The Burda blouse that tried my patient patience is a lengthy tale. Why not grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy and keep reading for all the gory details…
So as I browsed my Burdastyle magazines, I was drawn to the notched neckline, the not-too-roomy-fit and the lovely ruched lower sleeves of Burda 106 09/2019 (ps, I can’t link to the pattern at the moment as the Burda website is under maintenance), and I thought it would be perfect for my beautiful house print fabric. The fabric came from Patterns and Plains. It’s a viscose twill, is really soft and drapey and has lovely, fun and quirky house sketches all over it. The neutral colourway goes with most of my bottoms and will be really versatile.
I started off really keen on this blouse project. I checked the sizing and went for a size 40. Then I did a minor forward shoulder adjustment and lowered the bust dart by half an inch.
I got as far as finishing most of the body and then did a mock-up of the collar after already lowering the front curve of it. Then I tried it on and I thought it seemed fine so I went ahead and completed it, and then I tried it all on again. Now, I’m a bit funny where my necklines are concerned because I can’t bear anything that cuts me right across my throat The finished collar had me pawing at it immediately and I wanted to tear it off and pull it down…ugh!
Plan B: A different neckline
I started to try and reshape the existing neckband pattern for it to sit even lower and faffed with that for a while. Then I did another mock-up but it still didn’t seem right.
Plan C: Another neckline!
I finally settled on going with a simple bias binding which still kept the centre-notch detail and this seemed a much better solution, but guess what? I tried on the top and realised that it seemed a little stretched out and loose, but then as I was assessing how to improve the saggy binding I realised how I disliked the look of the shoulder line of the blouse.
The shoulders were kind of droopy and the silhouette seemed sloppy. Also, it dawned on me just how low the armhole was and that something seemed off at the back neck too! Whatever next?
This project was doomed… what I really craved was a set-in sleeve and neat high armhole that gave me a good arm motion… but how could I do that?
After sending my blouse to the naughty corner in disgust and walking away from it for a while, I came back the next day with a plan that involved four steps. These steps were:
- Unpick the sleeves
- Lift the blouse from the top and reshape the shoulders and arm holes. This was possible because I had plenty of body length
- Join a piece of fabric at the top of each sleeve to enable me to cut proper sleeve heads.
- Add a new binding to the reshaped neckline.
Burda Blouse, The Project That Tried My Patience…A Happy Ending?
Plan Z worked! Hurrah!
I love my finished blouse now which still has some of the essence of the original Burda design but now feels infinitely more comfortable and so much more like me. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have chosen this design in the first place but we don’t always know until we try, eh? And maybe if I had sized down around the armholes and shoulders it *might* have worked, but either way…I worked through it and came out the other end with a garment that I really like.
I should mention that I also didn’t add zips to the sleeves as the original design shows because I could easily get my tiny hands through the narrow cuffs without them, and it wasn’t as much work :). Oh, and also you can barely see the joins across the sleeves near the top because of the busy pattern, which I’m relieved about.
Good grief though…what a journey this blouse was It really tried my patience, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I love the result and I didn’t want to spoil my lovely fabric. Don’t you just love a happy ending?
And on that note, I’ll love you and leave you and see you next time.
Oh, and by the way…have you sewn a project that had a rough journey like mine? Tell me about it in the comments.