Saturday, April 6, 2013

Burdastyle Ute Sew-Along: Steps 1-3

As promised, I'm going to post a 'how to' on sewing the downloadable Burdastyle Ute (6020) blouse. Using the step numbers from the instructions, I'll fill in some parts that a new sewer might need help with.




Step 1 - Pattern Information

This step is just to tell you what pattern pieces are needed for View A and View B and the amount of fabric you will need. Nothing special here - this is what you would normally see on the back of a pattern envelop...


Step 2 - Tape the Pattern Piece Together

This step just gives instructions on how to print and put together the pattern pieces. The only thing I would add here is make sure you print the page with the test square first - just to make sure it the pattern is going to print at the right scale.

Also, as you tape, it is a good idea to tape at the pattern edges. That way, when you cut out the pattern, it will stay nicely in one piece.

I really like Step 2 - makes me feel like I'm in kindergarden again!

Step 3 - Find Your Size

Unfortunately, the pattern does not give you the finished garment measurements (just a body size chart). So, I compared myself to the chart (I'm 35.5"-30"-30"), which is somewhere between a size 38 and 40 according to the chart.

Having sewn a test blouse, I know that this ends up being way too big for me. To make sure this doesn't happen to you, follow these extra steps.

Step 3 A - Measure the Pattern


Get out a ruler and calculator and measure the pattern at the waist, bust, and hips (or at least bottom of the shirt). Make sure to subtract seam allowances (a 5/8" seam allowance is included) at each seam.

The centre front won't have the same seam allowance because of the button flaps. Instead, you can measure to the line that shows you where to put the buttons and don't subtract any seam allowance.


Your magic formula will be like this: (2 x centre front) + (2 x side front) + (2 x centre back) + (2 x side back) - (6 seams x 2 x 5/8") = finished measurement

For a size 36, I ended up with the following measurements:
  • Bust: 918mm (36.1")
  • Waist: 762mm (30.0") 
  • Hips: 982mm (38.7")
Note: If you want to cheat, it looks like there is about 40mm (about 1 5/8") between each size.

Can you tell that I'm Canadian? I often switch back between metric and imperial measurements without thinking about it - I'll try to mention both where I can. I hope I'm not confusing anyone.  

Step 3 B - Figure Out Ease

You can now compare the finished garment measurements to your body measurements and see if there is enough ease or not.

For a handy little chart on garment ease, check out this post at A Fashionable Stitch.

According to my measurements (35.5"-30"-39"), I will have very little ease in the bust, no ease at the waist and negative ease in the hips. Size 36 might be a bit too small.

Another approach is to measure an existing shirt that fits you well and compare it to the finished pattern measurements. I just happen to have a shirt in a similar cotton stretch (what I will be using) that I can use.


I measured the shirt and had the following measurements:
  • Bust: 910mm (35.8")
  • Waist: 760mm (29.9")
  • Hips: 944mm (37.2")

Very close to the size 36! However, I remember that this shirt is a little big in the bust and a little tight in the waist. So, after reviewing all of my numbers, I decide to go with size 36 for the bust and grade it to a size 38 for the waist and hips.


To grade between sizes check out the Burda's how to "Adjust Patterns for Mixed Sizes" or the A Fashionable Stitch post.

Step 3 C - Cut out the Pattern

Cut out the pattern with paper scissors - save your special fabric cutting scissors so they won't get dull.

Having made a muslin, I already know that the armscye is an issue for me. So, I cut a few sizes bigger at that point.


One more tip: save the scrap pieces of paper. If you are still not sure about your size and you end up cutting an area too small, you can go back and reuse the scraps. All you have to do is tape it back on - rather than printing out the whole pattern again.



Anyways, I hope that this helps other sewers out there. Stay tuned for more Ute sewing.

UPDATE: After all of that work, I ended up finding some of the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern. The finished bust and hip measurments can be found on the side front piece (in small writing). Sheesh! No waist measurement though. If someone finds that, please let me know. It's weird, Burda gives you a whole page of body measurements, but only two finished garment mearsurments (which I think are acutally more important).

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