Category Archives: Burda

Burda 7525 – A Chambray Shirt for my Honey

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For Christmas last year my Honey asked for a replacement for a much loved chambray shirt that had seen better days.  I couldn’t find anything similar online in the right shade of blue so I offered to make one.  Besides a few pajama bottoms and a fleece, I’ve never made him any clothing.  I know, selfish, selfish….

During our recent vacation at the lake in NH when I get to do nothing but sew and swim I took my time and made the shirt.  I take over the entire dining area for sewing when we’re there and have a beautiful view of the water.  Hah! This year I brought a pile of alterations and mending, and the makings for a jacket and pants for me, and Honey’s shirt.  Don’t want to run out of things to sew!  I kid.  As the world’s slowest sewist I know I can’t make all those things but it gives me choices.  I finished Honey’s shirt, including muslins, roughly over the first week.  I promised myself I wouldn’t start anything else new until I got through the alterations.  I made the easy changes like sewing on buttons but stalled out when it came time to taking in a few pants.  I can be such a procrastinator.  Ugh!  I hate having to try stuff on again and again when I’m sewing.

PATTERN

After a quick search for a men’s-long-sleeved-popover-casual-band-collared shirt, I decided on Burda 7525.  I haven’t made a pattern from tissue paper in ages!  The last few years I’ve either drafted them myself or downloaded Burdastyle PDF’s but  I really didn’t want to draft this for my first go.  This pattern has a relaxed fit, band or two-piece collar, bib front option, back pleat, and cuffs.  I’m giving it a thumbs up.

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I am quite pleased with the fit!  I wasn’t sure what to expect at first.  I had hoped that fitting the male body might be easier than fitting a woman, but since my Honey is “mature” I knew I’d have to make a few adjustments.  Some of the modifications are the same ones I’d make on a garment for myself.

I made the following design and fitting changes:

  • Added a back yoke to allow for a rounded back.
  • Moved shoulder seams forward and shifted the sleeve cap to match.
  • Narrowed Shoulder width and raised cap height to accordingly.
  • Shortened sleeves ALOT.
  • Changed inverted center back pleat to knife pleats at the shoulder blades. The take-up of the fabric  across the back is the same, but it’s distributed closer to the arms.  I’m going with the theory that this makes the shirt more comfortable when you pull your arms forward.  Curious if anyone has experimented with this.
  • Made an “FSA”. (Full Stomach Adjustment!) I was trying to figure out how to add more length to the front just under the bib so the front would hang straight down and not stick out, not unlike an FBA.  I found a little nugget in David Page Coffin’s Shirtmaking book that referred to a full chest modification with a bib front.  I basically created horizontal darts at the chest by opening a horizontal swath along the bottom of the bib. The darts are then then rotated up into the vertical seam between the shirt front and the side of the bib.  Yah, there were some mental gymnastics required for this one.

Since this was my first men’s shirt I ended up making two muslins which may seem like a lot but I want to be able to use this as the starting point for other types of shirts.  Next time I’ll add a bit more ease across the back, and I’ll make it a few inches shorter.

FABRIC

This is a 100% cotton chambray I found at NY Elegant Fabrics in NYC.  (I was there a few months ago for the Patternreview Weekend 2017 which was a ball!)  According to the dictionary, Chambray is a type of plain weave cloth of a cotton, silk or linen with a colored warp and a white weft.  I knew this but I always associate chambray with a particular shade of indigo.

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TECHNIQUES

I ignored the Burda instructions and followed most of the techniques and varying seam allowances prescribed in Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin. The seams are all felled including the sleeve/armhole seam.  Coffin’s instructions are very clear.  I also used his directions for the collar and cuffs.  He uses a washable glue stick to ‘baste’ the inside faces of the cuffs and collar stand/band down before top stitching.  The Lakehouse was fresh out of gluesticks so I pin basted which wasn’t quite as fun as gluing.

The machine I had with me doesn’t have a rolled hem foot so I sewed a baby hem (using the method with three passes of the machine) and it came out great, maybe even better than a rolled hem.

The INTJ in me usually tries to outsmart the instructions.  In this case, my goal was to attach the bib with no exposed seam allowances.  The bib consists of two pieces of folded fabric with the folded edge overlapped along the center front.  Burda has you fold under the SA of the bib and topstitch it down which leaves you with an exposed seam allowance on the inside.  There’s no attachment method explained in Shirtmaking but from the photos it could be felled, which would be mighty tough with the curved seam.

img_0652I couldn’t give a shirt to my Honey that had exposed seam allowance on the inside, could I?  Technically yes, but I was determined to figure out how to get a clean interior.  So how DO you attach the bib to the bodice without any exposed seam allowances?  I made two tiny clips at the bottom of the bib and used the Burrito method!  Everything is enclosed except for a ¼” slit on the back of the bib.  I attached a tiny patch (hack job) to the inside of the bib to prevent any fraying.  In hindsight this Burrito technique would work better with a separate bib facing instead of folding it.  Then you could skip the clip and patch.

