Good morning, friends! For the past two weeks, the Curvy Sewing Collective editors have been sharing our pieces from the BurdaStyle Plus Blog Tour. We were asked to each pick a pattern from Burda’s two plus size sewing kits, the Plus Size Essentials Collection and the Best of Burdastyle: Plus Size Collection, make it up as we wanted, then provide an honest and thoughtful review based on our experience. As you know, our editorial board is a diverse group, both in terms of body shape and personal style. We have relatively new sewists and women who have been sewing most of their lives. So, as you would expect, our experiences with these patterns were just as varied! Let’s look at how we did, shall we?
The Jersey Dress — Jenny of Cashmerette
“I really like the design and shape of this dress, which frankly is the all-around most important factor in a pattern for me. It really accentuates my hourglass-ish shape, and I love the neckline. I didn’t use the sleeves (I had to do a little adjusting at the armscye but not much), and as it is, it really reminds me of the Roland Mouret galaxy dress, well known for its flattering qualities. I used black ponte, and then a stretch cotton pique down the middle panels to give a bit of texture, and that worked really well – you could also colour block this pattern very easily.” – Jenny
Though, she ended up loving her dress, Jenny did have some issues with too-large sizing and pattern tracing. She wouldn’t recommend the pattern for a beginner seamstress, as previous dressmaking experience came in handy when navigating the instructions, but it’s still a winning pattern! To see more photos and pattern thoughts, check out Jenny’s blog post! The Jersey Dress is part of the Best of Burdastyle Plus Size Pattern Kit and available in the Interweave store.
The Tunic Dress — Tanya of Mrs. Hughes
“This dress reminds me of a poet blouse and is loose-fitting and super comfy. The fabric I used is Joel Dewberry Bungalow Swallow Study teal rayon challis that I purchased from Fabric.com. It’s lined with a white cotton voile. This pattern is marked “Intermediate”, but I think that a beginner/advanced beginner could definitely sew this up. The instructions are good, although Burda does not hold your hand like Colette Patterns do, so if you’re not familiar with some terms, you may have to look them up.” – Tanya
Tanya’s printed tunic dress turned out beautifully, didn’t it? She made a few adjustments to make it her own, including adding a lining and leaving the sleeves loose, which work wonderfully well with this pattern. Personally, I’m gaga over the fabric she chose and can easily imagine this dress in all sort of gorgeous, printed rayons now. To see more pictures and read further about Tanya’s experience, check out her blog post. The Printed Tunic is available in the Best of Burdastyle Plus Size Pattern Kit and available in the Interweave store.
The Loose Jacket — Laurence of QuirkyPrettyCute
“I wanted to make a very comfortable cardigan/jacket with a woolen jersey. The fabric I picked only stretches one way, and I count on it for the days I may have to pull it closed around the bump. My fabric choice made me decide to slightly shorten the length of the pattern and to go for one size smaller around the shoulders. I also did not grade up for the waist nor hips because the pattern already provided a lot of ease. The result is the most comfy cardi/jacket I ever had ! It is also super warm and will accomodate my body changes. I really like the front flounce and the way you can just wrap yourself into it.” – Laurence
Laurence’s version of the Loose Jacket looks like the perfect comfortable topper for chilly autumn days! She had a great experience putting the pattern together (she even enjoys the taping!) and making it up, though next time around she would use a thinner fabric, to reduce bulk. To see more pictures and read her experience, check out her blog post! The Loose Jacket is part of the BurdaStyle Plus Size Essentials Collection and is available in the Interweave store.
The Faux Wrap Dress – Mary of Idle Fancy
My own dress was a bit of mixed bag, caused by fitting issues and first time tracing woes, but I ended up liking the dress anyhow. The deep V of the faux wrap is a sexier style than I normally wear, but it’s nice to show a bit of skin every now and again! Since posting this dress, I’ve actually separated the bodice and skirt from each other, forming a waist seam and taking out two inches of length through the waist. The result is very cute, indeed. I plan on using this bodice again, with a fuller skirt, for the perfect party dress.
To read more about my experience and check out all the pictures, hop on over to my blog! The Faux Wrap Dress is part of the BurdaStyle Plus Size Essentials Collection and is available in the Interweave store.
The Cape – Sophie-Lee of Two Random Words
“All in all? Well, I kind of like it – I’m thinking of it as my Classy Snuggy. Like, it will be choice to keep me warm in the outdoors, as I’m not constrained by sleeves but can still do stuff with my arms. But in all honesty, if I wasn’t doing this for the CSC, I wouldn’t have finished it!” – Sophie-Lee
Confronted with drafting woes, fabric issues, and a lack of instructions, Sophie-Lee had a an absolute battle with her cape. We’ve all had project like that, haven’t we? I absolutely love the interesting seaming and fit of her finished project, but the actual sewing process sounds much more intense than the other patterns we tried. To read Sophie-Lee’s full, honest review and all the details, check out her blog. The Cape is part of the Best of Burdastyle Plus Size Pattern Kit and available in the Interweave store.
The Draped Dress — Mary of Young, Broke, and Fabulous
“The silhouette is flattering. This dress design had a lot of potential. However, all of that ruching, a “plus size design element” put in place to supposedly hide belly fat or whatever (that’s what I always hear said about ruching on garments) ruins it.” – Mary
After adapting her pattern for a stable knit, Mary forged on sewing this dress, despite a lack of helpful instructions and myriad fitting woes. While the final result is a gorgeous color and looks better in real life than in photos, she definitely wasn’t a fan of her dress. To read all about Mary’s experience and see more pictures, check out her blog post. The Draped Dress is part of the BurdaStyle Plus Size Essentials Collection and is available in the Interweave store.
All-in-all, our experiences with Burda reinforced the fact that their designs are much more interesting than the usual plus size pattern offerings, but they are also much more of an adventure to sew with! Additionally, I think that, if you’re used to sewing with American patterns like many of us are, the lack of seam allowances takes some getting used to. Personally, I just invested in a double tracing wheel for my next Burda pattern! Have you had any experience with any of these or other Burda patterns, friends? I’d love to hear about other BurdaStyle Plus patterns you’ve tried out. And remember, if you’re interested in either of these pattern kits, which include so much more than what we’ve shown here, check out the Plus Size Essentials Collection and the Best of Burdastyle: Plus Size Collection in the Interweave store. Both kits are currently selling for $24.99 each, which is a steal for that many patterns!
Disclaimer: We were given these patterns free of charge, but the opinions expressed in each review are our own.