Blast To the Past

I’m starting a new pattern this week. I’m wanting a 2nd blouse that works well with the cotton/lycra pants from March. The blouse posted in the final pic, works well for spring and summer maybe even parts of fall. But here in SD spring lasts about 1 week and is not scheduled to arrive for another 6. I won’t be wearing that blouse for some time.  I want a long sleeve blouse that will coordinate closely with the color of those pants. I have a small group of fabrics (3-4) that will coordinate as desired. For patterns,  I had considered CLD’s new pattern, Simplify Your Life but there are downsides. First I don’t want a short sleeve which would mean altering the pattern before I even know how it works. Secondly, CLD patterns are a sewing lesson or conglomeration of sewing lessons in one  pattern.   I love the knowledge, the techniques I learn but find I must carefully follow instructions. That often means handling a piece multiple times as I read instruction and fold or baste to see if I’m following it correctly.  Once finished, I can usually repeat the pattern with a quick memory refresh. But I’m wanting a quicker, easier sewing experience. I love sewing pants, but the fitting experience wears me out.

While I really want to use the SYL, instead I hesitated and start looking at other possibilities. My sewing angel gave me a box of Burda magazines.  One is the May 1992 issue without cover or glossy pages.  It has only sewing instructions and master pattern sheets. But as I look through it, I am intrigued by Style 116


It looks like a typical tunic from the 90’s era except it has bust darts.  I start to pass on it when I see the sleeve in the schematic:


Doesn’t that look like a 2-piece raglan?  I look closely and realize that it has a very narrow shoulder and that the raglan is not the typical raglan shape but a slight outward curve that I would expect of a set in sleeve. It rings a bell. With a few moments of hunting I find Yoshimi’s post about  the Fujiko top pattern from Tamanegi-kobo. (I don’t know that I got all the links posted. You might need to click on Yoshimi’s post to find the other links.).  Yoshimi was thrilled with her Fujiko pattern because, like me, she has narrow shoulders.  The Fujiko is a similar design to this Burda. This design has the advantages of raglan fit and stitching, but the look of a set in sleeve. I’m sold. I need to give my Burda 05-1992 #116 a shot.

Now I’ve always liked raglan sleeves. For sewing and knitting, they are excellent. I’d easily recommend the traditional raglan sleeve to the new sewist. But the typical raglan line is  not my friend. I have to be careful, because most raglan sleeve doe’t make my narrow shoulders look wider. No,  the long, slanted diagonal common with most raglans makes me look like spinning top — my head being the knob you pull up and down on to make the top spin and my beach-ball of a tummy the wide spinning part of the top. .  When I’m wearing wide leg trousers, I bear a striking resemblance to the Pyramids.  A very upright raglin, like the Boat Neck top of Loes Hinse is flattering. I also find that a busy print can counteract the raglan. This curved-raglan is different. I’m not sure how it will work. I suppose, I can always wear a vest (and often do).  So while the raglan is a consideration, I’m going to go with it.

Another concern is ’90’s styling.  I lived those years — at 170 pounds (and more). I clearly remember large; loose-flowing; shoulders that hit the middle of my bicep; and general shapelessness.   I’m pleased to note the bust dart in this patter which helps, but I also pull out my CLd Ebb to eyeball fit. I should be a size 38-40 shoulder, 44 bust, 46 waist and hip. The smallest size for 1992-05-116 is 44. This is the first time I’ve used such an old Burda Magazine.  There have been improvements over the years, but those master patterns were still eye killers. I had problems locating the pieces which were stacked on top of each other. I mean the blues were stack on top of blues. Even though there were red lines, the blue lines didn’t seem to cross many red lines, just blue, blue and more blue.  I anticipated making fitting alterations and choose not to trace facings. I started by tracing the front and back. At the bust there is 1.5″ (total 3″) more ease in the Burda than in my Ebb.  At the hip and waist there is about .5″ (total 2″) more ease. The Burda patterns are given without seam allowances.  I decide to trace the size 44, forget adding seam allowances and adjust the bust ease at the first fitting.

I didn’t trace the center piece. I know it’s an attractive and exciting slot seam but adding it would add another 2″ unneeded ease. 90’s fashions were so voluminous, I’m reluctant to add even more.

I also note that should I choose the longer length (the square/mitered cornered version) my hem will be mid-thigh.  I’m sure tunic styles will come back into fashion someday, but for now, I cut that away and am using the curved hem.

I would like  to use the gathered waist band on version A.  That’s a nice effect I do not use often enough but I don’t want to place it across the center of my tummy. I think a line, which this will create, following the curve of my tummy will really make it look like I have a beach ball under there.

The only change I made to the pattern, besides not adding seam allowances,  was a 1″ back-waist length adjustment.  I shortened the front and back so that the waist indicated on the pattern pieces will correspond with my own. I don’t see any shaping along the side seams so it might have been possible just to whack the excess of the bottom.



2 thoughts on “Blast To the Past


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