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!
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.
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.
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 straight forward, 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.
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.
I finished the hem with a twin needle, probably the only instruction that I did follow. I used wooly nylon for both the twin needles and the bobbin and it worked like a charm. I also used wooly nylon for the topstitching of the neckline as well.
And that’s it, I’m leaving you now with more of me modelling my new top up high in the Shard!