True 1930s patterns can be expensive, fragile, simplistic in instructions, and in a size that will not instantly fit – therefore not appealing to everybody. Thus, I love it when a modern pattern comes out which is sneakily a true vintage design. This Burda top is one that falls in this category, which is why it is part of my ongoing “Retro Forward with Burda Style” series. On its own it is a great design. However, if you look to the past for verification (see this board for that), and add in an awesome sleeve adaptation (like I did) to suit both the 30’s styles and the 2017 “Year of the Sleeve”…you have modern does vintage (or is it the other way around) so seamlessly. Yet this is not stuffy. It’s every bit as elegant as it is as loose and comfy as a relaxed summer peasant tunic. I’m extremely happy with this project!
This project is perfect for me to count it as part of the “Sleevefest 2017” hosted by ‘Valentine & Stitch’ as well as ‘Dream, Cut, Sew’. I re-drafted a very boring and basic sleeve into something elegant and detailed to match and complete the garment’s design and era from which it seems to harken back to. I always admire how the 1930’s were so rocking awesome at not forgetting that sleeves can have details, too, and add greatly to the overall rest of a garment. After all, this is the era that had patterns specifically dedicated to offering many versions of sleeve styles to choose from and make for substituting in other garment designs. Why not have elegant sleeves when our arms are something so useful, so full of movement, and so graceful in retrospect to the rest of the body?! Bring on the sleeve drama!
This is by no means the only dramatic sleeve I have made this “Year of the Sleeve”…I am just behind on posting so many projects, so look for me to be leaking snippets of other garments with fancy sleeves on my Instagram!
FABRIC: a weightlessly thin polyester interlock knit with a satin-finish
NOTIONS: Nothin’ but thread was needed…and I always have that handy here!
TIME TO COMPLETE: The top was finished on March 29, 2017 after only about 5 hours
TOTAL COST: Two yards of the jersey cost under $10
Now, as for any Burda Style pattern, printing and/or tracing is necessary to have a usable pattern to lay on your desired fabric. My pattern was traced from the downloaded and assembled PDF bought at the online store but if you have a magazine issue, use a roll of medical paper to trace your pieces from the insert sheet. It’s at this preliminary step that you pick out your proper size and add in your choice of seam allowance width. A scissor with a magnetic ruler guide helps immensely to quicken along the step to getting a finished pattern prepped. Sorry to repeat something you might already know, but this is just an “FYI” for those that don’t know.
My base for my re-draft was the original pattern simple sleeve, after extending it to a full long sleeve length (it is bracelet length, otherwise). Then, I used this very technical diagram which I found off of Pinterest as my guide for my re-draft. (You can see more re-drafting ideas that I like and plenty eye-candy images of lovely sleeves in my Pinterest board.) I paid close attention to measurements and proportions in the diagram and I am impressed at how perfectly the finished sleeve turned out. Please note that the gathers are not a separate panel but are merely an extension of the sleeve – they taper into it from a dart. I actually ended up making the final version of my sleeve with a double-long cuff so that I could fold it in completely on itself. In other words, below the gathers, the end of my sleeve is doubled up for a substantial support to the sleeve, one that beneficially weighs it down just a tad. I love to use my sewing capabilities to achieve exactly what I want! I know this sounds terribly selfish, but I see it as fulfilling in reality something which previously existed in my head…which gives a very satisfactory and relieving feeling for me! What I picture sometimes and what really ends up doesn’t always match…
Even with the sleeve change, this was a super quick and quite easy to make project, especially as I was working with a knit that needed no finishing inside. The only slightly tricky part was the V-neckline’s bottom point – it’s also were the front panel ends. As long as you break stitching of the bias band facing on either side of the center, and not stitch in one continuous V, it works. It still was a bit fiddly there. Making the front panel lay nicely required some hand stitching at strategic points and plenty of steam from the iron, as well.
I did go up in size from my “normal” fitting number with other Burda patterns to make this top. I felt that a form fitting top would ruin the front gathers somewhat but even with stitching a bigger side seam allowance, my blouse is still generous. I never really found a nice in between baggy and tight fitting for this top, but I’m ok with the looseness, for it feels very comfy and drapey, as if it is really only a play/casual top.
I paired my top with my Grandmother’s vintage jewelry and a white linen skirt for a real summer tropical theme. My Grandmother’s jewelry is, as far as I heard, something she bought one time was in St. Augustine, Florida, circa 1950’s. However, it seems to fill in the wide open neckline nicely, add fun colors, and even look very similar to actual novelty vintage jewelry from the 1930s. Our pictures were taken in a tropical conservatory in town, so with the humidity and rare, exotic plants and wildlife inside, I really had a true warm weather tolerability test in my top! The interlock knit is light as a whisper on the skin and the long sleeves keep of both bugs and the sun’s rays. Needless to say, my top passed with flying colors, or should I say turquoise, white, and pastel colors!