Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The Birds of a Feather Top

Given that I spend 5/7 days of the week at work, I am always after more work-appropriate clothes I can wear into the office. I have a self-inflicted work uniform - suit, heels and a top - to make getting ready in the morning much easier. I haven't been brave enough to make my own suits yet, but I do like to sew up tops and blouses that I can wear with my suits. This pattern from the May issue of Burda magazine is just one example!

I have to admit the photos of the top in the magazine are not particularly inspiring - for some reason, they are all sewn in crisp fabrics, making the top look weirdly cheap and ill-fitting. I could see there was potential though if a drapey fabric was used, so I decided to give it a go in this bird-print crepe-textured polyester fabric I got from Spotlight a few years ago.
The details:
Fabric: Polyester crepe from Spotlight
Pattern: Bow tank #110 from the 05/17 issue of Burda 
Size: 38
Special touches and alterations: Used bias binding instead of facing for armholes and neckline

I picked the same size as the other burda tops I have made to date, and found the fit good. The back is nicely shaped with seams, while the fit on the front is very forgiving, and the shaping comes from tying the waist ties in, which cinch the waist. 
The main alteration I made was using bias binding to finish the armholes and neckline instead of the provided facing pieces (I hate facings!). The only problem was that I forgot to trim down the seam allowance to account for this, so the armholes are a tiny bit tight.
The back has an opening slit with a button at the top. I couldn't find a colour button I liked in my stash, so I found a nice round brown one and painted it red with nail polish! It worked well, but after a few washes it has started to peel a little around the edges. I'll see how it holds up, but I may need to repaint it down the track. I used a piece of elastic to make the button loop, which it turns out has enough give in it that I can get the top over my head without undoing the button!
I was a bit confused about how the ends of the waist ties were supposed to be finished (the open end on each tie after turning it inside out), and ended up just overlocking the inside edge. While this top could potentially be worn in two ways (ties tied to the front or the back) the way I finished my ties means the overlocking would be visible if I tied my ties to the back. I knew I wouldn't want to wear it that way, but it's something to think about if you want the versatility.
One thing I only noticed when looking through these photos is that the drape of the fabric when tied does cause some pointy sections at the apex because of the way the fabric folds. The fabric is almost forming itself into a dart! I don't think it's that obvious in real life, but certain angles seem to emphasise it.
I love this print because it looks geometric and abstract from a distance, but has cool little birds up close! The colours are very me and I've been getting a lot of wear from it. It looks great with jeans, and is a nice change to wear under a suit to work, as the ties distinguish it from most work tops I have.


  1. Very nice, I like your version with the pretty and drapey fabric.