Friday, March 19, 2010

Burda 08-2009-118, Flounce Front Blouse

Burda 08-2009-118 Thumbnail

When I went to Philly in October, with a trip to Jomar heavily featured, I picked up two silks from the $6/yd silks section for Fall/Winter blouses and I was determined to actually make them up! I made the navy into the Burda 02-2009-123 self collar wrap blouse, and decided to make the gray into Burda 08-2009-118. Although the sleeveless version of this blouse has been quite popular, I haven't seen anyone make the version with sleeves.

Narrowed Sleeves I purchased 1.5 yards of this fabric. For cheaper fabrics Jomar gives quite generous cuts, but understandably in the relatively higher dollar (let's not forget it was still only $6/yd!) fabrics the cuts are closer to accurate. So I had to narrow the sleeve pattern a bit to accommodate my fabric. It is still very puffy. I also did not make it tight-tight at the bottom of the sleeve because I thought it would be too uncomfortable to have tight fabric bunching in the crook of my arm. I am definitely not wild about the sleeves. I don't like a dropped shoulder in general and combined with the overall puffiness of the blouse I think it's more shapeless than chic. I felt a little better when I wore the blouse this week and a co-worker complimented me on it.

French Seams Because it is a silk, I used French seams. I wasn't quite sure how to handle the armscye. In fact, in general I don't know how to handle the armscye when doing french seams. With a gathered sleeve cap French seams can get very bulky. This doesn't have a gathered sleeve cap but it has a drop shoulder line so the side of the blouse is cut in a straight line with just a marking for placement of the lower edge of the sleeve, rather than with a traditional armscye. I decided to French seam the sleeve onto the bodice first, and then to sew the sleeve and side seam at one go. I had a hard time getting all layers of the fabric to catch in at the underam. But for the most part the seams look nice and fancy.

Button Closure I had several issues with the neckline of the blouse. The first was that I did not have enough fabric to make a bias binding for the neckline and so I was forced to use the facing. Seriously, facings are SO AWFUL. I finally got it to look decent, but it involved a lot of clipping at the curves, which always makes me nervous, especially in a delicate, lightweight fabric like this (not sure exactly what the weave is, but it's not much more substantial than a habitoi/china silk). And it's so ugly on the inside!

The second issue, which Birgitte had flagged (I swear it was her, but I can't find the actual post, only this one showing the a-mazing complete Chanel outfit for her daughter--btw, Birgitte, if your daughter is sick of it I will pay for the express postage to send it to me, heh), is the flounce placement along the neckline. The markings are really too wide, with the flounce going almost all the way to the shoulder. Not only does this widen the shoulder line in an unflattering way, it stretches the flounce too thin so that it doesn't fall as well as it could. Out was ripped the facing understitching, the facing/neckline serging, and the facing/neckline seam and the flounce was brought a couple inches closer to the center on each side and it looks much better.

The third and fourth issues are not really issues. Burda tells you to finish the flounce with a close zig zag, I used my rolled hem foot. Burda tells you to sew a button on the inside with an invisible loop to keep the neckline closed. I used a fancy button on the outside (leftover from my Cruella de Vil costume), but followed their suggestion for using a thread loop as the closure, which looks nice.

Side Burda 08-2009-118 The flounce/ruffle/other embellishment trend has been strong for quite a while now and I wanted to get on the bandwagon. However, I'm not sure that this was the right choice. I just don't love how puffy it is, and I think I have the length wrong but am afraid to shorten the hem for fear it will pull out when tucked into a skirt (the length isn't an issue when it's tucked in, only when worn over the skirt with a belt). I really like how the sleeveless version has worked and may try that over the summer. In fact, maybe I should just take the sleeves off this one since I dislike them so much and am unlikely to give the blouse that much wear next Fall/Winter (I am officially declaring it Spring; it hasn't been below freezing in several weeks). I will ponder that.

It has few pieces and is quite easy to put together and has a trendy look, so if you like the pattern you should definitely give it a try. All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

22 comments:

Diane Drexel said...

Before you take the sleeves off, make sure you try the blouse on with a cardigan sweater. I bet that flounce looks intesting under a sweater and the sleeves would provide some extra warmth for fall/winter (my office is always cold in winter).

If you do go with a sleevelss version, that gray would look smashing with a white pencil skirt and red pumps, peek-toe, or heeled sandals.

