Monday, November 12, 2012

Pattern Review: Burda 7880


I looked around the Internet for a Bustle Gown pattern.  The pattern needed to have separate inserts in the bodice, include the Bodice, apron/bustle combo, and the foundation skirt all in one pattern, and have adjustable sizing.  The Burda 7880 had all my requirements in this pattern, and was modestly priced.  I purchased my copy on EBay for $14. 

Burda is a European based company.  IMO English is not their first language.  I believe German is their primary language.  The pattern states "by Verlag Aenne Burda GmbH & Co. KG, Am Kestendamm 2, 77652 Offenburg, Germany".  The one I picked up was "Imported by Canada", and had English, Spanish, and French instructions.  Searching around the Internet for details of who, what, and where they are located simply pulled up multiple sewing and/or pattern sites.  I do not think the person that interpreted the sewing instructions was 1) a seamstress and 2) completely fluent in English.  Sometimes the pattern instructions made absolutely no sense.  It seemed that because they did not understand sewing terms and techniques in general that their grasp of an English equivilent was oftentimes wildly incorrect.  There are very few pictures and/or diagrams to help with the written instructions.  What I found rather interesting is that they actually number the seam lines, so I had to keep all the pattern pieces out at all times to reference back to.  These lines are separate from all the well-known markings we trace onto our fashion fabric, and there was really no way to trace them, I simply had to keep the patterns handy for quick reference.   In fairness, the pattern does state an "Average" difficulty, which I might equate with Intermediate Advance levels. 

Another point of concern was the fabric placement diagrams.  I found it on the side panel of the skirt pattern piece.  There are grain lines on the pattern pieces, but for the fabric placement, it seemed like it was "anything goes".  Also, they do not address fabric with a nap and/or stripe.  "Fold" instructions, they leave that up to you as well.  Lastly, what I found frustrating was some pattern pieces had a "x2" which I found had TWO different meanings.  When our fabric is folded, we have TWO pieces, then there were times when I needed to DOUBLE it, and I needed four pieces, go figure! 

This Pattern only works on 55" or larger fabrics.  They show 55" & 59" for yardage measurements.  These amounts appear to work, but I would suggest making sure you have at least 1/2yd to 1yard extra just to be safe. 


In Conclusion, I would state that for someone to attempt this pattern having strong prior bodice construction knowledge would be best.   Also, a good working knowledge of how to determine your fabric grain and how to setup your pattern pieces on your fabrics will help you in the long run.  This pattern will not work with heavy stripes, and I would also encourage you to select fabric with a clearly defined "right" and "wrong" side to avoid confusion on the bodice, especially as there are eighteen pieces just in the bodice construction. 

I will be sharing future notes on Bodice Construction and Foundation Skirt construction in upcoming posts.  Please check back again, as the story continues!

9 comments:

  1. Good to know! This IS the pattern I bought, so I will surely be checking back for more advice! I have a dress pattern too which I think might be simpler that I will probably start with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck on the dress pattern, and when you do try this pattern, let me know what you think as well!

      Delete
  2. Truly Victorian has a similar set of patterns that are INFINITELY easier and give spectacular results. Plus if any problems arise, you can ask the Forum. Heather answers many of the questions.

    ReplyDelete
  3. FB - yes, TV has some wonderful patterns, and I have worked with some of them. However, the bodice patterns I have currently do not have the separate bodice inserts I wanted, and I did not want to have to spend additional funds. To purchase the three TV patterns needed for this look was approx $45+, and I had a budget to stick to, which can be challenging as we all know! I have met Heather at Coco, and corresponded w/her as well on one of my TV Edwardian patterns. This was just something new and different to attempt. Wait to you read my writeup on the Bodice construction - talk about a challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh dear...first off you were ripped on the price for the pattern. JoAnns Fabric Stores regularly carry and put on "sale" Burda patterns. I believe the usual price at the store is around $8-12 depending on what sale day you hit. Second, if I'm not mistaken I believe Jennifer Rosbrugh "19th Century Sewing" another historical costuming blog, she's "famous" for being sooo helpful, has actually made this pattern more than once (I've seen them in person) and has tricks of the trade she's happy to share about this company. Her gowns from this pattern are exquisite...do check her out.
    I also own this pattern but have yet to use it, your insights for me were very helpful for when I eventually try my hand. Thanks for that, and what a great blog you have, continued good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, thank you for your insight. Yes, I follow JR, and I consider her an expert seamstress. I have seen several of her gowns at SDCG Fashion Shows, and they are amazing. I would think this pattern would not be too difficult for her, as you stated. My comments reflect my own abilities, which are probably Intermidiate at best, but I do like a challenge.

      Delete
  5. Oh boy...I bought this pattern a while ago in the sale at Joann's. Guess I will only do this when I have lots of time and patience.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Roxanne, yes patience and a glass of wine will go a long way on this pattern. Give it a try just to challenge yourself. We always learn so much when we push ourselves just that little bit extra.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for your review. I'm a German native speaker and most of the German sewing instructions don't make any sense - seems to be a general problem with that pattern... :-(

    ReplyDelete