Crouching Batwing Hidden Python top (Burda 2013-12-119)

The Sun has finally decided to come out in London today. So I can finally finish this post. Sorry to keep you guys waiting.

Of all the s Jungle January 2015 snakes this one was the most laid back and agreeable thanks to the ready-made pattern with a loose fit. It was the last one conceived yet the first one finished.

The Pattern

Originally I was going to make Burda 2014-04/111 asymmetric funnel neck top. But even the talented ladies on Russian Burdastyle couldn’t make this look comfortable & chic, with the asymmetry frequently too subtle to look like a feature & more often look like a sewing Oops. So I gave up on that pattern.

Thank goodness I had mentally bookmarked Tia Dia’s fabulous party bronze version of this cowl-neck batwing top before. I drooled over hers, not Burda’s. I hadn’t even bought this issue. Anyway, it now came in handy. I wanted drape. The original Vivienne Westwood dress inspiration had drape. The fabric craved drape. So this is perfect, even if it lacks the asymmetry that I liked in the VW original.

Style Shots & Mug Shots

WORN WITH: 1 Self-drafted skirt; 2 Burda 2011-08-121 skirt; 3 Burda 2012-04-128a dress; 4 RTW pants; 5 Self-drafted skirt

Size Used

Mindful of the generous ease & off the shoulder tendency that Tia Dia mentioned I graded down to a 34 (my usual size selection for Burda stretch garments).

Changes Made


Fitting changes
  1. Short-Waist Adjustment: Shortened Front & Back Bodices at the same level (in this case bust) & narrowed Sleeve same amount at corresponding points at cap tapering to nothing at wrist.
  2. Forward Shoulder / Neck Adjustment: Shortened Front Bodice at cross-front level & narrow Sleeve again the same way as 1.

Now my adjustments to the sleeve might be unorthodox. I get rather confused about how to alter sleeve when I’ve made changes to the armscye – eg raising under arm, decrease front length at chest/cross-front, increase width at side seam, drop shoulder. Do you adjust the cap height, extend the sleeve seam length, extend the sleeve width, etc.? In this case, since I was worried about the bat-wing swamping me, I chose the two birds one stone approach of reducing width. There’s not much of a cap height to reduce anyway. This also saves on fabric required, allowing me to get more for my money. Me like!

Design changes
  1. Like Tia Dia I also shortened the hip band to high hip length because I like her version.
  2. I also raised the underarm seam / narrowed the Sleeve at armscye. Too chicken to go full bat-wing at waist level, this change raised it so that the bat-wing starts at under-bust rather than waist level.
  3. Shortened sleeve. My arm is shorter than standard. But this top seem to have extra long sleeve anyway – maybe as part of the drape design. Again, to avoid being swamped I removed some of the extra length.
  4. Narrowed/ensured the Sleeve has no ease at wrist so that I can also wear this with the sleeve pushed up to 3/4 length. I did this on the Back only to cater for my inward rotating arm.
  5. Mindful of Tia Dia’s warning about off the shoulder tendency I double checked on the B bodice where the shoulder seam starts & bring it in another 1/4″ as insurance. I was also prepared to add bra stays if necessary. But seems like my grading down to size 34 + the 1/4″ adjustment were more than enough to keep the neck opening on my shoulders.

Fabric & Notions Used

Construction Notes

For a change I followed most of the instruction given. The only deviation was location of the gap for inserting the waist elastic – I left a gap in the casing’s side seam instead of the casing top-stitching. I also overlocked most of the seams.

2-sew-detailsSome people don’t like how Burda finishes the neck edges, preferring bindings that mimic RTW. But I don’t mind it. The instruction gives a clean finish. It only looks homemade if you’ve been brainwashed by RTW on how things should look.

With troubled birthing elsewhere I was happy to mindlessly follow this top’s instruction. Hence it’s the first one hatched.

The Verdict

Yeap, I can live with this python bat. I don’t feel swamped in this, both size-wise and pattern-wise. The drapy fabric helps.

I don’t know if I would make more of these. How many bats do I need nesting in my closet at any one time? But it’s good to have alternatives to fitted tops. I would definitely make it again if this bat flies away.

I might need to fix that pooling of fabric at my hollow lower back though. It’s bad enough not having enough padding on my bum to counter balance that thickening boob / middle at the front. I don’t need no fabric puddle shouting about it.

3 comments on “Crouching Batwing Hidden Python top (Burda 2013-12-119)

  1. I really like the less batwingy version of this top, and that fabric obviously goes with so many things. Also, there is a similar asymmetric top/dress in 12/2014 issue that doesn’t have the lopsided sleeve like the 4/14 one in case you still want to try a VW inspired piece in the future, it’s on my ever growing list too.

  2. Serious top envy here. I love all the fitting changes you made that I was too lazy to bother with. And I love all your outfits. Did you know this fabulously crazy fabric would fit so well into your wardrobe?

    • Making everything brown helps? LOL.

      This fabric was too lovely (and expensive) to not make the effort of pattern alteration. I suppose not being a parent helps. So does being unemployed at the moment! Silver linings & all right?

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