The Burda pattern (Burda #128 11/2012 ) that I’ve used for this month’s contribution to the Burda challenge, actually came as a free pattern in a Burda website “Advent Calendar” (Thanks Burda!) I was drawn to the oversized style of this sweatshirt and the split hem adds just a little interest to its casual simplicity.
The fabric I bought at Sew Brum last year. It was the most expensive fabric I bought during the day, but I had wanted to buy some good quality cotton-only sweat-shirting for a while. The fabric was from Guthrie and Ghani and has a multi-coloured fleck effect. At the moment I can see different colours of this fabric in stock on their website including Tangerine, Mint Green and Sky Blue.
I hit a snag in the making process, which was due entirely to the fabric I chose. Like most Burda patterns there isn’t much guidance on the fabric types which you can use with the pattern. It just says “knit fabrics”. So helpful! But I was convinced that the top the cool lady on the bicycle is wearing is made from sweat-shirting and so that was the look I tried to emulate. The pattern requires a little easing in the fabric of the sleeves at the cuffs and the fabric that I chose is reasonably bulky and not particularly stretchy. This meant I had to reduce the width of the sleeves in order to gather in the fabric to the cuffs. I just couldn’t get all the bulk of the original sleeve width to fit the cuff otherwise. I’m sure with a thinner fabric this sleeve width would have been fine though. I do like the puffiness of the sleeves at the cuff, so I tried to keep as much of this as possible.
There was another feature in the pattern which caused me some deliberations. In the instructions the neckline is finished with bias binding or stay-tape. I chose some cotton lawn bias binding that I found in Ely in Cambridgeshire over the Easter break. For some reason I get quite carried away making the insides of my garments look pretty. No-one is really going to see these details, but they make me feel happy! Anyway I think this fabric complements my sweat-shirting well. I did worry, unjustifiably about whether this finished had worked well. I was anxious about whether the neckline had stretched out in the process, but once it was finished I felt pleased with the result. If you take a look at the examples on the Burda website, I can see that some of the necklines are finished more successfully than others, so perhaps my anxiety wasn’t entirely misplaced.
I found though that as a design it is probably a little too over-sized for my liking and I took quite a bit of width off (about 2cm at each side seam) and about 5cm of length. It’s still what I would call over-sized, but I’m not drowning in it!
Finally, I do wonder whether there is an optimal method for attaching a split band at the bottom of a sweatshirt or jersey top. I ended up with a bit of a gap between the front and back bands, but resolved this by adding a few machine stitches at the side seam to pull the two hem bands together. Perhaps, when I finally get around to sewing up the Driftless Cardigan (I have this pattern, but have yet to sew it), I might find some advice on this.
All in all, I am super pleased with my sweatshirt. My worries when creating this garment were quite unfounded. It has proved to be extremely comfortable and just the sort of sweater that I needed in my wardrobe. I’m thinking about all those comments I made about layering in my last post, so I think I will be seeing how this garment could be layered. At this point in a post I always like to consider whether I would use this pattern again. Sometimes you don’t feel that a garment is particularly successful or a garment is so unique in design that you don’t feel you need a repeat, but this top with its simple over-sized feel, is definitely something I’d make again. I would love to choose some more of the same fabric too, perhaps is a less vibrant shade.