Running hot & cold… Burda 7401

aka The Jacket of Poo… not

Burda 7401 - a modern-day trench

Burda 7401 – a modern-day trench (OMG I’ve got my sunnies off – note I do wear my sunnies whenever I am outside – it’s an Aussie beach girl thing.

Oh, it’s not so bad… now I’m finished… I feel this sense of impending DOOM as I sewed.

The construction was an epic battle and at one stage I desperately hated it and banished it to the wardrobe. Funnily enough now I’ve fallen in love with it, it’s rather like the artful trench that wasn’t (hey, I’ve never claimed to make much sense).

Burda 7401 front view closed.

Burda 7401 front view closed.


I sewed like a woman possessed. Then fell outta love. Hard. I tweeted and bemoaned how this project had morphed into The Jacket of Poo. And I hated it. With a passion. I even banished Betty and the jacket to the wardrobe for a week. I got up on Saturday and pinned the sleeves on… and it restored some balance and I felt better… and nearly missed my weights class as a result… ah the sacrifices!

WARNING… dangerous sleeves ahead…

Yes, they are kimono sleeves. No setting in a sleeve. Hooray I hear you cry… however they have a gusset under the arm… and it is hell on earth to sew. A straight piece of fabric curling around a sharp curve… it’s like driving on buttered bald tyres on an icy road… you desperately try to hug the curve but it just doesn’t play nice… and you have to sew it four times… oh how the drunk monkey howled in mirth

Burda 7401 - sleeve gusset... so much harder than it looks.

Burda 7401 – sleeve gusset… so much harder than it looks.

Most of this jacket I did not find technically difficult however the sleeve gussets are a nightmare. I tried pinning, basting, hand-stitching… regardless of my approach they are just incredibly disagreeable and that one step makes this jacket an advanced project in my opinion.

SHHH… secret pockets!

Yes, it’s got pockets. Where??? The front panels are also pockets. They open at the side seam and are the full width and depth of the front panel. I personally would not use them to stash things in as it would ruin the drape of the jacket – however they are excellent when slouching around town.

Burda 7401 - concealed pockets
Burda 7401 – concealed pockets

CONSTRUCTION… embrace it…

This is not a lined jacket.. and I don’t believe everything needs to be lined… I know, shock horror, I’m a sewing radical.

It’s a very modern jacket, with interesting design lines, pockets hidden in the seams, softly folded lapels, standing collar, an angled flared peplum. I think seeing the seams is interesting and also the reverse of the fabric, it’s all part of the feel. I didn’t really want to see fraying or neatened seams… so I flat felled many of the seams… excluding the sleeve gussets and the peplum. The sleeves and peplum I attached as usual and then sewed the seam allowance down through all the layers so every seam had a secondary line of stitching as per a flat felled seam.

TIES… the closure that nearly wasn’t…

I added the ties – which I thought were epic cool – I created them from the furry selvedge as I discovered that there is a Million Shades of Beige and no ribbon would match. They matched perfectly and… I hated them. I tried creating the wrap ties like Carolyn did on her beautiful jacket for her daughter – but I disliked them crossing the smooth peplum at the back and pulling on the drape of the front.

Burda 7401 - deciding on the closure... can you tell by the slouch of my shoulders I'm feeling dejected at this stage?
Burda 7401 – deciding on the closure

I almost cut off the ties and replaced them with a hook and eye…. almost. Then I simply trimmed off the furriness (as suggested by ELH) and suddenly things looked much better. The overall feel of the jacket and the fabric is just too slick for any soft textures.

Burda 7401 - how I love the back view of this jacket....

Burda 7401 – how I love the back view of this jacket….

I found this fabric – this rather amazing shimmer twill at the Alannah Hill outlet in Melbourne. It’s only downfall… it is epic beige- not my favourite shade. I was so delighted when I found similar fabric on the Minerva site – shimmer twill. I’ve now got some in raspberry and green… I may have just purchased some more in ice blue… I highly recommend this fabric. It’s absolutely perfect for jackets – make a Sewaholic Robson in it! It’s the perfect weight, practical sturdy fabric that doesn’t fray badly and has a lovely soft metallic sheen – trust me – you will love it.

OH THE IRONY… I made a Shiny Beige Jacket… *face palm*

‘Beige’ is the disparaging colour I apply to people I find dull. Beige People come in many forms – people who are so righteous it’s tedious, people so lacking in real opinion they talk without saying anything, people who never really say what they mean for fear of offending, people with no opinion but the opinions they spout of others.

I also have an aversion to Shiny People. I probably loathe Shiny People more than Beige People. Shiny People are those people impressed by appearance and stuff – what lies beneath doesn’t matter as much as the surface and the price tag that it came with. They never really seem to have ‘friends’ so much as impressive people in beautiful clothes that they hang out with because they are the right sort of people to be seen with. The type of people that you never really feel you actually know…

Burda 7401 - side view

Burda 7401 – side view

Life should be lived, in all its colour spectrums (the odd moment of beige is OK, and heck Shiny can be hellishly fun… Shiny can be like eating three courses of dessert with loads of grog – let’s be honest) and a little bent around the edges… because life is like that if you open your eyes and really look… imperfection is what makes life interesting and beautiful. Shiny Beige jackets and all… perhaps this is in fact my very own flak jacket against the army of Beige/Shiny People that live out there… and a reminder of who I’m not going to be…

SewNotABeigeShinyPerson (most days I hope).

