Friday, April 15, 2016

Burda 6632 tunic top in cotton lawn

Do you ever feel like you ought to sew something different?  Like a different silhouette? Or maybe a color that currently doesn't have a place in your repertoire? I do. I've been thinking about this question lately and come to the conclusion that I want to try some different tops. Reflecting on what I make for myself, I think I have a good variety of shapes in coats, jackets and dresses but I don't really branch out when it comes to tops. And I see so many cute and interesting tops that other people are sewing.

Consequently I bought Burda 6632 and sewed it up using a cotton which I bought last December at Stone Mountain. I originally bought it to sew a Christmas gift and there was about a yard remaining after making that project which was just enough for this sleeveless tunic.

And that is another question, what defines a tunic top? To me it is a bit loose, most often collarless, and maybe longer than a button front shirt.

Burda top on me front

I'm not sure I landed on tunic top with this one but I did end up with a nice floaty top which will be very wearable in July or August.

It has forward shoulder seams and some pleating there, and then the neckline band meets in the center and continues down to the front hem. The inside of the band is pieced as I was down to little scraps of fabric when I cut it out. Sewing this type of fabric is so nice - cotton lawn and voile just sew up like a dream and press so easily.

blue burda top on form front

Here is the back view. It has a yoke and then the back is very full and gathered into the center of the yoke. It looked very balloon-y on me (at least I thought so). So I added the little bit of elastic in a channel at the center back waist. Not on the pattern but my little fix to take in some of the ballooning. I think if I were to make it again I might take out most or all of the gathers at the center back and just have it be flat at the yoke. There would still be enough room in the back. In a silk it might be fine, more floaty and drape and look better, sometimes you just have to adapt a pattern for the fabric at hand.

blue burda top back on form

Or maybe not enough room over the backside :)

burda top back view

Side view on the dress form. I like the shape of the hem and that it is a little bit longer in the back. I just made self-fabric bias binding for the armholes - which the pattern probably noted but I didn't look at that part. Although I did have to read through the instructions for the center neck band piece.

blue burda top on form side

Here's the pattern envelope. And by the way, I lopped off a bit from the outside edge of the shoulder. My standard adjustment - I can't stand sleeveless tops that are too wide in that area. Looking at the photos above I would have liked to take away more but I think the pleats were in the way. I sewed the size 38 but now I'm thinking that in roomy Burda styles I might even try the 36 next time.

Burda 6632 top

I thought the center neckline might be a bit low and it's not too bad when standing up straight.  A lot of things with V-necklines are that way which is probably due to the fact that I am shorter than the pattern is designed for. I thought about shortening the upper bodice but it seemed like a pain in the you know what to deal with redrawing that neck band piece, plus this was kind of a test version using a scrap fabric. On the positive side a friend of mine gave me some dark red jeans which are a perfect complement to this top. And which I didn't wear when I took these photos as they had not been hemmed yet. Oh you bet, I have to shorten all pants. Good thing I have a sewing machine. ;)

Burda top on me3

So now I have tried another silhouette. And hmmmm. Not so sure I like it. But whatever. Worth a try.

However I just finished a different item, with another new to me silhouette, and I love it! Which goes to show, you never know until you try something out.

We took these photos about 3 weeks ago - it was almost sleeveless weather that evening. And then more rain - yippee - and now I think spring is well and truly arrived. I have tomato plants growing happily on the patio!

I have more fabric from My Fabric Designs that I am about to cut into very soon - after pondering what to make with it the light bulb went on. Are you one of those people who puts their head on the pillow at night and then reviews your day? A quick mental scan of what you are doing tomorrow? and any puzzles that are rattling around in your cranium? Oh, is that just me? Yes, some nights I fall asleep in a snap but most times I have the sense that just before I go to sleep I open one little mental filing drawer, pull out a question and think about it a few minutes. It could be anything from where to put a new plant, a solution to a family dilemma, what to cook for a dinner party, how to advise a friend with a sticky situation, or the most relaxing one of all - what to do with a particular piece of fabric.  OK, fabric usage is  not the most earth-shattering issue but enjoyable to think about nonetheless.

Next up - the result of my recent declaration which was "when in doubt sew denim".

Happy sewing dreams,  Beth

The roses are blooming everywhere, my neighborhood is awash with color on every street. Lovely! This yellow one in the backyard is usually a first to bloom then kind of drags staring in July. But so nice for now.

April garden


  1. Well I think this top looks great and as I like wearing these longer length loose style tops I will remember this for the future. Lucky you that Spring is arriving: we are predicted frost and maybe even snow :-(

  2. I think the top looks lovely, Beth, and good work with the elastic at the lower back. I love the idea of those loose fitting tops, but the blousey fabric in the back always bugs me too. Taking out the gathers at the yoke might be just the trick for next time...

  3. I love the look of this top and I think the elastic in the back a terrific feature. I do this sometimes too. I have an old pattern that looks a lot like this on my list so now I'm keen to cut it out (now that it's just gone a bit cooler here).

  4. Love the loose top and the elastic back. Summer certainly warrants having a selection of these maybe even with thin ties in the back to adjust with different pants and skirts or just when you need more ventilation! You always look so good in blues!

  5. I love the new top! In fact I have a length of silk this pattern would be perfect for. I'll have to pick up this pattern!

  6. Great review! I just purchased this pattern as the Burdas are now being put on sale from time to time. I love floaty tops lately. As long as you balance out the bottom with skinny jeans or bare legs from shorts, I think they're flattering on just about anyone.

  7. I love your new top! The elastic back is sheer genius, to compensate for the flowing nature of the fabric and the pattern. Looking at the lusciousness of your garden has inspired me to go out and buy some roses and jasmine for my apartment terrace.

  8. I like this top a lot! It looks fun and easy to wear too. You look terrific in this style, and in your jeans. Very nice!

  9. Beth, good save with the back elastic! The top is a comfy look and will come in handy once the heat hits. It is hard to feel like yourself in a silhouette that is unfamiliar. Also we share the same fondness for cut in armholes on sleeveless bodices! I see it a lot on patterns from the 60s and always alter any sleeveless top.

  10. Yeah on trying a new silhouette! I think it looks great on you. I am quite enamored with this style of top right now. It is quite flattering and easy to wear. All the pattern companies have their own versions. I wear it with snug fitting jeggings to remind me that even though this style covers my tummy, I should not use that as an excuse to eat junk.