About this time last year, which seems a very long time ago now, I purchased a beautiful tissue knit in Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. At the time I was very inexperienced with sewing with knit fabrics and I left it in my stash and decided to tackle it only once I felt confident that I wouldn’t ruin it.
Sadly, this isn’t a post about using that fabric, because I still haven’t plucked up courage. I decided to do a dummy run first. I bought some lovely soft black jersey from The Sewing Studio in Bath and selected a pattern. I really wanted a pattern that would work well with the draping look that a tissue knit would give. I came across this top – Burda 11/2011 Knit Wrap Top #114A. I must admit I fell in love with the way this pattern is modelled. Great fabrics can really show off a simple pattern to great effect and this pattern really looks great in what I think is a gauzy cotton knit or a linen knit. I really am a sucker for the locations and aesthetic of the Burda photoshoots too, I wish my photography looked like that! Anyway, aspirations aside, I thought this would work well with the Britex fabric and the soft black jersey would be a good test for the pattern.
I transferred my pattern from the PDF (tracing size 38 ). I didn’t make any adjustments, at first. The reason for this is that I did a whole lot of measurements and placed my waist, bust and hips on the pattern. I decided that these corresponded pretty much where the pattern intended them to be. I did discard a considerable part of the length – Burda patterns are always so long. I thought it was a little odd that my shoulder to bust measurement fitted with the pattern. I’ve adjusted this particular measurement so many times on patterns, I was a little suspicious that this seemed to fit my dimensions.
I was reassured sufficiently though and went ahead and cut out my fabric. I decided though that I was sufficiently suspicious about the placement of the wrap edge that I would tack everything together on the bodice and see how it looked before the machine sewing. I’m glad I did because I wasn’t that happy with how the wrap appeared. It didn’t seem to work where it was; I just wasn’t sure whether it was supposed to go below the bust where it attaches to the side seam or above. I then looked at the pattern again –#114A definitely places the wrap below the bust, but how about this photo from the Burda website, #114B, this looks above like it wraps over the bust to me:
And then, I truly confused myself looking at other blogged versions of this top. Here are some of my other favourites:
As you’ll see, it’s a confusing picture with the placement of the wrap varying wildly. Hence, I’ve nicknamed this top as “The top with an identity Crisis”. I think the look works well either way.
However, after much deliberation, I made up my mind about the placement of the wrap. I played it safe and the wrap goes over the bust. I’m going for the warm boobies version! I made the changes on my garment and machine stitched it. I’m hoping I made the right choice. What do you think? Does the wrap placement look fine?
I did have one problem with the instructions. As usual, being Burda, they have a spelling mistake (slef-facing) and at least one instruction which is utter gobbledegook. So, I looked online and found some great photos of the step on the Slapdash Sewist‘s website:
The worse thing about this rubbish instruction is that they published this pattern in the BurdaStyle Modern Sewing: Wardrobe Essentials book and the instructions here come with pictures. Why on earth don’t you get these instructions with the PDF pattern? (Deep sigh, Burda, tell me why?)
I’m probably overthinking this, but I’m slightly concerned that the neckline might droop after lots of wear and I explored other posts on this top for opinions. There are some bloggers who have made this top repeatedly. Clearly, they regarded it as a success. And others have been less happy with it. I noticed Amy at Sew-well made this top, but then it became a refashion in a later blog post.
At the moment the top is going through an extended period of evaluation. Normally RTW tops styled like this are way too revealing, therefore it isn’t a style that I normally wear.Perhaps I just need to get used to this loose type of neckline? I think the sleeves are too long too. They are deliberately cut long in the pattern and perhaps with a lighter knit fabric it would be easy to bunch up the extra fabric up the arms, but in this fabric that doesn’t seem to happen.
I’m not convince yet whether this is the pattern I’ll use for my treasured tissue knit fabric from Britex. Are there other tops that would look good in a sheer knit with a lot of drape?