Friday, February 06, 2009

Burda Gathered Front Top

Do you ever have one of those projects that is simple but seems to take forever to get done? Well this was it for me. I felt like such a simple top should be a breeze, but I only had small chunks of time to work on it and then the fabric was just giving me fits. I finally finished it yesterday morning, thank goodness.

Pattern Description: From Burda, "The clever front gathering will really make waves, the raised waistline providing a very slimming effect, particularly flattering on the women with a long torso."

Pattern Sizing: 36-44, I made a 36

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, tho the picture in the magazine appears to be more gathered in the center front than mine is. It might be a little more snug fitting too.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were easy (either that or I am starting to *get* BWOF instructions).

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved this top from the moment I saw it. I was drawn to all the gathers and the uniqueness of it.

Fabric Used: Rayon/lycra jersey from Joann's (this fabric was a royal PITA to work with). Maybe it was just my bad luck, but we didn't really get along too well.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I traced off the pattern as is, but ended up sewing the front neckline up about 1.5" higher than Burda tells you to. My bra was showing so I figured that isn't a good look. I also didn't hem the sleeves with a 2" hem, instead I used only 1" because I couldn't get my sewing machine foot in there, pretty tight space. Also, as mentioned in other reviews, the lower part of the arm is pretty narrow so I let that out about 1/4" or so on both sides and it's much better.

Another thing I did which I haven't done in the past was interface my the hem and the sleeve hem. The fabric was so drapey and needed the stability. I used Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fuse sheer in both places and I cut the strip 1.25" wide for my 1" hem so it stabilized the fold too.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is a pretty unique top so I don't know that I'll sew it again. I am pretty happy with the end result even tho it has taken me days to complete this simple top (small bits here and there, not big sewing session). Looking at it on myself, I think that I would have been better off grading down to a size 34. I am right in the middle of the size 34 and 36 for my bust measurement and since this top is not super fitted, to me it looks a little big. I might take in the side seams a smidge in the waist to bust area, we'll see how I feel after wearing it around for the day. It's definitely a comfy shirt.

If this style is your cup of tea, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the top, it's really cute. Beware of the sleeves being a bit on the tighter side from the elbow area down to cuff. And if you're in between sizes you might consider sewing the smaller size.

Conclusion: If you're sewing with rayon jersey, you should use a stretch needle. I had no idea and had many fits with skipped stitches until I looked in my Fabric Savvy book. I was originally using a ball point needle but my machine and fabric did not like that combo whatsoever. Live and learn.


Now I would like to answer a question that was asked in the comments of my last post. Most of the time I can't reply to comments that are left because your email addresses don't come through. If it's something you'd like answered right away, please either email me directly, pm me through Pattern Review, or leave your email address when you leave your question in the comments otherwise I'll most likely answer it in my next post.

Anyway, Kim had asked where I took the Palmer/Pletsch fitting class at. Last fall I actually drove to Portland for four weeks and took a 3 hour class from Marta Alto at their studio in Portland (it's located inside Fabric Depot). Here is the website for the local sewing school, but they also have sewing vacations for those outside the Portland area.

For my next project, I cut out the boat neck top in the February issue of BWOF. I'm sure it will be simple so hopefully I'll have something to show for more quickly than I did with this top.


Sewfast said...

Your top looks really cute! I sewed that one right away when I got the issue and had to sew up the neckline about 2-3 inches to make it decent enough for work. My husband loves BWOF clothes (as long as I don't wear them out of the house!!!)

Anonymous said...

Keewwwwl top Melissa, I always love your taste in sewing!--Katharine in Brussels

Leslie said...

That style and color are so flattering on you. I've been curious about Burda patterns and the more I see them used, the more I want to sew them. Great job!

Cindy Lou said...

GREAT top! very worth the effort of wrangling that fabric. It looks great on you!

Sewuptight said...

You did a wonderful job on your top. It looks like you bought it from Banana Republic!

Sheila said...

Despite the issues you had the top came out great. I recently experienced the same problem with an allegedly very easy vogue pattern.

Reethi said...

Cute! I've a question - what does it look like from the side? While I want to make the dress version of this, I've a tummy, and no desire to look pregnant... (oh, wait, that's a question. I just checked the box about email addresses, so hopefully, mine will come through with email address.)

Lori said...

Melissa, the top looks great on you. I agree with the Joann's rayon knit, it is very challenging.

Sew4Fun said...

Nice top! I understand completely about "these" sort of projects. All too well unfortunately.

Shannon said...

That top looks great on you! Love the colour too.

Jeannine said...

Oh, it looks great on you, and it looks just like the diagram. Great work.

Kim said...

Great top Melissa! Thanks for the info on the pants...I had a feeling you took it in Portland since you are across the water (maybe one of these days I will make it down there for a class). My aunt/uncle are very good friends with the Alto's (I remember hearing that name a lot growing up before I started