Burda 9/2012 #130: Sweater Knit Semi Fail

I first made this September 2012 Burda Style sweater  two years ago in a poly sweater knit (line drawing and pattern description in that post). It was extremely flattering and I got compliments every time I wore it. But, given a few years and the poor quality of the knit, it pilled and got gross. So, I thought I’d recreate it in a wool blend sweater knit I bought in Mood back in December 2013. The pattern is still available for individual download.

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When I first started this project, I thought more than a few times about underlining it with a tricot knit for fabric support. But, I wanted some instant gratification and I didn’t. It’s too bad, because the material has ZERO recovery and stretches any which way you move it. So, it doesn’t hold it’s shape well. Which makes it impossible to get the curve hugging I did from my first version.

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It ends up looking stretched out after just a few wears. I’ve taken it in several times already. But, at the end of this shoot, you can see that it’s stretched out at the hips. I just don’t know how long for this world this top is.

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I love the color, I love that it’s wool and I love a sweater knit. But, the fabric doesn’t have enough recovery to work on a body skimming sweater. I didn’t even bother with the side and sleeve ruching since I knew it wasn’t going to ‘hold’.  Even the hem is wonky. It looks lovely after a press, but one bit of tension and it’s all out of sorts. Plus, I’ve worn it twice and it’s already pilling ::sad trombone::

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This fabric also didn’t take the drape at the neck very well. I might actually lower the front neckline if I make the patter again.

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I did make a swayback adjustment, added darts in my FBA.

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Yet, I gotta give it a solid ‘meh’. Mostly due to fabric choice.

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In exciting news, my friend Liz  and I started a photography class at the local community college. We’ve both always like taking photos. And, when Jordan gifted me a new DSLR at Christmas, I gave my beloved white Pentax k-x to her and we’re taking a class together. So, be prepared to be bored with loads of landscapes and such over the next few months.


  1. the colour is great, it is such a disappointment when the fabric isn’t what we expect.

  2. This top is spectacularly becoming on you. Loose fitting tunics rock. Not what you aimed for, but still a success. But, if you get really tired of it the way it is, why not try the boiled wool treatment before binning it? It may please you more if it shrinks. Or you could recycle the (boiled or not) fabric – make yourself a smashing beret, for example.

    • I nervous about the texture! I made a dress from the same material and it’s so pilly it really only lasted a season. But, I think a hit in the dryer might help it a bit too. Thanks for the suggestion!

      On Sat, Feb 7, 2015 at 2:09 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  3. It’s so disappointing when we spend our time making a project that just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. This is a pretty color that looks great on you. I hope you’re able to salvage this top so you’re happy with it.

  4. This is a great style on you, and I think it looks better without the ruching. More slimming! Find more knit and make another! When you find a pattern this great on you, you should make several. DIGS may be onto something. I have saved a few sweaters by putting them in the dryer for just for 3-5 minutes at a time to see if the structure of the garment improves with slight felting.

  5. I’m so sorry! Don’t you just hate when the fabric doesn’t do what you wanted to? I agree with you, the color is absolutely stunning! Either way you still look good girl! I look forward to hearing reviews about your picture taking course!

  6. That sweater looks very nice! You are sooo bubbly and pretty that you are wearing the sweater, the sweater isn’t wearing you. I didn’t notice the “stretched out and wonky” part. I took a photography class at a community college in the Twin Cities several years ago and loved it. Can’t wait to see your pictures!

  7. It doesn’t look like a fail from here. I agree on the previous comments- fabulous color on you and the hairstyle as well. You look bright and happy. No one else will notice pills and stretches.

  8. You can see the stretching in the back hem the most. It’s a shame because it’s a really great color on you. I’ve had fabrics like this and it’s just a waste of time to sew them unfortunately. In fact I’ve got a UFO made from a cashmere cotton knit that has little recovery and never finished it.

    • I know! I might make another run at taking in the lower edge. But, I swear I’ve adjusted this three times already. Sigh.

      On Sat, Feb 7, 2015 at 10:43 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • I know, it never seems to work. You might try a trick that Debbie Cook mentioned about necklines in knits where she added elastic thread into the back of the neckband and pulled it in until it was flatter against the neck. You could try something like that. You could also face the hem with something with lycra. That is maybe worth a try.

  9. First of all that shade of blue makes you sparkle!!! and I thank you for your intelligence re “tricot-backed ” knits. On hand I have a few knits that I am waiting for the right inspiration plus any knowledge that ‘floats’ my way.

  10. Man, I really love the color! Also, I think your photos are looking better, too. If you don’t want such a harsh shadow from the on-camera flash, you could try putting a tissue or a piece of white translucent fabric over it.

    • That’s a great idea! Thanks! I have a speed light on my wish list for next Christmas.

      On Sat, Feb 7, 2015 at 1:38 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • If you buy an add on flash, one that sits in the hot shoe, you can tilt the flash and bounce it off the ceiling. You can also on your nice fancy camera set the flash lower.

  11. Oh my god you should buy a bolt of fabric in that colour because you SHINE in it. So sad it stretches out because, in these photos, it really looks magnificent.

  12. If you got in the mood, you could try underlining it with power mesh to hold it in more. But sometimes it’s better just to let something like that go. Too bad because it’s a pretty style/color.

  13. Isn’t it so frustrating to figure out after you’ve sewn something up that the fabric is awful?!? My very favorite make this past year started pilling the first time I wore it, and faded drastically the first time it was washed. It looks 10 years old already : / I hope you can find that same blue in better fabric, because it is such a great color on you!!
    I love that you are making things with a lower neckline lately! I think they frame your beautiful face so much better than crew & mock turtle necks (Your wrap top is Uh-mazing!)
    You should really try the Lady Skater Dress Pattern! I know it’s a dress and you’re kinda going for separates right now, but I promise, once you tweak it to get the fit spot on, it will be sooo flattering and you will love it! (I’d skip the sleeve band and just lengthen the sleeve a bit so you can hem it normally.)
    Enjoy your Texas getaway 🙂

  14. I have to join the chorus in praising that shade of blue on you! It’s stunning, and a wonderful choice to brighten up a winter outfit. Sorry to hear about the recovery issues, but thank you for the description as I now realise this is the correct term for what’s wrong with a couple of my knit tops 😉

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