Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Burda 7942, from the burdamode website:
"Sewing level: easy. Burda sizes 36, 38, 40, 42, 44 The latest version of a classic - a blouse with a lapel/revers collar, section seams and fashionable gathering: view A with long cuffed sleeves, view B with short, gathered sleeves. Recommended fabric: Light-weight poplin, linen blends, cotton fabrics"

I bought the pattern because of the front styling. I do still quite like that. What I didn't like was the sizing. I think it is a bit big. I cut 38/12, a size smaller than my bust measurement suggested, but since I was using a stretch fabric, and the actual bust "finished garment" measurement written on the pattern said 39" for size 38, and my bust is 36"... it seemed like it should be OK. I suspect it is the usual problem of allowing the same actual ease in the smaller sizes as the bigger ones. However, I can't check this since somehow I have mislaid the part of the pattern where the finished garment sizes were printed. I also didn't find the pattern piece for the ties, but it must have been a small piece - I guess I threw it out by mistake!

I used a lightweight cotton shirting bought over the interweb from Emma One Sock. It's quite strange. Kind of cobwebby. Ms. One Sock herself told me it was "fashion forward" when I whinged about it to her. So that explains everything... It has a lot of stretch perpendicular to the stripe but none at all along the stripes. This made easing the back and front together quite tricky because I cut the front piece so that the stripes run across the shoulders. You can see the way the stripes run in this closeup. This is not the same grain direction as on the pattern but it seemed the only way to combine the stripes and the gathering at the front without getting very weirdie weirdie.

I couldn't really see how to make size adjustments in the gathered part, so after sewing the front and side-front together (ie sewing in the gathers - I tried out something called Seam Saver to bind the edge of the seam. It seems very nice and lightweight.), I pinned the body of the shirt together and then adjsuted it to fit. As well as taking in the waist and hips which I had thought I might need to do given my shape (1 size smaller below rib cage than above), I also adjusted the shape of the CB seam, taking in more at the waist. I also did think I had to bring the princess seams in a bit so I changed the button position and CF position to cope with this. I suppose this is probably the wrong thing to do, but with the curved shape of the front piece it seems to have worked out OK. I'm not sure it I like the non-collar stand style of this shirt. I realise now that all of the shirts in my wardrobe (except one) are not of this style.

There seemed a lot of sleeve to stuff into the armhole. I tried it and basted but then was quite relieved to find that the sleeves were really to wide for me, so I took out about a cm. This not only made it fit better but decreased the amount of extra fabric and made it possible to bring sleeve cap and armhole together.

I wouldn't really call this pattern "easy", because some fairly accurate stitching is required - for example in sewing the gathers neatly and attaching the casings for the ties. The result of the cotton cobweb fabric is surprisingly pleasant - being thin yet stretchy it is very comfortable for hot weather.



dawn said...

I really like your blouse and it fits you so nicely. It's a pattern I'd love to make for myself. (If only there were 48 hours in a day....)

I have also noticed that what burda calls easy is not always what we consider easy!

Busy Mom said...

Fabulous blouse. I have the 5/2006 BWOF magazine that features this blouse with long sleeves, that I've been meaning to sew up (in white, like yours). I've enjoyed examining your pictures, and I hope mine turns out as lovely as yours. I think I'll follow your lead and shorten the sleeves as I want to wear it in warmer weather.

Caroline said...

I'm in the final stages of making this blouse and was just checking the web to see other versions. I really like yours!

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who finds that "easy" defined by Burda is not "easy" in real life. When it comes to attaching the collar, in the magazine there is no real explanation at all. Very hard to do if you've never done it before and then go by the "easy" to think that it will probably not be so hard.... not!
But, I figured it out eventually and the collar is not that bad.
I agree that this blouse needs some precision sewing (the collar and the gathers), but the result is definately there!