Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Burda Challenge for July

Holy cow, I finished my Burda Challenge offering for July before the end of the month. And, it's actually from the July, 2015 issue. And, it's actually two pieces, so bonus points for me!

This is top #114a with skirt #118. Burda twice shows these pieces together as an outfit, once in the Blue section, made from an embroidered batiste, and again in the Form and Color section, made from a bright cotton satin.

Back view
I used a piece of border print rayon (or possibly Tencel) that I bought ages ago at Findings in Carmel. Oh, Findings, I miss you so. Why did your owner decide to retire?

I really like wearing rayon. It's so drapey and swishy and the colors and patterns are wonderful. I really don't like sewing with rayon. It slides around on me when I'm cutting and the pattern pieces stretch out of shape when you handle them. Plus, it wrinkles as fast as linen, and any stitches that you might need to rip out leave little holes that are the devil to get rid of. And there was a truly disturbing amount of ripping involved in this project. Lucky for me, Portia recently posted some tips on fixing this problem on her blog, Makery.

The top has a gathered peplum, to which you add a piece of elastic at the waistline. I remember from my youth that elastic waists generally look like the devil on me. What made me think things would be different in adulthood? They aren't. I was pretty disappointed when I first tried the top on.

Top #113 in this issue uses the same pattern pieces, but leaves off the gathered peplum. In retrospect, I wish I had made that version. It's basically a simple sleeveless shell with a boat neck and some bust darts. If I'd made top #113 instead, I bet I'd be a happy camper. I do like the top better with the matching sash. I can always wear it tucked in with a high waisted skirt or trousers and pretend the whole peplum thing never happened.

Top with peplum tucked away
Burdastyle describes skirt #118 thusly, "flatteringly narrow along the yoke and then gains volume thanks to the gathers below." Here's a look at the skirt with the top tucked in, so you can see the yoke. I like the skirt a lot. It did turn out to be a good match for my fabric because the skirt is just a couple of big rectangles; no curved hem to mess with my border print.

Burda would have you gather the skirt pieces onto the yoke. Fresh from my sad experience with the gathers on the peplum top, I decided to fuss around for hours trying to make pleats instead. This turned a very simple skirt into an ordeal, but I do like the pleats better. It's a neater way to jam a bunch of volume into a smaller space.

This skirt and top combo used up every shred of my 3 yard piece of fabric. In fact, I skimped on the skirt and peplum; both should have been even fuller than what I ended up with. But they're plenty full enough for me.

My pattern reviews are on PatternReview.com here: skirt and top

I liked the two-part dress idea because I thought I could wear each piece on its own, mixed with other tops and bottoms. That's if I can think of any colors that would go with this olive-y green. Do you have any suggestions for me?

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