Shirty September with Pattern Fantastique’s Phen

Pattern Fantastique’s Phen shirt pattern has intrigued me for a long time. Just look at that shape! Even the simplest cuffs for this pattern are curved!

(Yes, I did print my pdf pattern on pink paper)

The Shirty September theme of #magamsewalong (make a garment a month) was the perfect reason to try it out.

(A new shirt and a new skirt! It was a shirty and skirty September for me. The skirt is another version of Burda 09/2008 #134 in a wool cotton blend)

I used a small floral cotton shirting from my stash but originally from someone else’s stash – I scored this lovely fabric from one of the second hand shops at Port Elliott. It has “Cloud 9 organic cotton” printed on the selvedge and has a crisp shirting weight feel to it – if it’s quilting cotton, it’s very nice quality!

Small floral on a dark background – almost the worse fabric for a shirt with lots of details:

– like two front pockets with rounded corners and placed unusually high. Bet you can’t see them unless I put my hands in them

(Look at the pockets! Don’t look at the waist with some of the facing showing. It doesn’t pay to tuck your shirt in quickly and without a mirror before a photo)

– a deep back yoke with stitching at the top of the pleat and a hanging loop, completely camouflaged

– two piece sleeves which turn into the “placket”, those curved cuffs I already mentioned…

The only thing that isn’t lost in the florals is the amazing dropped shoulder batwing sleeves.

I made a size 18 and its a smidge tight at the hips.

I didn’t baste the side seams to check the fit – an excellent tip from Beck, IsewthereforeIam for this pattern – and I think I probably continued the seam too far. The curved seams mean a few mm too far and you’ve gone down a size or three.

The curved seams also mean that you can have an incredibly blousy top without a lot of volume to tuck in. Genius design.

(Untucked. With bonus tired face)

(Tucked in. With the same tired face, and a touch of shirtiness to my expression)

This pattern has very comprehensive instructions and many of the steps also have diagrams. The only one I ignored was interfacing. Instead of using iron on or sew in interfacing, I just added another layer of fabric. Except for the front button band. Which was a mistake – the button holes are a bit puckered on each end.

I appreciated that the instructions included trimming for turn of the cloth for the cuffs, collar, collar band and yoke. You don’t usually get this level of detail on a shirt pattern.

(The result of my attention to trimming to get the right amount of turn of cloth is impossible to see with this patterned fabric. But I know I did it, and it worked!)

But it’s those instructions that made this a Shirty September sew for me.

Either the instructions were written a bit differently to what I expected, or I’m used to next to no instructions and just doing my own thing. I seemed to spend a lot of time reading them and checking them rather than just sewing. And that made me shirty! Beck has also recently made this pattern and written a great post about it – I agree with everything she says about the instructions!

Will I make it again? Probably! I’m intrigued by the “bunny ears” tie collar and tie cuffs version and I’d like to try it again in a drapier fabric. And I won’t need to read the instructions next time!

Patrones: one out of three ain’t bad

Why Patrones? Good question. The answer is a lot to do with feeling dissatisfied with Burda itself and how I could subscribe in Australia. And liking the idea of an online magazine. And liking the concept of a smallish pdf that you then trace off your pattern from. Sounds odd?

This is what Doctor T said recently about Patrones : The downloadable PDFs are an interesting compromise; you have to both print and tile the PDF pages and trace them; but because each Patrones pattern only prints onto 9 pages it isn’t too bad to attach the PDF print-outs, and because each print-out only has 1 design, it isn’t that bad to trace either.

Seems like Patrones has it all. And you can subscribe issue by issue. So I did. For three issues.

Why have I stopped? Well you will need to read this post!

The first thing I made was this skirt. Which I totally adore.

Patrones 429 modelo 29 – Falda con pliegues (pleated skirt)

It has pockets. It has interesting drapes and folds. It has a shaped hem. It is inspired by a catwalk outfit. Of course this pattern spoke to me!

Worn here with a much loved Kalle shirt made in Liberty lawn

Wisely, I made a toile first. New pattern company and sizing, instructions in Spanish, no pictures of the pattern made up and worn by an actual person – too many unknowns!

Just as well I did because the pockets are a very different sort of construction and the goggle translation of the Spanish instructions were of very little help. It took a few adventures and quite a lot of unpicking before I worked it out.

