Thursday, January 17, 2008

BWOF 10/2007 # 114, Kimono Top

This pattern was the sewing course for the October 2007 edition, which I don't quite get. It's a pretty easy knit top that could easily be made with no instructions at all. Maybe Burda is trying to welcome the new sewist by choosing an easy pattern, and assumes that those of us who are old hand at it won't be in the least intimidated by making a lined jacket with a complicated closure with only a few cryptic words and no illustrations. The original has a tie neck, which I found a little too va-va-voom for work, so I left the neck plain.

The bottom half of this shirt is doubled so the lower hem is actually a fold. This is sort of a novelty design that I feel eh about having completed it. Doubling the amount of fabric that clings to my belly? Not really a Dress For Success strategy for me. I also didn't like how they wanted you to finish it, which was to sew the doubled bottom piece as one to the top and then "neaten the edges." If you have a serger this might be ok, but even then you're going to risk having some seam allowance show through. Here's what I did instead. (Click on the pics to see larger versions.)

First, sew the doubled lower bodice as one to the upper bodice to within about two and a half inches of the top.

Next, by machine sew the outer layer of the lower bodice to the upper bodice by machine, being careful not to catch in the inner layer.

Fold in the seam allowance of the inner layer of the lower bodice, finger press the seam allowance of the upper bodice down, and handstitch the lower bodice seam allowance in place.

The final result eliminates danger of seam allowance show-through and is a lot tidier than the original instruction!

Now, if I weren't so slapdash I would have hand-sewed the entire inner layer to the outer layer, but that would have been way too much work.

I had another issue with the pattern--the lower bodice as drafted is way too short, and also a little tight for my taste! I added four inches of length to the lower bodice (for a cumulative gain of two inches), and about an inch and a half in circumference.

In the end, I don't really love this blouse. This is not the most flattering for a woman with a small bust and I epitomize the woman with a small bust. I kind of hated it when I first finished it, but when I put it back on to take photos I don't so much hate it as feel indifferent toward it. Give it a few more weeks and I might even like it.


Bonnie D. said...

I think it looks very cute on you! Your pattern alterations were perfect. The photo they included in the magazine with the top tucked into that high waisted skirt was VERY unflattering. Yours is much better.

Melissa - Hendrik said...

I really liked this in the magazine, but I thought that neck tie was gross and I wasn't sure if the neckline would slip down over the shoulders without it. So it's good to see it doesn't!

Thanks for the tips on the finishing and the stupidly short bodice - I might actually reconsider this one. And I think it looks really nice on you. I have similar colouring and I find that royal and periwinkle blues always look really good...

(melissa @ - but this stupid google/blogger thing won't give me the nickname option for some reason ARGHARGH Don't reply to my spam gmail account please!)