Burda surplice gathered top

I can’t believe I’ve actually made a Burda WOF pattern in the same calendar month as the magazine! I think this is only the second time ever I’ve been able to do that, but I saw BWOF 01/09 #110 and instantly saw a perfect pairing with the print lycra knit I bought on Goldhawk Road:

(Thanks, Trena, for the swatch/drawing pairing idea!)

I’m actually going back there this weekend so I’m definitely going to raid the shop I bought this in, because the feel and drape of this lycra is fantastic, and at £3.50/m, you really can’t beat it!

The only problem was, I’d only bought one meter of this fabric (I think the layout calls for something like 1.6 meters) so I had to get a bit creative with the fabric layout, but it all worked out perfectly after some quick thinking. I had to place the two front pieces on the cross grain (which is why the stripes run vertically on the front, and horizontally on the inset, back, and sleeves!).

I also changed the neckline finish on this. When I cut out the pieces I wasn’t sure how I’d do it, so I still added the usual 5/8” seam allowance, but then by some incredible coincidence, I realised that, of the two colours of FOE (fold over elastic) I own, one of them matches the teal-blue in this fabric exactly. And I mean exactly. I couldn’t have planned that if I’d tried! I’d bought that FOE from Kleins in Soho months before I bought the fabric, too. A nice by-product of using FOE to finish the neckline is that I ended up with a slightly higher neckline than I would’ve if I’d just turned and stitched the seam allowance, and the elastic gently hugs against the body so I’ve got no worries about gaping whatsoever.

The only other minor change was that I reordered the construction so I could sew the sleeves in flat instead of round. It’s loads, loads easier to do it this way on the serger, and even before I owned mine, I still set them in flat on my sewing machine whenever possible, so I’ve got no idea why pattern companies still insist of setting in knit sleeves that way…

Oh, and as I was hemming the bottom edge with my twin needles, I inadvertently came across a great tip here, and that’s to hem both fronts as one so you don’t get caught between the front layers when putting it on! That ended up being a problem when I was trying it on to check the fit mid-construction so I definitely wanted to avoid that in the finished top.

All in all, I absolutely love this top! The pattern is so flattering, the draft is spot on, the fit is fantastic, and with the gathered inset piece, you’ve got some visual interest that takes it above the average surplice top. Definitely a winner, and one I’m happy to make again if I can find some more great knits this weekend…

Leave a Reply