A few months ago, my friend Lauren from Instagram offered to send me some fabric from a dedicated craft op shop. Well, fabric and op shops are my dream combination, so I couldn’t say no! Lauren was very good at picking fabrics according to my preferences (natural fibres, brown earthy tones) and I’m grateful to her for her generosity.
This is the first of many creations with her gift – Burda Tie Front Blouse (10/2010 #118B). Believe it or not, this was one of the first patterns I ever made. Being a rookie sewist, I made the error of choosing a stiff, thick old sheet, which made the finished product look more like a priest’s vestments than a fashionable top.
This time round, I chose more wisely (or Lauren did!) in using this beautiful cotton swiss voile. The retro brown tones fit the pattern perfectly, and my sewing techniques have certainly improved since then!
I used French seams for the construction, due to the fray-prone fabric. The bow is attached a bit haphazardly – you bias face the neckline, then just topstitch the bow on top* – but I figure no one’s going to look at the inside.
I wasn’t sure whether to attach the tie all the way to the edge of the neck slit or not. The pattern suggests sewing “shoulder to shoulder”, but when pinning the bow in place I found it sat better when holding the whole neck together. The neck slit edges flopped around sadly otherwise.
And yes, as other reviewers have suggested, the slit is perilously low. I’m just grateful the bow covers the whole thing.
Regarding alterations to the pattern itself, I took some height off the sleeve cap. Burda (and other) patterns often have far too much ease for the armscye, causing difficulty easing in and an almost-puff sleeve look.
I usually measure the seamlines of both armscye and sleeve (not cut lines!), and remove some height and/or width from the sleeve cap if ease exceeds 12mm or so. It’s an easy fix, especially compared to trying to ease in a too-big sleeve cap later on.
I am absolutely thrilled with how this top turned out. It’s easy to wear, with lots of room for movement (not a common occurrence with my broad back/shoulder fit issues!), and can be worn casually or dressed up. The fabric is lightweight but not totally sheer. And best of all, it’s just so me.
Like with many Burda patterns, the most fun thing about it is the bizarre photo. Maybe I should make a pair of velvet overalls (pants and suspenders?) to complete my “whittling on a pile of wood” look.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the versions of this pattern which inspired me to give it another go, confident I wouldn’t look like I was about to give communion this time round – Naomi, Amanda & Meg.
Pattern: Burda Tie Front Blouse 10/2010 #118B
Pattern details: “Tie-front blouse sewing pattern, available for download. Available in various sizes.” Available in Burda magazine, or as a digital PDF download, sizes 36-44.
Fabric: 2.8 x 110cm wide earthy lightweight fern print swiss voile, selvedge reads “Swiss voile opal photo printed”.
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing, for slit facing.
Mods: Size 42 – 44 hips
– 1/2″ (12mm) forward head adjustment
– Added 3.5cm length to hem
– Removed approx. 6mm from neckline all around
– Removed 6mm height from sleeve cap, to reduce 1.5cm each side (3cm total) ease to something more manageable (1cm+ either side)
*I think. I know Burda downloadable patterns have a reputation for having vague instructions, but these are downright incomprehensible. I suspect a translation error, but at any rate their instructions have much improved since this pattern was published.