Saturday, 16 February 2013

Reviewed: Burda Plus 01-2013-433 Raglan Top

I made a thing! And it was successful! It's practically a miracle. And I made it with a pattern out of a magazine I just bought as well, which somehow restores my faith that my purchases are not entirely in vain.

01-2013-433 Line drawing
Top: Burda Plus 01-2013-433
More specifically, what I made was one of the things I highlighted in my review of Burda Plus 01/2013. Is it the most exciting pattern to ever exist? No, it most certainly is not. It's a simple woven raglan tee with four pattern pieces -- front, back and a two piece sleeve with a shoulder sleeve. However, it's absolutely the sort of pattern I want to audition as a possible TNT. I pictured this in less shiny fabrics as an ideal spring/summer layering top that could be worn to work over a camisole and under a cardigan. It's simple enough that I thought it would be good for prints where you don't want a lot of design details obscuring the fabric. It's rated 1.5 dots so it was also entirely within my skills range. This is kind of a wearable muslin, in the sense than I made it up straight into fashion fabric, just admittedly not a fabric I love.

You can read my pattern review over at PR or below, plus some extra bits I only put in my blog at the very end. My photos are basically terrible because I had to take them this evening and there is, of course, no natural light.

Burda Plus 01-2013-433  -- Top
Pattern Description: "... [this top] looks simply terrific with its wide round neckline and short raglan sleeves."

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 44-52. I used a 44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
 Yes, remarkably similar except for a couple of minor changes detailed below.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very straightforward. Burda may sometimes be as clear as mud as far as instructions are concerned but I will say this for them: their difficulty rating is spot on. This was rated a 1.5 dot pattern and there was nothing complicated about it. There were not many construction steps and they were all described perfectly adequately.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? As I'm in search of simple tops to become TNTs, I liked the simplicity of it, which I thought was well-suited to a variety of prints. I found I disliked the neckline and the length, both of which I adjusted.

Fabric Used: Polyester georgette in an abstract print in a mix of blues, greys and purples. I have to admit I bought this before I really knew what I was buying, fabric wise, and I've kind of regretted it ever since. Overall, I prefer natural fibres, but I don't hate it. My major concern was not ending up with a spirally bit of the pattern over my bust! I bound it with the remains of a pack of navy satin bias tape and this turned out not to be my best idea as it's too stiff and heavy for the georgette. I didn't get the best finish on the binding because of this.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: It's not obvious from the sample in the magazine, but the top was originally designed as tunic length. I don't generally wear a lot of tunic-length tops, so I therefore took about 13cm (~5") off the total length. I added neck darts (belatedly, which meant unpicking the binding on the neckline, ugh) and reshaped the neckline in order to get a more flattering cut. I also added a small width adjustment across the back.

FBA via darts into the raglan seam -- view of the inside since it's invisible on the outside!
I will always need an FBA in everything. I had never done an FBA on a raglan top before and in my wanderings around the internet in search of information I found several vintage patterns that positioned a dart coming from the shoulder seam in raglan style tops. For some reason this really appealed to me and I decided to give it a go. In this fabric with the swirling abstract print, the dart is nearly invisible irrespective of where it is positioned. Although I really like the shaping this dart gives me, I probably would default back to a regular bust dart if I were using a fabric where it would be very visible, like the shiny satin in the sample in the magazine. Finally, my fabric shredded horribly and is semi-opaque at best, so I did french seams throughout, and overlocked it before folding up a tiny hem.

Neck darts on the back neckline, also the french seams are just about visible
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don't know whether I will sew it again. I was auditioning it as a possible TNT. I do like some things about it very much, especially how quickly and easily I was able to make this top. However, there were some small fit issues that I need to fix before making it again, manly to do with the sleeve. Perhaps more of a killer though is that I'm not totally convinced this is the most flattering style for me. I'll wear it, but whether I want more than one is a different question. As far as recommending it to others, this is one of those "if you already have the magazine..." patterns. I don't think it's a pattern to make people rush to find their own copy, but if you have it already, it's a well-drafted, easy pattern that will produce a top in very little time.

Conclusion: I like this top, but I don't LOVE this top.



I used 1.5m of the georgette, which cost me £4/m including p&p, so about £6. The only other thing in this top was some purchased satin bias binding, which I had left over from a previous bag project. I have absolutely no idea how much it cost me, so I'm arbitrarily going to say £1 for the piece I had left. So, allowing for thread and other overheads, probably about £8 for this top.


- The neckline really isn't perfect and the most annoying this is that the bias binding will not lie flat. I think it's an issue of the binding being heavier than the fabric. This is the second time I've used satin bias binding on a flimsy fabric top and the second time it's gone wrong. Maybe I should stop repeating the same errors and hoping for a different outcome?

- Some of the seams are a bit puckery, especially down the long side seams. Nothing that would stop me wearing it, but annoying nevertheless. I think it's the way the georgette feeds through the machine.

+ This is by far my most successful FBA and I outright love the darts that terminate in the seam with the raglan sleeve. I feel like this is Armhole Princess Is The Best! epiphany all over again  because everytime I do anything with shaping from the armhole it seems SO MUCH easier than bust darts and so much more flattering too.

+ Other than the neckline, which is legitimately terrible, the finish I got on this was great. I love French seams for the way they make the insides look so nicely finished. I mean, I had no actual choice with this top because the fabric just disintegrated as I sewed, but still.


  1. I love your top. I think the ribbon pops it. Very nice indeed.

    1. Thank you! I wish it weren't so polyester-plastic feeling against my skin, but I am pleased with it overall. :D