Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Dropped Sleeve Wadder Burda 7521

This is the last ever dropped shoulder garment I will ever ever ever make. They are just 'not me'. Several years ago I had my Personal Style Solutions done up by Kerryn at Kerryn's Fabric World and when it came to Sleeve Styles for me, a dropped shoulder seam was listed as being 'great'. Well, great no longer for me. And by eliminating this style from my wardrobe really narrows down my choices (as raglan, saddle, cap and open shoulders have already been ditched). From now on I am only going to stick with either sleeveless or set in sleeves. A classic sleeve style appears to be 'more me'. I love the look of a classic sleeve and now hate the dropped shoulder stuff. Pity it took making up my two latest tops to come to this conclusion.

First off was Burda 7521. I should have been forewarned when only one other person on PatternReview has tried this pattern, and she made 6 alterations to her top!!! Now, was that a red flag waving or what???
Not to worry, a loose fitting top with the little gathered detail at the front would be a pleasant change for the coming hot summer. NOT!!!
This top is so loose in fit that loose fitting doesn't do the top justice. Voluminous and shapeless could also be used as a description. I really don't think I have been this disappointed in a pattern for many a year.
So here is my version of Burda 7521. The fabric is fantastic and has a beautiful drape to it...

So, the shoulders. As can be seen from the line drawing they are a drop-shoulder style. But not the traditional box style drop sleeve, as an armscye shape can seen, for which a small amount of shaping can become evident. But when made up it just looks a vision of being way oversized and sloppy on the shoulder, as if the shoulder seam is twice the necessary length and not a dropped shoulder style at all. Particularly as the sleeve is fairly fitted. The drop is way longer than the normal 5cm dropped shoulder that I am use to seeing. The overall shoulder seam on this is 19cm (finished). And this is on a size 10 top...and I rest my case!!!

Next complaint would be the facings. The back in particular. What can't be seen from the line-drawing is that the back gathers at the neckline actually are formed in the seam between the back and the back facing, and the facing needs to be tacked down to the gathers to avoid the gathers sticking out. It does feel a bit strange having gathers on the back neckline when wearing.
...and from the inside showing the facing...

I do like the front gathers, though, and think that this in itself is a great feature of the top. An easy enough feature to sneak into other garments. The gathers here are actually formed on the inside of the top and this gives a nice roll to the gathers on the front.

So my verdict on this top is that I probably won't make another. For anyone else wanting to give it ago, be prepared for a huge top to be made. My suggestion to others would be to eliminate the back gathers as they really are an unnecessary 'extra' chunk of fabric in what is already an ample sized top. I would also advise against the version with sleeves and suggest the sleeveless version, which still has a fair drop/cap look to it. The pattern itself is easy as to sew, each section matched up and the instructions were fine. It is just me and the issue of the dropped sleeve that turns me off this pattern.

Will I wear it...yes, but with a splash of colour from a camisole underneath and matching splash in a bracelet to take the eye away from the shoulder area.


And my second dropped shoulder disaster is a work in progress. Another Burda (now, is that telling me something???) 8478. More on this top, and my fixing to suit me when it is completed...

An update on this dropped sleeve wadder - it can be saved!!! I have actually cut out the back gathers altogether, which resulted in having to sew in a back seam. But the bonus is I now have a great fitting top to wear, and only I know that it shouldn't have a back seam. So again I will reiterate, this top shouldn't be sewn up with the back gathers. They are overkill in adding in extra ease.


  1. Well done for still having ago despite the PR comments. Fabric looks great and I can see this will a cami underneath too. Good luck with your 2nd dropped shoulder Burda.

  2. Help! I can't find many others who have reviewed this pattern & as a beginner I am having real trouble understanding the instructions for the front gathers. If I am reading it correctly I gather the front section, attach the sides of the gathers to the side of the facing fold it in and iron - but mine simply wont stay there - the weight of the fabric just rolls it all back out again & all the stitching is shown. Am I missing something, or do I just need to try on a lighter fabric? Would love your help! Thanks,

  3. Yes, the rolling out did happen with mine as well. So I just slipped stitched a few little invisible stitches in amongst the gathers to attach it down. It certainly is a funny little top to put together, but after taking out the back gathers I have worn it a fair bit...Would love to see your version when you have finished - let me know your blog address if you can....

  4. Wondering what size you made- smallish?
    I am about a size 22 in Big 4 patterns, but made this up in a 20, in silk/cotton, and it was a real hit for me. It got a lot of compliments when I wore it in Queensland(hot and humid at the time, so no sleeves for me, though I prefer them usually- comfort won over vanity :-) ).
    I had A LOT of trouble with the squared off neckline base of View A and resorted to some hand stitching. Unfortunately, this fabric was a bit too delicate for this pattern as the corners of the front neckline tore out on first wearing and I had to perform surgery by hand! Happily,it was hidden under the tied bow.I have very broad shoulders, and the extended shoulder line looked like shortish sleeves, and I loved how they looked on my big arms.I'm not that keen on back of neckline gathers, but I didn't mind these. Hope this helps someone else.

    1. Hi Aless! Yes, I usually make up a 12 14 combo with patterns. Would love to see how your version turned out, particularly without the sleeves - us Queenslander's need cool clothing most of the year. Let me know if you have a blog ...