Reethi said...

I don't love it out, but it looks really good tucked in... Thanks for the notes on the flounce, this might actually make it on my to-sew list.

KID, MD said...

Way cute tucked in! You are right that the length isn't quite perfect out. I still like it. I've been contemplating the sleeveless version for some time now...

Marie-Christine said...

If you're not wearing it because of the sleeves, I'd definitely rip the sleeves out and wear it.
That said, I really like the sleeved version myself and would prefer it to the sleeveless. To each her own :-).
Anyway, it looks fabulous. Even though it's grey, such a shock to see you in grey :-)..

beangirl said...

I like it tucked in best (I think you're right about the length) and I like the sleeves but that doesn't probably make them any more comfortable for you. Sometimes when I do french seams, I do a bias binding on the armscye seam once it's finished. This doesn't always work well because it can add bulk, but sometimes it's ok.

Eugenia said...

I think you should wear this top a few more times before you decide to rip the sleeves out. You are sure to get some more compliments on it and you will also probably get more used to the sleeves. Personally, I love it on you - I like the ruffles and the extravagant look of the sleeves. Also that grey silk is so beautiful, very elegant and just right for this style.

Claudine said...

I rather like the drop shoulder/puffy sleeve. In fact, I like the whole effect. That is a very unusual color choice for you, though.

Digs said...

I like the top you made - it's elegant, and I'm sure it'll be versatile. That said, the pattern could be much improved - Burda's fault, not yours!!! The flounce says: semi-formal and elegant wear, yet its shaping is too casual for that. I bet it would look less poofy with a regular rather than dropped sleeve, a regular sleeve cap (widened for that fun top sleeve pleat), and with some side seam shaping. If you decide to make it sleeveless, maybe shorten the dropped cap somewhat and shape the armscye a bit.

Lindsay T said...

I agree with everything you said about this top. I think it's a case of Burda designers not editing themselves very well, sleeve-wise. I think you did a great job with it though, but I could see how you may want to remove the sleeves.

Faye Lewis said...

That is so cute. I love it with either skirt.

NGLaLALa said...

What a great color on you! Love the blouse... I think it looks great with or without sleeves.

Cennetta said...

Great job on the blouse. You look great.

Vicki said...

From here it looks good. Very cute even. Looks best tucked in.

Trudy Callan said...

It has a nice soft feminine look to it and nice drape. I think it looks better tucked in.

kbenco said...

I love the flounce, and I like the blouse better tucked in.

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

Its lovely - that beautiful colour really suits you. I like it best tucked in too.

For curves, such as the armcye, you could try a mock French seam? Its a bit fiddly (I've only tried it once before) and involves turning the raw edges of the seam inward and then sewing over the top to secure them.

Carol said...

I like this and the colour is good on you. I've been thinking of trying this, too.

Linda said...

Read your review at PR this AM, saw photos yesterday. I am thinking about trying this blouse. I like it tucked in with pencil skirt. Very professional looking.

Birgitte said...

LOL- DD is still very attached to her suit, but I'll keep it in mind :)) The two of you have such similar shape it's almost ridiculous! Not to mention style! Her blouse was 08-2009-103 with the flounce from 117, and I made it in silk charmeuse, which is heavier, so the flounce/blouse drapes a bit more. The dropped shoulder is not my first choice on dainty upper bodies like yours because it steals some of the beauty of what are naturally inherent in a body composition of small upper body and waist, and round hips. In my eyes it's the preferred body type because it's so feminine. If you don't love the sleeves I think it's worth the labor to remove them. Wear it tucked in and position most of the excess of the blouse toward the back. The color is gorgeous btw, and I love seeing you in silk :))

Kristy said...

Good idea on bringing the flounces in closer together on the front, it makes it look more flouncey and less floppy (which is what I got with my version). As for the sleeves, I think the dropped sleeves look a little casual and add even more fabric, so there's a lot of looks going on with the one blouse. I love the colour of your top worn with your red boots, so don't give up on it!

senaSews said...

Personally, i don't like it with the sleeves. i would take them off. But the blouse looks very nice - especially tucked into the tweed pencil skirt.

eword10 said...

I also think that maybe the flounce/ruffle is too wide to begin with. It almost has a bib quality. If you narrowed it a bit in the next iteration, I think you'll find you like it better. Wow, look at me. Giving advice to my betters. hehehe.