Shortly before my introductory 1 year subscription elapsed, I decided I should actually trace and make up some of the patterns. As a fashion magazine, Burda Style (BS), is far to expensive. But as a Fashion Magazine with Fashion Patterns, it’s economical. Even if I count only the styles I might wear and estimate their cost at $4 each. (Because of my locality I pay between $5 and $30 per pattern.) Also I find that BS is fashion forward. I’m not the only one with the experience of looking at a Burda Style and saying “Have they lost their mind?” 3 months to a year later, I see something in the store or another magazine and think “isn’t there something like that in BS?” With a little searching, I find the style I’m thinking of and instead of thinking “they’re out of their minds”; I’m think “Oh yes, this is a rendition I could wear (even here in fashion he!! South Dakota).”
My attempts with Burda were not disappointing, but they weren’t trace and create either. With the Big 4, I cut tissue, make pretty much standard adjustments (yes I do have problems with shapes I’m not familiar with, fabrics I’m not knowledgeable about and so on and so forth.) I do have problems with the Big 4, but generally I can make a “wearable muslin” and then a very good garment from any of the Big 4. With Burda, I trace the pattern; add seam allowances; add alterations for my physical er deviations; and then make an unwearable muslin. Make alterations to the pattern. Make a wearable muslin. Then make a nice, very nice, garment. Even pants only take 2 trys before reaching the 3rd nice-looking, nice-looking version. So time-wise a T-shirt top: My TNT Pamela’s Pattern T shirt can be fabric now and wearable-out-the-door in about an hour and a half. A similar Burda top takes about 20 hours. I don’t consciously object to the time Burda patterns take me. What I’m finding is that a Burda pattern excites me, but before I can get around to tracing it, I buy something similar from the Big 4 and make that up. That’s because I know my first version from the Big 4 will probably be my only version and will probably look good. (Butterick 5070 cardigan is an exception although the funnel top is a perfect example) At the worst, I’m foolishly wasting money. But maybe I’m simply laughable as I could spend my time reading the Big 4 catalogs for free. I’m not sure the solution here, if one is needed; or my future direction.
But I began 2010-11-129 almost immediately. However, this year I have new goals which are directed at avoiding wadders but also help with the alteration process. My goal is to develop “Check Points’ points during the sewing process where I stop and evaluate what I’ve done, what I might do next and compare with known realiable information to be sure I’m on the right track or make corrections before my garment turns into an unredeamable wadder. I pulled out the already traced Burda 2010-11-129 pattern, but I also pulled out my much loved JSM pants Ciggie Version pattern. I measured both at these critical points:
hip (8.5″ down from waist)
As time goes on I may find other critical measurements for pants. I’m thinking that even though Palmer&Pletsch don’t think much of crotch depth, it might be useful for me.
I measured and stopped. I remembered Sham’s recent post, in which she was so terribly excited about Marcy Tilton’s new pants pattern, that Sham began at 11PM and continued to sew until done.. She began at 11PM and immediately transferred the crotch shape from her most comfortable pants pattern.
“You know”, thinks I, “I have a terrific crotch with my JSM Ciggie pants. Maybe I should follow the example of such an excellent seamstress.” I did. Then I remeasured and I found that the length was fine, but the waist was 2.75″ small and the hips 3.5″ small.
I actually had a light bulb moment. See I’d made pencil changes to the pattern, I hadn’t cut anything yet. I looked back at the fristmeasurements and realized I’m probably choosing the wrong size. The Burda Charts give 40.25 as the hip measurement for the size 38. I’m used to the Big 4. The hip measurement is a target, a window they’re shooting for. It’s commonly known that with the Big4 the hip measurement is the body measurement they are designing for and the pattern will fit all the way up to the hip measurement on the next size. (Or all the way down to the previous size depending on your point of view). With Burda 40.25 is the finished pattern measurement. My hip is 40. No wonder Burda never has enough ease for me in the hip. Unless it’s 100%lycra no one feels comfortable with 1/4″ ease. I will look at the Burda charts with new eyes for sure. One of the things I see is that most BS patterns are not going to fit me unless I lose another 20 pounds, I’m limited to BS Plus sized patterns for which there are very few. Or I can continue to make 3 versions of whatever BS pattern I’m interested in.
Then I had a really excellent, excellent, extremely excellent light-bulb moment. Once the analytical side of my brain started it working, I “saw” that the pants legs were very straight and therefore probably wide. Why didn’t I see that from here
and I certainly should have seen it here:
I know all those folds and drapes develop from either far too little OR far too much fabric.
But until I started thinking check points, which led to following the example of another successful sewist, and rechecking tissue measurements (not back of the envelope but measuring across the tissue), I didn’t realize I was working with a full, very full leg.
I love a very full leg, especially in soft drapey rayon. It just feels swishy, romantic w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l gliding from here to there (until I trip going down the stairs). Alas, a very full leg is difficult to style attractively on me. Even now. Even 45 pounds from my heviest. I’m still short 5’3″ and still chubby (please be kind) and still pear shapped ( I remove 1″ from the standard shoulder width. That 2″ across the back) A full leg looks it’s most fantastic when balanced with a tall, broad shoulders and you can’t be too thin.
Add to that, my chosen fabric is a silk/cotton blend purchased from Michael’s.
I’ll probably never wear these pants.
What should I do?