Pattern Review: Burda 4-2011-135

B 4-2011-135 I’ve discovered something completely unexpected: sewing up my stash is actually quite satisfying. More satisfying at this point than planning new purchases. I never thought this would happen. I often get overwhelmed by the sheer number of design/pattern choices when I want something new. Add to that the completely insane amount of choice for fabric and I often get paralyzed before I begin. But not so far this year, as I’ve decided to limit purchases to notions, lining if necessary, my Burda subscription, and any designer or Vintage Vogue pattern that may be unusual or worth collecting for future. And it’s been a lot of fun finally getting around to some projects that have been in my queue for years. And I mean years. Take this top, for instance. The fabric was purchased in the last century with the intention of making a tunic, and I finally got around to sewing it up. It’s amazing what a few boundaries do for productivity.B 04-2011-135

Pattern: Burda 4-2011-1

Pattern Sizing: size 44-52

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely, except for my changes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The instructions for this are particularly easy to follow and well-written.  Just be aware, though, that there is no pattern for the pockets.  I think they forgot to add them.  I didn’t put the pockets in because I just wanted a short tunic top, but I’m sure it would be simple to draw your own, or steal a pocket pattern from some other design to use.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I really liked the front pleats and the sleeve options.  I left off the sleeve ties because they’re just frankly annoying, like I’ve mentioned in other pattern reviews.

Fabric Used: a silk/rayon burnout velvet from Thai Silks

Pattern alterations:  I actually stole the neck band pattern from 4-2011-136.  I didn’t want a bias bound neckline because I cut the front and back on the bias.  I liked the look of the fabric better on the bias than the straight grain, although I did cut the sleeves on the straight grain.  Because of the bulk of the velvet, I didn’t turn under the edges of the neck facing and slipstitch it.  I did understitch the facing, which isn’t called for in the pattern, but it prevents it from rolling around.  I simply finished the raw edge of the facing and pinned it into place with all seam allowances turned inside.  Then I stitched it place by hand using a half backstitch.  I didn’t want any stitches showing from the right side.  You can see the details below. B 4-2011-135 neck facingI like this pattern.  I’m glad I cut it on the bias – it skims along instead of hanging like a sack, which I think it would if cut on the straight grain.  And the raglan sleeves fit perfectly without any fussing, basting or tweaking, unlike any other set-in sleeve of Burda’s I’ve sewn.  If you’re looking for a simple casual top or dress, this is an easy pattern with several sleeve variations to suit your fancy.  B 4-2011-135  back


15 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Burda 4-2011-135

  1. This is lovely! A great match between your stash fabric and last years pattern.
    I like sewing from stash too, although sometimes fabrics get the too-good-to-use aura about them in my stash.

  2. I would like to award you with The Versatile Blogger Award. You can display the badge using this:

    Thanks for providing such a fun and interesting blog! Mary

  3. Hi! I love your blog and the fact that you are a classical musician who sews as I am one also.
    When I first started my blog in August I came across yours but didn’t know enough to mark it and follow it. Then I forgot the name……. but at last I’m back……. and I love blogging .. and sewing.. and going to the Met HD Operas ( but I’m a I wish I could sew!)
    Look forward to keeping up with your posts!

  4. On Burda patterns, the pockets are drawn on the front piece and you have to trace them separately on a different piece of paper.

    Your fabric looks so nice and comfy.

    1. Thanks, the fabric is very comfy, although not as warm as it looks for February in Toronto. I hunted high and low on the front pattern piece for the pocket pattern – I could have missed it, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it. Now I’m going to look again…. Nope! I guess they forgot to print it on my copy!

  5. I agree with sewing down the fabric stash. I have been trying to do that as well. I have found some gems lurking in the back of my fabric closet. Your top is beautiful . . . I love seeing what sewists have made from Burda – I get inspired to sew more!

  6. very very nice, I’ve often wondered about that tunic myself, your version is beautiful especially with such a luxe fabric.

    I too, am on a “sewing from stash” drive – actually I don’t enjoy having stash, for me, each piece of fabric comes with an energy and enthusiasm that dies on being left too long.

    I have come up with a set of rules to manage sewing temptations though – for every 2 garments I sew from stash I get a token with which to buy a new pattern or piece of fabric. For every refashion I get a token, to give me even more of an incentive. I have decided that all magazines must be purchased on token too – since every month there’s a whole new 40 patterns to bamboozle me when I already have a year long “must sew” list!

    I am hoping that it will be a spiritual exercise like fasting, and less a punishment like dieting, which as we all know is bound to fail. (in the dieting model, I would end up with even more fabric and patterns than I would have had, if I had not introduced austerity measures)

    We’ll see – I’m just playing with ideas at present – but I am just getting overwhelmed – and paralysed – by too much choice. Just deciding to cut back is not enough, it requires a commitment.

  7. Well, Hello! Very nice blouse, love the colours and the simple pattern. The kind of thing you feel like wearing over and over.
    One more thing . About the Donna Karan top: you mean you have to prewash the fabric???? Such a good thing you dropped by my blog. Thank you!!

  8. This blouse is fabulous. What a fun fabric. I’ve sewn this pattern on the bias too and it is very pleasant to wear. Good luck for your stash reduction. BTW I love browsing through my Burda magazine collection when looking for inspiration and always findd something that did not caught my eyes previously.

  9. Raglan sleeves are nice to sew, I agree. I’m trying to make a dent in my stash too. I don’t have much storage space, and some of the knits I purchased will look dated soon, if I don’t get on with it!


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