What do you think of my over the top cream blouse? Not only does it have my unwise passion, ruffles, but it is completely the wrong shape for me. Despite this, I love it, and am in a state of seamstress euphoria after finishing it earlier today.
The pattern is Burda Style 5-2010-125. It has only one rather unhappy review at pattern review, but I have been coveting it since May. The model photo did nothing for me, but the line drawing.....
It took rather a long time to sew - not exactly difficult, just fiddly, in a good sort of way. Burda rates it as a 2 dot pattern, and it is possibly the most time consuming 2 dot pattern I have yet come across, despite having no darts, no tricky pockets and little to do for fitting. This
The interest is at the neck.
I shirred this using (what else?) shirring elastic, a doubled strand hooked over the thing-a-ma-jig at the back of the C foot and stitch #10, bridging stitch, on my Husquvana Lily, with a #60 needle.
I think this gives a very pretty effect, much better than boring old zig-zag over one strand (I hope I am sounding smug here, it is technique acquisitionitis going to my head).
I really liked the effect of the back neck ruffle attaching perpendicular to the front ruffles to give a standing up effect at the back whilst the front lays flat. The pattern drafting is spot on, with lovely effortless matching such as the seamline hitting exactly on the outer shirring line of the front ruffle. I had to bind the back neck seamline, and stitch it down to the back bodice to encourage uprightness.
The fabric is a cotton-silk voile that I bought at Greenfield's last October. It was tricky to sew, slippery and ravelling, and does probably not have quite the body of the recommended fabric for this blouse - batiste. However, it feels lovely to wear.
In order to overcome this limpness, and avoid exposed seam lines, I doubled all the ruffles, and used enclosed seam allowances.
1. Each ruffle (back neck, front neck, sleeves) was folded in half lengthways, and the short ends finished before shirring.
2. I used self fabric bias binding to bind the back neck, arm holes, and the front neck casing section. The pattern calls for the front neck casing to be formed from just the folded over front bodice, but I felt that the ties would be visible inside the casing, and the fabric would wear too quickly without some extra reinforcement.
3. I bound the shoulder seams with silk organza selvage, then topstitched.
4.I used french seams for the side seams.
I am very pleased with the neat inside.
My main design changes were to lengthen the top by about 7 inches, and to leave off the waistband shirring. Instead of using a single elastic casing at the sleeves, I shirred 3 rows to match the neckline. I like this effect.
I had vague ideas of wearing this blouse as a tunic, and I look very fat unless my tunics hit below mid thigh. I don't think I will wear this as a tunic, as there is a bit of grandma's nightie effect, but the extra length is useful to keep the blouse tucked in.
For fitting, I made a square shoulder adjustment, but no full bust adjustment. There is plenty of ease at the bust and hips. I added a 1 inch concave curve at the waist.
It was great fun to make something frivolous.