The actual pocket is that little piece at the bottom. And no it is not attached to the facing of the drape. Ask my quick-unpick how I know. The larger piece is the yoke/side skirt
The drape is then attached to the yoke with a few stitches to hold the folds in place
Final step is to baste to the side seams
And here’s the flat lay. You can see some of my changes compared to the original draft. I curved the side seams back in by 4 cm to narrow the hem and create a balloon shape skirt and the back hem curves down rather than mirroring the front and curving up

How would have expected that the pockets and the turnback of the drape are not even connected?? Not me! I haven’t yet put something in the pockets and have it drop all the way through, but it will happen at some point!

The toile confirmed that size 48 worked for me but that I didn’t like the hem as drafted (shorter at CB and CF, longer at both sides and not pegged). So I changed that too and then made it up in a delightful midweight linen from Spotlight.

And have worn it at least once a week since.

My second attempt was not successful at all

Patrones 430 modelo 9 – Camisa Hawaiana Lloyds (Lloyds style Hawaiian shirt)

I drafted out from a size 46 (the largest size offered) to a 48 (which might be my size based on my success above). No toile this time – flat pattern measures through the bust suggested it would be fine.

Not making a toile was not a good idea – the sleeves bands on the extended shoulders were too tight, and the ease through the top was fine in terms of the fit, but not for style – this really needs to be looser to look good.

So Felicity has a new top! For the record – the sleeve bands are not loose enough on her either – pattern drafting fault I say!

I used a remnant of a lovely drapey viscose crepe – last used for a Tide dress.

But I didn’t have quite enough fabric so it got a contrast collar band in linen

Optimistic label use.

The third attempt was almost successful

Patrones 429 modelo 25 – Top cruzado (cross top)

The asymmetry drew me in.

No toile on this one (yes, I had learnt nothing..) but I did use fabric which had been languishing in my stash for a long time..

I love this cotton, polyester and metal blend fabric and I originally bought this ten years ago (yes! ten years!) in two colours – cream (this one) and light brown – like milky coffee. The coffee one got made into a skirt. But it always looks crinkled despite rigorous ironing because of the metallic content and yet its sort of fancy because of that metallic content so the creasing and the shimmer is a bit odd. I also remember that it was a bit itchy against my skin. So… almost toile fabric…

But, because it wasn’t really a toile, I used a soft linen cotton blend for the neck facing, so that the itch factor was dialed back. The linen cotton blend was harvested from a ripped pillow case – there’s a lot of back story to the fabrics in this blog post!

I traced off and made a size 48, and although it fitted okay, I thought it would be better with a bit more width through the body of the top to make it a bit boxier. So I added another strip of fabric to the side seams.

The insert is a strip the length of the top and 4 cm wide. I added 6 cm extra length at the top of the strip and tapered it to a point. This was inserted into the sleeve seam like a gusset. With all seams at 6 mm, this meant I added about 5 cm of extra width to the top below the armscyes.

And now I think its wearable.

I couldn’t work out from the line drawing or pattern or sewing instructions if the buttoned front was functional. It didn’t seem to be. The neck is crew neck style so no chance of putting this on without some sort of opening. So I added a slit and a button with a loop to the back.

The second label is “slow fashion” because this fabric spent a long time in my stash. I’m amusing myself with my labels.

Now I’ve gone back and paid more attention to the flat lay photo in the magazine it looks like there is an invisible zip at centre back. That would work too.

I could “french tuck” half of the front and make it even more asymmetric. But not the best look!

I love these buttons. They’ve been the stash a while too.

So back to the question of why I stopped my subscription

I don’t yet have the sizing sorted, but that’s not a major issue. I don’t mind the printing and tracing – 9 pages is easy. Some of the designs are delightful so its not because I don’t like enough of the styles.

I think its two things: the language barrier – I must enjoy reading about sewing more than I realised – and it being online – despite the convenience of being online, I’d much rather read from an actual magazine.

Any one else tried this new format of Patrones recently? What did you think?

Orange shirt: BurdaStyle 06/2009 #136

I’ve been admiring the collar on the Myosotis dress for some time. Then it dawned on me – there’ll be a BurdaStyle magazine pattern for that.

