crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Burda 7220: Oh Burda…

Pattern: Burda 7720

Fabric: Cotton lawn from Joann’s


Everyone told me that Burda had crazy instructions.  I heard them, but then convinced myself that A. I often don’t even use instructions, so I’d be ok and B. that the crazy was probably only in the magazine.  Well wasn’t I wrong!

Burda 7220 looks innocent enough.  Do not be fooled!  I’ve spent weeks (off and on) working on this simple top.  I chose a lightweight cotton (about the weight of a lawn.)  I would not recommend this choice.  I’d go with a polyester so that it doesn’t wrinkle.  The back on this is so long that you will sit on it and look like you’ve slept in your clothes.  For example, this photo was taken five minutes after the one above:

You can see the wrinkles starting, and I haven’t even sat down yet!  So yeah, go with something synthetic here.   I also think it would have nicer with some weight.  Don’t get me wrong though – I actually like this style.  Ok, the mullet hem is a little weird, but it’s trendy this year.  I’ll be happy to wear it a few times, since I got this fabric on clearance.

On to the pattern issues, of which there are many.  But first, a photo of the back, to give an idea of the length (I’m 5’8″ tall if that gives you reference.)

1. There is a back collar stand for no reason that I can tell.  It doesn’t stand up enough to need the stiffness.  But having that stand (in the back only) makes the entire neckline weirdly complicated.  In the end I sewed on the collar stand (with interfacing but no facing) and then just turned and stitched under.

2. The center front gathers are not what you think they are.  They’re actually formed by rows of gathering stitched into a double ended dart.  Have you ever tried to gather stitches and then sew a dart with the gathers?  It was so strange that I couldn’t believe that was what it was actually asking, but it was.  It worked, but you know, I think there was an easier way.

3. The markings.  Made no sense.  In particular the markings around the dart/ front neck opening were impossible, with several intersecting lines that were poorly marked (and at least one set that seemed to serve no purpose!)

4.  The hem markings: The sleeves were not (as far as I can tell) marked for front and back.  One side is shorter, and I guess I’m just supposed to match that up?  It was hard.  Then there is the hem.  The directions say to make a narrow hem, which to me is serging and stitching under on the serging line (3/4″ or so hem allowance.)  That’s what I did for the sleeves, but then when I got the [attern out I realized it was 1 5/8″.  Mine are the same length as the model’s above, but I have long arms.  The bottom of the top has no marking for hem depth that I can find.  The sleeve hem directions actually point to the regular hem, so I’m going to assume the bottom is where the narrow hem goes.  That’s what I did, and I can’t imagine anything else would work on such a curved hem.   Its very confusing, let me tell you!

So that I don’t complain too much, I’ll mention that the top fits well, is true to size, and is trendy without making me feel silly.  In addition, I really appreciate that the sleeves are drafted with very little ease in the caps – I didn’t have to remove any to make it work!

I’m suspecting that the issue is that I haven’t sewn Burda before (other than Burdastyle website patterns).  Most pattern companies have their own language.  I need to learn Burda’s quirks to make their patterns less of a trial.  Maybe the next one won’t take me three weeks!

Would I recommend this pattern?  Well… I personally wouldn’t, but I suppose that depends on your tolerance for bare bones instructions and marking.  I’m glad to have made a Burda, and I will make more (with careful perusal of instructions!)