Pattern Review: Linen Tunic, Burda Magazine 7-2008-108

I’m writing today’s post from jury duty today. Six dollars for internet access is well worth the price of fighting off boredom.

Today I thought I would post my third piece in the East Coast to Far East capsule. This tunic pattern is from the July 2008 Burda Magazine. It also has a dress length option. BTW, I forgot to mention that all the linen I’m sewing with was washed in piping hot water four times and run through a hot dryer once. I pressed the length with loads of steam before cutting my patterns out.

The great thing about this pattern is now I totally know what I would look like pregnant.

I started in a 40 and graded to a 44 in the hip area. I think I may need to go back to my 38 bodice, make an FBA and grade out for hips.

I like the tunic with the straight legs of these GAP trouser jeans. I hate it with my wide leg linen trousers (chico’s). This tunic is not at all my style, but it’s really grown on me! I think it’s a little wide in the neck for my taste — possibly stretched from my not interfacing it. I also have fairly narrow shoulders for my frame. In linen, the pleat is not quite as graceful. Actually, I should have probably made the pleat deeper as a quickie FBA adjustment.

While most people shortened theirs, I wouldn’t mind if it was about an inch or two longer.  I eliminated the pockets. And (see below) for the back, I cut the yoke on the fold. Eliminated the zipper at center back and made a swayback adjustment.

Burda loves an unnecessary zipper, don’t they?

It fits rather well with my East Coast to Far East capsule and I will happily wear it on weekends and this September. Above, is one of the two carry ons I’m considering. It’s a Timbuk2 Getaway Carryon Bag. You know, eBags has free shipping both ways? I like that it was made in the USA. I like that the top folds down (below) when the bag isn’t full.

It’s super lightweight yet rugged. It has great compartments. But, the straps need to be longer for when it’s full or they need a super long shoulder strap in addition to the short ones.

Next up: tangerine linen A-line skirt


  1. I like this tunic on you. And bravo on the intensive fabric prep, LOL! Better safe than sorry. I agree the longer length would be nice too, make it a true tunic.

    Are the Burda pants wider than your trouser jeans at the hem? The linen makes them stand out really wide and that could be misleading. Or you could narrow the linen pants slightly? To match the trouser jeans?

    One thing I really love about linen (and the cotton shirting I’m sewing now) is how well they take an iron as my grandmother would say. I’m not usually a fan of ironing or pressing but it’s really fun with the right fabrics!

    When are you making my skirt? I’m sooo crazy in love with the orange linen, you can’t begin to understand. I hated orange for the longest time and all of a sudden, it’s growing on me. I think it’s because of all the compliments I get with the 2 orange RTW knit tops I’ve owned in my adult life. I think I finally got the hint, LOL! In any case, orange fabric, preferably linen, is on my shopping list because of you.

    • I already made the skirt! I hemmed it last weekend. I’ll probably post it tomorrow with this tunic. Or the poet blouse. It’s really pretty and I love the color too. I don’t mind ironing and all. I love the way a crisply ironed garment looks! And, I even like starching.

      The pre-treatment really softens the linen and all the wrinkles I got were more tumbled than creased.

      The linen pants are definitely wider. By how much? I’m not sure. The GAP trouser jeans are heavier too. So they don’t look quite as flowy.

  2. Me again. I went back to look over your capsule and thought of something. Have you considered a vest-style top as the other top?

    I had this really nice one that became an almost TNT I made it at least 3 times for me, and maybe twice for my mother and 1 cousin. It was fitted, with princess seams and cut with a high neckline so not the usual Burda cleavage. Really chic, IMO.

    This was in the late 90s so I wore it with palazzo pants but also jeans and a skirt.

  3. I do exactly the same with linen-wash it several times, dry it several times, press the dickens out of it…the stuff is nearly indestructable, but it takes a bit of fabric abuse to get an idea of how it will look when it’s “lived in”.

