Burda Style 131 Issue 11/2012 (Inspired)

Even DH said “WOW. Pretty.”  Hard to pass up such a recommendation.  However, I haven’t made any Burda patterns for a while (Ottobre Design  totally ensnared me) and I’ve been having fun fun fun with my cover stitch machine the Janome 900CPX.  I always return to Burda  though because of their wonderful designs.  Often Burda is fashion-years ahead of me.  I didn’t fully appreciate this one last year when it was issued. Now I’m looking for interesting tops of woven fabric and this jumped off the page and into Immediate Que.


But I’m not interested in taking a long fitting journey.  So instead of making this garment starting with fully tracing a pattern from the maze which is in the magazine (aka the master pattern sheet), I started with a TNT, the Otto Vintage Blouse.  I look at the picture above and think I don’t want a tunic length top. I don’t want long long sleeves. What I want is that beautiful drape at the center front.   I did open the Master pattern, locate the front piece and trace only the drape from shoulder to hem.

This was a great idea, except that because the Burda design is tunic length whereas the Vintage Blouse is high hip length, the drape as traced is much too long!  I trimmed the excess tissue from the drape and then taped it to the shoulder and hem of the  Vintage Blouse front.  I folded the drape tissue in several places so that it “fit” ??? my blouse front.

Unfortunately, the drape now has an awkward shape. While that in itself could be an interesting feature, for this first attempt, I’d rather smooth out those lines.  I added  strips of tissue beneath the and traced or “trued” the lines.

Then I trimmed the excess tissue around the drape.

Surprising to me was, the most difficult part of this pattern was choosing an appropriate fabric.  I had planned to use a particular fabric but the pattern calls for a fabric which looks good on both sides.  That’s because both sides of  the front drape will be visible. After pulling out several fabrics (and putting them away), I decided upon a 100% polyester Jacquard.  It does look good from both sides. In fact it’s hard to tell which is the public side.  I used painter’s tape, sometimes called blue tape, to mark the right side.

I pressed, laid out and cut my fabric.  I wanted to finish the edge of the drape with a 2-thread serger finish.  For that reason, after cutting the fabric, I rounded the front drape and immediately finished that seam.  I also stitched the center front seam, wrong sides together.  If I were to do this again, I would leave that seam until later on in the construction process.  My Vintage blouse was drafted with a collar and reverse.  I planned to finish a shallow “V” neckline with bias tape.  I’m using standard commercial bias tape  about 1/2″ wide and 1/8″ edges.  I stitched the shoulder seams together and tried on the blouse.  I trimmed the neckline to suit my finish.  I was able to do most of the stitching at the sewing machine but it took some hand stitching to neatly finish the V.  Had I been thinking this through, I would have

  • Basted the center front seam;
  • Sewn the shoulders;
  • Tweaked the neckline;
  • Removed the basting stitches;
  • Finished the neckline with bias tape
  • Permanently stitched the center front seam

This is the procedure that Loes Hinse uses for her  V-Neck tunic. It is simply elegant. The end result, both inside and out,  is neat, professional and long wearing.  My procedure was awkward.  I worked hard at creating a neat looking finish and I’m never really sure how well my hand stitching will hold up.  (Especially since this fabric raveled terribly.)

Another surprise for me was the final fit.  I’m having issues with my weight again, but Vintage Blouse in my closet, made nearly a year ago, still fits comfortably.  I think my fit issues are a result of this fabric.

While the back doesn’t look particularly bad:

I feel a slight tightness across the center back (between the shoulders) and again at the hip.  I think that can be seen by the lines at the hem.  The front..

…feels fine.    I knew the front drape wouldn’t look exactly like the Burda version because I was using a different fabric and had rounded the point.  I didn’t expect to struggle with getting a nice appearance. I think I worked it out, but “ouch” I hope never to have a similar experience.  I placed the finished blouse on Mimie and started arranging the drape into folds. Once I had a drape I liked, I pinned it in place and then steamed vigorously.  I let it set for 24 hours before removing the pins.  (That was probably overkill but I don’t ever want to struggle with that d@^^^ thing again.)

I’m happy with the final appearance.  A little sad about the final fit.  I know from experience that the tightness across the back will result in the adjacent sleeve/bodice seam pulling andc maybe even running.  I’ll be lucky to have this beauty in my wardrobe for this fall/winter season.  Oh well. I can always make another.