Sunday, March 12, 2017

Burda 117A Cardigan Complete!

Hello everyone!

I am happy to announce that I sewed my first Burda magazine pattern for adults! While I have previously sewn a Burda pattern before, it was a kids pattern.  This time around, I had two main motivations for sewing an adult pattern.  The first is to complete one of my objectives for the year, which is to actually USE the Burda magazines I already have.   The second is one I will reveal in a post later this week (probably Wednesday).

But, for now, here is the completed 117A Cardigan:

I had such a great time pulling out all my Burdastyle magazines, flipping through them, and trying to decide on a quick make.  This pattern comes from a 2011 magazine, but I noticed that a lot of the styles from that year are what are current now. How crazy is that?? It is certainly true that everything comes back around, I just didn't know it was that "fast." I will surely be re-visiting this issue!

So, let me tell you a bit about the garment.  I made a size 40 with no alterations whatsoever.  I figured the style of the garment had enough ease that I didn't need to be too picky.  My main issue, too, is usually the shoulders, but the raglan sleeves were roomy enough that I did not have any probems there.

For fabric I chose a Dragonfly Blue Rayon/Lycra jersey pre-cut from Fabricmart Fabrics (no longer available, sorry).  I have to say that this fabric is very similar to the one I used for the Love Notions cardigan that I did not like as much as you all did.    I chose it again because I wanted to learn how to sew this type of fabric with minimal frustration.  Now originally I did not want to see this kind of fabric for a while, but after a breather, and some minor adjustments, I was ready.

This time I used my fabric guide to help me make sure I was using the proper technique called for rayon jersey.  I found out I needed a different size needle, and stabilizer for sewing the hems.  Those two tips, along with my walking foot, helped me tremendously!!!!!

So, what was it like to sew a Burda pattern for the first time for myself?  Suprisingly (and maybe because I chose an easy style), it was not bad AT ALL.  Tracing off the pattern definitely threw me for a loop because the lines are so confusing. But, if you focus on YOUR line, it is easy peasy.  When I finished all the tracing, and it was only five pieces, I quickly added the seam allowance (3/8") to each piece by this tip: tape a mechanical pencil to a regular pencil. The distance between the two will be 3/8", and you can then place the mechanical pencil without lead drawn along line you traced, and your pencil will draw the additional line. LOVE this, and it took minutes!

Speaking of tips, I found this amazing blog post HERE about sewing Burda patterns.  In fact, I had my own revelation when it came to one of their diagrams with mini pattern numbers.  I finally figured out that these numbers were for the order of construction!! How brilliant!  It helped to guide me along the process to know which pieces were getting sewn in which step.

If there are any additional tricks of the trade you use for Burda patterns, let me know!

I will tell you to be careful when sewing this pattern together on the neckline. I totally goofed on the pieces with extensions.  They are there so that when you attach the facing, it lines up nicely with the front pieces. Of course I didn't leave those ends free, so my version is turned in a little more, but I do like the effect. I will fix that for next time.

The fit, though, is TRULY AMAZING! I understand why people LOVE to sew Burda patterns now! I mean, where can you flip through a fashion magazine, find a style you love, then recreate it with ease?  I am sold!  I will need to stick to the simpler patterns for now (building up my confidence since there are not a lot of pictures to go with each step), yet this garment encouraged me.  I have worn it twice already, and can see this in much of my everyday wardrobe.

So, I did leave out one BIG reason I sewed this, though.  Here is the clue: there was an event I wanted to attend! It is something related to crafts and craftiness, and I will be sharing the answer in a blog post this week!  If you want to take a guess in the comments as to where I went, please feel free!

Bye for now!

Stay sew-filled!


  1. Congrats on you first (for you) Burda!! And you see why many of us rave! Sure the tracing can feel cumbersome but Burda almost always gets it 100% right with style and fit.

    I love the fabric you chose too. Such a gorgeous color.

    Will be curious to hear about your event! :)

  2. So cute Vanessa, and congrats on your first Burda!

  3. My guess is another sewing meet-up? I love how your cardigan turned out. The fabric is beautiful.

  4. You are so adorable! I love your cardigan! So cute on you and the color is so vibrant, great work!

  5. Love your cardi and your tips. I knew about the numbers but I thought they were just meeting points not construction order so you have enlightened me. Burda drafting is pretty good.

  6. Confession: I have never sewn a Burda pattern. I think you made a wise choice for your first one and it turn out exceptional. Love love love the color on you.


Let me know what you think!