Same but badly different! Burda Sailor Shorts and retro Vogue boxy top

Thursday, 22 January 2015
Isn't it funny (and annoying) how you can take a pattern that you've used before successfully only to have it turn out badly? If I use a pattern a second time I expect to able to whip it up without needing to try it on and make fitting changes during the construction - silly me! Lesson learnt: no matter how many times I've used a pattern I will try on and check before finishing it.....

Just before Christmas I bought some vibrant chilli red stretch cotton drill from Spotlight  and immediately cut out a pair of the Burda sailor shorts from 6/2014 #123 I made back in October which look great and I wear quite often. I didn't get it sewn before Christmas but I did finish them last week when I finally bought some buttons for them, and well what a disappointment:

The only change I made to the pattern was to lengthen the legs from mid thigh to above the knee, but the stretch in the fabric made a huge difference to the fit. I had to take the shorts in all over, but those horizontal lines at the front aren't the usual crotch 'whiskers' caused by it being tight but rather it's the bottom edge of the panel that goes across the stomach underneath the outer layer with the end of the zipper in particular sticking out. When I look at the photos of the previous version I can see it happening slightly, but because that fabric is thicker and non stretch it isn't as obvious:

Oh well, maybe I'll think about what can be fixed, but I have worn the red pair a few times already and since they're just casual shorts they don't need to be perfect. I have too many other things on my sewing list that I want to make instead of spending time obsessing over these minor details.

I've been doing a bit of a wardrobe audit and realised I don't have many tops at all so I decided to make something to wear with these, otherwise I would probably just always wear a black and white stripe tee with them. I pulled out a vintage pattern picked up in the past from an op shop - Vogue 8291 which is undated but I think may be 1980s judging by the style?

It's just a simple boxy top but is perfect for a casual summer top and it didn't turn out as potato sack like as I had expected. I used a blue printed cotton fabric that was a long term stash resident, also bought from an op shop long ago that to me also has an 80s vibe to it. And to top it off I've got on some terribly 80s plastic beads that my grandma used to wear all the time that I always thought were hideous but couldn't bring myself to chuck them because of sentimental value.

The squared neckline has a wide facing that I topstitched down for a bit of interest. I think the neckline is lovely, but ironically it shows a little too much skin for me because getting enough sunscreen on the back of my neck is always fiddly.

One side has a sewn on tab to put the buttons on, and this side of the top the sleeve hems are just an extension of the hem of the body of the top - folded under and stitched.

I did lengthen this top by about 5cm which was lucky I did because it turned out quite short. You can see in the photo above that I had to sew an extra bit on button tab to get that top button on - carelessly I cut the extra tab with the grain going the other way which you probably didn't notice until I pointed it out right? Those buttons also originated from an op shop and have been in the stash a long time, so overall this top was very cheap and sort of good for the stash (it barely used a metre of fabric).

Surprisingly I quite like this top and I'm already thinking of another version in a stripe fabric or one perhaps with a contrasting neckline by sewing the facing on the outside. So many possibilities for such a simple pattern!

Lastly, that wall you can see in the background of these photos is a sneak peek of my newly revamped sewing room - it's about 75% done and it's going to be fantastic when it's all done and my sewing supplies have come home to me.

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