Thursday, January 22, 2015

Burda Challenge, January Edition

I was trying to limit myself to two challenges this year (the RTW Challenge and the Stashbusting Sewalong), but then Dawn at Two on Two Off announced the Burda Challenge and I couldn't resist.

Here are the “Rules,” copied from Dawn's post: "Each month we will attempt to make at least one garment from that month’s magazine (January garment from the January 2015 Burda magazine). You can also opt to stick with the month but use whatever year you want. (January garment in January, but from whatever year you choose)."

I loooove my Burdastyles. In fact, they're pretty much the only patterns I buy, except for the occasional vintage pattern find. The highlight of my month is the day my local bookstore gets their shipment of European magazines and they pop this month's Burdastyle onto the shelves. I stalk the store daily at the beginning of the  month. It's occurred to me that I should probably just subscribe to the darned thing, but I'd miss the thrill of the chase. Problem is, I tend to flip through them, consider making this or that, and then set the magazine aside without actually getting around to it. This challenge will be just the kick in the butt I need to get myself to tracing.

That "whatever year you want" clause is my butt-saving loophole. Burdastyles often arrive in my town pretty late in the month, leaving me not much time to hunt out a pattern I might possibly
  1. be able to successfuly complete
  2. wear without looking like a  60-year-old hoochie-mama
So this month, I took a look back at the January, 2014 Burdastyle and decided to give the Batwing Top (01-2014-108) a whirl.

Dawn says that one of the interesting things about this challenge is that you may find yourself trying a silhouette that's new for you. Certainly true for me here! I took a chance because I thought the simple shape might work for a piece of scary polyester charmeuse that I've had in stash for years. I can't help buying the occasional piece of filmy, chiffon-y, shiny fabric even though I'm terrified of having to handle it. Still, this pattern only has three pieces, one of which is a rectangle you draw out yourself. Piece of cake, right?

Stashbusting bonus points!
The fabric was a pain to handle, but not as bad as I'd feared. If I'd had to cut any fiddly little pieces or any curves, I would have been kicking myself for not using one of the nifty fabric stabilization tips I've learned from you all. Luckily, for this pattern a few wavy edges didn't end up a deal breaker.

I had just enough fabric to lay out the pattern. The back pieces are enormous because the sleeves are integrated. If I had it to do over again, I'd cobble together a facing for the front neck edge. My fabric had a wrong side and it shows sometimes. I also ended up making the hip band with a finished width of 4 inches rather than the 8 inches Burdastyle intended. If I were tall and willowy, the 8 inches would probably look quite stylish. On me, it was too much.

I have to say I feel pretty swamped by this style, and I'm not quite sure what I should be wearing with it. I think I need something pretty slim on the bottom half to balance the volume up top. I'm thinking about making a high-waisted pencil skirt for my February Burdastyle garment. I have a piece of stash fabric that might be a good match color-wise. Maybe with some heels?

This was a fun top to put together and I think it was a pretty good marriage of fabric and style, but I'm pretty "meh" about the result on me. The Man and I are going to Lake Tahoe in April. I might try wearing it for dinner in the casino. Glammed up with some lipstick and some jewels? Maybe it will grow on me.

My pattern review is on here.


  1. SEE? It does make you have to think outside your normal comfort zone. I think the top looks great on you. I especially love the color.

  2. Love the color and the top. I think it would look amazing with a pencil skirt too! I will have to look into this challenge because I also have a collection of Burda magazine's that rarely get used!