Tuesday, June 8, 2010

BurdaStyle Alexander Blouse

BurdaStyle Alexander Blouse #6062

Melissa first brought the BurdaStyle Alexander Blouse to my attention. I don't go to BurdaStyle very often and I rely on other people to filter the content for me. Of course, now that Burda proper no longer exists as a website, assuming they ever actually transfer the archives over to BurdaStyle I suppose I'll visit more frequently. It is SO annoying that Burda did that. Ugh.

One of the great things about BurdaStyle is that the patterns come in a large range of sizes--34 to 44 for this one. The other great thing is that anyone in the world can instantly get the pattern for about the same price. Burda is now selling magazine patterns there; they are more expensive (they all appear to be $5.40) and come in the more limited magazine range of sizes. This price per pattern seems quite high, as I pay about $6.67 per issue--only slightly more than a single pattern with no personal expenditure for ink and paper.

Join Front and Back Pattern Pieces As suggested by Melissa, I added a wedge of tissue to the sleeve where the front and back join to ensure that both were on straight of grain. I also added 5/8 inch in width to the front opening edge (or so I thought). The pattern is designed so that the front (and back, if you use the button back--I didn't, just put in a seam) edges abut each other and button with a loop and shank button. The pattern doesn't call for an underlap, but I would certainly have added one if I hadn't extended the front edge. My additional width allows the front edges to overlap so no skin shows through the front button openings, which would not be office appropriate.

Mixed Up Front and Back.  Oops. When I pinned the facing on, the front facing was mysteriously about an inch and a half too short. The cursing coming from the sewing room drew interest from my boyfriend, who had brought his computer over and was working in the other room. He came in to see what was going on and I explained that something had gone wrong with my project. He glanced over at my wall of fabric and said, very deadpan, "Oh no, and you are almost out of material." Ha ha, very funny.

I walked the pattern pieces and they matched perfectly. I was stumped. It wasn't until I was going to sleep that night that I had my A Ha moment. I had placed the front/back piece on the fabric upside down (with the writing face down) and added my 5/8 inch additional "front" button space to the back, and in sewing had treated the front as the back and vice versa. The front and back are quite similar but not identical; the front has a lower neckline and thus a shorter facing length.

To remedy, I matched the lower facing edge to the lower front edge--leaving the excess overhanging at the neck--and hand-stitched and eased the facing into place, then machine stitched and trimmed away the excess at the neck. At that point, I also shaved off about half an inch from each vertical upper edge so the neckline would open up in a pleasing way. It worked pretty well. The back neck is a little low, but I don't think it's an obvious mistake.

French Seam:  Use Serger for First Pass French Seam:  Press to Enclose WS Together Seam I have been on an inside finish kick lately. For the peplum, I finished the lower edges with a rolled hem. My trick for using the rolled hem foot is to zigzag the edges first to give the foot something to grab onto. I finished each lower peplum edge separately, then sewed them together with a serger French seam. First, sew wrong sides together with the serger, as shown at left. Press the serged seam to one side, then fold over and press the seam flat, right sides together. Then take the second pass with the sewing machine, enclosing your serged seam. Your lower hem will look better at the seams if you do it after making the French seam, but a rolled hem foot is too fussy to accept the bulk of a French seam so I accept a little ugliness there.

Waist Inside Finish Inside Finish Rather than do a Hong Kong Finish underlining with a wider underlining than fashion fabric to roll over the seam allowance throughout the garment, I underlined with batiste, cutting the underlining to the same size as the fashion fabric. I stitched fashion fabric and underlining right sides together for all vertical seams except center front, as that was to be faced. I had intended to hem the sleeve after finishing it with underlining, but my lovely crisp cotton lawn (purchased from Kashi) sticks out a bit rather than flowing at the sleeve edge and I didn't want to make it any stiffer. At the waist seam, I trimmed away the seam allowance of the bodice with the serger and then rolled the upper peplum seam allowance over it for a flat fell finish.

Front I normally save the list of changes for the pattern review, but since I changed this significantly I'll list them here:
-Add wedge of tissue in taping front and back pattern pieces together to preserve grain
-Add 5/8" to center front opening for over/underlap at buttons
-Shave 1/2" off the upper vertical edge of center front so the neckline falls open a bit (to see what happens when you don't, see this photo from my Vogue 8196 blouse)
-Four front buttons
-Center back seam rather than buttons
-Change back released pleats to darts (I just can't get into a puffy back)
-Underline, French seams

Would change if made again:
-Lengthen bodice a smidge
-Reduce pleat width of bodice back as there is weirdness above the darts (keep in mind that I had the front as the back but on measurement the drafted front is not significantly wider than the drafted back despite the whole bust situation)

Despite the challenges posed by this project, I totally love the final result. It has a lot of interesting design and it's flattering and fun to wear (it needs the belt, in my opinion). This is part of my "endless combinations." You can see it goes with my green skirt and it was my segue into making a red skirt (or skirts, as it turned out, when the first one didn't work out so well).

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

48 comments:

cidell said...

This is *really* cute and I love it with the firmer fabric.

tcarole said...

I love this smaller, floral print on you. It's very flattering.

redhotpepper said...

Super cute! I also was alerted to this pattern by Melissa and I have some Liberty fabric that I'm going to make it up in.

Annie

KID, MD said...

Adorable! The print is perfect and so versatile! It has a wonderful vintage-y feel. Love it!!

Trudy Callan said...

