Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sewing with Burda pattern 9503

Oh boy ... I've been AWOL from Blogland this week sewing a dress for my granddaughter, little c.  It's a simple type of dress, but I kept running into big problems with the pattern - and then kept making silly mistakes of my own!  Like sewing an arm on inside out, which for some reason is something I do every so often!

The pattern is Burda 9503.  If you haven't used Burda before, I'd think long and hard about it if you're not very experienced in sewing and if the pattern isn't marked "easy."  Burda is a European pattern company and from my experience, the translations on the instructions tend to be difficult to understand.  And they're pretty sparse!  Burda patterns didn't used to include seam allowances on the pieces - they do now, however it can be confusing to figure out just how much of a seam allowance they're talking about!

If you do decide to use this pattern, here are some of the problems I ran into and how I fixed them:

Okay - the first one isn't a problem with the pattern!  It's the way I was taught to mark things on patterns, like dots and where buttonholes go.  I always thought everyone did it this way, but I keep seeing odd other ways, so I thought I'd show you what I do.  Using thread in a color that shows up well against the fabric, go through the dot all the way through the fabric and pull leaving a fairly long tail.  Go down through the dot the other way and pull through leaving a large loop.  Cut the thread off leaving a long tail and cut the loop apart.  Take the pattern off.

Then slowly open up the fabric being careful not to pull any of the threads full.  Clip threads down the middle so that you have thread markings on each piece of fabric.

Now on to the problems!  The first one is that when I went to pin the neck binding on, it was not even close to being long enough.  So I had to cut another piece of binding that was longer.  Luckily I had enough on the bias to do this!  That problem was easily solved.

The biggie was in the button placket.  For some reason, the instructions themselves were hard to follow and nothing seemed to go together the way it looked in the diagrams.  So after struggling with that, I finally ended up making it work, went to make the buttonholes, and - nope.  The placket was so thick, my machine wouldn't make buttonholes in it.  The plackets did turn out much thinner than I thought they should, which makes me think the problem may have been in how big the seam allowance on them was.  Seeing nothing to the contrary (and I've scoured those instructions again!), I made them 5/8 inch.  I ended up having to take the plackets off (this was after top stitching them and having them totally finished .... not fun!), cut new plackets since I wrecked the first ones getting them off, and re-sewing them using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This worked much better, so I'm thinking the instructions might have meant to say that ....

Anyways, it's finished!

And I have to show you a close up of the buttons - I love them!  They're from Joann's.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Sympathies! Their patterns always look so tempting, but I'm not quite brave enough - heard too many horror stories about Burda's instructionsl.

  2. Those buttons are the cutest thing! Little C will look so cute in that!

  3. That dress is darling! I need to start sewing for my daughters.

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