Like Father Like Son: Burda 6718 Sweatshirt

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You would be forgiven for looking at this picture and thinking ‘Oh…the wee guy wanted a jumper just like his dad’s. How cute!’, when in actual fact, it was the other way around. Mr Dumpling saw his boy’s cool new tracksuit and announced that he would like one just like it. The jumper part anyway. I am not one to stifle anyone’s desire to express themselves – even as a giant child – so I had to agree.

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D’s tracksuit is a combination of the Mini Hudson pants (made umpteen times before – what can I say? – fabulous pattern) and an Ottobre Design pattern modified into a sweatshirt (also made before.) The fabric is organic fleece-backed sweatshirt from Organic Textile Company. I love this shop. All their fabric is organic and fair-trade and it’s excellent quality too. This outfit was made a while ago (yes, I am incredibly slow to document my makes!) and it has been well and truly tested by D who enjoys a fair amount of climbing trees and hanging upside down in the park. You can see a small difference in the top picture where the colour looks slightly faded against the new jumper but I think it’s pretty good considering how many times the outfit has been washed and how much ruff and tumble it has been subjected to.

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I’ve mentioned here before that I am mostly a selfish sewer. I love sewing for the kids and do that often but most of my sewing time is for me. Not sorry about that in the slightest! However, very occasionally – usually around christmas or birthday times – I can be persuaded to make something for someone else. This was one of those times. Mr Dumpling wanted the same colours and same general shape as D’s jumper and the best I could find in the Big 4 offerings was Burda 6718.  It has a hood option and a cowl neck option rather than the simple neckband that D’s has but this was acceptable to my client so I went with it. The blue was the first one I made to test the fit. The sweatshirt fabric is from my stash and I used organic ribbing for the cuffs and hem. It’s technically a wearable muslin but as I had no changes to make it’s a pretty good bonus jumper. Who said selfish sewer?! I put the white cord through the cowl neck as it’s all I had but I should really look for a navy or yellow cord to make the jumper look more polished.

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The red and grey jumper is the hooded version but this was not my original plan. To make it look more like D’s jumper I attempted to put a neckband on it instead of the hood and this should have been easy enough. I anticipated the neck opening being too wide so I adjusted it to decrease the width and make it sightly higher but when I attached the band and tried it on my model it was ridiculously wide. Some unpicking and head-scratching later I accepted that the only way forward would be to stick the hood on and be done with it. This wasn’t a huge problem except that because I had decreased the neck opening the hood was now too wide and had to be overlapped at the front to fit. It doesn’t look too bad and I could have cut the opening to make it wider if I was that bothered. But I wasn’t, so I didn’t! Again, I need to get some matching cord for the neck to complete it.

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Mr Dumpling likes his jumpers and I do too. The pattern is a great fit, the length is perfect on him – he’s 6ft – and apart from my neck experimentations there were no modifications needed. I could be persuaded to make this again for him but as it’s a while before birthdays or Christmas he’ll have to wait. Selfish sewing resumes now!

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Burda 6874 in the Wild

Mostly I’m a selfish sewer. And why not? ‘Tis my time…those precious, fleeting, snatched hours in the evening when the babes sleep. I don’t have much time to sew and I have way too many plans for my wardrobe to make much time for kindness. I did once agree to make a jacket for my sister. She bought the fabric, I cut it and partially assembled it, then…promptly forgot about it. It now languishes in my ufo pile. Actually, the reason I stalled was the pattern was wrong for the fabric choice, it wasn’t behaving and would have required too much work to fix. Lesson learned there: pick something tried and tested when lending your sewing time to someone else’s wardrobe. One day I will try to fix it. Or perhaps make her an entirely new jacket.

Despite this aversion to kindly sewing acts I embarked on a shirt sewing mission for the man. He was rather taken with the idea of a Liberty shirt when we were last in London but, you know, being a sewer and therefore prone to fits of ‘I can make anything cheaper’ arrogance I said I’d make one for him.

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The pattern is Burda 6874: a classic button-down shirt. The fabric is not Liberty. This version is more of a wearable muslin made up in a lovely soft – and more affordable – cotton flannel. I thought it best to try out the pattern before splashing out on the designer stuff.

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I made a quick muslin to check fit – good thing, as I had to go down a size. Apart from that the shirt fits well out of the packet. And now, as the unselfish sewing bug has got a hold of me (whether I like it or not), I am looking out for a suitable man-friendly Liberty print for the next instalment. One, of course, that can stand up to some high jinks in the local park.

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A special shout out to the Bernina edge-stitch foot #10. I couldn’t have down it without you, you wondrous piece of metal.