Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Burda 7866, Kimono Sleeve Knit Top

Burda 7866 Thumbnail

I bought this fabric back in April of 2008, so I think it counts as fairly deep stash at a year and a half old. I bought it with the idea of making a skirt, but was totally not enthused by the idea and obviously didn't get around to it. Over time, I got the idea in my head that the fabric had an icky texture and I mentally wrote it off.

Then I had a sudden flash of inspiration to use it for this pattern with a bias cut lower band. I went hunting for it and thought I'd given it away in my Great Purge, but then I found it way back at the back of the shelf. And it turns out that it actually has a lovely hand, more beefy than an ITY knit but a very soft cottony texture (although I think it's actually poly). So then I was really excited to make the top!

When reviews for this top started showing up on Pattern Review I totally loved it (although my interest in the style was first piqued by Deb Thompson's review of New Look 6648 back at the end of 2006!), but didn't see the point in buying it because it would be soooo easy to draft. Of course, I knew I would never actually draft it. But then when I won the Refashion contest for my sweater hat the prize was a free pattern so I decided to pick it up, even though it would be soooo easy to draft and I was "wasting" my prize. And really, it would be easy to draft but you know what's easier? Using a pattern!

I was also inspired by the maternity wear of one of my co-workers (we had six pregnancies at once in my small division of around 36 people, so there was a lot of maternity fashion going on). She had a gray top similar to this style, but with more room for the belly of course. I thought it was very chic, and liked that it reversed the usual maternity style of more fitted on top and looser below. I complimented her on it one day and she said that her husband hated it and called it "The Sack." Men have no taste, LOL. Every time I saw her wearing "The Sack" it made me giggle to think of her husband asking, "Ugh, are you going to wear The Sack again today?"


FrontThis project, Burda 7866, was my first time sewing from a Burda envelope pattern, oddly. I found the directions more clear than in the magazine, and they were accompanied by helpful illustrations. The seam allowances are included, and are a standard American 5/8" (I wonder if they print different patterns in Europe with a different seam allowance?).

My dislike is that important information is printed on the pattern tissue--the cutting layout and the directory of symbols. I don't actually normally use either of those items, as I am familiar with symbols and jigger the cutting layout to fit my fabric, but in this case the upper bodice pattern piece is a little weird (it's hard to tell what are the sleeves and what is the lower edge) and I needed the cutting layout. I cut it off the tissue paper, but I hate that it is a fiddly little piece waiting to float off at the first deep sigh.

The neckline is bound in an interesting way to preserve the boat shape. Inexplicably, one of the neck binding pieces is about 1/8 inch longer than the other. They are treated fungibly in the instructions, so it's very unclear what the purpose of that small difference in length might be. I also found the bindings skimpy for the 5/8" seam the pattern is drafted for. They are only 1 1/8" (or 9/8 of an inch) wide, and if you sew them to the neck with a 5/8 seam that leaves you only half an inch to turn to the inside and stitch down. The illustrations seem to show a more substantial turned under binding, but nowhere does it say to use a narrower stitch at the neck. If I made this again I would definitely widen those bindings, and also cut both from the slightly longer piece (piece #5).

I shortened the lower pieces at the lengthen/shorten line to suit my frame. And having just made a BWOF that turned out way too large somehow, I decided to cut a 36 at the hip instead of my usual 38. However, the lower band still turned out way too large. My fabric isn't *that* substantial (not like a double knit) so to get the lower band to stay in place rather than just melting under the weight of the upper bodice (I think it looks best if it blouses over a little) it needs to be quite fitted with negative ease. I ended up taking a total of four inches of width off the lower band. Now it's snug but definitely not tight, and the band stays in place. Perhaps this is a design choice rather than a drafting error--the model's pose on the envelope (shown at right) makes it hard to tell how they envisioned this fitting.

SideI had only a yard of fabric and the pattern calls for 1.5 yards, but I didn't really have any trouble cutting it out. I liked that I had only small scraps leftover--easy to throw away! In the end, I'm not sure that cutting the lower band on the bias was the right choice, because I feel like it shows the bulge of my tummy more than a straight plaid line would. I happened to place one of the lower band pieces (there are two lower band pattern pieces but they are identical) so that the pattern is centered, and this one is the worst, so I wear it at the back. I love that this top is the same front and back, there's something hilarious about it.

