Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Burda instructions really, really, really need illustrations. Sure, the fashion photo and the technical drawings are great. But, just a little more help in the sewing instructions would be so appreciated.

Looking at the photo and the technical drawing, I liked the hidden placket on the front, the top-stitching along the placket; and, oh – little stitches to divide the placket – how cute! But, reading the instructions brought about a WTF?!? moment. After reading the instructions many, many times, I could not picture any hidden placket I’d ever seen. Friends, therein lies the problem : “… any hidden placket I’d ever seen!!!”

The hidden plackets I'm familiar with have an opening on the outside of the placket for your fingers. BWOF’s opening is on the inside.

Since there were no pictures with the instructions, I learned this by making samples. First I used instructions from a back issue of Threads. (Thanks, Nancy K!) I used that sample as a point of comparison with the BWOF placket instructions. About two minutes into the BWOF placket, I realized there was no way BWOF’s instructions would produce the placket I'd just made using the instructions from Threads. After much pinning, basting and head scratching, I figured out that BWOF's placket opened on the opposite side. Actually, this "backward" placket makes perfect sense. Since you don't have to fold back and hold the placket, your hands are in a more natural position for buttoning. BWOF - Gotta love it!

This little journey of discovery made me think about how pattern companies translate garments into patterns. BWOF might do a literal translation. If the designer’s garment has a backward placket, then the pattern will have a backward placket. Other pattern companies, like the Big 4, might change the placket to make construction easier. Or maybe, BWOF’s placket is common in Europe and, from BWOF's point of view, the American interpretation is the "backward" one.

Sewing. Not just a hobby – it's an adventure.


  1. "Sewing. Not just a hobby – it's an adventure."

    You made me LOL with that comment. I actually like the BWOF placket much better.

  2. Very interesting detail, indeed. Yes, another reason to love BWOF and to keep making them. Yes, we probably are the "backwards" ones, LOL.

  3. Is that why the jeans I bought in Paris have the fly opening to the left rather than the right?!

  4. Okay - that's item #1 I now know for my version! keep it coming! *LOL* And I'm gonna have a perfect garment after you're adventure!!!

  5. Yes you're right, sewing is indeed an adventure!

    I've never seen such a placket before... Very original!