Lady grey retro top

burda top 131 back

I saw the pattern for this top in the May issue of Burda Style (2012) and it made the project list, even usurping the more ‘urgent’ projects! The back as you can see is fabulously buttoned all the way down which I love but have you ever tried buttoning yourself up back to front? I have got better with practice though, and I reckon I could give Houdini a run for his money now!

burda top 131 front

The fabric suggestion was for embroidered batiste. I didn’t have any of that to hand but knew the fabric had to be a little bit interesting to make the front not look so boring! I have a heap load of this white eyelet stuff in my stash. I thought it was cotton but when I did the burn test it proved not! I still thought it would be better dyed. I always feel a bit prim and proper in white! This is the result of using black dye on a not so totally natural white fabric…

eyelet fabric detail

I quite like how it turned out. The dye coverage is uneven, probably only colouring the small amount natural fibre content to get this linen look. And the embroidered detail, which I knew was synthetic, unsurprisingly remained white.

retro top front

I went up a size from my usual, (given the few extra pounds that have decended upon me recently) but to be honest I probably needn’t have done. The style is very boxy even though it has front and bust darts. But it is very cool to wear, perfect for what appears to be our summer (not holding my breath) and perfect for teaming with pencil skirts for work.

retro top front view by wall

So apart from taking it a size smaller the only other alteration I would make is to the neckline. The instructions were to sew the bias binding 1cm past the seamline. This struck me as a bit weird as it would have been easier not to have added a seam allowance in the first place, surely? Anyhows I sewed the bias binding ON the seamline…. afterall isn’t that what a seamline is for? It turned out ok, much like a vintage jewel neckline but I am going to try omitting the seam allowance next time, just to give a little more room to breathe!

36 Replies to “Lady grey retro top”

  1. I am just finishing up my first bound neckline- your work is as usual lovely and timely!! Once you get that buttoning and unbuttoning mastered, I’m sure no prison will hold you!

    1. ‘Bound neckline’… is that what it’s called? Learn something new every day. Thank you Prttynpnk. I need to muster up some energy before I take it off this evening. Could easily pull a muscle… not as flexible as I used to be!

  2. My mother used to wear a lot of these type tops in the late 50’s early 60’s (always white, but with the heavy embroidery) and she used to team them with short or long sleeved cardigans and Fletcher Jones pleated skirts. I think she liked them because of the smoother line across the front with no gaping. I just love your dye effect and it looks knockout with a pencil skirt!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. Your mum sounds like a very stylish lady! I think cardi’s are definitely the way forward. 🙂

  3. Yay for dyeing, you’ve created a unique piece of cloth! Very cute top. I do wonder about the seam allowance bizzo and the only logical explanation I’ve ever come up with is that by making them the same all over a garment and trimming back, we don’t get confused about how wide to sew the seam allowance. This coming from a recent experience working with a vintage pattern that had different ones for just about every blinking seam,and it required way too much brain power! 🙂

    1. Thank you MrsC. Yes, I have come up against a vintage one recently that had different seam allowances too. Not one to be making late at night after a glass of vino!

  4. Super cute! I really like the effect of the dye and I got the giggles picturing the contortions involved in doing up all those buttons!
    I’ve never tackled a Burda pattern but that my next challenge, a linen coat for my daughter. I’m doing a burda magazine pattern. They have no seam allowances? Right???

    1. Thank you sewbusylizzy! I can assure you that Burda patterns are addictive once you get started. A child’s linen coat sounds gorgeous. What issue is it from? And yes… very important to remember… you must add on the seam allowance of 15mm! 🙂

      1. The issue is April 2012. I have not been able to get Burda magazines where I live but picked up a copy in Sydney last week during a work trip. I think I MUST subscribe. I’m making it in a large pink floral with touches of green. It’s quite ‘grown up’ but I think it will look delightful in her. I’m also making a white dress with a matching sash to go under the coat. It’s for her confirmation, I’m quite excited by the whole project!

        1. Oh that sounds gorgeous. I have that issue somewhere. I must dig it out and have a look.Good luck with it all. I’m sure you will do an amazing job 🙂

    1. It is indeed very lightweight and not very much cotton content as far as I can tell so I am surprised too! Love it when an experiment goes good for a change! 🙂

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