I admit it, I’m an indie pattern fan. I tried a few “Big 4” patterns (McCalls, Butterick, Vogue and Simplicity) when I was starting out, and they almost all turned out oversized and ill-fitting. I got into the habit of buying Indie patterns instead, and never looked back… until now!
This year one of my Top 5 Sewing Goals is to sew a Big 4 pattern each season. I want to give mainstream paper patterns a shot in case i’ve been missing great things all along!
I decided to start with Burda 6439, View A, because I love the fluttery sleeves. I don’t have anything like this in my pattern collection already, so it seemed worth a shot!
Of course, I made a few changes along the way…
- I sewed mine in a gorgeous Cali Fabric Liverpool knit instead of a woven – and I think it has the perfect amount of stretch, drape and structure!
- Using a knit worked out perfectly for me, because I’m technically 2 sizes larger than the pattern allows. I added a bit of ease in the skirt to be safe, but ended up taking it out again after I tried it on.
- I eliminated the back buttons, because who needs them in a knit?
- I scooped a 1/4″ swayback adjustment off the back waist seam.
- I didn’t have to adjust the length at all, which was surprising because I’m 4″ shorter than the pattern is designed for!
- I added elastic in the waist seam, running from one of the two front darts in the skirt around the back to the other front dart. That means the back and sides are snugged in firmly, but there is no elastic running across my centre front waist, so everything sits smoothly.
- The pattern suggests hand-sewing the hems of the sleeve – I have no idea why! It was easy just to hem them by machine.
I love this print, but it really obscures the details of the dress. In the picture above, you can just about see a line of stitching coming up from the waist at the side seam, creating a side seam in the wings of the bodice. (It’s much clearer if you look at the line drawing on the pattern.) I love how the wide bodice combines with the slim waist and skirt to create a nice hourglass effect!
In fact, I loved this fabric and pattern combo so much that I promptly sewed another Cali Liverpool knit (this time in a bold floral) into the other view of this pattern! I’ll be back with that one soon… and in the mean time, perhaps you could share your favourite Burda patterns with me? I’d love to try more!