Inspiration: Handmade by Carolyn (beautiful gorgeous make) & Pretty Grievances (Anne scared me off this pattern for a while with her tale of woe!)

Pattern: Burda 7401. This appears to have recently gone out of print. I think it may still be in Australian stores.
Fabric: Beige Shimmer Twill from Alannah Hill outlet, Melbourne – purchased on the Frocktails trip. Similar fabric from Minerva Fabrics… on clearance!
Location: Port Macquarie Town Green… a block from where I work… I know… life’s tough… shot in my lunch break…

61 thoughts on “Running hot & cold… Burda 7401

  1. Well thank God you finished it because it looks gorgeous! I too have a jacket that I’ve spent way too much time on and now is spending way too much time in the depths of my closet gathering dust. It looks fabulous on you, and lady: you have gorgeous pins!

  2. Fantastic, that floaty back hem is just divine. And I think your jacket is at the darker end of the beige spectrum, which combined with the interesting lines of the jacket means it is so far from boring!

  3. So sorry to hear of the epic battle you have had with this one. We would never have known as it looks just great…such stylish lines and I just love that peplum effect at the back. All those interesting seam lines and perfect drape camouflage the beigeness.

  4. Well done for sticking with it!! It turned out so nicely. Maybe I should return to the jacket I have sitting in the forget-about-it corner..!

  5. Haha your comments on this have been brilliant. Glad to see this finally finished! I think it looks like a lovely well made jacket but I have to say I never thought I’d see you in beige. Maybe a colourful redo?

    • Thanks! I had to photograph it twice as well because the wind wasn’t playing nice. The second shoot we walked all over town looking for a sheltered spot. I love it but it was a high maintenance project!

  6. LOVE this. just goes to show that beige doesn’t have to be boring! glad you stuck with this project, because i bet you’ll get loads of use out of it. and i’m with you on the lining thing–i used to be a lining addict, but i finally realized that it isn’t always necessary!

  7. I’m so glad you finished this jacket, it’s gorgeous–even if it is beige (which is one of my least fave colors too). And welcome to the dark side where linings and couture finishes are completely optional. 😉 We have cheesecake and chocolate. 😛

  8. OMG Lizzie, this is beautiful. As is your home town, I am consumed with envy ;-). And isn’t the colour taupe rather than beige? Makes it sound much more fashionable I think!

  9. You’ve done an amazing job with this jacket. I love beige and the shiny aspect of this fabric. I’m so glad you got through this project, cause it looks ‘high end’ to me.

  10. An unusual pattern! I do rather like the shape of the hem at the back… but I’m a little scratching my forehead at the rest. I think I just struggle to appreciate patterns I would never make for myself… but you wear it well! (love the shoes). Gorgeous fabric though – even if the colour is difficult! I find those sorts of colours really attractive to buy in fabric, but then when I look at it from a distance it seems to change its hue 😛

    • Oh I like things with angular seams and odd design lines – probably because I work in an art gallery & theatre so that’s my ‘normal’ – whereas this sort of ‘thing’ may not appeal to the engineer in you 🙂

  11. Ooh! So cool! Those pockets are just awesome and the back has such an unusual shape. I really like it! That sleeve gusset looks like a nightmare though… Hurray for you beating it!

    • LOL I did have several moment when I restrained myself from a temper tantrum and I’m glad I finished it 🙂
      I think it’s in the “I’ll be back pattern pile” I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s a jacket that grows on you… like a big taupe/beige mushroom in the dark when you aren’t watching…

    • You are dead right Gail. It’s drapey without being shapeless, structured without being harsh, it’s quite genius in its design. I’ll be making it again at some point, it’s worthy of a remake.

  12. So glad you stuck it out. This is definitely not a jacket of poo. I think beige gets a bad rap, myself. Nothing but beige would be boring, I grant you, but judicious use makes everything else pop. And I agree with you about shiny, but I would say rather that this shimmers. People who shimmer send off sparks of light that gladden the hearts of all around them.

    Kind of like you, now that I think about it. 🙂

    I am sad about the somewhat non-functional pockets, though. That would make me grumpy. Pockets are there to be used.

    • Thank you so much, you’ve gladdened my heart 😊
      The pockets could take lightweight objects, I’m just fussy on pockets pulling garments out of shape – yes I’m a fusspot!
      As much as I was cross with it and hating the colour while making it, I think it was worth the effort & the colour makes it a great neutral piece.

  13. Love your jacket. I have made this in an orange linen and as much as I love it, it can be difficult to coordinate and wear. The beige will be more functional in your wardrobe.

    • Oh I’ve seen your jacket when I was googling the pattern before I started! It’s lovely.
      It’s a great pattern, a challenge and an unusual but wearable design, worth the effort that’s for sure!

  14. Woah, Lizzy!! That does look really challenging. With the gussets and the pockets and the peplum flare. But, glad you stuck it out, I think it’s just gorgeous! Very flattering on you, as well, like the curvy lines.

  15. Love the peplum – back view is gorgeous! Gussets are tricky things, aren’t they? My one encounter was on a vintage dress pattern – ugh – thankfully they were small. The jacket looks great on you. Love the photos – doesn’t look too windy! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.