Friday, September 20, 2013

Sew-Away-My-Stash: Burda "Sarah" Shrug with Tutorial

Burda "Sarah" shrug #8173. $2.00 download.
100% stretch (boiled) wool in eggplant from
Stone Mountain & Daughter
Lining from Gorgeous Fabrics.
This was my second Burda pattern. I thought it was a fluke that I couldn't understand the instructions on the first Burda pattern. Go back and see my Spring Lace Dress HERE. I officially think their instructions suck. The "Sarah" shrug had instruction examples for another pattern, and then about a paragraph that was related to the actual piece. The only comprehensible thing was: match the shoulders at the dot.

Thank God it's only two pieces. But it wasn't really cut in a way I could understand it. Maybe I'm just geometrically challenged.  After transferring the pattern onto paper, I took one look at the shape, and scratched my head.  Where is the front? Where is the back?  There are no markings on the pattern except the grain line, two dots, and a pleat.

Since the wool was a little itchy, I used a crazy thin polyester print I picked up at Gorgeous Fabrics for a lining. I realized after stitching it together, I could probably wear it either way, and play with the opening a bit.

In case you decide to make this too, here are some quick instructions on how I figured out how to piece it together and get the right length for the sleeve.

The paper was too awkward to maneuver on my dressform.  So I cut the pattern out into muslin so I could work with the shape. After I found where the center back was, I marked it on my pattern.  Here's the picture of the pattern.  The center front line is the straight edge on the left.

 The pleat marking is on the right, shorter straight edge.  You see it here. This is actually the end of the sleeve. Not really a cuff, but an actual style line for the sleeve.
Once I cut the muslin out, I pinned it together to see how it draped on the dressform.  The first thing to do is pin together the pleat at the wrist opening. It is an inverted pleat. so it looks like this on the right side.
Then match up the dots together on the shoulder area. These are the marks you transferred over from the original pattern along with the pleat and grain line. Then pin the underarm seam.

 This is what half of your shrug will look like after it's pinned.
Now drape it on the dressform or put it on to check the length, especially the sleeve length. I found the sleeve a couple inches too long. So I cut off an inch before cutting the real fabric. Here are the front and back of the half muslin.

I used a stretch wool fabric with a simple checkered pattern. It's difficult to see the print, because the pattern lines are very thin and almost blends into the main fabric color.  In hindsight, I would not have used a printed fabric.  The only place I was able to match the print was at the center back, and pray it all worked out in the front too. The front was actually more symmetrical than the back on the completed shrug.

I had to use a walking foot to stitch the lining to the wool.  The wool was stretch and the lining was slippery. I found after an inch or two of sewing that I couldn't keep the fabric straight. The walking foot did the trick. I hand-stitched the lining to the sleeve opening. The rest I did by machine with right sides together, left a hole in the back collar (should have been at the bottom, but I forgot to stop there). Then I hand-stitched the open neck lining to the wool.  I should have really hand-stitched the whole lining together like I was taught to do. But I was feeling lazy. I might rip it out and restitch it by hand if I feel like it's not hanging right. But it seems okay for now.

Because of the poor instructions, the slippery lining fabric, and matching up the checked print, it slowed me down a good 90 minutes. The actual sewing was super easy. If I had omitted the lining and used a plain fabric, this project would have taken less than three hours to complete. I ended up taking about 4.5 hours to finish everything.  It is ideal for a beginner...but sadly, not the instructions.

The original sample from Burda looks like a "granny" shrug, especially if you add the trim to the edges. I really wanted to give it a modern look. Keeping the sleeve shorter helped, and the lining added more color to what I thought was rather drab.  See it HERE.

Happy sewing!