Sometimes you just need a short and sweet little make in your (sewing) life. Something that sews up quickly and it’s also satisfying, and if it happens to be a wardrobe filler, well, then, that’s a Brucie bonus. You would not believe that this little top ticks all those boxes, buy my oh my, it so does. I had a completely different idea when I first picked up this pattern but in the end, I just left it as it was and super happy with it.
My love for Burda magazines is by now well documented, but I only buy them from time to time, if a particular pattern catches my fancy. And sometimes, I desperately want a pattern from a past issue, but I don’t like just buying one PDF pattern, so I’ll go trying to dig up the magazine. Thankfully, our amazing sewing community (and eBay) very often comes to the rescue. Many thanks to Heather from the Dressmaking Bloggers Group on Facebook who very graciously sent it to me after I posted an enquiry on the group.
I was looking for a good hack-able base for a project for the #sleevefest IG challenge that Diane at Dream.cut.sewDream.cut.sew and Helen from Valentine and Stitch. I wanted to reproduce a design with a kimono sleeve and double flounces, that I had seen a few people wear at work and then pinterested to figure out the pattern. Needless to say that of course, that did not happen – yet. The idea was to make a quick toile before I cut into my other fancier fabric that I had earmarked for that project, but as it often happens, the toile earned a life of its own.
This is a very simple kimono sleeve pattern, from the front, but it has a very cute v-neck back detail and a band. Basically, two pattern pieces and the band, easy peasy! It also has a key-hole detail on the front, but I didn’t like the look of it, so I skipped that part.The fabric
I had a very small left-over piece from a sari fabric that my husband brought from a business trip to India last year. It’s some sort of polyester chiffon, quite lightweight and floaty, which worked well with the relaxed lines of the pattern. Shock horror, this is one of the very few floral types, if not the only such fabric you would catch me dead in. I guess it’s sort of abstract and monochrome, so my floral dread alert has not gone off too much. And I like that it’s one of a kind, and a gift from my husband – on specific instructions, of course…
As I said, the pattern instructions are super easy (though it’s Burda, so I didn’t actually read any of them). But who likes easy, right? To make things a bit more challenging, and because the fabric is a bit see-through, I decided to use French seams all over and finish it off with a tiny rolled hem. Which was a bit more time-consuming, but overlocking really did not work with this fabric.
I don’t have a problem with french seams, even if you do have to practically sew everything twice, but I am clearly doing something wrong, as this is the second time the project turned out too small – this time in the sleeve area. I’m surely messing up my seam allowances somewhere… So I had to open the shoulder and underarm seams to let it out a bit, so I can actually put my arms through. I’m not a particular bingo wings owner so it might be that the drafting is a bit tight. I went back to the pattern and amended it to make it a bit wider next time.
The sleeve edge was finished with the overlocker, as I could just not be bothered to do a rolled hem. But I did persevere on the hem and made a really tiny tiny rolled hem. I got the chance to use my brand new duckbill scissors. My method involves sewing a guideline, then folding, then using my edge stitch foot, trim the excess and fold again, topstitching with the edge stitch foot. I know there is a special foot for that, and I have it, for both 1/4 and 1/2, but I just can’t get it to work. And the time it takes me to try is as long as sewing the whole thing 3 times.
The pattern requires facings, but the dreaded Inari experience definitely convinced me to stay away from those for good. I used bias tape to finish the neckline.
On that topic, not sure if you have ever experienced the difference between 100% cotton bias tape and a poly-cotton mix. I got a roll of the latter from Jaycots a while ago and really really loved it, so much finer and smoother than the regular cotton one. I now have a big roll of both black and white and I think I might slowly slowly accumulate it in every possible colour. I used Wendy Ward’s tutorial on how to insert bias binding on v-necklines, btw, as I had not done this before. It came out quite nicely, though I had to redo some bit to get it all lined up. Again, I used my edge stitch foot to get very close to the edge of the bias tape.
This was only meant to be a test garment, but I wore it loads this summer, both with jeans and with more dressy trousers. It absolutely filled a gaping hole in my wardrobe, which actually became quite obvious this summer. I really need separates, especially tops that I can wear to work and bottoms that are not black trousers. So this top, although nothing spectacular, really hit the spot and it was a quick and easy make to boot.
I have already cut two versions, and hopefully one of them will actually end up being the planned flutter sleeve one that I originally got the pattern for.
Pattern: Burda Style Magazine 04/2016 Design #114 size 38
Fabric: Poly chiffon sari fabric from Bangalore
Alterations: I added SA to centre back and front by mistake (duhhhh!), so it ended up a bit wider than it should have.
Next time: I have removed SA from CB and CF from the pattern. Increase armhole.
HOW DO YOU GET ON WITH BURDA PATTERNS? LOVE OR LOATHE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY!