, or, how the #burdachallenge continues

April was a month of sewing doubts, of a creativity slump, of body image issues, you name it. And yet somehow I managed to sew two shirts.

It was less epic than it may sound. I used the same pattern for both shirts and the fitting was pretty minimal because I relied on my previous experiences with Burda to figure out what I needed to tweak. And that might well be the reason why Burda and I might have a pretty lasting and almost exclusive relationship.

I continue to be pretty burned out when it comes to muslining and fitting new patterns. I’m also noticing more and more the need for fairly simple go-to pieces. In terms of what I like to wear to work, I think I’m pretty set on my reliable uniform being pants + buttoned blouse/shirt + cardigan or blazer.

Without further ado, here are the shirts.

Pattern: Shirt #103 from Burda 6/2017

Version #1: in scissor-patterned lightweight poly crepe that really needed to finally get out of the stash.


Vesna’s version got me off the fence about the pattern, though she does detail doubts I can relate to in her post (read it and admire the shirt here).

While I can appreciate the use of piping in the pattern photos, I really wasn’t into the idea of trying that out myself. Definitely not in a lightweight fabric…


I “drafted” my own pockets, fretted over the pattern placement, and managed to mess it up in an inconsipucous way, so all turned out well.

After wearing the penguin shirt a few times, I decided the sleeve length could use shortening, so I took out 2 cm from this pattern and it’s pretty spot on this way.

Version #2: the return of Cotton and Steel rayon.


Some changes from the previous version, not all voluntary.

I messed up pattern matching across the front in that — in pattern-matching fervor — I cut out two right fronts. Incredibly dumb mistake…

I could only cut another front piece if I shortened the sleeves, hence the 3/4 sleeves. Frankly, I do love the impressive look of “proper” full length sleeves with plackets, cuffs, etc., but my love of effortless watch and bracelet wearing, and doing things with my hands freely, overall, might outweigh it.

Voluntary change: I wanted a bigger collar. So I embiggened it slightly, a la Henna’s tutorial but not as bold.

I also did add piping to the shoulder seams on this one. It’s almost invisible in this crazy print.

In the photo of the back you might notice a hint of back darts. I stole these from another Burda pattern (Burda 7136).

Buttons from the stash of lucky thrift shopping finds, picked out after a day of vacillating on Instagram.

I like Vesna’s curved hem alteration, but I kept the straight hem from the pattern because I tend to wear these tucked in anyway. But here they are, untucked:

Would I sew this pattern again? Absolutely. But perhaps not soon because the automatic buttonhole feature on my Brother machine seems to be on its last legs. The final two buttonholes on the second shirt were faked by a combination of outlining with straight stitch and dense zigzag on top. Pretty tedious.

It might be a signal to move on to sewing other things (or getting the other machine serviced, finally!).

Do you have a go-to shirt pattern? (I should probably add, and is it the Archer from Grainline Studio?) Tell me your shirt-making secrets and complaints. I’m all ears.


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I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

8 thoughts on “, or, how the #burdachallenge continues”

  1. Both Look awesome but I’m in love with the William Morris-esque vibes of #2. My go to is the Quinn shirt from Named **quelle horreur** but i did buy a basic simplicity shirt pattern with no bows or whistles, as yet un-tried…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your Quinn shirts have all the right bells and whistles 😀. I have two more Burda patterns I’ve been meaning to try, but I think I should take a break from shirt-making and finally tackle a blazer.

      Another challenge I’ve been putting off is jeans… Hmm… not sure I’m actually going to tackle these soon 😉

      What’s on your to-make list right now?


      1. I’ve just finished a pair of chinos for Alex which I’m pretty happy with! It’s cold here now so I have a toaster sweater cut out and ready to go and then I’m going to make a Named sointu kimono tee for layering over merino tops. Also have some grey denim sitting waiting for me to decide on a pattern!


  2. Oh yay, you made it – and twice! I really love both versions, especially your changes to the collar on the second one. Personally, I liked dainty rounded collar a lot, but it actually might look even better with your changes! And I love that you went for traditional button placket, it looks much smarter than the facings in the original pattern.


    1. I absolutely agree about the facings. I really didn’t like that idea. I think an added button placket with piping would have been a better design choice… I like the rounded collar, but since I have a few shirts with a collar like that already, I wanted a change. Now I’m thinking of tackling making a men’s shirt 😬


    1. The Archer gets a lot of love. I have to say, I think I’ve liked all the versions of it I’ve seen so far. I should give it a try one day.

      Congratulations on the baby 😀


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