Sunday, April 29, 2018

Closet Orphan - Burda Scuba Paneled Top 11/2017 #119

I think I have made a sewist's version of a closet orphan. A garment you love, but that proves very difficult to pair with other items. It seldom gets worn because it doesn’t play nicely within the context of outfits.  

There are various way a closet orphan get into a non sewers closet. Purchased because it was such a bargain or for the fantasized version of a lifestyle, size or image. The sewer's version can be sewn  for the same fantasized items, but some other things, at least for me, can also contribute.   The first is being inspired by a garment pattern with an interesting style or detail that I want to try sewing, and the second is having the same or similar fabrics, used on the garment in the pattern photo, aging in my stash.    I  really need to think about  the questions below, and give myself  honest answers.

Is it a good style for my body?
Does it fit my lifestyle?  Reminder this is 70 %  office casual for work, 28% weekend, 2% special occasion
Appropriate fabrics in stash?
Are the fabrics in flattering colors. Another reminder, some fabrics are in your stash cause they are colors that are not flattering to you.
Wardrobe versatility  - will it play well with garment in my wardrobe now? Not ones I could sew in the future.

The color blocking  and seaming  of this top caught my attention. I thought the style was one that would work for me. Peplums are okay  and raglan sleeves are okay, but require alterations. Fabric, well because of my ginormous stash, I had the appropriate fabric. Wool jersey knit purchased because "it was such a bargain" (Fabric Mart,  I know there are others out there that bought at the same time, I remember the discussion board enabling). The colors tan, brown, and orange coordinate and used in the light to darker order in the top create a slimmer silhouette. Are they flattering colors for me? Not so sure. Well the beige is the best color to be near my face. Better  than the orange or the baby sh*t brown ( bad babysitting memory) or milk chocolate as I believe it is often called.

I sewed this top back in January. I  enjoyed the process  and seeing the top come together. There were lots of long narrow pattern pieces that tended to curl up because my tracing paper is stored on a roll and evidently has a shape memory.  Lots of seam edges to add 5/8 inch seams to. I altered the back bodice and raglan sleeves for upper back curvature.  I sewed the top together on the  sewing machine using 5/8 inch seams. And only after making sure it fit well and all alterations were done did I serge   the seams to remove extra fabric from the seam allowances.  Before sewing in the sleeves,  I  hand basted them to the garment to match all the points where the color bands meet.  I didn’t use the recommended exposed back zipper, instead opting for a small slit at the neckline with hook and eye closure.

I love the fit and comfort of this top, but the peplum is very flared and ends right at my body's widest area.  I am not real thrilled with the look worn with slim fitting trousers.   Maybe a skirt would look better. A pencil skirt in the beige or brown wool or an orange/ brown tweedy fabric. A skirt I don't have. So for now I will put this top in my closet and I will revisit  it in the fall. Spring sewing project are queueing up.

Furball Photo Bomber


Any sewn orphans in your closet?


  1. I think it looks great on you - and with all your pant parings - maybe it's a case of letting your eye adjust ? I have just made a pair of jeans from the Burda plus size section. I used some black and white abstract print to make them - they look kind of retro, jungley tie dye clown pants crazy to me and I haven't got anything to wear them with - as you say, it's about thinking through all the variables. I love the fabric but maybe it was never going to be for me in any shape or form.

  2. Its better with the brown trousers I think as the eye continues the line down from the side of the body and down the trousers and I don't notice the hip line. Wider brown trousrs perhaps?

  3. I think it looks great with the dark pants.

    I have a lot of sewn orphans. Most of them are supposed to be wearable muslins. I've learned that just because it's wearable doesn't mean it will get worn! But once I finish them I usually lose the enthusiasm to remake it in more flattering/appropriate fabric.

  4. I'm chuckling - I've done this. Rather than worry about, I donated it :-)

  5. I think the top looks great on you without the necklace. If you have more of the lightest colour fabric how about a skirt or pants in it? I think it would be a very elegant outfit.

  6. That's a great top! I prefer it with the light pants - makes it look like an outfit that you got from a very high end boutique. I also think the light pants make it look more spring summery. Absolutely love it!!!

  7. I love this on you. I like the colors and overall style too. How did I miss out on this FM woo jersey though?

  8. I think it looks great with the slim pants. Maybe not the last pair but that could just be my taste.

  9. This is a wonderful top! I do hope that you figure out what you'll wear it with, because it really shouldn't hide out in the closet.

  10. Your idea of a tweed brown orange fabric sounds perfect. A great necklace or statement jewelry accents will pull it all together. Thank you again for posting!

  11. I vote for pairing it with a pencil skirt, in a solid or a petite floral print. It's a unique top and fits you perfectly, and I really hope you find (or make!) something that you like it with.

  12. WOW! I love that top on you, especially with the darker pants. It shows off your great figure too! I bet if you wore it out you'd get lots of unsolicited compliments.