirt but Burdastyle posted/sells every pattern from this February 2011 issue except this one.

    Please help! Where can I find it?



  4. In response to the above question: The pattern can be downloaded from the German BurdaStyle website:

    I have my web browser (google chrome) automatically translate foreign language web pages so it isn't too bad to navigate, but the download will probably be in German. I suppose Google Translate can help there too?