originally published Sept 2, 2011
.Usually I have 2 sewing projects in process. One I’m actually sewing and the other I am planning. Usually, but not always. Travel and life’s activities can interrupt the flow and I have found that my slight A-ADD tends to jump in so I limit myself to 2 projects. Before I retired, I conducted marathon cutting sessions. Carefully cutting out fabric, collecting notions and placing all together on hangers in the closet for sewing that would take place over the next 6 weeks to 2 months. While sewing, I would be planning my next marathon cutting session. But no more. These days it’s typically 1 project at the sewing machine and 1 in planning. Well wait a sec, sometimes I do have 1 at the embroidery machine too. But yes usually its….. but I digress. Point is, whilst sewing the aborted jacket for the Autumn 6PAC I began planning Burda Style 128 from September 2011.
I was enchanted by sleeveless summer blouse. Yet reluctant. I wasn’t sure that the lines created by the neck pleats would be flattering to me… but I desired it and wanted to try the design. I’ve learned to look carefully and analyze Burda Patterns I see:
- Extended Shoulder
- Sleeveless/Cap Sleeve
- Center front opening with 3 maybe 4 buttons
- V neckline
- 2 unstitched darts on both sides of the neckline which form the pleats
- Blouse is tucked-in at the waist, so maybe a high hip length
- Also, there might be shoulder pads. Not sure just looking at the photo
Looking at the schematic and pattern instructions, I also detect
- Front yoke integrated into back pattern piece at the shoulder
- Stand up collar
- Separate front facing
- Recommended Fabric: Blouse Fabrics
Ah not too hard, eh? Oh and rather than extended shoulder creating a cap-sleeve, it really does look like a sleeveless summer blouse.
So I trace the pattern pieces. My measurements fit exactly a Burda Sytle size 42. However I’ve learned that Burda fits much closer and I will be happier with a size 44. Therefore, I traced a size 44 and added 3/8 seam allowances. I’m satisfied with the 3/8″ SA. Others prefer more “insurance” at the seam line. That’s OK. I’ve done that too. But I’ve made enough Burda Style patterns to be fairly confident of the drafting and fit. (I’m also fairly sure of the instructions, but I can’t say anything glowing about BS instructions.) I found the waistline marks on both front and back which happily means the first thing I could and did do, was remove 1″ from the back waist length front and back. I’m shorter than the standard BS sloper. No problem. I make the pattern shorter above the waist. This brings hip and waist shaping up to my hip and waist. I seem to have no problem with bust dart placement/length or armscye length. I’m probably not a true petite. I’m just short in certain places where it isn’t expected. I pinned the pattern pieces together and tried them on Mimie, my dress form; and then I unpinned them, because I had forgottten my standard narrow shoulder adjustment. Sigh yes, it’s part of the classic, womanly, eternally feminine-shape-desired-and-sought-by-men-for possession,,, pear. It is rare that I need less than a 1″ alteration. Once the NSA was completed, I pinned the front and back pieces together and then pinned them onto Mimie for a second time. Oh and BTW, I’m really glad I was able to find the shoulder line and most of the pleating marks. Knowing where to pleat and how the pleats should look (from the pic), was a real help as I spent much more time than usual trying to figure out how to fold the pleats. OK, pleats aren’t my thing. I really don’t make many garments with pleats. But the other issues facing me were totally bewildering
is clearly sticking up oddly at the center back. From other view points, it’s also pulling forward and towards the side.
has an awkward bump/bulge on the back armscye near the shoulder.
These two issues have never happened to me before. Ever. The pictures are from before the narrow shoulder alteration; which neither improved nor worsened the two problems. I’m not posting a pic of the front, because it looks fine. I’m not posting pics from after the NSA, because the only difference is a vertical line where my NSA takes place.
I’m planning to use a white crepe fabric. It’s synthetic, though I’m not sure if the fiber is polyester, acetate, or nylon. No matter the fiber, the fabric drapes, is translucent and I know from experience, very nice as a completed blouse but a bear to sew. I’m anticipating
- fabric that crawls away from the scissors/rotary cutter
- edges that refuse to stay matched during sewing
- seams that pucker and refuse to lay flat without high temperature pressing which is of course is not recommended and might ruin the fabric
- oh and many more difficulties.
Thing is, once complete it will be an elegant blouse, because the fabric, despite being a WFO, is wonderfully nice to wear. My question is, will the fabric drape alleviate the issues above? Will the heaviness and natural tendency downwards (like slinky) overcome the bubble at the back armscye? Will the back neckline be coerced into proper shape through the combination of the little stand up collar and fabric properties? Or am I asking for a big, fat disappointment?
It was here that I requested input from the members of Stitchers Guild; and I will share all in my next post.