I made the cowl neck top 7/2013 #110, which you can download from the burda style website here:
I should have used some satin or other fabric for the straps as per the pattern suggestion because my fabric did not press or gather very well at all and when I tried to do rows of decorative topstitching it stretched out in all directions even with interfacing. I thought about putting some beading on the straps or some other form of trim but in the end I decided to leave the straps plain. I think they look extremely home made - a bit puffy and amateurish:
I probably should have also interfaced the back neckline and reduced the width significantly, because it gapes a fair bit although it sort of looks like a mini cowl to match the front so I can live with it:
But Burda's instructions are also very amateurish in my humble opinion. They instruct you to sew the straps on after you've sewn the cowl down and sewn the front to the back, just pressing and topstitching the seam allowances down, although they do suggest finishing the front strap by hand. They also instruct you to turn down and topstitch the seam allowances of the back neckline and back armhole edge, but the front armhole edge has the self facing of the cowl so that's two different finishing methods for the one armhole.
Instead I drafted a facing for the back neck edge to match the front, so that it not only enclosed the ends of the straps but also finished the neck and armhole edge much neater than I could achieve by turning under and topstitching. And I also ignored the pattern directions as usual and sewed it so that ends of the straps were enclosed in the facing at both the front and the back.
For the front I slipped the ends of the straps in when I sewed the cowl down to the front at the shoulder seam and armhole edge right sides together, but not down the side seam yet:
And for the back I slipped the other ends of the straps in when I sewed the shoulder seams, armhole edge and back neck edge of the fabric and self drafted facing (right sides together), and again not down the side seams yet.
And then I flipped it all out the right way, and sewed the side seams in one seam starting from the top of the facing and continuing down the side seam:
It's certainly not rocket science or haute couture, but it's a much easier and neater way than the simple but crude way that Burda suggests. I sometimes don't understand why Burda does the things it does - it wasn't much harder to sew it the way I did and it only involved one extra piece but it was a much better and easier way of doing it.