A basic black Burda tank

It’s typical that I end up making the most boring, basic pattern out of the crazy-amazing June issue of Burda magazine! But I’d traced this out as soon as the magazine arrived, and I was in desperate need of a quick “me project” after a very busy week of work sewing. So I sat down on Sunday morning after breakfast, and had this finished before we left for a BBQ at lunchtime! I literally couldn’t have gone to the shops and back in that time…

This really is just a basic, jersy tank/vest with a racerback as its only detail, so I paired it with some “problem fabric” I had in my stash – I bought this from Minerva at the end of last summer and it wasn’t really what I was expecting. It’s a thin, black viscose jersey with but lines of dense stitching which make the fabric in between the lines sort of gather and pucker. Cool to wear, but a total arse to cut out as it moves all over! It was also fairly linty, so I’m glad to be able to wear it instead of sewing it!


(Seen here paired with my pre-Mexico neopreney leggings and shot on location at a friend’s back garden, BBQ just out of shot!)

The original Burda pattern contains a dart. In a knit. Darts in knits just feel like lazy drafting to me, so I eliminated it by just lowering the front armscye a bit and ignoring the dart legs. Easy! It was then just a matter of overlocking (serging) the shoulder and side seams, where I then gave it a quick try-on.

Oh dear. I’m not sure if it was the fabric or the pattern, but the top was very gapey and baggy at the underarms, and the back neck was hanging suspiciously low, too. So I gave it an extremely unscientific fix of pulling up the shoulder straps by about 3-4 inches and sewing new shoulder seams. This raised the back neckline and the underarms, and made it fit much better. Since the hem was more tunic length anyway, it’s still plenty long enough.

I didn’t actually look at the directions at all, but I’m guessing they say to turn the edges under and topstitch. On tight curves, that’s pretty much impossible to achieve a good look. I’d recommend either binding with FOE, or using 1cm elastic and turning under, like I advise in my XYT Workout Top pattern instructions. But I happened to have 2m of this black lycra stretch binding from Minerva in my stash, with was just the right length and looks super great as a finish!

For a top that was pretty much free and took me under an hour to sew, I’m very happy with it. It got a troublesome fabric out of my stash and into my wardrobe, and it’s a great basic to throw on with leggings. It’s a lot roomier at the waist and hips than it seemed in the magazine photos, but this just means it’s a natural pairing to wear over leggings.

I’d love to say that I cut the fabric with the stitched stripes at an angle on purpose, but I can’t lie to you guys! But also speaking honestly, I kinda like it skew-iff!

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