Monday, 4 July 2011

Burda 7509 - a work-appropriate top

It IS work-appropriate, but not especially winter-appropriate. It's really difficult to find patterns that are a) long-sleeved, b) not button-down shirts, and c) not jersey. Guess I'll have to learn to sew a jacket to make this warm enough! Anyway, Burda 7509 is definitely a winner with me. A more detailed review is here.

Sorry about the picture. The tripod is in the ute, and I was losing the light fast! Note that the top doesn't pull at the bust when I'm postured normally. For some reason, I've thrown my shoulders right back here. Also, I'm crouching down, which is not the most natural position.

The fabric is a weird silk woven. I've never seen anything like it before. The silk has an irregular texture, but it is machine washable (everything I own has to be, I'm not a dry-cleaning person). It's soft, and frays ridiculously, but is warm and I can iron it at a reasonably high temperature. It's everything I need a silk to be. Plus, it was $12 per metre. So this top only cost about $25 including the pattern.

This top is a very basic pattern. I've made it my mission to master the basics - too often, I find myself slapping together an 'easy' pattern, and realising afterwards that there are embarrassing mistakes in it. Also, I needed something with a work-appropriate neckline. It's surprising how difficult it can be to find such a thing without making 'grandma clothes'!

There isn't anything of note about the construction technique. The instructions were amazing, which is a nice change from the Burda magazine! I even learned how to properly use bias tape at the neckline and armholes - until now, I've just cobbled it together with mixed results.

I used French seams, what with the crazy fraying. In fact, I used a rotary cutter too, because I didn't trust scissors to not completely destroy the loose weave. I sewed the fabric right away, because even LEAVING THE FABRIC ALONE causes it to fray.

Now that it's sewed up, I love it. The fit is *nearly* perfect. It's shorter at the front than the pattern shows - because there is a lot more of my front to contain! But as it's cut on the bias, it doesn't matter. It's still long enough to go over the waistband of my pants.

The back is a bit weird. I knew there was fabric bunching, but it took these self-portraits to realise why. I *thought* my butt was too big (it is!) and caused the top to ride up and bunch. But looking at these photos, there is adequate space at the bottom - it's the weird dip in my lower back that is the problem. As soon as I figure out how to do a sway-back adjustment, this will become my very first T&T (tried and true) pattern. Hoorah!


  1. If you work out what to do to compensate for sway backs, can you make all my tops forever and ever??? ;)

  2. I am so glad to see this made up the way it is suppose to be made, not on the cross-grain like I did mine. You did a fantastic job and the fabric has a beautiful texture and sheen and is a gorgeous color. Perfect for work!

  3. Kirsti - I'm now on an anti-sway-back mission! When I work it out, I'll let you know :-D

    Shannon - thank you! I love bias cut tops, because they don't have scratchy zippers or gaping button holes. I'm so pleased with the fabric. There is a lovely independent fabric retailer down the street, and he has all kinds of silk and blends for under $20/m.

  4. This looks gorgeous! I made this pattern myself, once in a very thin white cotton (great) and a second time in what I thought was a satin, purple (it's probably some kind of micro fibre though). The purple top has all sorts of problems: gaping neck at the back and way too much fabric lower down. I also suffer from sway back problems.
    I think on this bias cut pattern I need to make the back side seams narrower and more curved to take the excess out but I will need to experiment with a different fabric, this purple one is horrible. Great colour but all my curved edges relax into way too flared edges. Argh.


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