Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Burdastyle Challenge Completed! And Me Made May

Usually I'm digging into my back issues of Burdastyle for my monthly challenge garment. This month, I'm pleased to say that my top is from the April, 2015 issue! Through diligent stalking, I spied the magazine on the shelves on April 7 and pounced.

I like this issue. There are a couple of dresses I'd like to make someday, as well as a couple of tops and a pair of high waisted cigarette pants that look intriguing. Of course, by now I probably have great examples of all these patterns buried in previous issues. Must think of a way to make my Burda's easier to mine.

Ta dah pose to illustrate the boxiness
I finally settled on pattern #123, the Boxy Top. I had my doubts, because boxy and me are not usually friends. I'm basically a box myself, so I'm usually trying to create the illusion of curves. Still, this top looked simple and cool, and I was tempted by the unusual pattern pieces, so I forged ahead. The Burdastyle Challenge is all about trying new looks, after all.

Line drawing from Burdastyle web site
Here's the line drawing; the top only has two pattern pieces (well, plus a neck facing). The back and front are both cut on the fold. The sleeves are cut on with the back and you fold them over into a raglan seamed front. Cute neckline too, right?

Burda recommends using a fabric with some body, like a jacquard. I was afraid that a boxy cut with a beefy fabric would make me look like a toaster, so I grabbed a very light cotton from the bottom shelf of the fabric closet.

Back view
You might notice in this back view that I have a seam running up the middle of the piece that was supposedly cut on the fold. When I tried on the top with the shoulder seams sewn and the side seams basted it was clear the neckline was going to be a no-go for me. It was low, but not indecently so. Width was the issue. My bra straps were going to be showing for a good six inches on both sides.

Side view
After some experimental pinching, I just sewed a seam up the center back, taking out about 1.5 inches. That brought the neckline up to a pretty reasonable level. The bra straps were still clearly on view though, so I took about 1/4 inch out of the raglan seams at the neck on both sides and now those straps are just covered.

If you are a bit taller than me and you have a lovely bosom, I bet this top would look fabulous on you right out of the box.

I'll probably tend to wear the top tucked in to a high-waist, just to mitigate the squareness a bit. I don't think it's too bad un-tucked though, which was a surprise. I'll probably end up wearing it un-tucked on occasion, maybe over that ponte pencil skirt I have on my cutting floor. One of these days I'll get a cutting table, I'm getting too old for the crawling-on-the-floor technique.
Tucked in view
This weekend I'll take the time to mark my seat-of-the-pants alterations on my pattern pieces. I'd like to make this top again in a knit. I think it would make a cute tunic-y tee shirt. Burda does it in a striped fabric, which would also be fun to play with. The stripes on theirs are horizontal on the body but turn to be vertical on the sleeves. Well, I guess they'd be horizontal on the sleeves too if you held your arms out to the sides.

In other news, I'll be hanging in for Me Made May again this year. If you haven't ever participated, it's a lot of fun and it encourages you to try your me-mades in new combinations. Some folks get tired of doing daily photo sessions. Lucky for me, The Man is very accommodating about taking a picture or two every morning, so that part is a breeze.

I'll be aiming to wear only me-made for the month of May.  I probably won't be able to achieve that goal, but I want the spur to work on some bras and undies, as well as some more exercise gear.

My pattern review for the Boxy Top is on here.


  1. I picked this top out of the April issue too, but I'm no where near as fast as you with sewing it up. So pleased to see that it works so well on you, tucked and untucked. I'm a rectangle too and usually keep well away from boxy tops.

  2. So pretty! The Burdastyle pics do not do it justice - looks great on you.

  3. I have this top traced and a striped fabric picked out. I was a bit concerned about it being big. boxy and overwhelming on me. I think I will do a muslin based on your experience. Your "tweaked" top looks great!

  4. This reminds me of a kimono kinda. I like it!



  5. I've just discovered you via this review and love your work! This top is very cute, thanks for all your details & I think your fabric choice is much more appropriate than Burda's - it is a great issue ;)