The Honest 'Tooth

Even experienced sewers do dumb things. I hardly ever make muslins except when I’ve got really expensive fabric (like coating) or when I’m working with a pattern company I’ve not used very much before. But for Burdas, I know I’m a size 42, and that size 42 always fits me.

Until now. I’ve just finished sewing BWOF 05/2009 #117 and (yes I know it’s a stupid thing to do) I didn’t try it on until I put the invisible zipper in right at the end because it’s a PITA to get someone else to pin you in and out and frankly, I still hurt from that surgery so I just like to get into my sewing zen zone and proceed without interruptions. That’s my excuse, anyway.

So what’s Burda’s?? Being polite, I could say this pattern runs small. Besides the fact that Burda patterns don’t run anything, they just fit, every time, with German precision, since when is it okay to have zero inches of waist ease in any woven pattern (seriously – measured dress waist is 30 1/2 inches. Size 42 body waist measurement is 30 3/4 inches on the size chart)? Argh. I think I’m most annoyed because I trusted Burda so implicitly, and because I did such an awesome job on those pointed underarm gussets that so intimidated me (they actually turned out to be really easy – just make sure you thread-baste the seam lines, interface the point, and sew each in two steps like Burda suggests).

I even had to dial Susan down to her absolute smallest setting (39-29-40) to get the dress to fit onto her, and even then the zipper is really straining at the back bodice!

In any case, I’m left with a frankly gorgeous Mad Men-esque houndstooth wiggle dress that probably won’t fit me for another six months. So I quick texted my neighbour Kate, who’s a size or two smaller than me and is in credit at the Karma Bank of Melissa for smuggling a pair of boots home from the States in her suitcase for me, and she’s going to come try it on. If it fits, it’s hers – my only stipulation is that she has to wear it, not keep it in the wardrobe for best or anything.

But still, this could all be worse – I chose to make this dress in this houndstooth because it disappointingly started to fade on the first wash, only cost me £5 total, and has the stretch running along the grain instead of across (contrary to expectations), and I wanted to use it as some sort of “wearable muslin” (even though I don’t do those) before I made this dress in AllisonC‘s gorgeous chrysanthemum silk satin. So yeah, things could be much worse! But now I need to find another pattern that’s worthy of her silk – maybe elainemay’s new favourite Burda dress?

(Ok I really can’t let this go, I feel betrayed! The three reviews of this dress on PR don’t mention any sizing issues, and Kristy’s account even says the skirt runs big! I am 100% sure there’s not a tracing or seam allowance issue, as I’ve made millions of BWOF patterns and could do both in my sleep. I’ve gained a bit of weight from my medical crap and not being allowed to run but no so much that my normal clothes or other Burda 42s don’t fit, so I’m really at a loss here. Probably best that my next two projects are gifts, followed by a fleece jacket. Humph.)

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