Tuesday, May 19, 2020

More new tops, a New Look and a Burda

With sewing you win some and you lose some. Fortunately I don't generally end with too many things in the loser category. Although when I do then out they go. Meaning I don't try to make myself wear it just to see. Either they go to a friend that might like it, or I cut it up to use for something else. Actually it doesn't happen too often as I stick to a color range that I like so it's mostly due to trying a shape or silhouette I'm not sure about.

Thus I have a tale of two tops, one is nice and wearable, and the other will be transitioned to lining pieces or something like that.
Let's start with the good. Early in our quarantine time I happened to see this pattern somewhere, probably on eBay which I occasionally peruse when drinking coffee in the morning and scratching the proverbial online shopping itch.

This is New Look 6471, designed for wovens, with long or short sleeve options and the plain gathered neckline which I sewed, or it also has a tie neckline.

Green silk top 1

I sewed it up in this remnant of silk twill, fabric I bought at Metro Textiles in NY in 2016. Oh that seems an age ago - how I want to go back and do all the NY things again.
The fabric has a lovely sheen and I really like the colors, however it's really tightly woven, it has no give at all and is probably better suited to something less fitted around the shoulders. It's not too small but not as comfortable as other tops I have.

NL6471 pattern env

Green silk dot top closeup

I think it would be nice with a skirt, perhaps tucked in the fabric would look better. A navy blue wool pencil skirt would be just right. However I don't have any possible need or place to wear something like that!

Green silk top back

So I will revisit this pattern, it could even be sewn in a knit or a rayon challis which has more give and would I think drape a bit better. This silk fabric has a tendency to stand out from the body which ends up looking weird. On the plus side it doesn't wrinkle which I like.

Onward to top number two, which maybe looks better in these pictures than it does in real life :)
This is a Burda Magazine pattern, from the January 2018 issue, # 116. My friend Pauline made this and I loved her version.  I thought it might go well with the boucle jacket that I finished in April.

Purple poly top

But I kind of hate it, for two reasons. First, this fabric is a polyester that I had in my stash, and I just used it because the color was nice. However, it's just not suited for this top, in fact some poly fabrics are not suitable for anything, hard to sew, show every pucker etc.
It has that interesting seaming on the sleeves, but after I made it I remembered that I'm just not a fan of that neckline shape. Which is what, a boatneck? wide jewel neck?  whatever it's called I don't find it comfortable. But there is a bigger reason why this is going in the scrap pile....

lavendar burda top front1

Purple top Burda image

See that very first word in the description? STRETCH. Ok, I hadn't noticed that and as you can see in their recommended fabrics they say "blouse fabrics with some body" but no mention of stretch. I know that Pauline's version was a knit, I think a lightweight ponte, and it worked perfectly. My purple version is not comfortable at all, that seaming of the armhole makes it feel too tight even thought it isn't. I think in a knit it would be great. Also a lot easier to sew, as getting those poly sleeves into the tricky poly armholes was a nightmare. Can you tell I hate this top?

lavender burda poly top back

Purple poly top back

Pauline made her version with elbow length sleeves, with elastic at the bottom which lightens up the whole shape. As it is I think it veers into that pirate shirt territory now that I see the sleeves.

Burda tech drawing 012018 # 116
What do you think? Should I give it another try or move on?  I do like that interesting armhole shaping. You can perhaps see that it has both pleats and gathering across the shoulder which is a lot for one sleeve :)

Onward to something that I like a lot better. I've been trying out various culotte patterns with varying success -I have a specific shape in mind and not really getting there with patterns I've tried. And will probably toss that idea and make a pair of longish fitted shorts. I want something dressy but not a skirt. I'll have to ponder this idea a bit more.

Up next, not sure. I have a few things in process, I finished a cotton blazer and just cut out the matching pants so that's in the works and then I have a DKNY dress pattern which I think will be my summer favorite. I might save that for a bit later so I can sew it and wear it when we get out of the house. I did order some fabric this week which came and now I'm ready to sew for summer.

The other day I was tracing a Burda magazine pattern and thought about showing the steps to finding the pattern pieces in the big confusing mess of lines. Actually once you know the system it's not that bad. I'll take photos as I go next time and then post my method.

I hope everyone is well and I'm looking forward to seeing people in person again, which here in N. California is inching closer to reality. Although indoor meetings of large groups, activities and work doesn't seem like it will happen for a while.

Green silk top 2

Take care and Happy Sewing,

Today's garden photo, it has to be those bright yellow snapdragons which have come back bigger and better now for 3 years. I don't plant all that many yellow flowers but in the spring they seem so cheerful. Which we all need right now.



  1. Oh, it's so good to see an example of that Burda top, which I've had my eye on since it came out! (I miss the feature on the old Burda website where people would upload photos of their projects.) I'm sorry it wasn't what it seemed it would be -- the product photos can be misleading!

