originally published July 12, 2011
.Yes I’m afraid this is a several part post. Partly that’s because I write too much. I even go back and delete whole paragraphs but still have too much. I have a problem expressing myself in only a few words. So this is a multi-part post because I write too much, but also because this was a real challenge and creative effort for me.
Back in my first post (July 7) I was contemplating using this Burda pattern. I love it but overlooked some important points. It was asymmetrical (the sleeves were not the same from side to side) and it was intended to be off the shoulder. I didn’t like the ties from the get go. Sure they look romantic, but ties generally irritate me. I spend my day fooling with them and usually after the first wearing figure out how to do without. As I was choosing my fabric a lovely transparent silk and semi-sheer, crinkle-cotton gauze, I decided to ditch the Rose. I just didn’t feel that the rose worked well with what I viewed as a primitive art theme on the silk fabric. I also planned to use the silk for the bindings and was worried about how the silk sleeves and the silk bindings would handle the stress. I did some testing and settled upon 1/8″ french seams. I traced the sleeve and half the front back. Then tissue fit using Mimie (my dress form and made a minor change to the back tissue. I was ready to go….. and then…. someone kindly pointed out the asymmetrical and off-shoulder qualities of the pattern and questioned how visible I wanted my underwear.
Oh my! Talk about a monkey wrench thrown in the works. I came to a screeching halt and actually pursued other sewing. When I returned I’d made some big changes. First off, I realized that I had already made and fit 2 very similar patterns. That would be Butterick 5561
and Kwik Sew 3593
Both are similar and neither exactly the Burda top. B5561 is designed for wovens has a mini-sleeve; fits me nicely; has a scoop neck I like; and I’ve already made a version without the center pleat. But I really want the true cap sleeve of KS 3593 which has the disadvantage of being drafted for knits and the wide neckband.
I compared my already fitted tissues of B5561 to the Burda blouse. To my surprise the front and back were nearly the same. The Burda front has a dart, which Butterick has rotated out; the sleeve is smaller and asymmetrical; and the Burda blouse tissue is shorter by about 4 inches. Oh my B5561 has a dart in the sleeve which does much to improve fit. I’m glad I did this comparison. I decided since I liked B5561, I would use this as my basis. I didn’t shorten B5561, but I did compare the sleeves carefully. I traced a new sleeve of B5561 and then using a ruler removed 1.5 inches from the bottom. This turned the sleeve into a true cap sleeve.
I cut my fabrics and came to another halt. I’m planning to wear this in public in a conservative (even though they vote Democratic) Mid-Western community. Showing my underwear is really not a good idea. I’ve made an effort to fit into my new community and didn’t want to ruin it now. I started on another project.
We made our monthly trip to Walmart — 90 miles there and 90 miles back– and also stopped at the only real complete fabric store within that distance. The next real, complete fabric stores are 184 miles (there and another 184 back home). I was looking for a very light weight batiste. They didn’t have what I wanted. No surprise, but Walmart didn’t either. Next day, back home again, I scoured my own stash and did find 3 yards of a poly/cotton nearly transparent fabric. It was white so I should remove the “nearly transparent” qualifier. White is always transparent. I wasn’t sure of this, but I placed a single layer of the poly/cotton over Mimie and then opened the back so I had one layer and pinned it to Mimie as well. It’s close. I think in actual wear, my neighbors will see the shadowed top of my bra line but nothing more. That will be acceptable. So cut the front and back out of poly/cotton and start you machines…. or mine at least.