The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

From Burda to Simplicity

This Burda pattern is really good – if your BWOF goes back to 2008 – Good For You!  It’s a great GREAT pattern.

What’s hidden in here that you can’t see is a dart on the outside seam of the bib feature.  And then the curved under bust seam is just an additional place to do some smart darting.

This shows where the darting is done so you can really tweak this little jewel and make a very nice fit.


This is the first iteration of this pattern and turned out beautifully – just straight out of the magazine.  But I instantly saw the possibilities.

The difference between the first and second version may seem minor, but see how clean that side line is and how beautifully this fits on the side and just under the bust?  This is EXACTLY the area that is so critical these days to fit and fit well – not only for current and changing lines in fashion, but because this can give you shape right where we all have it and can use it.

This pattern is really a great refinement of the FBA (front bust alteration/dart) and it shows it.

Here’s another version just to show you how versatile these patterns can be – this one is washed dupioni and made into a tunic – peplum type look.  But it fit around the under bust area and yet loose below the waist.

I’d love recommending this pattern however it’s “out of print” – from an old Burda World of Fashion.

But not to fear cause we’re going to take Simplicity 2339 which is a great pattern.  But also this teaches you a lot about how to alter patterns.

The idea of taking one pattern and making the pattern you want sounds very intimidating, but it’s actually not.  Here is a quick illustration of how this goes:

Starting from the upper left – this is Simplicity 2339.  I like it cause it has lots of darts and fitting mechanisms in it.  It also happens to be primo for a base pattern that you can make lots of other designs from.  The second from left has the lines for Burda 1/2008/107 drawn in – and the following steps are all rotating darts:  starting with the FBA which will rotate to a dart from the shoulder seam that will become side seam for the bib, then to the above waist/bust dart which will rotate to the bottom side bodice seam with the lower, then rotating the lower waist dart into the side seam, and attaching the lower bodice and below piece again.

Now don’t let this intimidate you, cause this is one of those processes, that you follow to the next step – you don’t worry about the last step, you just work from step to step and the transition takes place nicely.  This Burda bib pattern is exactly the one I used to make a peplum, and here’s the steps toward that.

The front is practically done for you (when I did this the first time, I did add quite a bit in front and did not like it – it was just too full, so this is the small amount I ended with).  Then the back and lengthen it and add that peplum in the dart.  Here I choose to add this in the seam, but you could also ad a godet in that seam, however realize that you want to keep the dart (around the waist) fitted so that there is a nice small of the back accentuation in the back piece – this gives the back shape and not just long and hanging.

Here’s the final caveat on this technique.  You MUST do a tissue fit, and if anything looks just slightly awry, do a muslin – don’t take a chance.  You are making dramatic and far-reaching design changes and you may need to tweak this a little with your pattern.  I did a tissue fit, and then a muslin which is when I discovered that the front was too full making the alteration that took out some of the fullness, but kept the fullness in back.

Amazingly enough there are not that many bib patterns out there – NewLook  6010 is about the only one, and the pleating and gathering under the bib needs to be taken out.  For me it’s worth it to alter the Simplicity 2339 to change it into the Burda 107, but then I already have Burda 107 so I don’t have to make that change!

Tacky aren’t I!

  1. This looks great! But I’m a small-busted gal, and I’m not sure if your directions for altering Simplicity 2339 would apply to me (since you mention doing an FBA). What would change (if anything) when making an SBA?

  2. Beal, you don’t have to do anything than what the pattern already calls for since Simplicity 2339 already has an FBA. But even small folks do well with this. Obviously for larger bodies the effect is very dramatic, and for smaller bodies it’s less dramatic, but it is still there. I’m not really big enough to need one, but when I do it, and can see a nice shaping and clean lines that appear under the arm, which is just another nice treat for me. I love this dart and what it does. I used it constantly on my Barbie when I was first learning to sew, but had no idea what it was!

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