Thursday, May 13, 2010

From "nice" to "interesting" - Burda 7760

When I have a sewing disaster I remember some of the things my sister has told me "if you're not making mistakes, you're not making anything," and "sewing is a journey," and "every garment is a learning experience."

And all of the above applies to Burda's version of the Jalie sweet heart top. I made a full muslin in viscose, which has similar properties to merino wool - it's spongey and slips around a bit and doesn't have great recovery. Only I did not bother finishing my hems, which proved to be my undoing.

The most important alteration with Burda: raising the neckline. They would have us sport a whole lot of cleavage. I take a tuck at the neckline reducing to nothing at the armhole and do the same to the facing.

After a number of other small alterations, I made what was supposed to be my final version in a rib knit merino. All was going beautifully - I used vilene bias tape to secure the edges, used a walking foot and a ball point needle, used a very narrow zigzag stitch for the seam to hold their elasticity and sewed it all up beautifully. When I got to the hems I decided I would use hemming web to secure the hem, and the super stretchy stitch. Well, the hem super stretchyied out - until I had a huge wavering mess. In a panic I took in the side seams, but this only contorted the fabric further, pulling the whole front further and further off grain.

When I tried it on, and looked in the mirror I said to myself, "no, not even for the Sally Army."

If you've ever tried to unpick the super stretchy stitch you'll know that is an exercise in vanity, and because I had to cut in to the fabric to take in the side seams there wasn't much left for me to fix.

I went out and bought some more merino, this time with some lycra to aid recovery. Oh yes that lycra sure does bounce back, it stretches and hugs every curve... and every bulge. Now the fabric was too tight, clinging ungraciously to every fault. I used a twin needle on the hems, as the pattern insisted, and it came out as planned, only I will never be comfortable sporting this degree of anatomical detail to the world.

At this point I considered my options: a fourth attempt, in merino without lycra and praying to the twin needle gods? Could I cut off the worst of the hemming mess on the second top and add a band? Could I wear the third top with a cardigan over the top and shapewear underneath? Should I take a "back fat be damned" attitude and wear it anyway? Or should I remove the bow and turn it into underwear given that this merino is a super soft and snuggly baby weight?

I decided I'd try the middle options. And that is what we have: Burda 7760 with hip band and Burda 7760 sweetheart top with back fat.

Overall I've learned a lot about sewing merino, and stretch, and fitting stretch, but I think the two previous reviewers on Pattern Review who said, "the Jalie one is better" are probably right.

However, there are two advantages to the Burda one: because it is constructed with a front facing instead of small bands to finish the neckline it works well with unstable knits, like merino. Secondly, the bow is super adorable. It's sweet and a little provocative - at the end of the day, it's the details on Burda that keep me coming back. They just know how to take a garment and add a little spice. And spice is what takes a garment from "nice" to "interesting."

The inside of the sleeve is gathered:


  1. Wow, that is some sewing adventure!!! But one that is not entirely unfamiliar. My first experience sewing a sweater knit was similar....but I do like that pattern a lot, you are right about how the bow and the gathered sleeves really set it apart.

  2. Sewing knits is a bit of a lottery isn't it? At least you have this experience under your belt for next time. I think this top is a great style and agree the extra details make all the difference.

  3. I like them both. There's no way I'd be wasting gorgeous soft snuggly merino, so I'd just wear a cardy over the 2nd one. (Except that I can't see my back so I don't have to know if there's back fat there! As they say, ignorance is bliss.)

  4. I like Burda for the same reasons - plus it's so economical: a whole magazine of patterns for half the price of a Jalie pattern. Since you're saving so much money, you can do more trials of the same garment!

    Anyway, from half a world away, both tops look pretty nice.

  5. No one would know you had to add a border to the red one. It belongs! This style looks good on you and is worth sewing again. Now, tell us, did you sew your jeans, too?

  6. Ugh, I just went to wadderville, so I feel your pain about learning from mistakes, except for the fact I'm not sure what I learned yet. I love the red top.

  7. It's a shame that you had to take that journey. Have you tried blind hemming a super stretchy knit? I have found that the zig zag allows the hem to stretch when you want to put it on, but it is less likely to stretch out of shape whilst sewing and doesn't give the tunneling problems that I seem to get when using a twin needle on lightweight knits.

  8. Would a few more platitudes help?
    I could try and think of some. I'm afraid any sewing advice I could offer would be like taking towels to Manchester.

