Thursday, December 21, 2017

Burda 12-2017-113 top in festive plaid

It's the most wonderful time of the year. At least that's what the song says. Some days are more wonderful than was some last minute shopping (the lines, the traffic, the people coughing right behind me, eek!) so after that I scurried home and decided to catch up on my blogging. I had plans to take some festive photos as I did last year near the big Christmas tree but that didn't work out, so we have some more backyard pictures. I have a lot of other projects in the works so hope to do some better photos of those soon.
Meanwhile  - I used my Burda magazine subscription. I am so proud of myself. Admittedly a very minor achievement but I've already seen several things to make in the issues that have arrived. And there are a couple of super cute jackets in this issue with interesting sleeves so maybe I will get to those before the winter ends.

Burda blouse full length outside

The outdoor photos don't show the true nature of this fabric which is not only plaid but sparkle. I guess it a lurex thread woven it, and it doesn't show except when the light hits it in certain ways, which is kind of nice. I bought it at a sewing guild sale for a few bucks, maybe sometime in 2016 and thought this just might make a festive type of item. And promptly forgot about it until a few weeks ago when I was rummaging around for something else and came across it.  There was just enough to make the Burda top. I've been trying to sew new shapes and silhouettes so this seemed like a good one to try.

Burda sparkle top final version

Here's the magazine photo and tech drawing. It's also a dress and their view shows the elastic at the waist. More on that in a minute.

Burda photo and tech drawing sparkle blouse

I did add the elastic as the pattern intended, tried it on, and realized that it would drive me crazy. For one thing my fabric is probably a bit too stiff for that type of style, it needs a much softer fabric like a rayon woven or a silk crepe would be best. Also the bottom portion is really wide, it adds a lot of volume. Let me tell you that when I had it on the elastic gathered section landed at my waist, and the bottom part wanted to stick out like a ballet tutu. Slight exaggeration but definitely that was the resemblance. I think in a dress it would work better as the weight of the skirt would pull down that part more than a top. It looks sort of OK on the dress form but on me it was weird. Maybe I made the elastic too tight and so when I lifted up my arms the gathered part stayed up too high on the torso. And looked goofy.  But I was really happy with the color and the shimmer so I just removed the elastic thread stitching.

Burda top with elastic front view onform

Here's a look at the shoulder detail, it has oval sections that extend over the shoulders and then the sleeves, front and back are attached to those sections. And I see some neckline stay stitching there in this photo near the bias binding, which I have since removed. Sometimes when you stay stitch a neckline the stitching wobbles a bit when you attach the facing or binding, I just try to attach the binding evenly and then remove any stray bits of stay stitching after it's finished. I didn't use the pattern piece for the neck binding as I had to piece it together which whatever scraps of bias cut I could find after cutting out the larger pieces. So the tie ends are not too long but I kind of like the little bow.

Burda sparkle top shoulder view

Burda sparkle top close up view on form

Burda sparkle top back view

Just to show you how shimmery this fabric really is, an indoor photo with the flash.

Burda sparkle blouse with flash

In the photo above where the top still has the elastic, there are some green pants pinned to the dress form, which I just sewed and will get their own blog post as I have lots to say. I made my own jeans pattern, yay! And sewed them up in this stretchy ponte which was kind of a random purchase but I think I need them in other colors now.

Green jeans1

I made a pattern from an existing pair I have in order to practice for my class last month (Pattern Drafting - Copying Ready to Wear February session) and they came out better than I could have imagined. Lots of details to come on those. Also that class is scheduled again at Hello Stitch for February so if you have wanted to try that sign up on the link.

Lots of classes coming up in Jan and Feb at Hello Stitch Studio in Berkeley, and we're trying to do a variety of classes that are suited for  those that have been sewing a while and want to learn some more tips and techniques, as well as those just starting with garment sewing

Jacket Essentials  (2-day workshop Jan 7 & 14)
Sew with Knits, Basic T-shirt (Jan 13 & 20)
Button Front Shirt (Jan 13 & 20)

Basics - Tunic Style Shirt or Dress (Jan 16 & 23)
Basics - Garment Sewing, Skirt (Feb 11)
Pattern Basics - How to Read a Sewing Pattern (Jan 6)    If you are just starting or getting back into sewing check out this class. I will cover choosing your size, picking the right fabric for a successful garment, explain all the info on the pattern pieces, and we will go over how to cut out without stress and how to mark your pattern pieces. All the steps before you sew a stitch :)

That's it for my sparkly holiday blouse, which I will be wearing this weekend to hang out with family and friends. After all the baking, cooking, wrapping etc. is completed. And then we open a nice bottle of wine and have our Dungeness crab (Christmas eve traditional meal).

I'll be back with more blog posts before the end of the year, including a sewing year in review.

Merry Christmas to all, and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Holiday,


Burda top with greetings


  1. Such a festive top, Beth and the colors look lovely on you!
    Merry Christmas 🎄🎄

  2. I like your changed version so much better than the original. I always look forward to your blogs
    because you wear the same type of clothes that I do and you are so generous with helpful information.
    Love the favorite patterns blog. Your top will be perfect for the holidays. Wish I had made it! Merry Christmas.

  3. Nice! That shoulder detail is really interesting for a peasant-y top.

  4. Very pretty bow blouse! I really love it. These shoulders are perfect job. Merry Christmas🎄

  5. Are those the green jeans you mentioned on IG!? :)

    I LOVE this top. The fabric is so pretty...that slight shimmer is very festive and that plaid is just perfect.

  6. Your top is gorgeous! Love the shoulder detail.

  7. Great top Beth! The fit and colors are perfect on you, as usual!! I look forward to your post on the green jeans, they look great!

  8. What a great save, Beth! This just shows how we sewists have the option to change a style when the featured one doesn't flatter. You did the Tim Gunn 'make it work'.

  9. This is a really cute top for the holidays. I've been eyeing this pattern and I was wondering how the oval shoulder pieces were going to look, and they look good.

    Merry Christmas!

  10. Such a nice, festive fabric! I like the pleats so much better than the gathers, that was a great change.

  11. I love the shirt without the elastic, good decision! And the sparkle is perfect for the season. Merry Christmas to you too!

  12. Merry Christmas, and what a cute little top. Some nice details there.

  13. Merry Christmas! The top looks really nice on you, and those green pants are awesome!

  14. Ha! I always love reading your posts... you’re so thorough and informative, but I had to comment this time. I actually made this horrible goose-like guffaw in bed reading the part about the bottom sticking out like a tutu! Too funny, and so relatable. It’s fun to risk a different fabric on patterns, and at times comical. It did turn out quite lovely in the end. I’m excited about Ponte jeans... and how you approached the drafting. Ha. Thank you for the laugh. Tutu. :D

  15. Very pretty! I like it better without the elastic and your fabric is gorgeous. Merry Christmas!

  16. What an adorable top! Such fabulous details and it looks great on you!

  17. beautiful holiday blouse. I love a plaid with a bit of shimmer. Wishing you a great holiday season.