Of course it helped that I chose a rather simple top to sew this month. I must admit that I struggled to pick a project this month, because after reading some rave reviews of this issue when it arrived I was a bit blah about the patterns. Some were ok (narrow pants, raglan sleeved dress, panelled dress etc) but since I had made similar type garments in recent months I decided to go out on a limb and sew something quite different to my usual style. I made the pleated neck, voluminous sleeve and shapeless top, 11/2013 #103:
The back has a keyhole opening and two pleats at the neckline too. A word of warning to anyone planning to make this - the neck opening is really tight and probably needs widening to make it easier to get on and off and for more comfortable wear. I ended up sewing on a long loop from hat elastic so that neck opening sits wider open at the back so that I don't spend the day feeling strangled:
And the other tip I have for anyone making this is to trace the sewing line of the shoulder dart properly otherwise you'll end up with really pointy shoulders. Because I added my usual 1.5cm seam allowance when I traced the pattern and just sewed according to the cut edge, my darts ended too abruptly and needed rounding off:
And when I checked the pattern I could see the fault was all mine - I should have traced the curved sewing line from the pattern rather than charging on in my usual style!
But overall I quite like this pattern, I can see it made up in a soft, draping fabric like washed silk with full length sleeves for winter. And the bonus is that it only took me about two hours from cutting out to finishing, although admittedly I had already traced the pattern during the week which is the most fiddly, boring part of sewing with Burda.
But wait, there's more! I was worried that I wouldn't have anything to wear this with so I decided to make a new pair of simple, black shorts to wear with it. It turns out that this top looks good with jeans and my denim skirt so I need not have worried but I needed a new pair of shorts anyway, so no harm done. I used Burda 10/2013 #127 which was my Burda of the month project from last month:
I sewed this pair from a stretch cotton drill that I bought on Saturday morning when I popped into Spotlight to get a zipper. In fact by the time I started sewing these shorts the fabric was still a little damp from prewashing - how's that for stash avoidance! It's been quite a while since I bought some fabric specifically for a project, but unbelievably I didn't have any stretch black cotton in my stash.
The last pair I made from this pattern was from a cotton linen blend that didn't have any stretch (although it did bag out) but was quite soft, and it's amazing how different the garment fits being made in a stiffer, stretch fabric. This version sits higher on the waist because the fabric doesn't slouch down, the pockets stick out a bit at the sides and I had to take in the centre back seam a lot more because it was gaping at the back. I got a decent fit at the back I think, if you can ignore the VPL (sorry, it's not a good look is it?) and the gaping side pocket.
The other changes I made to the pattern (besides cutting it off a knee length of course) was to sew two welt pockets at the back just to break up that expanse of fabric - I've read somewhere that well placed pockets can make your derriere look smaller and more shapely than not having any. The other change I also made was to cut out the pattern with a fly extension like this:
instead of sewing on a separate fly extension. It just cut out a few steps and simplified matters. I also ignored Burda's instructions completely this time for installing the zipper because I recall being thoroughly confused by them last month, and instead used Sandra Betzina's super simple and effective method, seen in this Threads video.
So happily I've got a 100% success rate when it comes to sewing from my Burda mags this year - but if Burda waits until a few days before Christmas to send me the December issue I doubt I'll be able to pull off another swift project like this one.