Monday, 12 February 2018

February Magazine Challenge: Black and white jacket (Burda 02-2018-112)

Originally, when all I had seen were the previews, I had more than half decided to make the latest Burda variation on a theme of wacky top (Burda 02-2018-107) for the February edition of my personal magazine challenge. However, when my copy of the magazine arrived, what actually leapt out of the pages at me was Burda 02-2018-112, a short boxy jacket with piping details:

Burda 02-2018-112 Jacket and technical drawing (images from

Although I hadn't thought to make it until later in the year, I already had a piece of fabric earmarked for a short jacket. I had no particular pattern in mind, so I was quite happy to shuffle my plans around and use this pattern.

My version of Burda 02-2018-112 in black and white cotton sateen

I bought this piece of black and white stretch cotton sateen as a remnant and it was (a) very cheap, and (b) not very big -- only just about 1.5m and fairly narrow (about 130cm wide). I just BARELY had enough fabric for this pattern. Actually, let me amend that: I didn't have enough fabric for this jacket. I had enough for the main pieces but not the front and back facings or even the collar facing. Luckily, I had a similar weight fabric in plain white in stash that I could easily substitute in. Since those parts of the jacket aren't really visible, I didn't feel like this was a problem at all.

Side view on Flossie -- as you can see, I did make some attempt to match across the sleeve/body

I had just about enough fabric to pattern match to some extent, and some parts of my pattern matching are good: the center front, the side seams below the dart, and the side-to-side view across the upper sleeve, front and back bodice. However, the under sleeve pattern piece was very problematic. I probably needed another 0.5m of fabric, maybe even more, to get any kind of match. With the fabric I had I really couldn't do any better so, eh, whatever, I'll take the ostrich approach: I can't see the rear view of the sleeves, so it's not really a problem. :D

The other fabric/print problem is the hem. So, you might have noticed that the hem doesn't follow the lines on the fabric. I could find literally no way to do that with this fabric/pattern combination. Something was going to be screwy no matter how I cut it out, so I decided to focus on the things that were most important to me, as far as matching the print and pattern were concerned. Of course, I'd LIKE a hem that looked like it finished evenly on a black line all the way round the jacket, but I couldn't have it AND have the centre front/side-to-side match.

Rear view, with extremely dodgy under sleeve pattern matching
Design-wise, I made a two tiny changes from the pattern as written. I left off the welt pockets -- my reasons were 5% aesthetics, 10% fabric limitations and 85% not wanting to sew welt pockets. My second change was that I put the fold-back cuff pieces on the bias, partly to avoid having to pattern match and partly because I thought it would look more interesting. Everything else I did exactly as the instructions suggested except that, as usual, I bagged the (plain white satin) lining.

Piping detail at the collar/centre front
My favourite part of this jacket is how the piping turned out and the fact that I got that collar to look really neat and symmetrical. As you can see in the technical drawing, the pattern uses piping at the point where the cuff meets the sleeve, and there is also a long continuous piece of piping that runs along centre front on both sides and up and around the standing collar.

The piping is 3mm piping cord covered in a plain black polyester crepe de chine. This is the first time I've made my own piping. I've put pre-made piping in several bags and on one pair of PJs, with varying degrees of success. For this project I decided to buy myself an inexpensive piping presser foot to see if that made it any easier. I'm definitely glad I bought it -- the piping went in so smoothly with it. The presser foot I bought was only £3 off eBay including p&p, so not exactly a major purchase, and worth it just for this jacket even if I were somehow to never use it again.

The only place the piping foot didn't help was in the twisty bit at the centre front. I ended up sewing that whole section of the seam by hand because even with my machine set to sew as slow as possible, I couldn't get the control I needed to sew it together correctly. I don't do a lot of hand-sewing and I'm not the best at it, but I figured that part of the garment isn't going to come under massive strain at any point, so even my less-than-perfect hand sewing should hold together.

I probably least like the turn back cuffs. I used a heavier weight fabric for the contrast inner because it's what I had in stash that was suitable, and eh, it's OK, but they didn't turn out brilliantly and I couldn't get good points on the cuff edges worth a damn. I also don't love how the jacket looks on me when the cuffs are turned back, in part just because I have a horror of 7/8 or cropped sleeves on jackets, and in part because the length is the same as the jacket hem, and it makes me look like a plaid box.

Naff selfie front view, because my regular front views didn't come out. Please excuse the plant that appears to be growing out of my elbow

Fit-wise, I am moderately pleased. I started with a size 44 and made what I currently consider to be my "usual" fitting changes (square shoulder, narrow shoulder, raise the armhole, lower the bust dart, make a rounded back adjustment with shoulder darts). I feel like I am still figuring out the right amount of rounded back adjustment. I think this jacket would have benefited from just a little bit more upper back room.

Side and rear view on me (the rear view with the cuffs turned up)
I am not 100% happy with the fit of the sleeves at the back, but I had MAJOR problems getting them into the armscye anyway so I am not surprised. I took some height out of the sleeve head before I cut out the fabric, but then when I was actually sewing it I had to take even more out on the fly, and I always think that is a problematic way to fix a sleeve head problem. However, again, ostrich approach: the main problem in on my back underarm. I can't see it, so it's not really there.

Overall, honestly, despite all the flaws in this jacket, I am kind of amazed at how well it turned out. I won't say this was a throwaway project, but I really wasn't prepared for how much I'd like it or how pleased I'd be with some aspects of the sewing. Another win for the magazine challenge approach, since I am pretty sure I'd never have made this without that impetus. :D

Next up: Many shirts. So many shirts.


  1. Wow! I love it and it fits you nicely. I’m impressed with your pattern matching and wouldn’t have noticed the back of the sleeves.

    1. Thanks! :D I am definitely working on the theory that nobody us going to care about my elbows.