Sleek Silhouette

Better late that never! (and my first burdastyle magazine)


I feel like a very bad blogger at the moment, the one thing I blog about seems to be the one thing I have done very little of lately…. What with celebrating and a seemingly crazy amount of birthday’s (who knew so many people were born in May?), oh and house hunting (!) I have had very little time to sew. Mix that with fabric that was sent to test me and it’s taken me till now to throw something together to show you.SleekSilhouette-3-21When I say ‘thrown together’, I literally mean it. This is not a top I’m particularly proud of, and I had such high hopes! Lets start at the beginning….

I assume most of you are familiar with burdastyle? Well it was only recently that I realised that the patterns on there came from the burdastyle magazine! Seeing as there were a few patterns I liked this month I thought I’d buy the magazine rather than each pattern individually, and see what I thought.

When it arrived I was very excited, and a little scared, by the massive pattern section in the middle of the magazine. For those that don’t know, these massive pieces of paper have all the pattern pieces from all the different patterns in the magazine, printed on top of each other. This makes for a chaotic, scary mess of different coloured lines. The idea is that you trace off the pieces you want.imageI’m sorry for these photos, they were taken on my phone which for some unknown reason has decided to take all photos with a blue hue ?!imageThe instructions for all the patterns are in the middle too – Now I understand why they’re so brief!

I decided I wanted to try this top: I love a low back (I think backs are the sexiest part of a body) and I have quite a lot of jersey to use. Perfect! I also need more tops. Cue much swearing and cussing as I tried to trace the pattern pieces. ‘Oh s*** I just followed the wrong line’, ‘Wait, now it doesn’t match up – dammit, it moved’ and so on…. And then when I was done ‘B***** I forgot the grainlines!’
imageI got there in the end. But then came the next challenge: I only have stripped jersey to hand and had a lovely Breton top in mind. Thing is, the pattern piece for the gathered low back is curved… not useful for stripes. This means that the stripes would end up being vertical at the top of the top (does that make sense). I’m all for fun with stripes, but I’m not sure I like that idea. Luckily my fabric has a white band sans stripes at various points. I made sure the the curved bit of the top was on this white band, and matched up stripes from the waist down. I decided to continue the stripes on the front to maintain the Breton idea.

I actually quite like the effect in the end. SleekSilhouette-4-19The next challenge? This crazily silky and slippy jersey. I got this off ebay, and it is the softest, comfiest jersey I have ever touched.  This makes it a wonderful top to wear, but also makes it a nightmare to sew! It slithered all over the place! I took my time though and got it under control. So far so good.

I then decided to add a band to the neck and back of the top. I have no idea if this is what the instructions called for as I’m beginning to take Burda instructions with a pinch of salt, if I can work it out on my own I leave them well alone! Doing it this way has turned the back into a low curve, and not a v-shape – but I think I prefer that. Unfortunately I wasn’t paying attention when I did this and sewed the band on as if it were bias binding. Due to the slippy fabric the end effect feels a little messy. I also managed to stretch the fabric of the top so it doesn’t sit quite right on the left hand side at the back, grrrrrrr.

The eagle eyed among you might also notice that I haven’t hemmed it? That’s because once I’d done the neckline I just wanted to be done! But you can see it so I’ll probably go back and do it.SleekSilhouette-2-23However, there are some things I am pleased with. Like my ability to match stripes! The front is actually two pieces sewn together and I’m quite proud of the fact the stripes match up perfectly. They also match as well as can be expected at the sides. Yes! In fact the only real issue with this top is the silly band I put on. I might need to chop it off and try again.SleekSilhouette-5-15So what do I think overall? I do like the basic shape of the top and might try it again with less slippy fabric, so it’s easier to get a handle on. It’s a little too low and wide at the back for me to wear without a top on underneath,  but it could be great in the summer over a bikini in the evening? The sleeves are also a little too loose for my tastes so next time I might taper them some more. Not my finest hour but seeing as I have an obsession with stripes it probably will still be worn.

And what about Burda magazine? I love it! In fact, I’m considering ordering it monthly. All those free patterns just for the sake of a little tracing?? There’s still plenty I want to make from the May issue, although I think I’ll invest in some slightly better jersey!


  1. This top is great! I’ve made it, too. My Jersey is striped as well (though only in two different shades of blue). The effect is quite nice.
    And you’ll get used to the tracing, promised! The magazine is quite nice, but sometimes frustrating as well (some patterns just aren’t beautiful…). Decide it for yourself :)

    • Ooh I would love to see your too! Yeah, I guess I can be hit and miss. I think I’ll see if I like them month by month atm.

  2. I love this but then I am a total sucker for a Breton stripe and a bit if back interest (with you on that sexy thing!). You’ve done an amazing job on the stripe matching, particularly with it being slippery fabric! I think the band looks fine, but it’s probably worth fixing if it bugs you.

    The tracing bit looks scary though! :)

  3. Fab stripe matching! Especially on slippery fabric :)
    Have you thought about getting a walking/even feed foot for your machine? They are so helpful for slip-slidey (or thick) fabrics. Essentially gives you an upper set of feed dogs so the material gets gripped. They can be reasonably priced or extortionately priced – depending on your machine, of course! ;)

    • Hey Tania! you’re right they’re so useful. I was lucky and got mine with my machine. It was very useful this time, but even so the fabric was so slippery! Even pinning was tricky, but its oh so comfy :)

  4. Aaarghhhh, those pattern pages look terrifying! There’s often months where there are a good few patterns that catch my eye but I’ve never thought to buy the magazine!

    The top looks great and I love the effect of the white top and stripy lower half.

  5. I’ve been a bit scared of Burda, their instructions have no pictures and look ridiculously short. I think I may have to give them a go.

    Do you think tracing the patterns with ink paper and a tracing wheel would make it easier? That way you wouldn’t have to find the right line through the tracing paper.

    • yes it could be – they suggest doing this too. but I only have small pieces of carbon paper so I thought it would be quicker to just use a pencil to trace it. I’m making it sound worse than it is, it’s just not the easiest thing ever.

      I’d be interested to see what you thought of Burda magazine :)

  6. Ooh, lovely top! I must admit I used to buy the magazine but then I got lazy and started buying the patterns I liked from the website to download. Time is too precious at the moment to spend it deciphering the pattern sheets, and I usually only like one or two things from each issue.

    • I’ve been the same! But then i thought, the time spent sticking the sheets together, maybe it’s just as easy to trace? I might see what next months issue is like and see if I want to try again :)

  7. I love it! I’m a sucker for striped tops w/a solid yoke. It’s lovely!

  8. Cute! I really like this, I love the ruching on the back- it adds a really great touch and makes the top stand out (in a really good way). And wow, MAJORly impressed with your stripe-matching skills!

  9. Great top, i love what you have done with the strips.

    I love Burda Magazine too, they get so much hammering on the internet, for repeating boring patterns, but you have to buy quite a few before that really kicks in. And they have some great knit patterns.

  10. It looks fab. Am working on my first top which happens to be from a Burda magazine. It is only a simple top though. I used a coloured marker to trace the lines of the pattern first, using the number guides at the edge of the burda paper to help me find pattern pieces, then I looked for the coloured lines through my tracing paper, as I was tracing and it went pretty smooth. It’s the sewing where I will mess up lol

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