05 May, 2010

Burda+Simplicity: a Happy Marriage

Some time ago - maybe last year, maybe even before that, it's now lost in time - I made Burda top 2008-10-116.  I used a very fine checked wool that I found at Fabric Fix in Manchester, New Hampshire (!), thanks to one of the dreariest August vacations in living memory - steady rain is not conducive to canoeing, swimming, hiking or biking, so I dragged the family around the state for a day of fabric shopping.  Great fun was had by all! (heh, and I've a bridge to sell you, too).

So, the top:  I made my usual 38.  I didn't want a zipper, so I added 1.5" to each CF, ditto to the neckline yoke, and instead, made a passel of tiny buttons & buttonholes, and overlapped the two CFs.   As it turned out (it often does, with Burda sleeves - Burda seems to think real women sport matchstick arms) the sleeve hems were too narrow, so mine have only two pleats instead of three; if I ever make this top again, which is not out of the realm of possibility as I like it very much, I'll widen the bottom of the sleeve by 1", to allow for the 3rd pleat.  But, let's hear it for husbands with reasonable heads on their shoulders:  he soothed my aggravation, and made me see that no one except myself (and now you!) will ever know that these sleeves are supposed to have three pleats instead of two.  Yep, they have just two, but no one's called me on them yet.

The last little tweak I added to the top came after I test-wore it, and it consisted of hand-sewing two small vertical pleats into the back, just next to and inside the back belt loops.  Why?  because it controlled the blouson factor for a much nicer cinch.  I'm short-waisted, with substantial differences between bust-waist-butt, so controlling the fabric around the waistline enhances it in a nicer way than just cinch-as-cinch-can.

The top is lined, btw (with beige bemberg), so that makes it a jacket, right? 

Here comes the marriage bit.. Confetti, please:

I've had my eye on Simplicity 3631 for a long time - SewStylish indeed! Jacket B, to be precise, with its six exposed pleats and wide bell sleeves.  I really NEED this jacket NOW, I thought a couple of weeks ago. Then I thought (you know what's coming, don't you?) - why should I fight with a brand new pattern when all I really have to do is add the exposed pleats and bell sleeve to top 116 I have and love so much already? 

No, the two patterns aren't identical, because the Burda top has a front plus side front (and ditto back and side back, all for better shaping), but the raglan sleeves, waist belt and neck yoke are dead ringers.   So all I had to do was convert Burda's centre front pattern piece to one with three darts, and Burda's too-narrow sleeve to a gloriously, scrumptiously wide Simplicity bell sleeve.

So that's what I did.

Here is the Simplicity sleeve, its upper part re-cut to match the Burda jacket armscye.  Notice how much lower is the Simplicity armscye!

And here are the two Burda fronts, the original underneath, the top with darts and cut-on facing added.  Should I make it again, and I well might, I'll move the darts a little closer to CF. As with my original 116, I pleated out the excess back yardage under the belt.

The Simplicity jacket, if you  notice from the envelope photo, has all-too-obvious shoulder pads - massive ones.  RRrrrrridiculous!!! I omitted them.

My new Burplicity jacket is basic black - a nice wool crepe, Bemberg lining, just about all finished except for a good pressing, a tad of hand-finishing, and the buttons.  Once all that's done, I'll show you both - soon.


  1. Burplicity! Heehee! Sounds like fun. I can't wait to see it!

  2. Wow - sounds awesome and clever - can't wait to see the pics!