As Cidell and I discussed in our recent podcast, the May issue of BurdaStyle gave me hope for the future. Although it still provided a diverse selection of giant sacks, it also contained some clothing with actual fitting and great details. One that immediately caught my eye was this top, Burda 05-2011-107, as well as the dress version. I love me some ruching, it is great for a little bit of tummy disguise. I was in the mode of looking for top patterns for my trip and it immediately went into the mix.
While I like the twisted strap idea--I used it in the Vogue 8386 dress in my avatar--I wanted shoulder coverage in the tops I was making for the bike trip. I also was not keen on the back view of this pattern, which is a single piece V. I am not crazy about patterns that have only a separate upper bodice and skirt in the front and not in the back.
I used one of the wicking waffle weaves I bought from FFC ($3.95/yd). The fabrics came in two different textures, a thick cotton-y texture, like the green for my S4076 twist top, and a thin, slightly sheer version that I used here. Because it was slightly sheer, I fully lined the upper bodice. This was also an easy way to finish the neckline and armscyes. I raised the neckline on the original draft simply by sewing up the center front seam further than marked.
The instructions for the ruched lower part have you gather both center front edges separately and then sew the pieces together. It seemed like it would be a challenge to sew two gathered edges together, so instead I sewed the center front seam with ungathered edges. Once it was sewn, I put in gathering stitches on either side of the seam and gathered. That worked ok, but I couldn't get the seam to stay gathered. I tried zigzagging over it, but that did nothing. Then I hand-gathered, which was ok but still not very stable (if my gathering thread popped I'd be SOL) and the gathers wouldn't remain evenly distributed. My third method was the charm: cutting a length of elastic to the finished length I wanted and stretching the elastic while sewing it to the CF seam. I probably should have stuck with the method in the directions!
This fabric, though it is a jersey, is not very stretchy. I didn't really notice this until it was made, but you can see from the back that I really should have sized up. It is super tight over my large lats (need to do a broad back adjustment on knits, too). It is also much clingier than I would prefer at the waist, but if it is not well-fitted there the ruching will droop so I think showing waist lumps and bumps is what you get for disguising tummy lumps and bumps.
Something ended up weird about the bust on this top. Though I have used the pattern several times and not had any trouble with it hanging off the bust rather than gently cupping the area, here there was no cupping. I did a little bit of hand gathering under the bust to try to create some shape, but it is not a perfect solution. I'm not sure what I'd need to do in the future; maybe gather the upper bust piece before stitching to the lower bodice?
Although the fit of this top isn't perfect, I quite like it. It was as flattering (from the front) as I'd hoped, and has a great style. A pattern with a separate upper bodice was a great fit for the thin fabric; it would have been needlessly hot to double the entire top, and self-lining the upper bodice dealt with the sheerness factor nicely.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.