The first thing I had to do was determine my size. According to Burda, I should be 38. I placed one of my tops against the pattern and realised it was going to be too big. I chose the size closest to my top, size 36. The hips was a similar size, but the bust was much wider. I decided to use stash fabric, a sheer blue paisley voile and a white voile for lining.
I had to cut the fabric twice, first the paisley voile and then the voile lining. I am not used to reading sewing instructions as the Japanese patterns that I sew from have pictorial instructions. The Burda sewing instructions was bedtime reading for many nights but I still could not visualise how to do the bias binding on the lower armhle edge and merge it neatly with the bias binding on the upper armhole edge. In the end I decided to think it through and do it my own way.
I wrote down my modifications and sewing notes.
- Cut the back bodice in 2 pieces with a centre back seam.
- Stitch centre back seam for top and lining up sperately to the point of the back slit.Tthen stitch the back centre opening with top and lining together.
- Stitch side seams using french seams separately for top and lining.
- stitch sleeve front and back for top and lining separately. Baste top and lining of sleeve together at armhole edge. Sew bias binding from the inside, turning over to the front and top stitching..
- Sandwich sleeve in between front top and lining. Sew raglan sleeve seam from front neck edge down to just before side seam. Then sandwich sleeve in between back top and lining. Sew raglan sleeve seam from back neck edge down to armhole and back up to the front raglan sleeve seam.
- Gather the neckline to 17 inches, sew bias binding from the inside, turning over to the front and top stitching.
- Sew hook and eye at back neckline slit for closure.
- Hem bottom of top and lining separately.
- Mods: I took in a total of 1.25 inches each on front and back at the armhole, tapering dwon to meet the pattern at the waist. So a total of 2.5 inches width were taken in from each side.
The back neckline (see above) looks quite frumpy to me. It is not obvious, but I tried my best to match the paisleys on the 2 back pieces.
Close up of the sleeve above and the insides below.
I'm not sure how I feel about this top. A riduculous amount of work went into sewing something that looks so simple. Burda was not kidding when they rated this pattern easy to sew but more time consuming. Sewing everything twice because of the top and lining was quite a waste of time. It would have been more time-saving to choose a non-sheer silky fabric to do away with the need for lining. You just need to make sure the fabric is soft enough to accomodate the voluminous gathers at the neck.
As for the pattern, be warned! If you cut out the pattern based on your measurements, you are definitely getting the loose version Blouse 117, not Blouse 116. Or maybe the photo of Blouse 116 is misleading because the model is reclining on the sand to hide the roominess behind. I chose one size smaller, and still had to remove inches (see my mods above) from the sides. After doing so, there's still ample ease.
What attracted me to this pattern in the first place was its simplicity. The end result retains that simplicity but I just wish it was more close fitting. After struggling with this pattern, I want to sew something easy and familiar next!