After a pleasant hour or so trawling through my Burda magazine collection I found just what I was looking for in the June 2009 issue – a long line loose shirt with this type of collar and bishop-ish sleeves. In my size range. Happy days!

Image source: the Russian Burda site

I traced off a size 46 bust and waist and size 48 hips, petite-ed 1 cm above the bust and cut it out in a beautiful cotton linen blend shirting weight Japanese twill from The Drapery.

The fit is very loose through the waist. Since taking these photos I’ve added fisheye darts to the back for shaping and to remove 4 cm in total in width through the waist. Its still delightfully loose.

I used 2 layers of self fabric to ‘interface’ the front bands and cuffs and one for the collar band. Why? The fabric has a looser weave than cotton shirting I’d usually use so I was a bit concerned that the heavier weight iron on interfacing I had on hand would cause bubbling or puckering after repeated washing. I probably should just up my interfacing game…

I didn’t consult the instructions for the cuffs, and didn’t realise I should have left a considerable underlap past the slit to allow for two rows of buttons

I really like this feature, but its too late now! I have one button and a considerable underlap including the slit. Trying to make up for it with a button of contrasting colour and contrasting thread.

Yes my hair does have a hint of pink. My hair salon changed over to a new brand of hair colour and this is what happened. We toned it down on the next visit. I’m already most of the stereotypes of a middle aged woman – I don’t feel ready for pink hair too. Yet.

Another feature no-one else sees when its being worn is the fun bias finish to the hem. This fabric was a souvenir from Denver purchased in 2011. I used it as trim on an unsuccessful dress project in 2013. Now very happily used on this shirt. There’s a bit of a theme here isn’t there? Pattern from 11 years ago, bias from 9. Only the fabric was brand new – purchased only weeks before being sewn.

I love the colour, the rumply linen goodness of the fabric and all the features of this pattern. Looks great with jeans and leggings too.

I probably shouldn’t jinx it and make this pattern ever again.

Classic fitted shirt: #114burda04/2010

More #daughtersewing.

A simple shirt elevated by excellent fabric and custom fit.

This is why we sew

 

The deets

Pattern: Burdastyle 04/2010 #114 (or, in instagram speak, thats #114burda04/2010)

Image result for Burdastyle 04/2010 #114

Size: 40 with 2.5 cm FBA

Changes: left off the breast pocket and back tab, interfaced with self fabric

Fabric: Jocelyn Proust printed cotton from Spotlight. Isn’t it glorious?

Buttons: from the stash.

And that snack she’s eating? Rory made them. Pork char siu in wonton wrappers.

No recipe. Just looked up the ingredients for the char siu spice and sauce mix and added it to pork mince. Then used this as the filling in wonton wrappers and deep fried the parcels.

They were delicious! He’s a star!

He Cooks [pork pies]… She Sews [a BurdaStyle shirt 04/2013 #138]

For all the cooking He Who Cooks does and She who Sews eats, you’d think she’d return the favour and does some sewing for him, wouldn’t you? The odd pair of boxers and an apron now and then just doesn’t cut it.

This is another way of saying I finally made Chris a shirt.

I don’t think he really enjoyed being on the other side of the camera!

I used a cotton from Spotlight and BurdaStyle 04/2013 #138

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I compared the pattern to his RTW shirts to find his size and traced off a 98. Burda’s size charts would have put him several sizes bigger. I didn’t check the sleeve length against his RTW shirts. And you’ll find out below why that was a mistake.

I was very pleased with how the sleeve tower placket came out

I got him to try the shirt on before I added the cuffs. The sleeves seemed too long. Rashly I chopped off 8 cm, and lost lots of those lovely tower plackets. The sleeves are now a bit short. Perfect for me though. Just saying.  This pattern also has narrow cuffs and a slim collar. Also perfect for me. Not that I’ve been wearing it. Much.

What about those Pork Pies?

Chris’s were based on a recipe for Raised Pork Pies from Valerie Barrett published in  BBC’s Good Food, July 2013.

The filling

Pastry top being added

Crimped edge and a hole to add the aspic through after baking

Egg wash (and 21 because it was for a 21st birthday picnic for a talented pastry chef @lyndarella47)

Just out of the oven

And then calamity struck.

