Pattern Review: BurdaStyle Cotton Stripe Top (05/17 110)

Pattern House: Burda

Pattern: BurdaStyle issue 05/2017, pattern 110

Fabric: Cotton Poplin

I'm drawn to stripes like a moth to a flame, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found this gorgeous blue striped cotton poplin. I initially thought of sewing a boyfriend shirt with it but then stumbled across pattern 110 in the May issue of BurdaStyle magazine and the fabric/pattern match lightbulb lit right up. I'm really glad that I stuck to the plan as this top has turned out very nicely and will be a perfect work wardrobe staple.

Several things struck me whilst making this pattern:

  • Why have I never bought BurdaStyle magazine before? I think i'm hooked. Subscription here I come.
  • My eyes hate me. Tracing off the pattern was probably the most challenging part of the process. For those who haven't used these patterns before, the magazine comes packed with multiple designs, all printed on the same few pieces of pattern tissue. They are layered on top of one another, colour coded and numbered for you to spot and trace off your pattern. Easier said than done when you struggle to make your eyes focus for longer than a few seconds!
  • Seam allowances in the back panels. Perhaps it was just me, however when I stitched the standard 1.5cm seam allowance, as instructed, the shoulder width then did not match up to that of the front bodice. Several unpickings later, I settled for a 5mm seam allowance (in the back panels only) and everything matched up perfectly. UPDATE: Ignore me, the shoulder seams do match up! It turns out that, in my haste to get sewing, I missed the part earlier in the magazine that explained the seam allowances were not included. There was plenty of ease in the side seams so it didn't matter there, although taking the width directly out of the back panels meant that the shoulder width no longer matched up to the front. Luckily I just about got away with the 5mm seam allowance! Lesson learnt. Next time I will read the instructions first, especially when I am trying out a new brand!
  • Pattern instructions for Burda Style patterns are minimal. I would definitely say that you need a fairly sufficient level of sewing knowledge to be able to tackle these patterns as the instructions can be, at times, a little vague and you will need to fill in the gaps yourself. This is no criticism of Burda as the magazine is not intended to replicate standard commercial pattern packs. Indeed, if they went into the same amount as detail as commercial patterns, the magazine would be as big as the phone book!
  • A* for versatility. I love that the tie works equally well in a bow as it does in a simple knot. You can also tie it around the back to transform the look completely. (Who knew?!)

  • I'm a button cheat. To save time and to get a slightly cleaner finish, I sewed the button straight onto the neckline, joining the split together by stitching directly onto the fabric through the button. The top fitted over my head no problem...when I had no make-up on. It was only when I came to putting the top on for pictures, with a full face of make-up, did I realise that it is a bit of a challenge to get it over my head without getting a lovely foundation halo around the neckline and a 'pulled-through-a-hedge-backwards' hairstyle. Ah well... I'll just get dressed first next time. (Anything to avoid a button loop.)
  • Cotton Poplin is where it's at. I rarely sew with cotton as I have a bit of an aversion to ironing (visit my Me Made May Review for more on that), however when I stumbled upon this cotton poplin sometime ago I fell for it immediately. It's so soft and a joy to wear! (For the record though, it's still a nightmare to iron.)
  • Continuous bias binding - it's the future. Just amazing. (For reference, this is how both the neckline and the armholes are finished on this pattern.)

All in all, I love this pattern and will definitely be making a few more of these tops. It's clean, simple and the tie front makes for a flattering alternative to bust darts.