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another Burda question

Josefly | Posted in Patterns on

I’m finally examining my first Burda pattern in detail. On the front bodice piece is a chart showing pattern size, followed by a number in parentheses, followed by another number, followed by a fraction, and then a metric measurement which I ignore.
Example: Size 10 (36) 35″ 1/2″ 90 cm. I’m assuming the first number following size is the European size (in parentheses), and the next number is the bust plus ease measurement (since the bust measurement for size 10 is 33″, shown in a different chart). Can someone tell me what the fraction is? Could it be the distance from the end of the bust dart to the bust point? The fraction ranges from 1/2″ for sizes 6-12, 3/4″ for sizes 14-16, and 1/4″ for size 18. Some of the print on my pattern was printed badly, and I can’t make it out. Also, in measuring the actual pattern length from shoulder seamline to dart point, I can’t relate the fraction to the bust-point-length shown in the other main fitting chart. Perhaps I’m measuring wrong – from the shoulder seam at the neckline to the point of the dart, which is a vertical waistline dart – shouldn’t there be about an inch more than the actual body measurement?


  1. stitchintime | | #1

    I can tell you're not Canadian or European.  It's simply that 35 1/2 inches equals 90 cm.(approx) Just like size 10 equals size 36. Different countries, different scales.

    Edited 10/24/2006 4:55 pm ET by stitchintime

    1. Josefly | | #2

      Yes, I'm metric-challenged. :) Oh, my how foolish I feel. But on the chart, the 1/2" is separated from the 35" by quite a bit of space so I thought they were separate columns of figures. Thanks for answering. Now I can get on to my next bit of befuddlement!And that is the dart-point distance thing. Do I trust what the fitting/sizing chart says, or what my tape-measure against the pattern says, in determining shoulder-to-bust fit?

      1. stitchintime | | #3

        For a size 36, the Burda chart I have says that the bust depth (measured from neck to tip of bust) is 10 1/4". Is that what your measurement is? If it is more (or less) than this you may have to lengthen or shorten the point where the bust dart ends to give you more (or less) fullness for the bust.

        The measurement from the shoulder to the top of the dart point should be longer than from the shoulder to the bust point. Is this what you mean?

        1. Josefly | | #4

          Yes, you understand me :) and my Burda chart says the same thing as yours. I mean that when I measure the bodice front pattern piece, the distance from shoulder seam to the top point of the dart is only 10 inches, using the size 10 (36) pattern markings.And "The measurement from the shoulder to the top of the dart point should be longer than from the shoulder to the bust point." So I would expect the measurement on the pattern piece, instead of 10 inches, to be 10 1/4 inches PLUS something? Isn't the vertical bust dart point supposed to fall 1/2 to 1 inch below, pointing to, the actual bust point? It appears to me that the dart on this pattern is going to come 1/4 inch above the actual body bust point. I keep re-measuring; it doesn't make sense. What am I missing? Please bear with me... I'm not yet even talking about my daughter's measurements...just what the pattern says compared to the sizing chart. I need to know which is correct before I can alter. What would you do?

          1. stitchintime | | #7

            I saw the diagram and checked another Burda dress pattern that I have with a similar dart. The dart point on this other pattern is 11 1/4" below the point where the shoulder and neck line meet for a size 36 so I think your assessment is correct.

            You mentioned in your first post that the printing was bad and maybe the pattern is just printed badly all over and you should take it back and exchange it for another one or have the store check another similar pattern and see if it is the same.

          2. Josefly | | #8

            Thank you for measuring your pattern. I just went back to measure mine for the umpteenth time, and found that the measurement from shoulder seam to waistline is also 1 1/4" shorter than the fitting chart suggests. Some of the print on this bodice pattern piece is very faint, but the outlines, cutting lines, I mean, are very clear and show no discontinuities anywhere. But I think you're right - something is wrongwith the pattern. . Wondering now if I somehow got a petite version of the pattern...though the fitting chart printed on the pattern doesn't match...hmmmm. I'll check their website. Nothing on the pattern says petite. Nearest source for Burda patterns is a 30-minute drive and I'm putting that off, but may have no choice. I remember now, I ordered the pattern online. GRRR. If it were petite, wouldn't the fitting chart match the pattern?

