As a palate cleanser amid my problems with the Serenity-blue linen jumpsuit, I whipped up this Burda Easy Spring-Summer 2014 halter top out of a good quality cotton batiste print for an Italian family wedding. Not for the ceremony, obviously, but for the endless befores and afters.
We stayed at the famed Cenobio dei Dogi hotel in Camogli outside Genoa. I say 'famed' with my tongue in my cheek because I think the UK's brilliant Steve Coogan made it famous in a comedy road movie about traveling through Italy. It was an amazing hotel and, although I'm not in principle a fan of in-law events that last three days, the hotel swimming pool, breakfast buffet, stunning beach views and luxe atmosphere were all a big plus.
So this 'aunt-in-law' suddenly needed a true hot-weather weekend wardrobe—not usually a high-priority for Swiss mountain village residents. I took far too many long white shirts and skinny white jeans for day, but my off-the-shoulder silk Carmen dresses from Burda's Spanish issue years ago, were up-to-the-minute chic for the evenings.
Back to this halter. I think people often underestimate the style quotient of Burda Easy. Their latest Autumn-Winter 2016 magazine has me drooling over their quick jogging pants, culottes, waterfall coats and vests and paperbag waist skirt, because I think my appetite for complicated projects has faded for the moment, yet I too want a quick jolt of autumn fun. I might add a lining or two to the outerwear, but generally, I never regret my Burda Easy makes, even as I am turning my nose down in snobbish memory of years spent on Vogue Designer YSL and Ralph Lauren patterns from decades ago.
Life is short, kids. And if Vogue still produced breathtaking patterns like those, I'd go back in a shot.
And to my own shame, I never learn that it's a mistake to ignore Burda Easy's trend signals. If I'd sewn that quick Carmen top or jumpsuit from this last summer, I'd have been right on the money. I felt like a million bucks after copying the Burda easy zebra fur mini with motorbike zippers (despite my seniors' movie discount card) two years ago. My first-ever Burda Easy project was a tulip skirt in quality gabardine that felt just right.
And this top is not only easy, it's practically debile, as the French say. It takes one hour, maybe two, if you drink tea while you sew. I chose the option with a simple hem, but there is a banded version, (pictured.) I didn't even need to do a proper fastening at the upper back, but finished it with two very neat squares of interfaced fabric, as directed, on both tie ends and then sewed them down for security. I can slip this over my head with no problem. btw This is a strapless bra number and the armholes run deep, so be warned before you cut the side length and measure it up if you think you might be risking too much side-boob.
To add insult to injury for those of you who think one has to labor hard over the needle, these white pants cost only a few francs at the Swiss army surplus store. They are actually drawstring waist medical white cotton scrubs to which I added buttons/buttonholes on the fly. I also have a Swiss Army super-mini-knife, always in my bag, for cutting flowers along the road using the honor-pay system can, and a Swiss army khaki jacket for 5 francs that is Woodstock festival ready. Love Swiss Army surplus.