Those pies came out of the tins very reluctantly. In fact one didn’t come out at all, as a pie. The other sort of came out in one piece, albeit looking much more rustic than intended. Yes that is a bobbin case in the background.

All’s well that ends well though. Only one pie was really needed for the picnic and the filling from the other one was absolutely delicious in a salad!

 

 

 

 

Christmas/New Year sewing

I love the easy days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Perfect for sewing! And this year my dear friend M joined me.

What’s better than a sewing day on Boxing Day? A sewing day on Boxing Day with a sewing friend! The catering by He who Cooks was pretty good too.

This Christmas/New Year sewing was all about Felicity. I’m working on a mini wardrobe in black and ivory and the first two garments were shorts and a shirt.

Sailor shorts

These are Burdastyle 06/2014 #122 in a size 40 and made up in a stretch cotton with about 25% stretch lengthwise and at right angles to the stripes. I cut them out so that the stretch went around the body. They are stretchy enough that a double needle hem was the best choice. So a knit in the form of a woven. What’s not to love?

I faced the waistband and upper fronts with a black poly cotton from the stash, and interfaced the poly cotton to give it some body.

I also made the conscious decision to not change my overlocker thread from white. Yes really. It matches the pinstripes. Ahem.

My reasoning for different facing fabric was that the stripes are ridged and might be uncomfortable against the skin. Also, all that stretch needed to be brought under some control.

I cut the waistband on the non stretchy direction to help with this too. Also I like the change in stripe direction!

Aren’t those buttons darling? They were from the stash, I had exactly the number I needed and they seemed the perfect buttons for sailor front shorts. It was meant to be.

I didn’t read the instructions well enough so the underlayer at the front was cut the same length as the upper layer. This was a bit of an issue at the bottom of the zip (there’s a zip under the button front) but I managed to get both the upper and under layer back together with some snipping.

This mistake did have the advantage of making pseudo pockets – I caught the underlayer into the hem and this meant everything was enclosed apart from the buttoned top and a tiny bit through the inner thigh. I think they’ll function as pockets ok. So all’s well that ends well.

Kalle shirt

I love Closet Case Patterns Kalle shirt pattern. And I love the Liberty lawn fabric I used for this version, even if it does have the odd name of Kevin.

It’s based on the celestial ceiling art in the hallway of a grand house in Scotland. The fabric has been in the stash for a year or two.

Gemini! Felicity’s star sign.

This Kalle shirt was made the same as all the other ones: I lengthened the crop top version by 10 cm but retained the faced hem.

The buttons for this one came from the stash too. I’m pretty certain their first life was on one of He who Cooks’s shirts.

I have enough shirt buttons in the stash to last more than a lifetime, yet I still cut them off worn out shirts. Someone will inherit a healthy button stash! I did and I love having buttons that I played with as a kid from my mum’s and nana’s button jar.

And what do these garments look like on Felicity?

Very cute.

Pseudo pockets in action.

Stealth sailor version (untucked)

Happy New Year!

My jacket journey to Itch to Stitch’s Hvar

My wardrobe is lacking in me made work appropriate winter jackets.  Not really surprising. Jackets, done properly, can be a lot of work.

So, I purchased a lovely silvery grey ponte from Tessuti with a soft but semi-structured jacket in mind. And spent a delightful few days looking through my patterns and being distracted by all sorts of other projects before settling on BurdaStyle 08/2013 # 106.

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I made a toile from leftover scuba to check the fit and to see how the style might look in a semi structured stretch fabric. Yes, I used two different remnants.

Gorgeous isn’t it!

And then I got cold feet. I decided that a woven stretch cashmere wool blend in my stash would be a much better match for this pattern. And also, a lot more work because proper tailoring would be required. So that project is still on the to-do list.

I still wanted to use the silvery ponte, so my next pattern choice was the Hvar Jacket by Itch to Stitch.

Itch to Stitch Hvar Jacket

This is a new to me pattern company.

I couldn’t possibly cut into that lovely silvery ponte without a toile! But I didn’t have enough of any other stable stretch fabric I was prepared to sacrifice for a toile.

So this time I committed to making a wearable muslin from a stretch synthetic suede that has been in my stash for almost as long as I’ve been a mum (Felicity has just turned 20…)

Yes, you know where this is going: silvery ponte still in the stash. I’m thinking it would make a great winter frock…

I’m very happy with my new suede blue jacket! It’s a nice mix between waterfall cardigan and formal jacket. With none of the work of tailoring or even lining.

