Monday, February 8, 2010

Why Do The Burda Ladies Hate Me?

Clearly they have some sort of personal vendetta out against me.  Is it because I questioned their sobriety?  Because based on the truly disastrous results I had this weekend making up one of their skirts, I can only assume that their crack-addled brains have become hell bent on making my life miserable.  The fact that I chose a skirt from the April 2007 issue, printed three full years before I ever outted the crack-smokin' fashion ladies at Burda, will not sway me from my firm belief in their vindictiveness.  No.  It will not.

So I spent all weekend (and by "all weekend" I mean practically every waking moment from Saturday at 8 am to Sunday at 8 pm... yes, all weekend) trying to deal with skirt #136 from the 04/2007 issue of BWOF

BWOF 04-2007 136

BWOF 04-2007 136 ld

I was motivated to start my new and improved wardrobe (partly from the fact that my jeans are rapidly coming to resemble rags).  I very carefully and dutifully took my measurements again, because despite the fact that my little weight slider thing hasn't slid at all (long story), my measurements are definitely smaller than the were two months ago. So armed with brand-spankin' new measurements, I diligently looked up my size on the BWOF sizing chart and discovered.... that I wear exactly the same size that I wore before.   Uh… huh?

This should have tipped me off right there that I was in big trouble.  But do I listen to my inner voices?  Sure, when they tell me that famous TV stars really do love me (he does, Angie, he does!).  But when they're screaming "Cut a size smaller!  Cut a size smaller, for the love of all that's holy!!"?  Nope.  Not me.  When they also hollered "For Pete's sake you stupid woman, make a MUSLIN!!" I turned a deaf ear.  I'm perverse like that.

I could regale you with all the gory details, but to be honest I just don't think I have the stomach for it.  Let's just say that by cutting the size that was a teensy tiny bit smaller than my measurements called for I ended up with, well, a potato sack.  And of course because I decided I was making a "wearable muslin" (bah hahahhahaha!), I had already finished and topstitiched all the interior seaming and could only adjust at the side seam. 

Things I've learned: 

1)You can't really take in a panel skirt four inches at the side seam and expect good results.  

2)Fat people should not wear big skirts.  This does not do good things to their thighs.  Unless “cube” is the style they’re going for.

Now, in the interest of fairness to the drug-addled Burda ladies, I will say that there may have been several extenuating circumstances in this fiasco.

1) When I attached the waistband without any alterations, it mysteriously lined up perfectly with the side seams…. despite the fact that I took off at least two inches from the waist.  This makes me wonder if I somehow traced out the wrong size.  Either that or if I'd tried to make the skirt without adjustments, I would have been really pissed off that the waistband was too small.

2) The pattern calls for a mid-weight drapey fabric (like linen) and I used denim.  This was in retrospect probably not a good idea, as the skirt didn't maybe hang the way it was supposed to.  It was still humongous.  But it might not have been so atrocious if it was drapier.  Maybe.

3)  I clearly have some trouble with my brain when I sew.  Which is leading me to wonder if other people with what I can only term "learning disabilities" also sew and how do they cope?  Because the fact that it took me all weekend to make that flippin' disaster of a skirt (which isn't even finished yet because it still needs the waistband sewn down and a buttonhole), makes me think that I maybe have the wrong hobby.

Which leads me to a general question: Do you have dyslexia and sew?  Or do you know anybody who has dyslexia and sews?  Do they have trouble?  Or is it just that I'm stupid? 

Wait.  Maybe I don't want you to answer that.


  1. I've never tried a Burda pattern and after reading several other bloggers' issues with them I probably won't. I hate that you spent so much time on this. i hope that it is at least wearable now.

  2. Oh no! I was hoping that skirt would work - it is so darn cute! I actually have some dyslexia + sewing = yay experience. My sister is severely (as in they thought she would never be able to read - since she is now working on her masters in library science, I say poo on "them", but whatever) dyslexic and sews. She hasn't been doing it long, but she has managed some pretty impressive successes, all things considered. You are an excellent sewer/ist/seamstress/whatever. I have faith in you. I don't have faith in any pattern company's measurements, though. I always sew a size smaller than my measurements, and I've never had anything end up too small.

  3. Dislexia... hmmmmm. I was going to say no, I can't claim that excuse, but perhaps there is a similar malady called "sewing dislexia"? That would explain my embarrassingly inattentive measuring/cutting/stitching mistakes. Sometimes I think the part of my brain responsible for doing these things correctly sneaks off to hide at key moments with the express purpose of watching me screw up, so it can have the fun of snickering at me. Too bad the skirt has been such a headache, but congrats on the smaller measurements.

  4. Flat pattern measuring. That shall be your salvation. Boring, but waaay quicker than where you are now. I'm sorry for the death of your denim. And for the death of your weekend!

    Been reading your blog a while and have enjoyed it immensely, so I hope a few words of encouragement will be sufficient thanks.

    I also sew, but am currently knitting. Knitting pattern charts tell as much truth as sewing pattern charts ie NONE. With the correct gauge, exactly as they require, making the size suggested (bust size ** actual size **, inc 6cm ease). Actual, actual size 13cm ease. Spreadsheets don't lie. Pattern size charts, on the other hand, are written by people with Dyscalculia!


  5. It happens to the best of us. As peppermint penguin said, measure the flat pattern. And the burda hints about what kind of fabric to pick are not pointless. I also think this skirt needs drape. Oh well... If you rip it apart, can you at least make something for one of your daugther?

  6. Unfortunately it happens to all of us. Its what I generally term a worthy 'learning experience'. Just a bummer you had to spend the whole weekend on it! On that note, I very often find (regardless of pattern brand) that waistband length doesn't fit the skirt - its a common problem (and surely I can't accidently cut the wrong size EVERY time...). As for Burda? I went to buy their magazine for the first time last time week, it was only the issue in German that interested me (I don't speak German). Perhaps I made the right decision in passing that one by. Good luck with recovering the skirt, somehow.

  7. I have SADD (sewing ADD). It happens when I think I actually KNOW how to sew! And I forge ahead and don't do what I should do, like measuring and muslins and trying techniques BEFORE applying them to garments! Good luck with the skirt. I hope you can salvage it. And if not, well, just move on to something else.

  8. Are you going to let a little thing like taking too long to produce a wadder stop you from perfecting your wardrobe? Angst I can handle but we all go thru it. Garment making is a science as well as an art and the scariest part is we have to face up to our imperfections, square nose to nose and eye to eye. For me it is taking a lifetime and I still am kicking myself in much a similar way over taking too long, letting a seam be wavy, etc etc etc. And yeah, there are wicked patterns out there as well as totally malicious there's also magic involved in this so called "craft". But you're so gorgeous and so smart I would hate to hear you were tossing it all and leaving me here alone to toil these threads unaccompanied. PS I didn't like that pattern anyway. And denim is hellish when it isn't "just perfect" in weight, hand and drape. Good thing you didn't waste a wonderful wool on this THING.

  9. Woman. John Simms does NOT love you. You've been sharing the Burda ladies crack pipe again, haven't you.

    word ver: obilly.

    "It was an obilly of a day."

    "Obilly! I forgot to wear underpants today!"


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