originally published Sept 12, 2012
.At this point, I’m not even looking at patterns outside my Burda Style magazines. I find that surprising since I so soundly condemned them when I cancelled my subscription 2 years ago. My complaints remain. What has changed is my shape. I’m now more barrel-shaped with the largest hoop circling my abdomen. Yes not my bu!! but that portion of my body in front and about 2″ higher—aAs I’ve mentioned in past posts, health issues that created other issues. I’m rather disappointed in the Big 4. I was making a 1″ NSA and a 1″ BWL to a size 14 and often not even tweaking the fit. The last few tops I’ve made have required substantial “saves” that were only possible due to my advanced sewing skills and knowledge. I switched to working with BS patterns because I have a wide variety of styles all using the same block. This is allowing me to understand and tweak my tissue alteration process.
For my next 6PAC garment I know that I want to make a 2nd blouse. I also know what fabric I want to use, a blue stripped, 100% cotton shirting. My question is, which blouse pattern? I searched through my BS collection for several days. Finally I made a list of the styles I like and the reason(s) why. Reasons? It bothered me that I’d select a pattern, trace and then decided I didn’t want to work on it. So I decided to really analyze what I was looking for. The process tells me that I’m still looking for very basic blocks with maybe a detail change. The why? Is because I’m still unsure of the alterations needed. I still don’t have a perfectly-fitting basic block that I can use to compare with new patterns. There is something really wrong with every pattern I’ve attempted to fit up to now. I’m getting better, mind you, I just still have major issues on the backside. But the point is after realizing what I wanted, I chose Style 106 from Burda August 2010 because I thought it fit my needs.
I traced the pieces, added the seam allowances and trimmed the excess tissue away. I find it’s easiest for me to do all this before starting the alteration process. After I made the 1″ BWL, I pinned the pieces together and tried them on Mimie, my dressform. It was then I realized that this style was not going to help much with my goal of refining the fit process. That’s because this pattern has a combined front+back yoke. See those two little pleats at the front shoulder? They are repeated in the back. This is one of the most excellent styles for adapting to hard to fit bodies. I realized I did not need to add an FBA. Didn’t need to add waistline darts front or back. Didn’t need to walk the seams after making alterations. Nope, the only thing I needed to do was select the correct sized yoke and then be sure the bottom pieces had sufficient ease for the widest part of my body. If I had looked closely at the schematic
… I might have known this. I blame BS photo style for leading me astray. Neither photo really accurately depicted this blouse. It has slight shaping on the sides not enough for a very fitted garment but enough to remove a little bulk from the middle. I let this one sit for 2 days before deciding to proceed. It wasn’t what I wanted. I really wanted to continue developing a standard tissue-alteration procedure.
But I decided to use it anyway. I kept looking at my magazines, I have a collection of about 3 dozen now and found that this is a basic style which BS uses. There are at least 5 more (in my collection) very similar to this and another dozen that start with the fitted back+front yoke. So fitting this one, will give me a good start on a fair number of Burda blouse styles. I also realized, this is a particularly good choice for my fabric. My fabric has a very dominant vertical stripe. Trying to put darts into it is going to show and maybe not show well.
The alterations I made were pretty straight forward. I added 1″ at the center back and 1″ in the center of the tuck/pleat marks on the front. I checked the sleeve and decided upon adding 1″ to the center of it as well. This is not a dart or wedge shape I’m adding. No, in each alteration it’s a straight 1″ from top to bottom. I also decided to do away with the banded collar. I do like the looks of that simple neckline finish, but it always rubs irritatingly along my neck… AND…. I have the skin tags to prove it