Burdastyle 07.2011.105 top with flounce

OMG I love this top! It’s pretty and sophisticated, and perfect with a pencil skirt. I cut a 38 with no other alterations to the pattern, other than cutting it  on the straight of grain. The pattern calls for bias cut, but everyone seems to be doing this on the straight grain; this is because it relies on a *very* drapey fabric –  the pattern calls for silk chiffon – and silk chiffon on the bias is, as one sewist put it, diabolical. This directional print obviously would not work on the bias. I think it’s quite important to note that if you go straight of grain, this pattern takes up less than a metre of fabric… good to consider if you might splash out on an expensive silk chiffon or charmeuse (Fabricana has a stunning Nanette Lepore silk in right now…).

I’m learning how certain prints just work really well with certain patterns – and this combination is, imho, a total winner. This version is actually my test garment – cut out of this crazy print that I wasn’t sure I really liked when I picked it up a few months ago. I got it at Dressew – a bit of a bargain basement fabric shop – and at Dressew, I’m never quite sure if I love a fabric because I genuinely love it, or because it seems to look better than the other not-so-nice (or not-so-my-taste) fabrics they’ve got in shop. I always had this “zulu surfboard” print (really can’t think of any other way to describe it…) earmarked for a muslin; I’m surprised and glad it and the pattern go together so well!

I followed many of the pattern directions, since this is a test garment (that I ultimately think I’ll get quite a lot of wear out of). It is a poly, so I’m a little concerned about my top becoming a little oven on warm days; perhaps it is best left for evening wear. I wore it out last evening – it was around 20 degrees – and i was absolutely happily comfortable. I know that Slapdash Sewist felt she needed to make some alterations to make sure it isn’t too revealing, but I found that on me, it isn’t revealing at all, but rather quite modest. Go figs.

Construction notes

Given that this a poly charmeuse, I liberally applied my homemade spray stabilizer to the bias cut binding pieces before cutting them out; stabilizer really and truly is my new best friend. I just put about a fistful of washable stabilizer into a spray bottle from the dollar store, which I filled with about 2.5 cups of hot water. I made sure the stabilizer had dissolved, and let the mix cool down before spraying my fabric nice and wet, and letting it dry. The fabric comes out stiff enough to be manageable, but certainly not crunchy or cardboard. It just makes bias bindings dreamily easy to cut and stitch. I haven’t actually washed it out of the finished garment yet (it’ll come out in the wash easy peasy). I expect this mix will last me about 10 projects. Total cost – maybe $3?

Like the Slapdash Sewist, I finished off the edges of the front pieces with my serger, rather than the closely spaced zigzag stitch that Burda calls for. I just got my Brother 1034D a few weeks ago, and am so in love with rolled hems; still working out the tensions, but only the curmudgeons will notice!

The narrow band is easy, and I prefer it in self-fabric. One of the reasons I love doing muslins is that it lets me get all of my mistakes out of the way, and in this case, I had neglected to “turn in one (narrow) end” of the band before stitching and turning it lengthwise. I simply thought “stitch and turn” – but there’s that one extra step first. I had to double fold the end of that piece over for a quick and dirty hem after the fact to prevent future fraying; this makes that narrow band at the shoulder a bit shorter than Burda intended.

I made another rookie mistake with the shoulder seams… and this is a case in point of how Burda assumes some sewing knowledge. Of course the seams on a chiffon top all need to be enclosed, but I simply followed the instruction to “stitch” without thinking to do french seams on the shoulders. I had to do a makeshift faux flat felled seam (the allowance being to small, and the material too flimsy for me to manage a faux french). I hope I’ve learned my lesson!

I measured out the 118cm they stipulate for the hemband, but it was too short, and so I had to piece a longer bit together.

Here is where I was So glad for other reviews… to put the front together, and to create that flounce, Burda instructs us to “Lay right front on left front, with right sides of both facing up.” Now, I would have *thought* that meant to layer the right sides, with both right sides ultimately facing me (in other words, Wrong side of Right front stitched to Right side of Left front). Slapdash’s interpretation, which I followed, has you sewing both wrong sides together – so that the rights sides are facing out.

I’m not so bothered by the little square on the left shoulder, and I prefer it underneath the band.  I don’t do it in this photograph, but I quite like pulling it over so that it looks like a little sleeve.

Changes to make…

– The bust darts are a bit long; I’ll need to shorten those by about a half inch

– French seams for both shoulder and side seams.

– hemband – it doesn’t actually matter how long the piece is, as you just stitch it  down from the body – much like a cuff on a shirt.  just cut a long piece, and cut off what you don’t need after stitching it up.

– screw contrast fabric; I’m okay with the black hemband , but for my ‘good’ version – out of a silk/cotton voile – I think I might just use self fabric for the hem and shoulder bands.

– I did a size 38 but I may go up to a 40. The really nice thing about this pattern is that you can really play around with the fitting quite easily when you attach the two front pieces together.

– I think I’ll lengthen it by about an inch; it’s quite short.

– I am going to do my next version on the bias, and I’ve already liberally sprayed stabilizer onto the fabric. Really looking forward to another version in yellow!

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2 thoughts on “Burdastyle 07.2011.105 top with flounce

  1. I came over from your PR review. Love your fabric. Jacquie, Trena and you are really selling this pattern, despite the hassles and Burdalese. Lovely fabric, you look very Summer chic!

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