With this project, I felt I was back to the good ol' days. I started it around 4:30 Friday afternoon before I was set to meet up with friends to go to a trendy wine bar around 8:30 or 9. It was a race against the clock, but the clock didn't stand a chance because it's so easy. I was done by 7, even with having to take apart the seam between upper and lower bodice, tighten the lower bodice, and sew it back together.

I totally LOVE this top now that I've finally gotten around to making it. It is very "now," trendy, and chic. And by "chic" I mean it will be a "what was I thinking?" piece in about three years. Heh. However, I am of the opinion that if you wear a garment knowing that it is a little silly and will eventually be horrifyingly dated, you probably won't look back on it with shame, but with a little bit of chuckling nostalgia at how much fun we had looking silly.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

29 comments:

Little Hunting Creek said...

It looks cute on you and I also LOVE your green tights. Will we look back ln the big kimono sleeves and smile?

Michelle said...

Very cute! I love the fabric. I have made a version of the New Look top (also in a black and white print) and I love it. Very pretty!

Myra said...

I love this top, and I don't think it is all that "trendy" in the sense of it going away. It is similar to my 1980's B3070 with the all in one sleeve, it would need lengthening. And cutting at the waist, but this is a very nice style.

Shannon said...

Great top! I love the whole outfit- the tights, the boots- you look amazing! I might have to try this top myself.

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

Very nice. Makes me want to pull out the NL pattern I have and experiment with a piece of Missoni knit I found in my stash.
Angela

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Burda Patterns were originally printed and sold here in the US without seam allowances. But since they were competing against the big 4 which do have seam allowances, they decided to add seam allowances to compete more advantageously. That's how 5/8" seam allowances were added and not 3/8" ones. I believe that the European versions of Burda patterns still do not have seam allowances but I could be wrong.

That is a cute top and I love the bias band!

Lisette M said...

I think it looks great! as is the whole outfit. Hope you had fun!

Adelaide B said...

Super cute top and very flattering!

Lindsay T said...

Ooh, I like that on you! I think it has staying power, at least for a couple of seasons which is all we can hope for.

Lilian said...

Great choice for your fabric. It's a very cute top and I like the way you styled your whole outfit!

Amanda S. said...

Super cute! I had no idea this pattern included a bottom bias portion. It looks totally awesome with the plaid you chose. Another thing for me to add to the ever growing collection!

Lori said...

Very cute top.

Carol said...

Very cute. I can't bring myself to wear those sleeves, I always love them on other people, but they just feel weird to wear. I love the way you've styled this - it's a really fun look.

Lisa said...

Oh dear yet another pattern to add to my wish list !!! I love it.

Sew4Fun said...

Cute top! I really like the bottom band on the bias. I had this pattern picked out to sew for my daughter so it's nice to see it sewn up.

Faye Lewis said...

Everything about that top is wonderful. I wish I had that pattern.

Gail said...

Great inspiration. there is something very 'happening' about your top.

Karen said...

That looks so much cuter made up than it does on the envelope! Love the fabric - and isn't it great when you find something in deep stash that you thought you didn't like and it turns out to be just what you were looking for?

Trudy Callan said...

Cute, cute, cute. You are stylin'.

Maja said...

Oh, I love this top! Love your styling :)

Vicki said...

Very nice. The full arms balance out the hips beautifully. (Not that you particularly need balancing)..but the style really does suit you.

NGLaLALa said...

Cute top! Love the style and fabric!

Susan said...

I love this on you! Great stash busting, too! lol

mochimo said...

Your top is gorgeous! This pattern is in my wishlist and I like it even more now that I've seen your version. The fabric also looks great!

Christina said...

This tops looks great on you. I also thought this style looked too simple to actually spring for the pattern, but you're right, sometimes you need to just treat yourself to the easy stuff too.

austin said...

You look great in this top! and I love how you paired it with the green tights.

Karin said...

It looks great. I don't think this will surely will be something you look back at with shame. I think it's cute!

amber said...

Very cute and very now. I like the bottom band on the bias - I think it gives it a little more interest.

Ruth LaMorena said...

I love this pattern and it looks great on you.