          3. stitchintime | | #9

            I have the Burda magazine. The chart for women's half sizes (short fitting 5'3"/160cm) shows the bust depth for size 18 (which is the short equivalent to size 36) as 9 7/8 " and the front waist length as 16 1/2".  Is there anything on the pattern that indicates that it might be a half size? 

            Maybe you can phone the store near you or somehow contact Burda, explain the problem and see what they suggest. I sympathize with your frustration.

          4. Josefly | | #10

            No, there's nothing that indicates the pattern is half-size, or petite. If it were, though, wouldn't the size chart printed on the pattern itself reflect measurements for half-size, or petite? I've just e-mailed a contact listed at the Burda Mode web site. I'm just betting I'm doing something stupid, or overlooking something, like not recognizing that "35 1/2" was actually 35 1/2. I don't usually measure pattern pieces, but I remembered that article in Threads that suggested that patterns are not always accurately drafted or marked. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I get an answer soon. I'm itching to start on a muslin. Thanks for your efforts to help me.

          5. stitchintime | | #11

            I'm rootin' for ya!

          6. Josefly | | #12

            To those who've been so helpful to me on this pattern, here's the latest: no word yet from the Burda "technical people" so, giving in to my usual impatience, I went ahead and cut and sewed a muslin, using the sizing chart as if I had perfect faith in it, making the alterations I believed were required for fitting my daughter. The "practice" bodice and vest are in the mail to my daughter, and we shall see what we shall see. The bust dart still looks very high to me, and the waistline not as long as the chart would indicate, so I'm doubtful... but at least I'll get some feedback. DD can mark her bust point on the muslin, also waist. By the way, I decided to try Nancy Zieman's pattern-fitting cue, determining shoulder-neck-upper-chest size by the armhole-crease-to-armhole-crease measurement, and then adjusting for bust size and waist size using her pivoting method. Choosing pattern size this way seemed to match the sizing chart measurements pretty well, including the infamous bust point measurement. I should learn a lot about fitting while attempting this project! Thanks so much to all of you for your help and comments. P.S. I'm now fooling with the boiled wool for the vest, and again have many questions which I've asked in a new posting.

          7. SewNancy | | #13

            you are very adventurous to do this long distance!

          8. Josefly | | #14

            That's such a nice way of putting it! :>)

          9. stitchintime | | #15

            I also feel like we're all in this together. And I agree...more power to you for going ahead anyway.

            P.S. RE: your post an another thread about the stand up collar, I don't think it's included in the neck/shoulder to bust point measurement.

          10. Josefly | | #16

            I wouldn't have thought the collar should be included either. It turns out that the little stand is only 3/4" wide, finished, and it does stand a little - doesn't act like a neckline band - but I'm willing to consider anything. Fortunately, I can ichat with DD and actually see the bodice on her when she gets it.Thanks for your support!

          11. Josefly | | #17

            Another update.. As expected, the muslin was way too short for my daughter. The dart points came above her bust point, the waistline was too short by 3/4 - 1 inch, and the armscye is too high at the bottom. I'm going to get back to the folks at Burda, 'cause this means to me that the pattern I've got is a petite, though the printed sizing chart gives measurements for a regular (average?) body. At this point, I can probably just alter the pattern by lengthening the bodice at the marked lengthening lines, but I'd sure like to know what the usual differences are in the length measurements, and if this is indeed a petite pattern. Another muslin will be started today.Also, I won't size this muslin according to the front chest measurement a la Nancy Zieman. For the Burda patterns, it appears, my daughter needs to go by the bust measurement, as Burda recommends.Sew and Learn!