  9. I haven't come across this pattern so thank you for sharing it. Sorry to hear it was such a painful process!

  10. I made this pattern from the magazine a while ago in the dress version and I don't like it on me as a dress, but I think I might cut it off and make a top. I like yours, although I agree that the Jalie probably has a better shape. I agree with you about Burda patterns. I spent some time today photocopying the line drawings from 8 years worth of magazines and it was a pleasant afternoon reminding myself why I go to the effort of tracing them all off. The little extra touches, like interesting plackets, make them so much more interesting. My low tech solution for sewing super stretchy knits has been to use the walking foot and lay a piece of thin tracing paper over the bit I'm stitching. It's a pain to pull the little bits of paper out of the stitches sometimes, but perhaps less trouble than all you went through.

  11. I feel your pain! I actually think both tops look pretty good. I think the second top is more flattering on you than you think.

    Reading everyone's comments is super helpful. I have the same troubles and now I can try a couple of these solutions for next time.

  12. cute tops, there seem to be alot of things about them that work, the bow, the neckline, the shoulder fit, the colour and the sleeves. I think they're really flattering...from the front, and hey, you can't see the back and we are all in that same back fat boat.

  13. You are amazing! I'm so impressed with how you stuck to this. And I love the finished product!! That bow and sleeve gathers really are adorable. My next sweetheart top is definitely getting a bow...

  14. hello MaryNanna, It's me again. I sewed a knit dress this morning and I put the foot pressure on my machine to the lowest possible setting to sew the hem. It is not something that I have done before but it seemed to really improve the stretch-out problem. Maybe you already did this, but if not, something to try next time.

  15. I think the second top looks great on you - it is structured and shapely. Don't fret about the back view!
    For the hems on my knit fabrics I use woolly nylon thread in the bobbin. It gives the hem some movement while not strecthing out of shape

  16. I find knits very frustrating. I unpicked a lot of coverstitching yesterday. Buying a coverstitch was only slightly helpful!
    I think the red top looks really good with the band, good save, and I love the bow. With the other top - is it worth adding an extra layer (same fabric) to the back? I have found this smooths out my lumps and bumps, and makes a clingy knit more wearable.

  17. I'm also still in that steep knit learning curve, Marynanna. I've found the following useful when stitching hems: walking foot, lowering the foot pressure, woolly nylon in the bobbin, sticking masking tape to stabilize the hem next to where I'm going to stitch, and using soluble stabiliser underneath or on top of the fabric (like Carol's tracing paper, but without the little bits of scratchy paper). I like doing samples with different stitches, and have found the stretchy stitches usually stretch the fabric. Hope this helps you next time!

  18. I think they look pretty good, but I can understand your drive to get them just so. I love what your sister has to say about making mistakes. I'm committing that to my repertoire of aphorisms to combat Post-Project Depression-well, that and a trip to the mall to look at people with ill-fitting clothes, LOL :)

  19. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.

    I do believe that you ought to publish more on this subject,
    it may not be a taboo matter but usually people do not talk about such
    issues. To the next! Many thanks!!
    My webpage futures trading demo

  20. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it
    up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best
    Here is my blog : lanautica

  21. I just like the helpful information you provide to your articles.
    I'll bookmark your blog and check once more here frequently. I'm
    relatively certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right right here!
    Best of luck for the following!
    Stop by my blog webcam chatt free

  22. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate on-line blogshop for wholesale & quantity korean add-ons, accessories, earstuds, locket, rings, bangle, hair & bracelet add-ons.

    Deal 35 % wholesale discount. Ship Worldwide
    My homepage - La Fiesta

  23. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei greatest on the internet blogshop
    for wholesale & quantity korean add-ons, accessories, earstuds, necklace, rings, trinket, bracelet & hair accessories.
    Promotion 35 % wholesale markdown. Ship Worldwide
    my web site >

  24. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei ultimate on the internet blogshop for wholesale & supply korean add-ons, accessories, earstuds, choker,
    rings, hair, bracelet & trinket add-ons. Offer 35 % wholesale markdown. Ship Worldwide
    My web site ; pet sitting services

  25. A huge dick in my pussy,any warm wet tounge up my arse and cum as well as pussy juice all over me.
    Fuck, ozzy

    Also visit my web site: hcg injections

  26. Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this website is truly nice and the people are actually sharing fastidious thoughts.

    My web-site; www.Xxxmoviegalls.Com

  27. Excellent way of explaining, and nice article to take data on the
    topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to present in college.

    Feel free to visit my site

  28. You are so cool! I don't think I've read through anything like that before.
    So good to find another person with some unique thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet,
    someone with some originality!

    Feel free to visit my weblog -