It's absolutely adorable on you.

Capitol Sew and Sew said...

Love those flirty sleeves! And your significant other's comment got a chortle out of me!! Seems to me that I have heard similarly constructive comments from my spouse and son!

Uta said...

Very cute blouse; I can't believe all the work you put into the finishes! And I love the colors of the outfit, absolutely perfect on you.

Cennetta said...

Super cut blouse.

Joy said...

So cute! That's a great fabric.

Angela said...

Cute top! Love the print and it matches so perfect with your skirt!

Little Hunting Creek said...

So pretty! This looks great on you

Lindsay T said...

That is just perfection on you. Love the tiny print. I have some Liberty-like fabric at home I need to get going on.

MushyWear said...

This style of blouse looks perfect on you...and all those great details without being too fussy. I really like the print you chose too. It compliments the skirt nicely.

Cindy said...

I love everything about this outfit! Thanks for all the helpful hints--I have been wanting to make this blouse. Looks good--inside and out!

Nancy K said...

It's lovely; a great style for you.
Clearly your bf does not understand the concept of a fabric 'collection'.

spottedroo said...

That's SO cute. I love it with the red belt and green skirt. Great piece!

Nancy K said...

Forgot to mention that you can get to the Burda archives in English,
here http://www.burdamode.com:8080/en/Magazines/Archives/1270777-1463237.html

Lori said...

Very cute blouse.

Adelaide B said...

Holy crap, are you cute in that top! Perfect cut and fabric for you.

Kate said...

I agree with everyone else - so cute on you and great work!

melissa said...

yay yay yay! I love everything about this blouse, and it coordinates SO well with the green skirt and red belt! I'm so glad mine inspired you. :)

Faye Lewis said...

Love that print with that color skirt. Very cute!

gwensews said...

Totally cute blouse! I love the sleeves. I don't know how I missed your last post, but that red blouse is fabulous!

ELMO said...

Ditto, very cute, perfect for summer, and it looks devine on you! It's a good silhouette for you.

Lisette M said...

Such a cute blouse, such a happy print!

Kyle said...

That is a really really nice fit! :)

LOVE YOUR SBA TUTE!!!!!!!!!!!

BeccaA said...

What a cute, flattering blouse! And what a tiny waist you have.

beangirl said...

That is an ADORABLE blouse! (And what is it with menfolk and their complete and utter lack of understanding about how much fabric a person should reasonably own, and yet they seem to have limitless interest in, you know, car magazines or World of Warcraft or whatever. I mean seriously, you've seen one Astin Martin or Dark Ninja Warrior Elf, you've seen 'em all.)



I feel a blog post coming on.

LOVE that cute blouse and yes, that's one tee-iny waist.

Sherril said...

A-dor-able! Makes me want to run out and get the lap band so I could be as cute as you in this top. I won't though.

Anonymous said...

Nice! And: "you´re almost out of material"--good one!

Greets
Hanna

Vicki said...

You are nice and bright! I think it suits you. The new top is a great match for the skirt.

DawnRose said...

I have never commented on here before, but I always read. I must tell you, that blouse's cut and print and color is very flattering on you! Good job, you nailed it!

Becky said...

Very cute, very flattering! And I agree about the belt-- I really like the way it looks with one. I may have to consider adding this one to my mental queue...

Eugenia said...

Such a gorgeous, pretty blouse. I adore that wondeful fabric - just right for this style. You look so fabulously summery and cute in this outfit.

Karin van D. said...

Very cute. I can picture you having some luxurious afternoon tea in this pretty blouse :-) The belt is a great touch indeed!

RiAnge Creations. Ltd. said...

I don't "twee" but your outfit just might change my mind. Great work. I love the colour combination and your helpful tips.
Angela

Mikhaela said...

Oh I LOVE it--perfect fabric and the shape is adorable too.

sewabeginner said...

THis blouse is so cute on you. Very flattering. Beautiful job!

stitchbliss said...

You look terrific in this outfit. I like the different shape of the blouse, interesting but not out there, and the print is gorgeous. I agree, the belt makes it smart, rather than pretty.

Tasia said...

Love the little print, the style of the blouse is quite unique, and the belt ties it all together! You look fantastic, great job.

Karen said...

This top looks great on you! I am so impressed that you can change/alter the pattern to fit yourself so well. Great with the green skirt!

senaSews said...

Really cute blouse! Well done!

AllisonC said...

I really love the sleeves on this design, I really must get a printer one of these days. The blouse really suits you.

Katharine in Brussels said...

I just love this blouse on you, and it reads very much your style. Perfect colour choice. Bravo.

Echo said...

Hiya - cute blouse and like the new hair do! :o)

Valeria in Perugia said...

Hi there from Italy. I have been reading your blog for a long time and really enjoy it! You may be interested to know that Burda Magazine is still available for preview on the Italian version of the website
http://www.burdafashion.com/it/index/1270777-1000019-1769194.html;jsessionid=5801105A73C332E5C35442F219D12A9C
is where you can see July 2010, for example. Keep up the great work and let me know if you're ever in my neighbourhood!
vALERIA

just chic said...

I found your suggestions extremely useful in creating this blouse and I adopted most of them :) Thank you
Here is my blouse: http://just-chic.blogspot.com/2010/09/deux-piece-fall-outfit.html

Lady Mockingbird said...

of all the finished alexander blouses on burda yours is my favorite! I love the styling and fabric choices!

~Amy
www.LadyMockingbird.com