  2. I like your first top. I've sewn a similar looking one from Burdastyle this week, but the sleeves are non existent. I think the seaming on the Burda top would put me right off, eugh.

  3. I made this top in a woven too. I did like it but ended up making it short sleeved because those sleeves were too much for me IRL. I think a knit fabric would be great though. Sort of like the popular Adrienne Blouse from Friday pattern company IMHO.

  4. Regarding the second top...I would scrap it since it doesn't feel comfortable. You're such a accomplished sewist that you can move on and make something fantastic that you'll wear for years. I have the same dilemma when I make an unsuccessful garment but know from 65 years of sewing that it's best to just give it a new home or trash it! Compare it to a ruined cooked dish that gets dumped. Both cooking and sewing require time but you learn from every misstep. Your blog is one of my favorites and I get excited when I see a new post from you. Stay safe. Karen

  5. It's sad that you hate the second top, but I can't help feeling you hate the process more than the result. Instead of tossing it right off, how about giving it some mellowing time in the mending pile? Then you can shorten the sleeves and focus on that easy success instead of the top of it?

  6. Blouse 1: This blouse is beautifully sewn and is lovely, but I personally feel this style with raglan fitted sleeve and gathers above the bust flatters petite, slim or tall women with B cup or less. I believe that the fitted shoulder area makes the upper body look small and then the torso and hip looks relatively larger, emphasizing what many of us wish to diminish! I have purchased this style repeatedly, and find that it becomes one of my least worn items, because it isn't flattering to the bust nor hip and even in a gauzy fabric, adds volume to the middle.

    Blouse 2: I think this semi-bateau neckline is extremely flattering on you! It is very nice with your face shape and figure! Interesting that you don't care for it! While a jewel neckline is attractive with your face shape, the bateau draws the eye to your face and balances the hipline better.
    Regarding the interesting sleeve: I think the back/shoulder is attractive but on the front bodice it looks a bit awkward or contrived, and the fabric doesn't hang beautifully perhaps because of the extreme curve or just the poly fabric. If you left the back detail and took the curve out of the front sleeve and bodice piece, it would be very attractive on you with the same neckline and bishop sleeve.
    Just my 2 cents!

  7. Finding the right drape is going to make a difference on that first top. The gathering is a simple, cute and novel idea, so it is interesting how different fabrics make such a difference in execution of a detail like that. Also, you can easily not know what the final effect will be depending on the print or weave. I think a jersey knit would be worth trying. It has no shaping through the torso, and that would be a non-starter for me, although it’s easy enough to add.

    The fabric in the 2nd top looks like a PITA to work with. Maybe there is a reason Burda does not present a full frontal view, as in, maybe they didn’t care for the final result either? I would try jersey also with this one. I agree with you about this ubiquitous neckline - enough already! Seems to be the same neckline on every other top pattern. But on it’s own this top beats most RTW and someone would be delighted to wear it as is, and for that reason I would donate it.

    I am a little intrigued by your quest for the perfect pair of culottes and enjoy hearing your thought process on selection and rejection. Do you search through on line RTW catalogs and then look for a pattern whose features coincide? Under normal (non-Covid) circumstances, would you examine in person or try on RTW to get closer to what you’re looking for?

    I so enjoy your blog style - you always make me feel like we are in the same room sharing.

    Lovely blooms!

  8. Ah Burda and their trickiness with fabric req's! I have made that mistake too of sewing something and completely missing that they intended it for stretch wovens. Grr!

    I love that first pattern. I think I stashed it recently...must check :) I agree that something with a bit more drape would make it 100%!

  9. I've just made a version of this Burda blouse, too. It seems like this pattern is having a bit of a moment! I used the pattern as a bodice for a tiered dress and I made the whole thing out of linen. Non-stretchy and with a tonne of body and I really like the result! I also shortened the sleeves. Between the sorter sleeves and the body in the fabric, the volume in the sleeves is concentrated near the shoulder instead of the cuff, which, to my eye, makes the simple round neckline much more flattering. If you're interested in taking a look I posted pics on my blog http://wardrobedysfunction.blogspot.com/2020/04/puffy-dress-in-divine-black-linen.html

    Actually I'm wearing this dress as I write this!

  10. NL 6471 is a 100% TNT favorite of mine; I've made 3 and am cutting a new one this weekend! I changed the gathers to pleats and have switched up sleeve lengths too. All of mine are made from rayon challis; the drape is perfect. Your guess is correct that they look very nice tucked into skirts. :) I LOVE the print on your version!

  11. Thanks for sharing Beth! It's funny to read your sewing story, and I can tell I recognize my self. Sometimes I chose wrong fabric for the pattern, and sometimes the garments I make doesn't feel good on.. I also give away garments to family and friends :) I like the BurdaStyle pattern you have used, but I agree, it could be better for moving with stretch fabric. I like the lavender color on you! Your yellow flowers looks beautiful ♥ Cheers, and Happy sewing!