White Shirt Summer: Top 1 Review

At the start of the summer months, I declared that I really wanted to make some white tops, mostly because I needed to have some more options to wear with my suits as a judge, but also because it seems like a generally good thing to have in the wardrobe for multi-purpose outfit-making. While I didn’t quite get to making as many tops as I would have liked, I did manage to get 3 new white shirts this summer, so that’s pretty decent output for the month that I worked on them.

The first top I made was BurdaStyle 09-2016-101B. I wanted to make this top as a basic layering piece that would work well under a navy blazer. I think it works well in that regard, but I can’t say that I really like the style without all of the layering pieces.

I am pretty happy with the construction though – I think the pattern matching on the lace turned out really well.

On the inside I used French seams for the construction, except on the center back where there is an invisible zipper to allow for the neck opening. I finished the neck and arm bindings by hand, so that the stitches wouldn’t show through on the outside.

Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Sleeveless blouse with pleated front detail.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44. I made a 40 at the neck and graded out to a 44 at the hip. I also made an FBA to adjust the fit.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, the instructions were pretty good for Burda, though at a certain point I stopped looking at them because this is a pretty basic top to put together. I also added some slightly more advanced construction techniques (French seams and bias bound neck and arm holes), so that was another reason I largely ignored the instructions.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, I think so. It would probably look a bit more like the images in the magazine if I had used a less stiff fabric.

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  I like how fast this was to put together, and I think it is a great layering piece. However, I don’t really love the shape of this top on me since it is sort of boxy. I made it to wear under a blazer, and I think it looks good like that, but I don’t really like the way it looks on its own. I would maybe like to make it again in a softer fabric to see if I prefer it when there is more drape.

Fabric used: I used a lace layered over a cotton pique.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  I made a 1″ FBA. I also lengthened the entire top by going halfway between the length indicated for views A & B and pattern style 102, which has the same base pattern but in a longer tunic length.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I might sew this again. It’s not my favorite top, but I think it serves a purpose, which is to look good under a jacket. I’m glad to have added it to the wardrobe.

Conclusion:  Overall it’s not my favorite top; I don’t love the boxy style on me. However, I do really love the way it looks under a blazer, as I think the higher neckline, front pleating detail, and addition of the lace fabric add some nice interest to what would otherwise be a plain white top. It’s definitely something I have a place for in my wardrobe, once we get into the colder months and I have more of a need for layering.

How does this fit in with the Sew Your Kibbe Challenge?  Does it work as well for you as you expected it to? This style really doesn’t match with the Kibbe recommendations for Soft Naturals, except perhaps in the texture added by the lace detail. As such, I’d have to agree with his assessment; it really doesn’t look good as an individual wardrobe item on me. However, I think it could work as part of an “overall look” if the more prominent pieces of the outfit (a jacket and pants or skirt) help add a slight waist emphasis and provide more of the shaping that is needed for a Soft Natural style.

Of all of the tops I made over the summer, this is probably the top I am most likely to wear as intended (with a blazer) but least likely to wear overall. I can’t really see myself grabbing for this top except as part of an entire outfit, with some sort of topper piece like a blazer or cardigan. I am very happy with the construction though, and I think that it’s something I could see being in my wardrobe as an intentional layering piece for a long time.

9 thoughts on “White Shirt Summer: Top 1 Review

  1. Short and busty, I have same issue as you with boxy tops, but love your use of the lace.
    I’ve taken to converting side darts to French darts on Burda’s basic tops, and adding fish-eye darts in back. This removes boxy look on my compact busty shape while maintaining style otherwise.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. Designs like this are always showcased on the small busted. A French dart creates the same look on the well endowed. I also have broad back and much narrower waist, so designs like this will bag at back as well as front if I don’t add darts – just big enough to create profile design intended.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I think I like something with more shaping, but not necessarily super fitted. This was sort of an experiment for me, and I think it sort of confirms that I do need to think about the balance of shaping and fabric drape when working on these sorts of projects.


  2. I like those kinds of tops. On a hot day, I wouldn’t want anything more fitted than that… So I’d say it’s a great practical piece, which you know is very environmentally friendly if you go by the cost-per-wears thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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