Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dress, Interrupted

I'm in a holding pattern on my black and white dress, and I needed to clear my head.  What's better than a quick knit top?  I got the June Burda on Saturday, and while it's not an exciting issue, it does have some good basics.  I decided to try out the fitted tshirt pattern, in the hope it would be as good as the 9/10 turtleneck pattern.  No such luck.  It's not bad, and it could be tweaked into being better, but it will not take the place of my favorite TNT KwikSew 3338.  Full patternreview here, and below. 

Pattern Description: From the magazine: This comfy t-shirt has a fitted cut and decorative stitching on neck and sleeve edges to make it truly special. What they don't mention: center back seam, invisible zip (in a knit?) and a NECK FACING?

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-44. I made a 38, my standard size in Burda knits.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It looks more like the photo than the drawing, right down to the odd pulling across the front. I didn't expect that result on me - face it, the model is young, tall, thin and boobless. Whatever my end result, I didn't think it would be the same.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Having made a load of tshirts before from my favorite KwikSew 3338 pattern, I didn't read them until afterward. That was when I found out that although I was making a knit tshirt, I was supposed to sew a center back seam and insert an invisible zipper in a knit. Sure I was. Whatever the people at Burda are smoking, they didn't include any with my magazine subscription.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I didn't really think I needed another tshirt pattern, but I'm about to trace my KS 3338 pattern onto cardboard because I've worn it to shreds, and I wanted to try out a new pattern just to see what it looked and felt like before I committed to using KS forever.

This hasn't changed my feelings for KS 3338. It's not a bad tshirt, and what attracted me was the more RTW cut (higher neckline, shorter sleeves) - and the flashback it gave me to my high school years when they first came out with what they called "French cut" tshirts. Anybody out there remember the revelation of tshirts that fit? That didn't look like you raided your brother's drawer? Indulging my nostalgia and trying out a new pattern that would only take an evening didn't seem like a bad idea.

Fabric Used: Rust/brown cotton jersey from Jomar in Philadelphia. I've had it in stash for a year or two, and when I finished the shirt last night, I looked in my closet to find a skirt to pair it with today and there were at least 4. I'm consistent in my colors, if nothing else.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: When I looked at the line drawing, I somehow missed the center back seam and zipper, which was good because then I would have had to knowingly ignore it. What I did notice was that they had included front and back neck facings. On a tshirt. I guess that's the "decorative stitching" they mentioned in the description, but I have never understood the point of facings in knits if there's any way around it. I cut a strip of fabric and made a neck band like I would on my normal pattern.

Other than that, I assembled it like a normal tshirt: reinforce shoulder seam, sew shoulder seam, insert neck band, sew sleeves in flat, sew side seams from sleeve hem to shirt hem. Coverstitch hems. Wear.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't think I'll sew this EXACT shirt again. I haven't determined if it's a pattern drafting issue or maybe a fabric issue (my knit was a bit drapier than I realized before I cut into it), but there's a bit of pulling across the upper chest (not across the boobage, where I'd expect it) and a little bit of drag under the arms. It looks like it would be solved by taking in the side seams, but that would turn this into a different shirt, and that wasn't the intent. I'm 47; I'm not heading for a tight tshirt contest this summer.

Conclusion: Not a bad pattern, just requires a little more tweaking to get the fit I want. I may simply combine the useful and classic neckline and shorter sleeve length with the body of my standard KS 3338. At some point I'd like to lay the two patterns out together and see what the differences are, especially in the underarm/upper bust area. When I get around to that, I'll update the review to show the differences in the pattern.


Anonymous said...

I nominate this for the best sentence I've ever read in a pattern review: "Whatever the people at Burda are smoking, they didn't include any with my magazine subscription."

Marie-Christine said...

It would definitely be interesting to see what the differences between the 2 patterns were, and especially what causes that odd chest pull. But really, if you have a perfect pattern already, I'm puzzled as to why you'd even think of trying another? Much better to do any style experiments starting from what fits you already.

Kyle said...

I second anon--that sentence is priceless!