This is a straight size 12 made up in a stretch synthetic suede. This fabric has about 10% stretch in one direction only.

I took the sleeve hems up a cm or two more than drafted but otherwise this is straight out of the packet, so to speak (it’s a PDF).

It’s not perfect but I’m happy enough with the fit. Good decision to make a wearable muslin. It’s very wearable!

And that blouse underneath the jacket?

I started making it last year and then got distracted.  It’s BurdaStyle 04/2010 #114 in Liberty’s strawberry thief tana lawn

114_shirt_large

I traced a size 44 and cut out as instructed except no pocket and no back loop. I’m happy with how it fits.

My efforts to pattern match paid off. There is something very satisfying about getting pattern matching right!

I didn’t use standard interfacing. Instead I used a cotton linen remnant as a sew in interfacing. I know no one can see it. But I loved this fabric and although the dress I made from it is long gone, it can live on with me in this shirt.

The ‘interfacing’ was fabric bought in the USA, the Liberty was purchased in the UK, the pattern is from Germany, I used Closet Case Files instructions from Canada for the collar points and the whole lot was sewn in Australia.

Multi-nationalism at its best!

Oops I did it again – Kalle Shirt

This time in June’s Meadow Liberty lawn.

I did the same things as last time – lengthened by 10 cm and used a cut on button band – but I also used another Liberty lawn print for the hem facings and inner yoke.

I’m really the only one who knows it there, but it makes me smile every time.

Don’t tell He who Cooks, but I bought both these fabrics from Tissus Reine in Montmartre, Paris intending to make him a shirt. In 2013. Clearly not ever going to happen. Much better as a shirt for me!

I love the high-low hem of this pattern

The skirt is BurdaStyle 10/2015 #106 which I’ve made before.

This time I accentuated the panels with poly satin bias binding, as a sort of flat piping.

The fabric is a delightful cream stretch cotton with a snakeskin texture.

Both garments were made from the stash. So glad they turned out so well because the fabrics were almost too precious to cut into. I’m sure no one else has that problem!

Baby pink linen Kalle shirt

I wish I was writing about having made multiple Closet Case Kalle shirts and shirts dresses.

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Sadly, I have only made one. So far.

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This is such a great pattern.

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I made the cropped version with the faced hem, but with 10 cm extra length.

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I like the idea of the chest pocket, but I added it to the wrong side. Oops.

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I was lazy and drafted a grown on button band rather than cutting  out a separate piece. I also didn’t interface anything. Don’t tell the sewing police.

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Aren’t the buttons delightful? They are souvenirs – vintage buttons purchased at the Portobello Road Markets.

I love this shirt.

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This first version is made in a linen cotton blend from Spotlight. I have several other virtual versions made in lace, patterned linen, chambray, silk chiffon….

I just have these things called work and Christmas and a family wedding that are preventing my sewing plans proceeding in an orderly fashion.

Anyone else have that problem? Any solutions, apart from winning the lottery?

Should I make a shirt dress to wear to the wedding? Should I make the bridesmaid a shirt dress? Don’t answer these last questions. I know I want to.

 

 

Very Hungry Caterpillar shirt and shorts: BurdaStyle 06/2013 #120 and 03/2016 #113

Alternative title: Late summer sewing I neglected to blog about earlier.

Alternative to the alternative title: three blog posts in as many days? what is going on?

Let’s go back to Felicity’s formal. That event needed an after party (AP) outfit.

White shorts and a cute shirt was my brief. Specifically, a cute shirt made from Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric.

(image source)

I was time poor, so a previously adjusted pattern was used: BurdaStyle 06/2013 #120

Back in October 2013, this pattern made a shirt-dress with lobsters and other food.

Cut shorter, and two and a half years later, this pattern made a fitted shirt with caterpillar and food. Hmm bit of a food thing going on here

A demure knee length skirt was not, of course, what she paired the shirt with at the AP!

The AP outfit was completed with white shorts and converse. I have no photos from the night. But trust me, it was cute.

I’ll tell you more about the shorts soon. Let’s stick with the caterpillar for a bit.

