The Burda Difference UPDATE

I mentioned Burda patterns as a "rite of passage" for a sew-er and I think I was pretty dead on.  I am learning a lot about through this process, not the least of which is confirming to READ the pattern instructions all the way through before making your first cut.  Instead of lazily waiting around for the fabric to arrive, I should have been reading.  Oh, and buying lining.  I forgot this dress has some of that. 

First of all, with Burda you get European sizing.  Since I still don't know quite how to measure myself in "American", perhaps this hurdle loomed a little larger than normal for me.  I got it figured out and I'm a 40.  But I don't ever trust myself with this stuff.  How is that when this is the Fourth Dress already?  We'll know at the end of the month.  So anyway, plan ahead and figure out your size.

I already mentioned the lack of seam allowance in some Burda (and other patterns), but I'll mention it again.  Make sure there are seam allowances included and if not, be sure to add them when cutting!

On to the part about reading the pattern: I started cutting before I came across this one, but I think it will work out.  This pattern asks that when cutting the pattern you fold right sides together.  This is a little new for me, and it made it really hard to make sure the grain was running in the right direction.  Honestly, I'm a little nervous that my straight corduroy lines will be running a little slantways.  That's weird to fold the fabric that way, right?  Especially when you're trying to line up stripes?  I guess I could have folded it with corduroy welts out, and put the pattern pieces on upside down before cutting, right?  Anyway, read the instructions and avoid these neurotic ramblings of a folding-challenged sew-er.

Finally, something to love a little about Burda is there loosey goosey pattern placement schematics.  This is how the tell you to place the pattern pieces before cutting:
 But this is actually how closely they fit:

And THIS is actually how much extra fabric you have when all the pieces are placed snug as a bug and cut:
Now, I ordered and extra half a yard of fabric since I was buying on line (stroke of genius, non?) but this is seriously a lot of fabric left over.  I should be mad about the waste, but this fabric was super cheap on sale.  And it's kind of liberating to not have all this spelled out for you.  At least I think so.  But my sewing kit has soup cans in it.  

PS, You may remember a few posts back that when my brother runs a marathon, I run circles around those in the "best-dressed cheering section".  Doug's running the Chicago marathon this morning.  Wish him luck!

UPDATE from 10/13/10: My brother did really well.  He finished in 4:43 and it was even 81 degrees at the finish line.  We got to see him at four different spots.  I choked up at everyone.  Go Doug!

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