originally published July 17, 2011
.I love Burda’s styling and fit but I take issue with Burda on a couple of points. One being that necklines nearly always plunge to navels. Really? That’s what European women wear? To work? At Home? How do they get anything done? Ever?
My other issue is the photographs. I often have problems figuring out which pattern is being promoted. Thankfully, Burda now includes a schematic right next to the fashion photo so I at least have some clue. But then they sew up their garments in dark colors – we all know how wonderfully well black photos right? — and half cover the garment. It’s not possible to tell what the garment is going to be like by looking at Burda photos. Take this blouse:
I absolutely fell in love with all those ruffles. Yes I’m a ruffles and flourishes type of girl and finally when I’m in my 60’s, my favorites are back in fashion. But the picture doesn’t tell you a whole lot about this pattern. There is a front and back integrated yoke. Those ruffles? Start at the front yoke go down the front and end on the other side at the front yoke. They do not go all around the neck. Do you see the neck slit? Not surprising, it end about 4″ above the lowest edge of the ruffles. To give you a clue, I’m 5’3″. On my finished garment the ruffle hem just covers my abdomen.. The neckline would have ended at my navel. Really Burda? Decent women wear this out to lunch? BTW is this fitted or loosely fitted? Oh on the pattern schema I see horizontal bust darts and back darts. But are they fit tools or design tools? There is a difference. Does the dress show fit a little better?
She’s standing catywampus (spelling?) With her arms covering her front – maybe that neckline is just a little too low for even a model, eh? My point is, I can’t tell from the photos or the schematics how the garments are going to fit. It’s a leap of faith every time. OK a leap of faith accompanied by lots of flat pattern measuring and comparing to my slopers/blocks.
My fabric has been marinating several years and was sold as a “premium cotton”. What does that mean? I asked
“Is it South Sea Islands cotton?” “No it’s Premium cotton.”
“is it Pima Cotton?” No it’s Premium cotton.”
“What is premium cotton?” “You know, it’s premium.”
No I didn’t know. I can tell you that it has a lovely hand more like a fine silk twill then the smooth jacquard it is. The drape is quite nice too. It is not heavy, medium or light. It is light but not transparent and not light like gauze or cheap cotton prints. I purchased just over a yard because it was expensive and to tell the truth I still wasn’t sure what they meant by premium. I did love the print and wanted to use it in a special blouse. Although I couldn’t tell much about the pattern, I decided that I wanted this lovely romantic look in my own closet and on my back.
I’m already starting my next project and will detail my pattern alteration method with that project. For now, let me just say I’m using a combination of cmarie12 pattern sandwiches and Sure Fit’s sloper adaption process. This is working very well for me but right now I’m more excited about this blouse and wish to share.
I didn’t make the yoke. In fact I traced only 2 pieces the yoke and the ruffle and compared them with my HAF pattern. I made minor changes to the neckline shape and then concentrated on lace for the ruffle. I knew immediately that I wanted lace not only as frosting on the cake, but to make that ruffle really pop as a design detail. I reasoned my lace should be white or peach. I tried out the peach laces I had and said “meh”, but the white laces did what I wanted. Except I had 3 bright laces: the one waaaaaaaaaay too short, the one just right in 3 pieces and the one too short by 18 inches. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not close to fabric or notions stores. My choice was to
- hop in the car and make 3 or 6 hour trips
- order online and wait 10 days
- make my own
Yes make my own. I stock bridal tulle in rolls especially for FSL (free standing lace). My first thought was to make 2 yards of lace using my embroidery machine (ME). I even spent 2 hours searching for the perfect designs, arranging them digital hoops and then opening them up on the ME. Dang. My first choice would have required 36 hours of stitching out. My 2nd choice would have required 8. I spent instead 1 hour with my HV Ruby testing various combinations of decorative stitches
until I settled upon 4.
It did take me 2 hours to stitch the lace. But even at that I saved half the time of stitching at the ME and a lot more had I chosen to make the road trips. I used the same sandwich during testing and final stitch out of heavy,sticky WSS + tulle + light WSS topper. BTW it’s the same sandwich I use for ME as well. I gave up true FSL long ago. But the results, I think, are stunning:
I apologize for not having a pic of it on me. I’ve already worn and spilt some of my dinner on this blouse. I had to wear it immediately. It turned out just as lovely as I envisioned.