Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saved by the Muslin: Burda 04/2015 # 116 Blazer with Stand-up Collar

Saved by the muslin! If you do make muslins of new patterns you will know this exact feeling. I saw this pattern a few weeks ago and thought it was just different enough to add to my jacket wardrobe. Interesting details and new shapes keep my interest, sewing-wise. And I don't really want to wear the same jacket over and over, no matter how much I like it. I already have 3 jacket pattern repeats in my wardrobe so I wanted something new. Here is the link to the BurdaStyle page, it is 04/2015 #116 so just released late this past spring.

But I am really glad I decided to test this one out. Just not my cup of tea. (not that anything is the right cup of tea for me - I think it tastes awful. Coffee, elixir of the gods :)
Back to this pattern. A few years ago I had a green cotton coat that I bought on a whim one rainy day when shopping at Macy's. It was really cute, trench coat style, nice buttons, belt, buckle details. But it hung in my closet because every time I put it on I fixated on the weird round shoulders. Which this pattern has as well. I operated on the green coat - tried to reshape the shoulder but it never was quite right so off it went in the donate bag. But this muslin below, when I put it on I just felt like I should be part of the crew of Starship something or other.

Burda jacket pattern

I did sew this test version up using a canvas type fabric I had in the stockpile - vaguely recall buying it at a yard sale or something. So a very small investment in fabric, $ 5.99 for the downloadable Burda PDF., about 2 hours for taping, adding seam allowances, cutting sewing just this far.

And now I will take a moment of solidarity to all those who puzzle through the Burda instructions. I never use the magazine (no way I am going to play spot the pattern piece on those sheets) and I have made a few Burda PDF's or Burda envelope patterns. The instructions are definitely minimal. 9 times out of 10 that's OK by me, I rarely look at them. But once in a while I do, particularly if there are oddball pattern pieces or the order of construction doesn't jump out at me.  See above on the right side, this jacket has an underarm gusset, which in theory is fine but I didn't think it fit well and the markings were nonexistent.

Now let's turn up the whining knob to 11. Something I had not noticed before on Burda downloadable patterns is that the pattern pieces are not labeled other than the number.  I am just crabby this weekend because despite my constant declarations about loving summer and summer clothes maybe I am just a teensy bit sick of this weather - ready to sew and even wear a jacket or two.  OK boo, hoo I should not complain about lovely sunshine but the dry weather is almost getting on our collective nerve here the way I suppose constant rain does in other places.

Burda jacket pattern

So I had to print out that page with the key to the pattern pieces and then scrawl on them with a sharpie. See that underarm gusset, not even a dot or any good marks there. I figured it out but it made me appreciate my lovely Vogue patterns with every little dot and notch marked. I read a fair number of criticisms of Vogue patterns but so far I have never found a glaring error and do make use of all the pattern markings.

There was also a mystery pattern piece which was shaped like a pointy oval, about 3 inches long and named as "insert piece neck edge" but I could not figure out what it was for. Oh well.

As I said, just a bit cranky today so now that I have gotten this out of my system, crumpled it up and tossed it in the paper recycle bin I am ready to start something else.

And I have made a couple of BurdaStyle downloadable patterns that I count as real successes, including the plum shawl collar coat from late last winter, and this interesting jacket in grey tweed. Love both those patterns. And I think the Burda Plus patterns are outstanding, I am about to make this dress again for my friend Heather.

Burda Plum jacket front
Burda Jacket front

What next?  perhaps as a season spanning measure I will make a blouse or two as I do have a bunch of fabrics designated for that.

This pattern is one I bought a few months ago so I the next jacket I will test will be this one. Kind of simple but I did want a new basic jacket pattern that I could use for the next few years. Although I suspect it might be a line for line twin of this Vogue pattern which I have made a few times. (the link goes to my final post in a full series of how I construct a tailored jacket with fusible interfacing) Noticing now that this one below is a 2-button and the older one I made previously is a 1-button. Which does make a difference.

Vogue jacket

Happy sewing, Beth

and another garden photo taken a few weeks ago in Hawaii. Good think as there is very little photo-worthy around here lately!

Hawaii flowers


  1. Ugh Burda downloads can make me super grumpy, too. I've also noticed their affinity for interesting sleeves. I guess it's good in terms of trying out new things, but I often prefer a regular set-in sleeve to one with a very dropped armpit or something. You do make a good case for muslins!

  2. I loved this post. I get put out sometimes too. And I label my burda pieces as well. I love burda patterns, so many choices and variations. And new ones all the time. That gusset is a chuckle, and since I have The Big Bang Theory on the TV as I write, I loved your Starship pun.

  3. Ha I tried tracing from a burdastyle magazine once. Never again! In fact there was a coat I liked but as I like to tissue fit and couldn't even be bothered to print/ tape/ add seam allowancea etc I actually found something similar from their printed pattern range and ordered it.

  4. If a shape doesn't suit you - and clearly rounded shoulders don't (nor me neither as it happens) then finding out on a toile is so helpful.It's useful to be reminded of that. But I think you are a little harsh about the PDF. It is obviously taken straight from the magazine, which can't handle pattern piece names or the maze on the pattern sheet would look even worse. And from your photo I could see the notch at the underarm seam on the gusset and the numbering which indicates which edges join together, so the markings were definitely not non-existent. But "insert piece neck edge" truly does sound a like a mystery! Your photo doesn't show it, but I wondered if there were any numbers on it? Could it be interfacing or some sort of shoulder pad? Looking forward to seeing your conclusions about the Shaeffer jacket and how it compares with the earlier pattern.

  5. I don't mind the magazine tracing. I've gotten used to it. Though they were easier before they reduced the number of sheets! I really hate taping the PDF's together though the Style Arc are easier to put together than others I've tried.

  6. I'm with the group that prefers the taping to the tracing, but I find them both cumbersome.
    Good thing you muslins, that's off your style. Maybe I just can't get past that front seam not matching. *shudder*
    I like the Claire Schaeffer, its so neat and clean.

  7. The lack of notches is about the one thing I dislike about Burda - give me tracing over taping any day of the week. Sorry the jacket didn't work out; muslins are worth it for big projects.


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