Burda 02-2009 #114

My life is full of trousers in various stages of completion at the moment. I have taken a break from jeans making with a bit of culottes making, and a break from that with a top, which I thought will be a quick make. But since we’re talking Burda Style here, of course, it was anything but. However, still a nice little top to show for it, plus a really cool photo shoot on top of the Shard to delight you with.

Last Christmas, we got a Shard experience gift from my MIL, and as per our usual modus operandi, it took us close to 6 months to redeem it. But we did it this afternoon, better late than never. So that’s London from 300+ m up in the sky behind me, in case you were wondering. Of course, the multi-tasker that I find myself, I decided it will make a nice change from my white living room wall. Otherwise, it was a nice experience overall, though not sure I would have paid the extortionate price they are charging.

So, going back to the sewing talk… I have a big bunch of Burda Magazines, of the coloured spaghetti printed sheets, from back home in Romania in 2009. So now and again, I dig them up and look for patterns that could work with specific fabrics in my stash. So this time, I was searching for a slightly more spectacular jersey top, easy to make but with some nice details.

I really liked the yoke details and thought it would work really nicely with a lace/jersey combo. I made a test a few weeks ago in some lycra fabric I had in my stash to sacrifice and I thought I had figured out the constructions, so I confidently cut my new pieces out, imagining it’s a job for one evening. As you might expect, boy, way I wrong. Somehow, everything took twice the time, and it took 3 evenings to finish! I overlocked and unpicked about 20 times, and still, the insides are not perfect!

RELATED  Stripped Summer Dress | Burda Magazine 03/2009 #113A

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #05

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #01

Pattern:  Top #118A in Burda Magazine 02/2009, and I cut size 38, with 1.5cm added seam allowance. I ended up overlocking all the seams, so in effect, it was closer to 40.

Burda Mag 02:2009 #118A

Fabric: I used a stretch lace from Brick Lane, I can’t remember the actual name of the shop. I got it when in the area and looking to make something for the following day, but I never ended up using it. It was £6 for 1/2m. The main jersey fabric is jersey crepe from Classic Textile in Goldhawk Road, and it was a stupid £4/m, so I bought loads and still figuring out what to make with the rest of it.

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #08

Construction: Needless to say, the instructions were worse than useless. I mean Burda + Romanian sewing terms (I learnt how to sew in English, so I have to guess what they mean) = scratched heads.

For the majority, it was quite straightforward, until it got to the sleeves. I’m not sure what they actually wanted you to do, but I followed instructions I found on Pattern Review for the first attempt and then tried my own thing. If I tried it a third time, I probably would get it right in half the time. The main difficulty is that the sleeve seam needs to go perpendicular to the yoke (sewn to the shoulder seam) up to the notch then parallel, sewn to the remainder yoke seam. And best to treat the two parts of the sleeve as one, then close the sleeve seam in the round as far as you can go, then close the remainder as part of the side seam. I recommend the instructions on Pattern Review to get your head around it, they have a few pics too.

RELATED  An unstructured wool coat | Butterick B6244

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #03.jpg

Finishing: I used my overlocker for the majority of the seams, but you do need a sewing machine as well. Firstly, the sleeves need to be gathered at the top and bottom, and then it helps to baste them together to treat them as one. The neckline is meant to be finished so that the binding peaks a bit from the wrong side. But because my lace is a bit transparent, this was not going to work. So I sewed the binding on the wrong side and then folded it over the edge of the lace, then topstitched very close to the edge.

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #14

I finished the hem with a twin needle, probably the only instruction that I did follow. I used woolly nylon for both the twin needles and the bobbin and it worked like a charm. I also used woolly nylon for the topstitching of the neckline as well.

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #13

And that’s it, I’m leaving you now with more of me modelling my new top up high in the Shard!

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #12

Burda Mag 02-2009 #118A (2016) #06



  1. 19 June 2016 / 9:05 PM

    Top looks great but sounds difficult! I’ve been to floor 32 in the Shard & that was high enoughπŸ˜ƒ

    • Alex
      19 June 2016 / 11:00 PM

      This was floor 68 and I kept feeling that the floor was moving like a boat… πŸ™‚

  2. 19 June 2016 / 9:18 PM

    I like your new top and I have the same when I start a project thinking that it will be one evening work and after a few days I just want to get over it! And sewing from Romanian I don`t even want to try , I am Romanian living in The Netherlands and I learned to sew in English but now after years I can “sew” in Spanish ( from Patrones ) and Dutch ( from Knipmode) but I still don`t know any terms in Romanian πŸ™‚ P.S. I really like your new haircut πŸ™‚

    • Alex
      19 June 2016 / 10:59 PM

      Thank you! When I was living in Ro (7 years ago) Burda was the only source of patterns you could find, no indie, no Big 4, no blogs! It make me laugh how in the dark ages we were… I hope it’s better now, I speak to a few Romanian sewing bloggers, so at least that side of things is improving.
      I do envy you for the sewing in Dutch and Spanish, I only managed a bit of French for their lovely indie brands, like Wear Lemonade.

  3. Mihaela
    20 June 2016 / 5:04 AM

    This top looks very sexy on you: or is it your new haircut πŸ™‚ ? Thanks for the wooly nylon tip!

    • Alex
      20 June 2016 / 6:18 PM

      Ha ha, I don’t know about that! Must be the rarefied air on the 68th floor 😬. Thank you on all accounts though!

  4. 21 June 2016 / 11:52 AM

    Loving this top, and I know what you mean about the simplicity (or not!) of Burda patterns. The view from the top of the Shard is amazing. I thought about going up there in January but didn’t manage it. Can’t wait to see your culottes!

    • Alex
      21 June 2016 / 12:05 PM

      Thanks, Sue! Tbh, I wouldn’t have paid the money, but glad I got the chance to go up there. I would so love to meet you IRL if you ever come to London again!!

      • 21 June 2016 / 12:20 PM

        yes, I’m back at the end of November – we definitely need to catch up. I will be in London for a week or a bit longer.

        • Alex
          21 June 2016 / 12:21 PM

          Amazing! Put me on your list already!! 😁

          • 21 June 2016 / 12:28 PM

            Will do, I would also like to catch up with a couple of others who are probably in your sewing gang!

    • Alex
      22 June 2016 / 12:00 PM

      Thank you! Makes a nice change of background, ha ha!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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