As I posted earlier, I dove into the Burda turtleneck from the September 2010 issue.  People on Patternreview have made I think hundreds of these things at this point–and it’s only January 2011.

Well throw my hat in the ring for admirers of this pattern.

Burdastyle 09-2010-121: mock turtleneck–what I learned

1.  Basic doesn’t necessarily mean boring As I said, I totally missed this (and every other pattern) pattern in the September issue.  When I first started seeing reviews of it pop up on PR, I ignored it.  Snore, I thought–I hate turtlenecks as a general rule.  I should know Burda better by this point.  This pattern is well drafted, 3 pieces, and it looks sleek looking without being constricting or tackily tight.  I see why people have made up a gazillion of these things.  It takes little fabric, is fun to sew and can be accessorized until the cows come home.  It’s MAYBE a little short, but at 7 months pregnant, my opinion on this point can’t be trusted.  I’m wearing a cami underneath for my own comfort, not because it’s too short.  I did add 2″ at CF and 1.5″ in a wedge at the side seam, which was more than enough room for baby, and my hem is nice and level.

2.  In seam buttonholes:  This was my big learning on this top.  Trena’s reviews almost always send me over the edge if I’m so-so on a pattern, and this one was no exception.  She added a thumbhole for extra warmth in the underarm seam.  Being shorter like she is, I knew that I’d have to shorten the sleeves by quite a bit (2.25″)–enough that I’d have plenty of extra length to have a fingerless glove setup if I added a thumbhole.  I elected to do in-seam buttonholes for this feature.

I serged the raw edge of the arms, sewing a piece of twill tape to the thumbhole area in the serged allowance.

After I sewed in the armscye seam, I sewed the underarm seam just outside my serging, stopping and restarting on either side of the twill tape.

I pressed this seam really well on my seam roll and did some decorative stitching with hot pink embroidery thread to keep the twill tape tacked down (and because I figured if I was fussing this much over a seam, it might as well be purty).

I’m pretty surprised at HOW much warmer the thumbholes make this top.  Thank you Trena for the inspiration!  Though they were more work than just sewing an underarm seam, the functionality trumps it.  My hands get so cold in winter, particularly when I’m playing violin and wearing even fingerless gloves impairs my movement.

So I’ll echo words of others–why haven’t you sewn this top yet?

My full review is here on Patternreview.


  1. Nice thumbhole detail, à la Trena. When you say you get cold hands, is it ‘winter hands’ or do you have Raynaud’s phenonmena? I have it and breastfeeding is a challenge in winter as a result.

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