  4. Cute tunic..looks incredibly comfortable. Laughed at your comment re: “Burda loves unnecessary zippers.” Yes, they do, but you are skilled enough to realize when a zipper really is unnecessary. White linen..a favorite of mine.

  5. OK – I’ll accept that YOU don’t like the look of the top. You seem to like your clothing more ‘body-con’ in any case. But I’ve got to tell you that I think the top (even with the “Chico-esque’ linen pants)looks fab on you. I also think that even with the wide neck, you will find that when you are in Southern China, it will serve you well in the ‘air conditioning’ department. And the bag looks great – I’ll have to look into that.

    • I’m with Toby! That’s hella cute! And you don’t look pregnant, silly. Love, love, LOVE linen.

      I picked out my travel bag, too. Don’t know if I posted the link for you. The great thing about Lands End is that they usually have some sort of free shipping option going on, and if you decide you’re not totally sold on the product, you can return at your local Sears.

      Also: padded shoulder strap! Heavy-duty ballistic nylon!
      (but if you’re going for an optional purse look, this ain’t the bag for you.)

  6. That’s a gorgeous smile you have in that last picture! I like the tunic on you. May not be your style, but I think it suits you.

  7. Very, very cute. Not preggers at all, trust us. You’re probably going to love it even more because it comfortable and you washed the heck out of it, so you can’t botch cleaning it on your trip.

    Love the carry-all too. You know it goes with your outfit too. 🙂

  8. I like it. Also, really like the linen pants. I actually love linen, but dislike Chicos, so I don’t know what that says. I really don’t want to wear drapey linen caftans but for summer I want to wear linen and that is the exact reason I got into this sewing hobby–but it has turned out to be a frustrated attempt to build a better fitting, linen-based summer wardrobe. So these posts have been interesting and inspiring.

    I bought an oversized linen tunic with the intention of downsizing it but eh. whatev….maybe someday. Ok. Yes I’m wearing it. But that’s because it’s so frickin hot and it’s actually very comfortable. I have novice skills but I’m trying to visualize how to adjust it to take out the baby bump in front and the parachute effect in back. Tricky.

    Do you have any thoughts on the School House tunic as a version less likely to suggest maternity?

    • That is a very cute pattern! The preggers look doesn’t bother me per se. I find it kind of cute and whimsical. That pattern from Sew Liberated doesn’t read pregnancy to me at all. It’s been well pressed and has a much more defined style line. I like it!

  9. I like this. It’s another pattern that I overlooked in the magazine and like when I see it on a real body. Thanks, also, for the sneak peak of the pink fry pan in your kitchen!

  10. I love your outfit! The white tunic with those jeans looks really stylish. Above all though I think it’s your gorgeous smile – priceless! Great photos of you! You are rocking this outfit.

  11. That top is totally cute! I’d like to see it lengthened to tunic length. It would be superb!

  12. That top does NOT make you look pregnant. It also does not make you look fat. It looks comfortable with just the right amount of ease, and well-made, too. Good job!

  13. As person who has been pregnant in the recent past, please be assured you do NOT look preggers in this top! It’s very cute on you. Love it!

  14. I really like the tunic!! It looks cute on you, even if you think it makes you look pregnant!
    Ugh on the whole jury duty thing. I went through that hassle a year or so ago. Thank goodness I was NOT picked for the big trial! The guy was a thief and we had been burglarized a few years earlier. I guess they thought I couldn’t be impartial!! Suited me fine. He was also a murderer and the trial went on for several days.

  15. I love this tunic. It looks really comfortable for hot weather but appropriate for work too. Seems like a lot of things are too low cut in the front for me and I don’t have the experience to alter the pattern yet. But that will come with time.

    Congrats on the cute look!

  16. I love your blog. Gives a newbie so much inspiration. Where do you purchase your linen? Local stores or online. I’m looking for some wonderful linens that are very wearable and flowy for the wide leg pants I’m going to attempt. I will try the Burda pants you made if I can get my paws on the pattern. Thanks for your response.

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