Friday, September 17, 2021

Black & White Remnant Blouse

I've started making pieces for my Fall wardrobe -- bright jewel tones are my theme, and black and white prints are my neutrals :) I made a Jalie Florence last fall with some great black and white cotton from Fabricville, and on looking into my stash I realized I had enough left over to make a blouse to go under jackets and sweaters. I tried out a few patterns, and found that this Burda 128-09-2011 fit perfectly.

I have had this pattern bookmarked for a while, and was happy that I could finally use it. The cotton holds the distinctive shoulder line pleats nicely and the cap sleeve means both that I could fit this onto my remnant and that the blouse sits nicely under a blazer. 

It looks pretty simple, but oh my, that collar construction! The shoulder seam is dropped to the front at an angle. There are two pleats that overlap to form the inner neck edge. And then you have what looks like a stand-up half mandarin collar. But how to attach it? Well, not the way I first tried. 

Left side: correct -- Right Side: Wrong!

I finally checked PatternReview and was relieved to find many reviews of this blouse, and one of them explains the collar construction very clearly. Once I read that I understood, but I don't know how long it would have taken me to figure it out otherwise! The collar isn't attached above the front neckline, but flush with it. The pleats are sewn onto the front edge of the collar, leaving the seam allowance at the top, and then the second collar piece is attached along the top and turned in, which covers up all the raw edges. Sheesh, how hard was that to figure out! When it's done, it hugs the back of your neck and sits flat against the body.

Other than that particular struggle, this one wasn't too hard. I cut my usual Burda size, 42 and grading to 44 at the hip. I measured the pattern, which looked very long, and took up an inch between shoulder and bust (just below the pleat markings) which shortened the deep armhole and moved the bust point up to where it should be -- I didn't want that first button to fall below the bust point! Now it sits exactly where it should be.

I also finished the armholes with some premade bias tape as I'd have had to piece quite a few tiny pieces from my scraps to make enough self bias. If I make it again and have a touch more fabric, I'd use self-bias - it just always sits more nicely, I think. The only other change I made was to topstitch down the pleat edges for about 1.25" from the shoulder line so that they didn't puff out weirdly. I like the way they lie now. 

And luckily, I had the absolute perfect buttons in my stash. Love the match. This is the first item to be finished in my fall sewing queue, but I still have one summer dress to share soon which is just waiting for its buttons. I'm starting my fall wardrobe with some of the lighter and easier pieces that I can wear now with my late summer outfits as well as with the planned fall clothes.

 I think this blouse will be handy with everything. Although I didn't get a picture, I realized that undoing the bottom 3 buttons allows the blouse to be tied at the waist in cute 60s style as well. Very versatile :) Another black and white top is on the sewing table, hopefully to be finished quickly!

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