The shirt has a unique collar. Totally intentional of course (tongue firmly in cheek)

That’s what happens when you don’t have instructions with you, your traced pattern doesn’t include all markings, and you’re a bit of a shirt collar newbie.

Tab collars, I call them. Or gaping mouths. Totally on song for the fabric

Okay, confession over

For the shorts, I used a pattern from a recent BurdaStyle: 03/2016 #113

I might have even made these in the same month as I received the magazine. That happens only very occasionally.

This was my first fly front for more than twenty years. Burda’s instructions were not stellar. Heard that before?

The pocket trim is very cute.

The stretch cotton I used for the shorts has been in my stash for ages. It’s a ‘souvenir fabric’; from G Street Fabrics in Washington DC, a souvenir of an American Chemical Society annual meeting.

 

Now, talking about souvenir fabrics, I’m looking for some advice. London and Brighton advice.

I have work travel next week. It will include a tiny amount of free time: half an afternoon on the day I arrive in London (I call this walking around to get over jet-lag ) and perhaps half a Saturday afternoon after my conference ends in Brighton.

Should I sight-see or should I souvenir-fabric shop?

I’m kidding of course. My sightseeing will be fabric and sewing themed.

In London I’m thinking the high end fabric stores in Berwick Street, Soho. I think this might end up a bit more like a museum visit than a visit with intent to purchase. But I’ve not been to these shops before, and I have been to Goldhawk Road  and Liberty (and still have the fabric in the stash to show for it.. I need to sew more…). I would so love to visit the Man Outside Sainsburys, but my schedule doesn’t permit.

In Brighton I’m thinking Ditto Fabrics. I have also been commissioned to purchase chocolate from Choccywoccydoodah. Chocolate is close enough to fabric, right?

What do you think? Other things I should do or places I should go?

Shirting or skirting?

My favorite long charcoal linen skirt is so well worn its needs to be reincarnated as cleaning rags.

The style of my favourite skirt is very similar to this one in an old issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. And I love that scarf. And all of the other styling for the patterns in this English landed gentry collection. (Yes, Downton Abbey fan here).

So, I was all set to recreate my skirt.

I didn’t have black or charcoal linen in my stash but I did have a lovely piece of Italian skirting in grey.

It was not time to go shopping. It was time to turn the shirting into skirting.

He who Cooks (aka The Photographer) thinks the fabric should have been pants, or the skirt shorter (he is not over fond of long skirts). I nodded and said he had a good point. I didn’t volunteer the information about it being mens shirting…

He also suggested that I had forgotten to give it the final pressing. I think he’s right, especially from the back view.

It’s a lovely long skirt with a bit of swishiness without being over the top.

And it has pockets!

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 10-2009-127

Size: 38-46, I made a 42 at the waist grading out to a 44 over the hips. Too much food at Christmas and not enough exercise! (and probably also too many birthdays). I also made my normal 1.5 cm sway back adjustment.

Fabric: Italian shirting cotton, purchased in 2010 in Turin

Changes:

No lining and no fly front- an invisible zip in the back instead.

Double topstitching down the centre front, including the pleat, and on the pocket edges and hem.

Is that an arrow? Whoops, I think it might be.

Let’s just pretend its pointing to my happy smile!

The top is a shorter sleeve version of My Image M1152 made up in a gorgeous soft cotton jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I need more of these basics in my wardrobe.


A shirt, not another skirt

It seems like all I’ve sewn recently is skirts (well, five skirts is a lot I ‘spose). Then I realised I haven’t blogged about a simple sleeveless shirt I made amidst all those skirts. The shirt has already been seen on the blog, but I haven’t told you about it!

And I should have blogged about this because it’s probably the first time I’ve made a BurdaStyle Magazine pattern within a month of the magazine’s arrival in my post box! Woohoo!

It’s an interesting style, almost like something from the Pattern Magic books with the inward pleats at the neck .

I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this season, under jackets when its cooler and on its own when it warmer, either tucked in or belted out.

Technical details

Pattern: BurdaStyle 09-2011-128

Sizing: 36-44, I made a 42

Fabric: A light cream cotton batiste with a subtle sparkly surface treatment. This is the third garment I’ve made from this fabric.

Changes I made: None! This one was made up exactly as Burda instructed

I think I can see some more tops in this style in my future…