A rare dud of the highest order

Last weekend I cut into cut into one of the oldest fabrics in my stash, a dark turquoise silk charmeuse bought in January 2009, to make the cover top from the Burda April 2012 issue:

There are so many things wrong about this pattern that I’m going to revert to list form to get the rant out of my brain:

  • The recommended fabric is silk, yet the instructions don’t tell you to sew French seams, or indeed finish the raw edges at all. As far as I can tell, even if you follow their insane instructions, you’re left with a triangular area of raw seams at the shoulder. If I’d liked the top enough, I’d have had to make my own weird facing to handstitch on to cover this.
  • There’s a ridiculous amount of ease in the bodice – way more than Sorbetto, for example, and that’s also a non-bias, slip on shell. I ended up cutting this with the front and back pieces a centimeter or two off the fold simply to fit it onto my narrow silk, but I checked first to make sure it’d not be too small. And having completed the shell, I can say that it’s still on the loose side, even with my reductions!
  • Facings on a silk. WTFOMGBBQ? Why?? I said Nuts! to the facing and did a narrow bias edge (in leftover silk from my birthday top which I still had lying around) on the neckline, and did a two-step narrow edge for the hem.
  • Burda tells to to cut an extra wide hem allowance on the sleeve edges, press in and out (and shake it all about, do the hokey pokey- oh wait) and mess about with it until the sleeve is entirely completed… and then sew an invisible hem by hand. On silk. And it’s a reeeeeeally long hem. I’d rather eat glass, Burda. The much better option here would be to cut a regular hem allowance, and machine-stitch a narrow edge or rolled hem before basting any of the sleeve pleats. Realising they’re crazy and trying to do this later is much more difficult (ask me how I know).
  • The sleeve instructions are absolutely incomprehensible. Burda would have you flip the entire pleated edges around the neckline and back to the armscye at the shoulder, which a) completely contradicts the photos, and b) there isn’t enough seam length to do. So I had to try and make the best of pre-basted pleats, attach to placement lines that may as well have not existed (since the pleated edges didn’t match up anyway), and a mess of raw edges (see above). My best attempt was not good enough.
  • And finally, when I tried the top on to see if I even wanted to carry on finishing the raw edges, the sleeves are just ugly. Less “quirky chic” and more “80s shoulder pads”. Ugh.

Since this top doesn’t deserve a photoshoot, you just get some crappy mirror self-portrait photos, as befits a dud:

Have I saved anyone else from wasting their time on this pattern? Seriously, don’t go there. At the very least, if you still like the sleeves, then you’d be better off trying to put the sleeve pattern here onto something like the Sorbetto, and making up your own placement and pleat lines. It’s much easier to go your own way from the start than try and following wrong ones, rip things out, and end up doing your own thing anyway.

At least the silk only cost me £10, and it’s out of my stash now.

UPDATE: I went on to sew a much better silk blouse later the same day. No points for guessing which one!

Leave a Reply