Pattern Review: BS 07-2011-103A

I have been sewing quite a bit over the past few months, but most of the finished projects went to my sister.  After that I embarked on a (finished, not yet photographed) coat that took a few weeks.  Although it was almost done, I just had the feeling that I wanted to make something right now that I could wear right now.  So in a flurry of late night sewing, I turned to my stash and pulled out my July 2011 Burda Style Magazine with the mind to make a simple knit top, BS 07-2011-103A:

BS 07-2011-103A
Although in the magazine I think the top looks a little crazy (hot pink mesh?), and that’s after you get past the baby crocodile, I still thought with some editing it could be a nice top.  I wasn’t in the mood to do a lot of fit alterations, and since this top already looked super long, I thought I could probably get away with not lengthening it.  And, actually I do think it turned out pretty well:
The front
The side
The back
The fabric is this fabulously soft (if somewhat thin) mystery ribbed knit that I got for $2.49/yard.  Other than a slightly wonky left shoulder, I don’t think I could buy this shirt for less than $5 anywhere.  Obviously, I made a few changes to the pattern, which I discuss in my official review:
Pattern Description:  Extra long v-necked shirt with long sleeves.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-44.  I cut a size 40, my usual for Burda tops.
Were the instructions easy to follow?  I did read through the instructions, since I can usually follow along with what Burda wants.  In the magazine, this pattern is made from a mesh fabric and the instructions are definitely geared towards using a serger to construct and finish off the edges.  Since I don’t have a serger and since I used a knit and not a mesh I decided to use some different techniques.  The instructions are, however, very straightforward, especially for Burda.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  I think it did look a lot like the line drawing, although I made a few style changes in terms of hem and sleeve length.  Hard to compare to the picture because the fabric and styling are so different.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?  I think the pattern is a great basic top that is a very flattering style.  This shirt is super long, so I didn’t have to do my usual length adjustments. The hem is maybe even a bit too long, but I don’t consider that a dislike, as that is an easy fix.  The v-neck is quite deep, but I wanted to use it for layering, so I actually like that feature.  Lastly, the sleeves are tight fitting so make sure the fabric has some stretch.  I don’t think the sleeves are too tight (I don’t have particularly thin arms, and the fit was fine without alterations) but they are definitely sized for fabric with some stretch.  Overall – three pattern pieces and a top that can be sewn up in an hour, what’s not to like?
Fabric used:  Mystery ribbed knit.  I found it in a $2.49/yard flatfold section so I have no idea what the fiber content is, although I would guess some sort of cotton or rayon blend.  This fabric is a little thin, but fabulously soft and drapey.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  Ok, so there is quite a bit here.  As I stated earlier, the construction is geared towards a meshy material and use of a serger in construction, so I made a few design and construction changes.  First, I added a binding to the neck edge.  I worried about it stretching out, so I cut a strip of fabric lengthwise in the non-stretchy direction to use as a binding for the front and back of the neck.  I used my twin needle to stitch on the neck binding and all the hems.  I used my machine’s “stretch overlock” stitch to sew the inside seams.  Next, I decided to make a three quarter length sleeve, just because I wanted a top with that length sleeve.  Lastly, I did not add any hem allowance to the bottom of the pattern, but I had a 1.5″ double fold hem (meaning I took 3″ off the bottom – this thing is looooong).  I also added some clear elastic to the shoulder seams to help give the knit some stability.  In the future I will probably do a slight swayback adjustment, but I don’t think it looks too bad without the adjustment.
Would you sew it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Yes and yes!  When I saw this pattern in July, I thought it would be perfect as a fall top in a lovely knit fabric.  The pattern went from tracing to finished in just a few hours, and I am not a fast sewer by any means.  It is so simple and I love the results.  I think I can play with the sleeve and hem lengths to get different variations.  I highly recommend this pattern because I think the style is basic and can be quite flattering to many body shapes,  the pattern is easily altered for sleeve and length variations, and it can be a great layering piece in a wardrobe.
Conclusion:  Wonderful pattern!  I love the style and the fit.  I could see myself making another one in a print or in a slightly shorter length, maybe in a thicker knit as a sweater top with full length sleeves.  I made a slight puckery boo-boo on one shoulder, but overall I love this shirt and I think I will wear it a lot.  I think once I do a minor swayback alteration this could be heading into TNT territory…
So yeah, I love my new shirt!  Although I have lots of other patterns I want to try out, I wouldn’t hesitate over using this one again.  I really like the style and I think I will get lots of wear out of this top.  Next up: my coat reveal and pattern review!

3 thoughts on “Pattern Review: BS 07-2011-103A

  1. Just found your blog and have been enjoying the great reads! I am a former ice skater, so I sympathize with boot break-in – good luck! I love gazing at your fabric pics and your creations. By the way, BUY THE JALIE PATTERNS. You won't regret it – they are fab. I now sew skating dresses for my daughter and love their patterns (plus all their womens wear – the casual dress is amazing, so are the jeans)

    For some reason my blogger account isn't working
    Shiny Green Penny


  2. Welcome to the blog! I am thinking about asking for a heap of Jalie patterns for Christmas this year, they do seem to get high reviews. I really love the look of their jeans, and I definitely have enough fabric to test out a multitude of the skating patterns!


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