Pattern Review: BS-11-2012-136A

You guys – I sewed!  I was getting over my cold/flu/energy draining thing and decided that I really needed to get some sewing done.  Of course, I didn’t really have the energy to sew something I needed to be sewing… like working on skating costume patterns for my clients, finishing up half-done projects from last year, or getting a start on my project list for this year.  I tried to work on the skating costumes for my tutorial…  one (testing out a new pattern) was a bust, mainly because of the bust.  Apparently I have an even more ridiculously high bust than I thought, since the overall pattern length was perfect, yet the neck practically dipped below my bust on the Kwik Sew pattern (2962) I was testing out.  I got some work done on the other sample I was making (using my TNT), but I really had no energy or desire to put on and take off a spandex leotard more than once, so work stalled on that.

As I was lying in bed feeling sickly, I began pondering where I should store my latest fabric acquisitions, I thought, why not actually sew some of them?  I mean, some of them are destined to be part of the skating stash, but I have been eyeing that striped teal knit since I got it.  Because I like teal, and (apparently) I like stripes (before I started sewing I never wore stripes, but now it seems like one of my favorite fabric patterns to buy).  I wanted to wear that fabric dang it!  So I pondered my fabric and I pondered my pattern stash and I debated between a fitted top and an oversized drapey top and I ended up making one of each.  Well, kind of.

My first thought was that I wanted something sort of oversized and slouchy to make use of the wide stripe.  But, on the other hand, I didn’t want something too boxy – I mean, even in a clingy knit I don’t look good in shapeless garments.  So after pondering things I settled on a Burda pattern from last November:


In the end it was just the sort of look I was going for – a nice oversized drape to the sleeves, but enough shaping to show off the fact that I have a waist.  I am really pleased with how it turned out:

Super easy top!
Only two pattern pieces – a front and a back.
The sleeves do open quite low on the sides…
definitely need to wear a cami under this top.

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  T-shirt pattern with oversized sleeves, v-neck, and fitted waist.

Pattern Sizing:  Burda sizes 34-42.  I traced at 38 at the neck opening, a 40 for the shoulders through the waist, and graded out to a 42 at the hips.  Typically I makes a size 40 Burda, but I have noticed that I tend to have gaping on the back of the neck, so I thought it would be good to try using a 38 neck opening and I have to say I think the fit is superb!  I am going to have to use this trick more in the future.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  I read them and they seem pretty good for Burda.  I mean, there isn’t anything too complicated about this pattern, but since Burda made it in a mohair, they have a lot of instructions for hemming and seam finishes that I ignored.  I basically made the whole thing on my serger, and did a narrow hem for all of the openings.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, pretty much.  I added a bit of length (just because I like long tops) but other than that it looks pretty similar to the line drawing.

What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern?  Likes:  This is a very easy pattern to make!  Only two pattern pieces to trace, only four seams to sew.  I also like that while the sleeves give the top an oversized easy look, there is a nice fit to the waist area that prevents the top from being too baggy.  Dislikes:  Well, I don’t know if I would classify this as a “dislike” since it is part of the design of the pattern, but the sleeves are very low and open, so a tank is necessary underneath to prevent everyone from seeing any undergarments you might be wearing.  It also makes it a bit more difficult to raise your arms, but since it is in a knit that really isn’t too much of an issue.

Fabric used:  A mystery knit picked up from the National City Swap Meet.  I think it is some sort of rayon blend?  It is fairly lightweight and slightly slubby, but didn’t have any problems with stretching, rolling, or fraying, so I really enjoyed sewing with it.

Pattern alterations or designs changes you made:  None, really.  I added an extra two inches of length to the pattern because I prefer longer tops.  I also used lazy narrow hems (ie I used my serger to finish the edge, then flipped it to the inside and stitched it down) instead of bias binding on the edges.  Perhaps I should have used a binding, but I sort of want this to have a stretched out lazy look about it, so if it doesn’t stay pristine I think I might be ok with that.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Well, the oversized look usually isn’t my thing, and until I got this fabric I hadn’t even been considering this pattern.  But I actually really like this top on me, so I think I might sew it again if the right fabric turned up.  I would recommend this pattern to others – it is easy and well drafted – if they were looking for a top with this sort of dropped sleeve.  I wouldn’t recommend this as a basic t-shirt pattern, but I think it is great for making layering pieces.

Conclusion:  Surprisingly good pattern!  It was one I hadn’t even considered when I first got this magazine, but it seemed right for my fabric.  I am very pleased with the results and I think I will get a lot of use out of my quick and easy top.

16 thoughts on “Pattern Review: BS-11-2012-136A

  1. Love this top on you… the line drawing didn't inspire me but after seeing your version I am tempted 🙂 I also have the gaping back neck problem with burda patterns but never thought of tracig a smaller size and grading… will give it a try… thanks for sharing


  2. I really like the way this top balances the drape at the shoulders/bust with waist definition at the bottom. This looks really comfortable and the stripes snazz it up. Sounds like a lovely and easy make 🙂


  3. I have a burgundy/cream polka dot jersey that has been looking for a pattern – this might be it. I have to say that it hasn't occurred to me to trace a smaller size at the neck, even though some Burda patterns tend to gape at the neck on me – this is something I will definitely have to try.


  4. I'm wearing my version today, it is a great little top, as you say comfortable yet with good shaping in the waist. Love it in the stripes, maybe I need some more….


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