Burda of the Month: 5/2014 #131 in polka dots!

Friday, 30 May 2014
I finished my Burda of the month project last weekend at my sewing retreat, and here I am even posting it before the end of the month so I'm well and truly within my self imposed time frame and not late as I usually am. There were quite a few patterns I liked in this issue, but in the end I decided to go with a blouse, made in a (shock! horror!) polyester with a fun black polka dot print from deep within the stash. I don't normally sew with polyester as I prefer to wear natural fibres, but I had this fabric in the stash needing to be used and I wanted a cute polka dot blouse so for once I decided to go with it:

It's pattern 5/2014 #131, which is shown in the magazine in both satin (version A) and cotton (version B) - is it just me that thinks it's a bit cheeky of Burda to count these as two patterns when the only difference is the fabric and a few pieces cut on the grain differently?

The Burda pattern is a size 36 so I figured it might be too big since I usually sew with a size 34 due to my narrow shoulders and lack of bust line, plus this has gathers front and back so I knew there would be excess fabric. Looking at these photos the fit seems ok. I did a narrow shoulder adjustment but not a forward shoulder adjustment because frankly I didn't know how to or if it needed it at all since there is no seam on the shoulder because the yoke extends to the front. Width wise though it's pretty good, not too big around the bust and a perfect fit over my hips:

It looks far better tucked in I think than worn out.

I decided to make the collar from a plain black mystery fabric from the stash in the same weight and slipperiness as the polka dot fabric (probably polyester too, I'll have to remember not to stand too close to a naked flame!). I think using a solid black for the collar instead of the polka dot fabric makes it stand out more, although this shirt is obscenely low cut in true Burda style so I don't know if I want to draw attention to that.

This shirt didn't take too long to sew, but I do admit that I took a few shortcuts. I didn't finish the insides as nicely as I could have. I wasn't entirely sure that this pattern would work first time around, so I was treating this as a hopeful wearable muslin and was sewing it mainly to check the fit and the secondary aim of adding it to my wardrobe. I just overlocked the raw edges instead of using French seams which would have been a better choice for this fabric because it's a bit sheer, and I also didn't finish the neck edge properly as per the instructions by sewing on bias strips as a facing to join up the short stretch from the centre front button band to the shoulder yoke - instead I've left it raw which I'll probably just cut with the pinking sheers:

But all this is on the inside which no one sees and I'm usually too lazy to make the insides that nice - as long as it's not fraying I don't really care! I do admire those who do wonderful work on the inside too, but it's just not me. The other shortcut I took was to leave off the opening placket and buttons on the sleeve hem - I just made a simple cuff and left it at that.

Speaking of the sleeves the technical drawing doesn't show that the sleeve has any gathers at the shoulder seam, but when I was sewing this up I had so much excess fabric that it was not possible to ease it in so I went with a few pleats on the shoulder cap. Not my usual style but I think it looks pretty and in keeping with the style of the blouse:

Burda describes this as a straight cut blouse which it certainly is because it has no darts and minimal shaping. I was highly tempted to put some vertical darts in the front and back to take out some of the puffiness, but I thought I'd wear it a few times before deciding whether it needs it or not.

The gathers at the front and back at the yoke seam are lot more subtle than the technical drawing suggest, but looking at the model's photo I can see that her blouse doesn't have any obvious gathers there either.

So overall I think this is a nice enough blouse that I may make again in a lightweight cotton or possibly a silk. If I do make it again I would raise the centre front because no one needs to see that much of my bony, freckly decolletage, and I would also reduce the excess fabric in the sleeve so that it doesn't have any puffiness. And apart from my usual narrow shoulder adjustment the fit is pretty good - I can recommend this pattern to anyone who is looking for a simple but pretty blouse.

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