Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Transitioning with Burda

Back from a very restful, relaxing stay at the beach (Outer Banks), where all I had to do was sit on the beach, splash in the pool, read the latest bestseller or knit.  My absolutely fabulous daughters did every bit of cooking -- from the advance planning, purchasing, to the actual kitchen time (and clean up) -- heaven!  I enjoy cooking (most of the time) but it sure is nice to take a break.

Now that I'm back, it seems to be a good time to look ahead to autumn sewing.  It's still plenty warm here, and will be for a while, so I decided to start with a little transitional top.  It's from the Burda Style magazine from a couple of years ago -- 09-2009, top 118 to be precise.  I'm not a regular subscriber to Burda, but I have managed to collect quite a few issues, but never seem to make anything from them.  Probably due to laziness -- all that tracing!  But the new lifestyle motto at Casa Mingling Yarn is Use What You Already Have, so after seeing another blogger's rendition of this (and I no longer remember just where I saw it, so no link -- sorry) I decided to give it a go. 

Fabric is a dotted Swiss cotton voile in a dark chocolate brown -- a not so long ago purchase from Fabric Mart.  While the light weight cotton is a true summer fabric, the dark, rich brown gives it a hint of fall to come -- see, transitional! 

What drew me to the pattern initially was the sleeve treatment.  I think it would be called a Bishop sleeve -- fitted at the top, and fuller at the bottom.  This pattern achieves that by a series of tucks in the sleeve cap that release into a fuller lower sleeve that is gathered into a band.

Not having much experience with Burda, I was not sure how the fit would be.  I decided to make it pretty much "as is" to see what I thought, but did bring the shoulders in a bit.  Burda's instructions are interesting, but other than the tie at the neckline things were pretty straight forward.  I'm still not sure exactly how the neck ties are meant to be attached -- and judging from comments on Pattern Review other sewists were mystified too -- but since I ultimately decided to leave the ties off it's no longer a worry.

Things I like about the pattern/garment:  the sleeve shape, the waistline darts (front and back) the longer, almost tunic length, the vintage dark mother-of-pearl buttons (not too visible in the photo) and the fabric was very easy to work with.  Things I dislike:  nothing much about the pattern itself, but it sure adds extra work to trace and add seam/hem allowances!  If I were to make it again, I would raise the neckline a bit -- is Germany the capital of Décolleté?  Judging from the Burda low necklines you'd certainly think so!  Not sure I will make it again, the silhouette is fairly distinctive, but I'll enjoy wearing this one.  Onward!

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