Nancy Zieman’s Pivot and Slide method got me thinking that I could fit a button-down blouse.
The description of Burda 6527 is, “Darts at the waist fit these airy summer blouses to your figure. Choose between a shirt collar or a stand collar, the sleeveless version or with sleeve bands and short sleeves.” I decided to make Version B, which has a stand collar and little sleeve caps.
Cotton Eyelet from Julie’s Picks Club at Fabricmartfabrics.com.
I don’t know what possessed me to buy it. It can’t be worn without something under it, and the colour is impossible to match. It’s not fuchsia, it’s not coral, it’s not orange.
Last month I purchased Nancy Zieman’s “Pattern Fitting with Confidence” book. While I’m becoming more adept at doing FBAs, Nancy’s methods seem easier to calculate. The idea of not having to hack up my patterns is also appealing because as I keep telling myself, “I’m going to be a smaller size in [insert number] months.”
Using Nancy’s methods I determined that I should cut a size 16. But a 16 means that I need to add insertion pieces and that means tape, so I went with the 18 instead for this first effort. So I used the 18 measurements and compared against my measurements to come up with the adjustments to be made.
Burda Patterns provide a ton of extremely useful measurements on the pattern pieces. The Front Waist, Back Waist and Neck were all included (plus many more). Burda gets a bit star in my book for this information.
Adjustments were made in this order:
- Shortened (slide) 1 1/2″ above the waist
- Lengthened (slide) 3 1/2″ below the waist
- Increased (pivot) bust by 3 1/2″
- Increased (pivot) waist by 2 1/2″
- Increased hip (pivot) by 1 1/4″
- Moved (slide) front and back darts accordingly
I didn’t increase the bust by quite as much as the difference on my calculation card. When I looked at the ease on the pattern sheets, there was already almost 4″ of ease built in for the bust and waist.
I traced the patterns and made the changes on Swedish Tracing Paper. Once I made the changes, I pinned all of the pieces together and checked the fit. This type of paper is very nice for fitting because it has some drape, and it’s durable. While doing the pattern fitting I moved the darts both front and back.
After making the changes to the pattern I cut the fabric. Because this eyelet is so
see-through airy, I knew that I had to add interlining for the pieces that are interfaced (collar stand and front placket). There would be no way I could find a matching fabric, fortunately the selvedge of this fabric was not embroidered, and that plain section was about 2 1/2″ wide – enough to cut one collar stand and two strips for the front plackets.
Since I hadn’t made a muslin, I wanted to confirm the fit so first basted the darts, shoulders and side seams and tried on the blouse. The fit was very good, except I didn’t like the back darts because they weren’t giving enough shape, so I made that minor adjustment and set about sewing.
The pattern directions are good, but in some places they’re a bit vague. If you have experience sewing blouses with plackets and collars, you’ll be fine. I was really happy with how the front plackets and collar stand lined up, especially since it was hard to mark this fabric.
I used French seams on the sides and shoulders. The darts were trimmed and machine overcasted.
The sleeves … they don’t make me happy. At first I topstitched the outer edge of the little wings that they call sleeves and they stuck straight up and out. They remind me of the smock I made in Grade 7 Home Ec. So I took out the top stitching and that helped some. But I’m still not entirely sold on them. This look is not good with an untoned arm. Tell me what you think! I am thinking of taking them off completely and just adding a facing. At the bottom of the sleeve there is a small bias piece used to finish the bottom of the armscye. The instructions were a bit weird, so I wound up folding the bias piece and pressing, then opening up and stitching along the fold line, in the same position as the stitching on the sleeves. Then I folded in the bias piece and finished it.
I wasn’t feeling particularly rushed with this project so hand stitched the inner edge of both front plackets and the collar. This type of work is so much easier now that I know about waxed thread.
Finding the buttons was a bit of a challenge. I wanted something monochromatic, and surprisingly found just the right set at Hobby Lobby. Honestly, I’m having really good luck with that store. I know some people don’t like shopping there because they offer their own brand of products, but on a weekday that’s my only choice.
Close to 2 full hours on the pattern and adjustments, plus cutting the fabric
About 6 hours sewing, including the hand stitching
More time that I expected, but that’s okay. It’s not a race 🙂
I’m generally happy with the result. I will use this pattern again for a button-down blouse, but will skip the little batwings. Maybe I’ll wear it with a black tank and black pants …
The top was not going to be worn with those little batwings, so I tried a few different things and finally settled on gathering the edges a bit. I sewed a row of basting stitches, then gathered until the sleeves rounded toward the arm. Then I sewed a row of zig zag stitches over the basting. Much more wearable now!