Empire Waist, Surplice Green Sweater: Burda 5-2009-103

 photo DSC_0148_zpshqw7nidi.jpg I imagine this is the last cold-weather top left in me before I start some spring sewing. I just CANNOT with winter anymore. Is it me, or as you get older, do you just get totally over cold weather? We had a surprise snow storm over the weekend.  They called for 1 – 3 inches and we ended up getting 7 – 10. The roads were such a mess! We were slipping and sliding all over, got stuck at an intersection and had to leave our car on the side of the road. We ended up taking a bus home (yay for mass transit!) plus a one mile walk. After all that, I STILL didn’t make my 10,000 steps. Grrrr. I’m really over winter. Just four weeks until spring!  photo DSC_0156_zpskajufpxs.jpg I think the greens of this sweater knit sort or looks forward to spring, don’t you?  It’s interesting, I rarely sew green. I love a green nail polish, but think I’ve sewn only two green items. This luscious fabric is from my December 2013 trip to Mood. Anywho, it’s very similar in look as this blue cowl top and this blue sweater dress (Loved that dress. I should have treated the fabric better). But, this knit is the sturdiest of the three with far better recovery. And, as I type this, I just remembered that I can’t remember if I pre-treated before cutting or not. Ugh. I think I didn’t pre-treat and have sewn myself a dry-clean only sweater #RookieMistake  photo 000001764893_zpsxgaoqpx1.jpg I chose this pattern because it combined a wrap top with a fitted waist. Both  features good for a busty hourglass. And I LOVE it.  photo DSC_0158_zps6wca3i4m.jpg I sewed a 40 grading to a 44 at the hip. I also tried taking 1/3 inch off the shoulder seams. I usually take 1/4 inch and think I may stick with that. Sadly, I find the neckline wide for me and had a bunch of photos where you could really see my bra strap — versus the ones here where it’s just peeking. I’ve since altered the pattern adding another 1/2 inch to the neckline on each side. I made a 1.5 inch  FBA on this top and added a bust dart, it’s almost invisible in this sweater knit. I’ve since added to the pattern an additional 1/2 inch under the bust. If there is something I personally can’t stand it’s a bust bifurcated by a seam. It makes me ragey and sad inside.  photo DSC_0161_zpsqajbs9zy.jpg Looking at the made up version from the magazine, it looks like my bust is just eating up all the length in the bust. Maybe what I need it a bigger FBA rather than just throwing some length on to the upper bodice. And, let’s face it. This is too low cut on its own.  I’ve raised the neckline 1/2 inch for my next version.  photo 000001764897_zpschvrm3vr.jpg    photo DSC_0163_zpseys2zy3k.jpgI like how I walked around all day with a massive center part at the back of my head from my twist out. I really need to get a second mirror in the bathroom.  Moving on, as drafted, the pattern already has a center back seam so I made my swayback adjustment at the waist line. I think the darts give awesome shaping.  photo DSC_0129_zpshs3bm7si.jpg I think this would be better on me a few inches longer (becuz I hates my thighs). So, I’ve also altered the pattern to add three inches in length.  photo DSC_0152_zpsva1hos3w.jpg There you have it. A good sweater that I hope will be great the next time I make it. Can’t you see this in spring weight knit with 3/4 sleeves?


  1. I could be biased because green is my favorite color, but I really think you need to sew more green! This sweater looks FANTASTIC on you, and it can only be better with your new tweaks. 🙂

    And yes, winter can kiss my big ol’ butt. I’m SO over it.

  2. I like this color on you a lot – sew more of it!
    I won’t torture you with all the spring blooming going on here in Oregon . Yesterday a grandma came into where I work and announced she was moving to Indiana. We looked at her in horror of old person trapped in house because of too much snow until she explained her three grandchildren live there.
    You guys on the East Coast have been hammered this winter.

  3. Love this top on you and I think you should wear green more often as it looks fantastic on you. I enjoy your blog posts.

  4. Really well done! The style and color suits you beautifully. Sadly, I know that feeling of getting excited about a project, and then maybe forgetting to prep the fabric before cutting… But aren’t sweater knits fun!

    • Until I can get my heads on a knitting machine and master it like you, sewing sweaters is going to have to be my thing!

      On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 11:13 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


      • What a sweet thing to say! After many years of making sweaters on the knitting machine, I’m now knitting the fabric, then cutting the fabric and sewing the sweaters. I think it’s mostly because I missed sewing! 🙂

    • Thanks, Andrea! My dad said it was down to freezing in Florida also! Brrrr.

      On Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 11:24 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  5. Long time reader, but infrequent commenter, but I just have to say that colour is fantastic on you! Your skin just glows.