          12. stitchintime | | #18

            I was hoping you were going to report that you'd just have to lower the bust dart or something easy like that. Sounds like the pattern is not the right size at all.

            "The dart points came above her bust point, the waistline was too short by 3/4 - 1 inch, and the armscye is too high at the bottom"

            If you extend the bodice at the pattern lengthening/shortening line, is that going to give you the adjustment needed under the armscye? I don't know that much about pattern making but I don't think you want to start by adjusting the armscye.

          13. Josefly | | #19

            I would prefer not to have to tamper with the sleeve, etc., and the pictures I've seen of length alterations above the bust usually show them as below the armscye, as you suggest.
            However, on the bodice pattern piece, there're two lengthening lines, one which intersects the armscye, and another below the bust. Then the sleeve pattern also has a length adjustment line across the cap of the sleeve, and another lower down on the sleeve. From what I've read, I can lengthen in the two places, making the same adjustment in the sleeve cap length that I make in the front and back upper bodice. However, a length adjustment of an inch, which is what seems necessary, seems like an excessive adjustment in the armscye to me. So I may lengthen in two places. I'm still trying to reason this through. I found a mention in my Singer "The Perfect Fit" concerning altering regular patterns for a petite figure...1/4" above the bust, and 3/4" are standard changes, it says. But I doubt if that applies to Burda patterns; and anyway, an increase of 1/4" in length wouldn't bring the bust point measurement in line with what the fitting chart says. It would be so nice to hear from Burda about this! Wouldn't you know I would encounter a problem like this on my first brave venture into Burda patterns? Oh, I'll bet you know this...In the Burda WOF magazine, are fitting charts printed for regular and petite versions of patterns? I'm thinking I could grab a magazine at the bookstore, which is closer to me than the nearest Burda dealer, and see if the petite measurements bear any relationship to the measurements of the pattern pieces I've got. I'm not sure why/if that would be helpful, but I sure am curious.

          14. stitchintime | | #20

            Yes. All the size charts are printed in every Burda WOF magazine.

            The bust depth for Burda size 36 regular is 10 1/4" and for 36 petite it's 9 7/8". A difference of 3/8". The front waist length on the regular is 17 3/8" and 16 1/2" on the petite ( a difference of 7/8" !). The back waist length on the regular is 16 1/8" and 15 3/8" on the petite (a difference of 3/4"). These measurements don't take into account any ease in a pattern but if you need to lengthen the pattern 3/4" for your daughter, you may have a petite pattern OR the pattern size may just be too small. As I said before, Burda patterns are more fitted than American ones. It's very interesting though that there are 2 fitting lines to make adjustments with.

             Did Burda give any indication when they might get back to you?


          15. Josefly | | #21

            No, no indication of when they would respond, and on this latest inquiry, no response at all.Thank you so much for checking the petite measurements for me. It appears that though the petite-regular waist difference almost accounts for the difference I've measured, the bust point measurement is too short on this pattern piece even for a petite. The larger sizes all have the same problem with this bust point measurement, and I suspect that is why I haven't heard anything...there really is something wrong with the pattern. For example, while I calculate a 1 1/4" shortage in bust point length for the size 10, there is 1 3/8" shortage for the size 12, according to what the fitting chart says. (I am assuming no vertical ease in these measurements.) Since the petite chart won't help me, I'll just decide how to distribute the length addition on the bodice, using daughter's measurements, and get started on the 2nd muslin. The measurements you've provided at least give me an idea of the right ball-park, and I feel a little more confident in making another attempt.Thanks for bearing with me, checking measurements, etc. I'm sure my Burda saga has become a bit too long! Unlike my pattern pieces. :>)

          16. stitchintime | | #22

            Happy to help if I can. Good luck with the second muslin and I hope you hear from Burda soon.

  2. liselaure | | #5


    I suggest you to let us know your pattern number so that we can look at the technical drawing on Burda website.


    1. Josefly | | #6

      Sure, thanks for the suggestion. Burda 8000. Drawings and photo show shoulder seam at normal place.

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