|This review is only for the top - I did not make the skirts.|
"Very close fitting pull-over top has top edges finished with elastic, wide back straps, and shelf bra lining with elastic. "
XS-XL. I am a Burda 42 and my measurements corresponded exactly with the size Large. I would agree that this is "very close fitting".
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes! Even though my fabric isn't anywhere near as stretchy as the guide on the pattern envelope (who actually uses those, anyway??), the fit is still very nice, and as far as I can tell, very true to size considering I was smack-dab in the Large measurement range! I'd definitely describe this as close-fitting though, and the length feels just about perfect to me, too. The only fitting issue that surprised me is how high the neckline is in front! This feel seriously matronly to me - I'd normally have this at least 3 or 4 inches lower in a running top! (Photos)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were fully illustrated and very easy to follow, but some of their finishing techniques STINK! It was also annoying how the overlocker/serger and twin needle/coverstitch instructions were jammed into one tiny paragraph at the beginning, and the rest of the illustrated instructions assumed you could only zig-zag and/or enjoyed the "happy hands at home" look. :/
You also have to watch out, as they tell you to stitch layers together at some points when you really should only be basting (to then remove later to cut down on excess thread against the skin), so don't turn off your brain while you sew!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love, love, love that back view! The open back and double straps are the reason for buying this pattern! (Back photos)
This pattern has an shelf bra, which contains the bulk of my problems with the pattern: the finishing of the under-bust elastic leaves exposed elastic against the skin (what?!?!), an unfinished (albeit small) top edge inside, and unflattering and bad gathers that neither support nor make for clean finishing. (More details on how I dealt with this here...)
The neckline and back/armhole edges are all elasticated, and their technique is pretty much identical to swimwear finishing: Overlock/serge the 1cm wide elastic onto the right side, then flip under and zigzag/coverstitch from the right side. This creates an awful lot of thread underneath though, and the elastic keeps it taut against the body, which is basically a recipe for chafing if you're a distance runner!
This finishing method is absolutely fine for low impact sports like yoga or swimming and casualwear, but is really unsuitable for distance running - the only edge finishing that really is in my opinion, is the coverstitch binding, part of the reason why I stumped up the cash to buy mine!
Even though the back is such a focal point of this pattern, I don't feel they finished those two vertical bands well at all - they just have you turn under the vertical edges and zigzag/coverstitch the seam allowances down. In my opinion this would be far better finished by cutting them again in lining, serging the long edges right sides facing, then flipping right sides out. Or Kathy, who has just made this pattern, too, suggests doing the same narrow elastic finishing to these back pieces that are done to the neckline edges.
The splatter-print jersey I used here is from Minerva - it's a bit 80s but I thought it'd do nicely as a test-top as its soft and has a nice weight. For the shelf bra lining I used a lingerie nylon(?) but in future I'd suggest something more supportive yet breathable like power net. Obviously for heavy-duty running I'd use a wicking supplex for the exterior, but for several reasons I'll go into below, this pattern isn't suited for running anyway.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
In future, I'd make major changes to the shelf bra, or omit it altogether and just wear a separate sports bra underneath even though it'd obstruct the back opening, and I'd coverstitch bind the edges if I wanted this to be for running. But for casualwear or low-impact sports, it's okay as-is I guess.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It entirely depends on what you want to do while wearing it!!
I'd intended this pattern to be a nice running top, but the finishing techniques plus an un-supportive shelf bra means that it's really unsuitable for running or other high impact sport, which really disappointed me. But it turns out it's actually great for hot weather casual wear, and I wore this to work on the hottest day in the past 7 years(!) and it was cool, comfortable, and flattering.
For way more photos, construction techniques, and fixes, head over to FehrTrade.com!