Bib Detail

This was my first time using a ‘button foot’.  I used it for the buttons on the cuffs and it was pretty easy.  I could see how this would be a time saver if you had a lot of buttons.  (The buttons on the bib were sewn with red button and craft thread for a pop of color.)

img_0656LEASONS LEARNED/TIPS

  • Count your buttons and make sure you have enough thread when you sew away from home. I ran out of both when all I had left to do was put the buttonholes on the cuffs.
  • Man-sewing can be fun and satisfying!
  • Muslins can be made from old Marimekko sheets.
  • You could, possibly, baste your garment down to the ironing board cover if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing. Just speaking for a friend.

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White Skinny Jeans – Burda 7863

Finally! A pair of pants completed, white pants, at the end of August.  I worked on my pants sloper on an off with my sewing instructor for about 6 months.  We got the sloper worked out for a standard pair of narrow (not skinny) pants.  The concept is that I can use the sloper to draft any other kind of pant but when dealing with a stretch fabric the whole pattern basically needed to be narrowed in the X direction inlcuding the pockets and crotch width.

I threw caution to the fashion winds and wore them to work today — way after Labor Day!  😛

White jeans are on my SWAP by the way so yeah me!

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PATTERN

I used Burda 7863  as the basis of design.  Basically I used the measurements of the pockets and back yoke.  The top of the jeans is about 1/4″ lower than my sloper.  For the next pair, and there will be several more, I won’t lower the back at all and will dip the front by another 1/2″.  The legs here are much narrower than the Burda pattern.

The pattern calls for a straight waistband but I made a contoured band instead with seams at the sides to allow for adjustments. It’s a bit bulky but I am always tweaking.

The one thing I messed up was the pocket placement on the rear.  It was fine until I started taking the sides in and now they are too far apart.  I’ve put the pants back in the sewing room for the winter  in the hope that I ‘ll get inpired to move them by spring.

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And yes, those are houndstooth Connies!

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FABRIC

I struggled a lot with the nature of the stretch denim which I am guessing has about 3% Lycra.  I think I got it at NY Elegant in NYC.  I prefer 2% Lycra but I had a hard enough time finding a white that was also thick enough to avoid show through.  The pretty floral waistband and zipper guard is actually the last of an old set of sheets.The pocket bags are just a buff colored quilting cotton purchased specifically for this project as I didn’t want anything to show through.

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These are fresh out of a hot dryer for the photo shoot, but they loosen up in after an hour of wear.

I took them in at the waist, hip, and even reduced the crotch extension to accommodate the stretch properties.  I also narrowed the legs for style purposes.

The only fit issue that bothers me are the wrinkles below the derrière. My sewing instructor says that they need to be there if I actually want to SIT in my pants. Bummer!

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CONSTRUCTION

I’ve made jeans before so there was nothing new for these.  I always have difficulty at the ends of the waistband though where there is a lot of bulk.  Need to work on that. Jeans button and rivets are from Joann’s and were easy to intall.

The topstitching was done with white jeans thread which worked just fine.  I had my serger and two sewing machines running for this one so I didn’t have to keep changing the thread.

LEASONS LEARNED

  • Take fabric stretch into account when drafting the pockets.
  • Attach rear patch pockets AFTER fitting the waist and hip.

Burda 8019, aka The Elmo Coat

This is my first coat, Burda 8019, and also one of my favorites.  Early in my sewing journey I purchased this red wool mohair thinking I would make a suit out of it!  Luckily,  I didn’t get to this fabric for a few years and by then realized that it was way too thick for a suit and that a coat would be more appropriate.

Burda 8019Line Drawing

It has raglan sleeves which I prefer for an overcoat, a simple raised collar, princess seams, a dropped waist with a belt, pockets at the waist, and tabs at the sleeves.

It’s lined with satin, and has silk dupioni facings in a red/yellow cross dye.   This is also my first attempt at piping which I used to highlight the seaming.   It’s done in the same dupioni as the facing.  It’s interlined with cotton flannel for warmth and has covered buttons at the belt and sleeve tabs, two more firsts!

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Lessons learned:

1. Always plan your closures before you start to sew.  If I had, I could have made bound buttonholes.

2. Be consistent with the color of cording used inside the piping.  I ran out of white and switched to something dark, and if you look close you can see the difference.

Wow!  I had no idea this was such an adventurous make! [ I posted this on Pattern Review in 2009 and the coat is now starting to show signs of wear.  The dupioni is starting to get thin in places.]