Continuing right along with my Wardrobe Sudoku plans, I have finished my third top! I wanted something simple, that would corrdinate well with anything else on the list, so I went for a solid black rayon version of BurdaStyle 06-2013-101A:
Here is a look at my version:
Here is my official Pattern Review:
Pattern Description: Women’s ruched knit tank top.
Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 34-42. I made a size 40, grading out to a 42 at the bust. I really should have made a 40, grading out to a 42 at the waist though. I’m still skittish about my recent self-measurements, but, honestly, I am down in weight from when I had my back injury, so even though the numerical measurement read differently, I’m actually heading towards the lower end of my weight range. I wish I hadn’t panicked and had just made my normal sizes for all my Sudoku tops, but, live and learn.
Were the instructions easy to follow? All things considered, they weren’t bad. There were a few steps that had me thinking “why?” though. To help you understand my conundrum, allow me to explain this sentiment by walking you through the construction of the strap seams. This top is constructed in two layers – the outer layer forms the ruching and front facing, and the under layer is a smooth bodice for the tank top. Near the end of the construction, you basically have a tube, with an open bottom hem, unattached straps, and a hole in the inner side seam. The instructions tell you stitch the shoulder seams, press them open, and tack the seam allowances to the inside layer of the bodice. Yet the next instruction is to pull the entire hem of the shirt through the side hole so that the hem seam will be enclosed. Then WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO THE SAME THING FOR THE SHOULDER SEAMS BURDA? IT IS ACTUALLY EVEN EASIER BECAUSE THE ENTIRE BOTTOM HEM IS OPEN AT THIS POINT! Seriously, makes no sense. So I just did it my way (pulling the straps down, having one inside the other, right sides facing on the inside of the strap turducken, stitched the seam, flipped back open) and ended up with beautifully enclosed seams everywhere. No nonsensical hand tacking of shoulder seam allowances necessary. Otherwise, the instructions were pretty great.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it? I think so. It is a bit saggier on me, but I probably should have gone down a size around the bust, so that is more user error than anything else. The general shape and drape looks very much like the photo.
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Likes: All of the seams are enclosed (at least, in my version), which is beautiful. Also, since it does have a nice double layer of fabric, I feel very covered and comfortable. I was originally concerned about the length of the top (the inside pattern pieces seemed short), but the outer layer rolls down and gives this top plenty of length, which is great. Dislikes: I should have made a size 40 for the whole bust region – it makes the ruching too loose there. I’m also not happy with how low the armholes are, but, again, mea culpa. I also think that, although Burda uses fabric strips to help support the gathers on the outer layer of the top, I might use elastic in a future effort because the fabric binding didn’t seem to provide enough support. Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, this was THE WORST pattern to trace. The. Worst. I normally don’t care about tracing patterns (actually, I sort of like it), but this was the red pattern, and it was on the sheet with the filled-in pink pattern pieces, and for some reason this particular Burda page was extra crowded with lines, and it was really, really difficult to trace. So just make sure you’ve got good light and you really love this pattern.
Fabric used: Black bamboo rayon jersey from fabric.com. I like this fabric – it is really soft and a nice medium weight. It came out nice after the pre-wash too. I might have to order more…
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None except the change to how I sewed the shoulder seams (see instructions section).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Ok, so I have another similar top from McCall’s 6078, which, not gonna lie, I like better. I do like the double layer and enclosed seams of the Burda top, but the McCall’s top just fits better and feels more covering with a similar style and draping effect, so for a top I’d probably go with the McCall’s pattern again (I’ve already sewn that one several times, for both me and my sister, and all those tops still see heavy use several years later!) over this one. However, now that I’ve worked out that I need a smaller size on the bust, I am definitely considering making the dress version of this pattern (101B)! I would recommend this pattern to others, as I think the top is quite versatile for a wardrobe, though I think there are other similar patterns that could work better depending on what you are looking for in a top.
Conclusion: I’m ok with this top. I like it, I think it will coordinate well in my Wardrobe Sudoku, and it will probably look great under a jacket. But I don’t think I’ll be making many more of these for my wardrobe – I’ve got other patterns that have worked better in the past. I’m really happy I tried it though, as I am still interested in making the dress, and I feel like I have a few good ideas for making that project work out better. So from that perspective and considering it’s place in my Wardrobe Sudoku, I’m really happy I made this top.