Thursday, 16 June 2016

Flying Squirrel (Burda 07-2011-116)

Ages ago, someone doing a review of an issue of Burda magazine referred to one of the tops as a flying squirrel top. It wasn't the pattern I used for this new top (in fact, I think the pattern in question was this plus-size tunic top) but ever since that has been how I mentally labelled all voluminous Burda batwing tops. And now, I have made a flying squirrel top for myself!

Burda 07-2011-116A (images from
This is by no means a rare shape of pattern for Burda, so when I decided to make one I considered a handful of flying squirrel patterns from various issues. In the end I chose Burda 07-2011-116A (link goes to where it is for sale, note that I do NOT do affiliate links) mainly because I thought the seamline positioning and the asymmetric neckline were interesting. (The difference between 116A and 116B is a matter of the hem finishing only -- A has a folded hem and sleeve hem, where B uses bias binding.)  I also liked how the top narrows to fit more closely at the hip and then blouse over -- the mannequin image is misleading in this respect, as both the modelled versions clearly show this in the magazine. This catch-at-the-hip thing is something I like a lot: previously I made about a million iterations of a t-shirt with a similar feature from Ottobre 02-2013.

The gigantic back bodice pattern piece -- it's about a metre square
The pattern has only three pieces -- a very (very!) large back piece that wraps to the front at the top and sides, a front piece and a facing. The pattern goes together absolutely beautifully. Seriously, it's a lovely, quick, well-designed piece of sewing. I am not normally a fan of facings, but I do appreciate the facing in this pattern that finishes this neckline so neatly, and the way the asymmetric neckline goes together. The most time consuming parts of this pattern were in fact (a) tracing out the enormous back pattern piece and mirroring it, and then only because the pattern was too big for my cutting/tracing table so I had to clear my kitchen table to trace it out and (b) positioning the pattern on the fabric so that I didn't have any of the giant circular features directly over my bust.

Burda 07-2011-116A - front

This pattern is actually a Tall pattern, the first I've made. It was available in a size 76-92, which translates to a Tall 38-46. After measuring up the pattern to get a sense of finished size, I ended up making pretty much a straight 84 (Tall 42). Mostly I've been making 44s recently, though I'm actually exactly mid-way between a 42 and a 44 at neck/bust/waist. On this occasion I felt like the smaller size would fit better through the neckline than the 44, and there is a lot of design ease through the bust so I wasn't worried about fit. My hip measurement is a solid size 40, but I didn't taper. I maybe could have sliced off a tiny bit at the hem to have it fit more closely, but my feeling was that after I turned the hem and accounted for the extra bulk of wearing the top over trousers, the 42 would also be a decent fit through the hip. Finally, though I'm theoretically too short for Tall patterns -- I'm 172.5cm tall vs. the Tall draft being for women 176cm tall -- as written this top is actually almost exactly the normal length I make my woven tops and I therefore made no length adjustments.

Burda 07-2011-116A - back

I used more or less all 2m I had of this rather narrow (about 135cm wide) Korean dandelion print viscose to make it. I realized, too late of course, that the way the shoulder yoke is constructed means the print is upside down at the front shoulder, but fortunately I had managed to position the pattern piece such that the print, while legitimately directional, isn't too obviously directional in the sections that are wrapped over from the back. (This was totally due to luck, not good judgement.) The fabric is rather more see-through than I like, so I will definitely not be wearing it without a camisole underneath.

Crappy Instagram photo on me. I planned to take more photos today but then I wore it out shopping and got rained on
Overall, I am really pleased with this top. After I finished, I immediately imagined using this pattern for a top for work, done in colour block. I think it would be really pretty in crepe-de-chine with a darker colour back/shoulder and a lighter front piece. So, while I probably won't use this pattern again for a casual top while this floral viscose version is in my wardrobe, I can definitely see myself using it again someday. :D

Next up: I'm just about to start tracing another simple woven Burda top, but this time a more recent pattern.


  1. "I considered a handful of flying squirrel patterns " hahahahaha!!!!

    I love Burda. Crazy as they may be...their brand of crazy works. This is really cute! It has that easy wear vibe without being boring.

    1. I really love Burda as well. It's just a woven tee, really, but it's just got enough design elements to make it interesting!

  2. You've reminded me I have this pattern somewhere. Thank you for the review - I may well dig it out and give it a go as I love your version.

    1. Thanks! It's a nice little pattern, I recommend it!