Burda of the Month: 11/2014 #105 pleat neck blouse in barely there polka dots

Friday 28 November 2014
A quick house update for those who are interested: our house didn't sell at auction unfortunately and all the offers we've had since have been a bit too low, so we've decided to take our house off the market and stay where we are for now. That may sound greedy, but in our area old houses on reasonable sized blocks of land have just skyrocketed in price lately, so for us to be able to afford to buy another place and build we really did need to sell for a certain amount or we'd ben in serious financial debt. And since we didn't achieve that price, we've decided to be sensible and live within our means.

But looking on the bright side, we've decluttered and finished all those annoying little jobs around the place so we can sit back and enjoy the place. And best of all I get to set up my sewing room again so I've decided to give it a makeover before bringing all my fabric home again. Plus all that fabric destashing I did means I will feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever if a few more pieces make their way into my stash in the near future!

Ok, back to the sewing. I made my November Burda project last weekend, but have felt rather ordinary all week with a pesky cold and an annoying cough and not in the mood to take my photograph. But I slapped on some makeup today (maybe too much judging by my orange face in the photos below) to cover up my pasty face and red nose and forced myself to take these photos so I could post November's project in the actual month of November and before the next issue arrived (which it did today).

And here it is:


It's Burda 11/2014 #105 - a pleat neck, three quarter sleeve top. Burda's version looks extremely elegant, from their so called 'high society collection':

photos from Burdastyle.com

My version is a lot more casual than Burda's, but it's exactly what I need to wear during our extremely hot summers. I made it from a lightweight linen blend that has been in the stash for ages just waiting for the right project. I'm not sure what the blend is, but it feels soft and it doesn't wrinkle as much as pure linen so maybe it's got a bit of polyester blend in it. Whatever it is, it's light and airy enough for a hot day but still gives my arms and shoulders coverage. And can I say how glad I am that none of those large polka dots ended up in appropriate places?!

This top couldn't have been more simple, it might have taken about 2 hours at most.  Yet another raglan top! I've lost track of how many I've made this year but it's quite a few. As usual with Burda raglan sleeves, the pattern is drafted with a shoulder dart that I really should have increased and rounded a bit more for my narrow shoulders because it does poke out a bit at the shoulders, but decided to leave it be because I don't really want this top to be fitted.


There is a slit at the back neckline, which I will make a little longer next time I sew this pattern as I can only just get this over my head. I don't think I have a particularly large head and it doesn't feel constrictive when I'm wearing it, but I don't want to stress the point of the slit every time it gets stuck on my large forehead.


That wide facing that shows through the fabric at the back neckline extends around to the front, and the neckline is just a simple box pleat:


This is a bit different to my usual style - a bit loose and shapeless but I think my lightweight fabric drapes nicely so it doesn't look like a sack. I plan to wear it with slim fitting seperates on the bottom to counter the volume at the top.



That side view looks a little strange though - the hem line at the front seems to rise quite a bit even though the pattern doesn't indicate it and I didn't do it intentionally. And it probably finishes at the wrong point for me, just above my widest part but hey it's casual wear and I can't always look streamlined and professional since more than half of my week is spent out of the office chasing a crazy little boy around.

Speaking of which, if you're thinking that these photos look tightly cropped, you would be right. I was trying to get these photos done without being photobombed by an exuberant 2.5 year old. This is what you can't see in these photos:


 My verdict: love it! I wore this today to the school pick up and another mum who is extremely stylish asked me where I bought it from and couldn't believe it wasn't an expensive designer label when I told her I made it. I think it needs the right fabric though - anything too stiff or heavy weight might just look bulky and with that centre front pleat it certainly has potential to have a maternity look. Actually if you were preggers it would be quite easy to adapt this to a maternity top so I guess it has that added bonus.

This pattern is the illustrated sewing course in the November issue, so if you truly are a beginner sewer or are new to Burda patterns this one would be a good one to try. I'm already planning another one, perhaps in a drapey rayon fabric. But not right now - I've got a sewing room to set up!

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