Thank you all for the fitting suggestions on the Vogue 7876 blouse. I am glad I'm not the only one who suffers from this issue! And I received several helpful suggestions for altering such patterns to fit. I really appreciate the help.
I really don't know how to characterize my shoulders. They are narrower than average and yet muscular, I guess (in addition to sloping)? It just seems impossible to have both overly wide shoulders *and* tight shoulders in the same pattern. But it clearly is not, and I am not the only person experiencing this mysterious phenomenon.
And Terri A asks where I buy all my glasses online. I loooove having a wardrobe of glasses and it has become one of my signatures to coordinate with my outfit. I have tried several online places but the best, in my opinion, is zennioptical.com. They have a great selection at insane prices--as low as $8.00 for the frame, lenses included unless you need ultralights, $4.95 for anti-glare, $4.95 for shipping (last I checked)--and they always get my prescription perfect. The only downside of ordering online is that you don't go in for a fitting and get the arms bent to sit perfectly on your ears. I am sure I could try a local optical shop for that, but so far (knock on wood) none of my glasses have been uncomfortable. How cute are these purple plaids for $8???? Standard disclaimer: I have no connection with Zenni except as a satisfied customer.
There is a *ton* of info on ordering glasses online at Glassy Eyes, including website reviews and discount codes, but here are some basics: You can figure out what size will suit your face by measuring your current glasses; all the sites give measurements for their glasses. To order online you'll need to know your prescription and your pupillary distance (PD), which you can ask to have measured at the optical shop or do it yourself or ask a friend to hold up a ruler and measure between your pupils. I've had friends do it themselves successfully, though luckily I got measured at the optical shop.
When we were at Jomar in Philadelphia in October I got two silks for $6/yd to make Fall/Winter tops. This navy stretch charmeuse is the fabric I had planned to use for Vogue 7876, but we saw how that turned out so I sought solace in Burda. I have been liking Burda 11-2007-104 since it came out, which is a couple of years now, but it wasn't the look I envisioned for this drapey silk (and there's no way I would have had enough fabric). Then I ran across the line drawing for 02-2009-123 and was like, "Why haven't I made this before?"
Looking back into the magazine (I have taken photos of all the line drawing pages and have them on my computer to reduce wear and tear of leafing through every issue when I am looking for a pattern) I found the editorial spread and realized why. Burda has this as an airy overblouse and I am not an overblouse kind of gal. Although I admire the look on other people and you'd think if anyone could find a way to wear (by which I mean show off) more clothes at once it would be me, I don't know how to layer and I don't particularly want to layer and I sure as hell don't want to have to make two pieces in order to get dressed in only one outfit!
However, the reviews on Pattern Review show a regular wrap blouse, not an overblouse. In fact, most reviewers said they weren't sure how Burda managed to make this look like an overblouse in the photo spread. Huh. I really had my heart set on a wrap blouse with a shawl collar for this silk, so I figured I'd just take the plunge. The pattern comes in 36-44, so I scaled it to a 34 at the shoulders and bust. I normally make a small bust adjustment in a wrap by shortening the diagonal line between waist and shoulder, but I wasn't sure how it would affect the collar so I really went out on a limb and cut it as is.
Burda, how I love thee. This is a simply fabulous pattern and incredibly easy.
The collar is cut on so the wrong side of the fabric will show, but that is what makes it so easy. It's also meant to be finished with a close zigzag. I used just the right needle on my serger and it looks good; in the closeup pictures you can tell that the thread isn't a perfect match for the fabric but that disappears at further than 6 inches or so. Normally I would have given the rolled hem foot a shot, but working in lightweight stretch silk on a curve would have been futile so I saved myself the heartache. I also finished the hem using the serger; it is not perfectly straight in the back but seeing the photo in which it is impossible to tell I won't stress.
Because I was sewing with silk, I finished the insides with French seams. Since the tie end has to go through an opening in the right side seam, I used the close single needle serger stitch to finish the opening edges and left the opening unsewn in both passes of the French seam. It worked well and I think it looks nice on the inside.
Burda wants you to finish the back neckline with bias tape, then stitch to the front at shoulders, leaving the collar to extend. Then you are to fold the collar over to sandwich this seam and hand stitch the collar in place to create a clean finish on the inside (I think that's what they were saying). Because I was doing French seams that wouldn't work. I finished the back neckline with bias tape before assembly as instructed; I topstitched the bias tape to keep it in place. I folded the collar against the front at the foldline and put in the French shoulder seams, catching in the collar. Then I rolled the finished shoulder seams over the back neckline (with its bias tape) and tacked them in place. Not the most elegant solution, but it works.
Although I didn't do an SBA on this pattern, the bust looks good and the crossover doesn't gape. Such luck!
The sleeves are meant to be elasticized with a bias-finished slit and little faux ties. I didn't have enough fabric to cut the sleeves full length, nor make enough bias tape to finish a slit. I might have been able to make little faux ties, but I had to piece one of the waist ties. For now I like them that 7/8 length; I just finished with a single needle serger stitch as for the collar and hem edges. I think the sleeve would need a little more width to look right with the elastic edge.
Really, everyone must immediately make this pattern if you have this issue. Just make sure the wrong side of your fabric is acceptable and go. I am already trying to decide what fabric to make it in for Spring with flutter sleeves.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.