    • Thank you! I’m going to have to cop to figuring out some editing tools and Retin-A micro for the glowing skin 😉

      On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 12:08 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. This is a great color for you, really lights your face up. I find green is an incredibly flattering shade in general – I have a few green dresses that seem to make me look younger, happier and more rested than anything else in my wardrobe. Did you put-off coat-making till next fall? I’ve got some beautiful herringbone yardage and silk lining sitting here waiting to be sewn up into a ’70s co-ed wrap coat. Somehow my mojo fades even further with every passing day. My only motivation is that if I don’t sew it now the fabric will no doubt be left behind in the UK once my Mom goes into a home in two weeks.

    • Well, my next ‘big’ project is a spring coat using some Burberry raincoating I have stashed. I want to make a Burda that is double breasted with French darts. I bought gingham to muslin it and pulled the magazine out to start tracing. I want to finish it by April so I can wear it for about a month.

      For a winter coat, I plan to copy your cream one. But, I won’t start that until August. I have a gorgeous navy cashmere blend to sew it up in.

      I also want a 70s wrap coat!! I was thinking originally of using my navy for one, but am going to try and find a camel color instead. I need to take myself to NY or Fabricmart over the summer to shop.

      On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 3:15 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. Wonderful colour on you. That pattern is super flattering too. I found it a little too wide and low in the neck when I made it too. Perfect for date night…

  8. Really nice. I meant to wear more sweater dresses this winter but think that I got stuck in the “it’s too cold to wear a dress” mode. Great pattern and it looks great on you. Your hair is fab! Looking forward to spring…and I thought the winters in the DMV would be better than the ones in Michigan. Brr!! Bitter cold.

    • Thanks! I’ve been ‘working’ really hard at trying to grow my hair out a little. And by working, I mean actually paying attention to it 🙂

      On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 6:03 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  9. You are definitely a “green girl” Renee! That top is the best fitting ever and your smiles says it all…comfy and chic and ready to go out shopping or dining! Good job altering before you cut and what great results!

  10. It’s a great pattern for you.and yes, I can see it with 3/4 sleeves. I like the green on you. I add bra strap carriers at the shoulder when I have this happen. It works very nicely to keep the neckline in place. I use thread carriers and small snaps.

  11. It looks great! I love the color! Can I tell you how much I’m looking forward to actually wearing cute clothes again?

    It’s currently 6 outside.

    6 F.

    With a wind chill of -3 F.

    I HAAATE THIS. I hate how this town has made me think, “How about if it were 30? That would be nice and warm!”

    I don’t want to leave the house.

  12. This is so lovely and flattering! You are making me want to sew all the Burda patterns.

  13. You did a beautiful job! Thanks for the tips on fitting the bodice. I too have narrow shoulders and an over generous bust.

  14. You look gorgeous! I love this shade of green on you. Now I have to find this pattern!

  15. Do you have one shoulder higher than the other? It looks like the L is higher than the R. Could just be those particular photos.

    I like this shirt on you, and vote for more green!

  16. Another beautiful and flattering color on you. Is it me or do you find Burda tops to consistently run large and low in the neckline area? I always assume the neckline will need to be raised whenever I use a Burda design. Otherwise, there is far too much showing, especially when moving around, in the finished garment.

    • They are almost always too low. But, the last two wrap tops I made weren’t (and I was feeling adventurous). So, I was too hopeful! But, for sure they are too wide on open necklines. I haven’t gotten this through my head yet though. Probably because these are the most tops I’ve sewn in *years*.

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 7:18 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  17. Married life must really agree with you; I’ve thought you look really good – contented, and thus prettier than ever – in your last few posts. I love the style of this sweater, and the color is nice on you, too.

  18. This is smashing on you!!! (and you were so sassy when you wrote this ~ made me chuckle a few times. And I’m kinda in a grouchy mod, so that’s saying somethin’

  19. Hey Renée, you look stunning in green! Your hair looks lovely too. This top fits you wonderfully, and is so flattering on your hourglass figure. Here in Europe it’s not too low-cut, LOL. The pattern is much better drafted than the KS version as I everyone I saw in it (including me) had wavy darts, but yours sit flat. Your CB seam is flawless, perfect. For all empire waist tops I cut an extra two inches to the bust length and then fit while sewing: PITA but worth it. I think you could go down to a 38 on future Burda tops or make a NSA as you could take yours in a little–always nice to hear, hey? Debbie Cook told me the same thing about the KS top (in fact) once and she was right.

  20. Oh you’re so right Renee, this fabric is “Luscious”!! The color is great with your complexion too! Will you be in our area soon?

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