We're already a third of the way through this year's BurdaStyle subscription, and this is my first garment from a 2011 magazine. Things aren't looking good for Burda. I made only 6 items out of the entire 2010 subscription. There are definitely more that I'd like to make and considering how many things I am still sewing from 2007-2009 my count will eventually increase, but that is not good odds. It is the only magazine I subscribe to so I don't feel like it's wasted money, but I really hope they step up to the plate soon.
At any rate, here's Burda 01-2011-131. I have a hip-length wrap sweater pattern that I rubbed off a RTW sweater from H&M (as seen in my trip to Turkey), but I like the ballerina vibe to this cropped sweater so I added to the sewing list for my upcoming bike trip. It's made of the heavier Tactel nylon I bought from Fabric.com last January for $3.50/yd and from wearing it around the house during our latest cold snap (sob!) it is a nice layering fabric.
I lengthened the sleeves on the pattern so that I could do another thumbhole garment. As I learned from my 09-2010-121 turtleneck (which I am coincidentally wearing today, due to the FREAKISH COLD WEATHER), while it is convenient to put the thumbhole in the sleeve seam, it doesn't necessarily work anatomically. For the sweater, I constructed the body and sleeves and sewed the sleeves to about 3 inches above my wrist. Then I put it on and marked the thumbhole placement and made a welt opening at my marking.
The first step is to pin rectangle of fabric for your welt over the marked opening, and then mark the openings on the welts (since you'll be sewing on the welt side).
Once you have your patch in place, stitch a rectangle according to your marked opening. For a normal welt, you would only stitch the legs and not the tiny short ends, but I was going for a simplified, sturdy process here so I sewed the whole box.
Once the rectangles are sewn, clip as per usual with a straight clip down the center and Y clips into the corners, cutting as close to the stitching as possible at each corner. Turn the welt patches to the inside through your clips.
Once you have turned and pressed your welt patches to the inside, topstitch the welt patches in a rectangle around your opening at about 1/4 inch. The goal here is to enclose the cut edges and Y clips so that they cannot ravel or deteriorate.
Once your topstitching is done, trim the welt as close as possible to the topstitching. Note that this method requires non-raveling fabric. If your fabric ravels, you'll need to finish the edges of the welt rather than trimming them to the topstitching.
And voila! These thumbholes are perfectly placed and do not require me to spin the sleeve out of alignment to get my thumbs through them. They are neatly finished and should hold up to lots of wear. If it is at all chilly your hands get really cold while biking because they are out in front of you directly in the wind and in a fixed, unmoving position so they don't get circulation. If it is in the low 50s or below you simply have to wear gloves but I think for higher 50s and low 60s the longer sleeve and thumbhole should be sufficient warmth.
I meant to look at the instructions for this but forgot, so I don't know how Burda wants you to finish it, exactly. However, I was quite proud of my clever hemming method.
First, let me recommend fusing a light tricot interfacing along the foldline of the neckline opening edge. My knit fabric did not want to press flat there because this is a long bias line. I hemmed one of the sides three times before finally resorting to fusing and now it looks good. I couldn't face unpicking the other side, so it is not as flat.
I found the sweater to be a touch long as drafted, so I took a slightly deeper hem than planned. This allowed me to layer the hem allowances to create a beautiful finish on the inside. The deep hem rendered the tie opening somewhat superfluous; next time I probably will skip the opening.
To create the finish, once you have attached the tie, fold the hem allowance over the tie, and then fold down the turn-under portion of the hem. Then, fold the upper edge allowance over those layers and fold up the turn-under portion of the hem. Stitch this whole sandwich and then grade the seam allowances.
When you turn it right side out by pulling out the tie, you will already see how neat your your hem and upper edge allowances will be.
Pin the remainder of your hem and upper edge allowances and stitch, pivoting at the confluence point where the folded edges meet. I used a twin needle so I couldn't pivot the way you can with a single needle, I just kept the lines as close together as possible. You can see how great this looks both inside and outside.
Due to my hatred of facings, I left off the back facing and instead twin needled over clear elastic. When I went to sew down the front edge allowances, I realized that a facing would actually have looked nicer for this project. You can see the offset between my twin-needle finishing for the back and front. Had I faced the back neckline I could have had one continuous row of stitching. I don't really care, probably not even enough to use the facing next time. But something to consider if you will care.
For fitting, I found I needed to narrow the shoulders (I did 1/2 inch, it probably could have used a full inch) and add back darts.
This sweater came out quite cute. When planning it, I was not sure about the cropped length. At my height (5'1.5") I have to be careful about having too many segments of clothing so I don't look squat and even shorter, particularly when taking my high waist into account. However, I think it works, particularly for athletic gear. I love the bright color and I think it will be fun to wear on my trip!
All photos are here and the pattern review is here