I went a bit off piste with this month's Minerva make. My intention was to expand my experience by making my first ever make from a Burda magazine. The candidate was this Panelled jersey shirt in the October 2013 magazine's "Woodstock collection". I was taken by the use of two fabrics but also the Henley neck opening & the batwing sleeves. More than just "a top" & worthy being assigned a Minerva make I felt. And when you see that this is what Burdastyle have to say,

"This is the perfect cozy shirt to wear with jeans when you still want a little style. Mixed prints keep your jeans-and-a-tee look from being boring, and have a bohemian vibe in ditzy florals",

How can you resist? Bohemian it was going to be.

So with this decision in mind I scoured the Minerva website for some potential fabrics. I would have shamefully copied the Burda take on it for safety but wasn't able to identify anything like the Liberty jersey used by Burda. I therefore had to think differently & opted for this wonderful 'traditional birds jersey print'. I did not attempt to guess a coordinating plain jersey so asked Vicki at Minerva to find me some that would tone perfectly with the background blue. Sorted. The same with buttons too, but in green.
Unfortunately both these fabrics have now sold out at Minerva, but they have soo many other jersey fabrics to choose from, you can come up with your own!
So I had my supplies, now to get on with my Burda adventure. It was the first time I'd traced from a Burda mag, so that was a learning experience. I found that using a tracing wheel with my pattern paper underneath worked best for me. There are some strange shaped pieces for this top though! It really is a challenge in itself doing this tracing, not just finding the pieces amongst the nest of other pattern pieces, but also identifying all of the pattern markings. Then not forgetting to add the seam allowances. I was glad that this was actually a relatively simple shaped garment to make with only four pieces. And it doesn't help that there is also a longer line version of this made into a dress which became very confusing when I was actually sewing together…
But anyway. Burda magazines seem to provide more detailed instructions each month for one chosen pattern, & coincidentally it was this top in October. What luck. It gave me a bit more instruction about the Henley neck opening, which was helpful. But as I had not properly located pattern markings I can tell you I got in a right tizz piecing the sleeves to the back & front. Especially as mentioned above, the pieces to be sewn together gave no clues in their matching lengths as I'd cut one piece at the dress length! But I got there in the end.

This top is made with a front and a back – clearly shown in the solid blue. Each side is a single piece that wraps around from the side front to the side back & the shoulder seam encloses the sleeve with a seam all down the top of the arm. These are very big pieces to cut out! To make sure I matched patterns I cut them singly to attempt to get two identical sleeves.

Once I'd pieced together the body & sleeves of the garment the neckline & neck opening seemed straight forward! Not that I have sewn many placket openings, & never in a knit. Good experience as this is a lovely neckline for tops I think. I'm reasonably happy with it, but feel that the right angles at the bottom horizontal piece could be sharper! Next time…

So the top itself? When I wear it I feel like I'm having some amazing psychedelic experience (there – that's the Woodstock element then!). The "batwings" really are far out!- wing-like & large! Maybe I could have got away with making a smaller size, I don't know. I think with a lighter weight jersey the top would feel different, with more drape to these wings of desire.

But it's a great comfy top. I love the colour matching & as you can see it's great for getting flour all over when baking…!