Sunday, November 22, 2009

Strong Shoulders Revisited - Burda 12/09 Overblouse 108

I posted earlier this fall about strong shoulder silhouettes. My fascination with these extreme shoulder shapes was around the technical details. How did they construct them and what was used to maintain their shape? Some of the pictures in my idea file featured this sleeve used by Dolce and Gabbana in their Spring 2009 collection.


Yesterday my December issue of Burda magazine arrived in the noon mail and there was a “over blouse “ with similar sleeves. Shown in a brocade fabric, it was styled with leather pants, a wide black cuff bracelet and a clutch purse. Sort of a dressy up casual look, for holiday parties.

I had started working on a wool jacket that morning, but it was “same old stuff”. This over blouse was much more interesting, and after reading the instruction, I just had to make it. Was it a bit fashion forward for the Richmond fashion scene? Yes. For a lady my age? Yes. Would I wear it a lot? Probably not. But sewing is my hobby, done for pleasure, not production! If a new technique or style excites me, I will try it just for the experience. Okay, I do have a practical side. The blouse is actually a fitted sleeveless top, that is completely finished prior to attaching the lined oval shapes over the armholes to form the “shoulder puff’ sleeves. So when this fad passes I can remove the sleeves and have a very nice fitted holiday top.


I had a bunch of silk brocades in my stash, part of a bundle of tie fabric remnants bought years ago. So if this blouse reminds you of your husband’s tie, it may be the exact same fabric! And I keep a supply of lightweight separating zippers because I like to use them for blouses and indoor jackets. So I was ready to go. The blouse is in Burda Tall sizes. I fall in between the 5’9” of their tall size and the 5’6” of the regular size. I always make the regular size and lengthen leg and skirt lengths. I was prepared to “de tall” (shorten) this pattern, but during a test fit the bust point and waist fell in the right place for me. I did shorten the top at the hem a bit so it did not hit mid hip (widest point on me).

The sleeve pieces are two similar oval shaped pieces that are interfaced and lined. They are attached to each other along part of the seam that goes over the shoulder. I used a non woven fusible that tends to stiffen up fabric. It, along with the natural stiffness of the silk brocade, worked nicely to hold the sleeve shape. And the seam allowances on the shoulder curve are not trimmed. They are pressed open on both the lining and fashion fabric adding a lot of stiffness and shape in that area. The back sleeve piece is actually slightly bigger than the front, because it has go over the rounded contour of the shoulder back. I like the oval shape of the sleeves better than the circular shape used by D&G. It looks more “couture” to me. Someone did a very good job drafting this pattern.




Is this sleeve comfortable? Yes, when my arms are down or only bent at the elbow. (Note to self: Only drinks with straws, no bottled beer) When I start to lift my arm, I feel the stiffness of the sleeve edge, which is strange. If I lift my arms up a lot, the top goes with it. (Another note to self - restrained dancing only, hip shimmies and shoulders rolls) Ah ha, I just realized why they showed a clutch purse with it in the magazine picture. A purse strap would crush the sleeves. Ummm, I hope it’s warm the night I wear this. I can’t imagine what kind of coat or wrap to wear over it. I haven't seen a name for this sleeve. I think it should be called the Pauldron Sleeve. A "pauldron" generally refers to any kind of shoulder-pad style armor, covering the top of the shoulder. And the definition goes on to say that when the pauldron extends past the armpit, movement is restricted. I'd say that is accurate.



Laughing and head shaking is permitted.

24 comments:

KID, MD said...

I saw this online when they previewed this month's Burda and was intrigued by the sleeves as well. I'm glad to see yours. It looks very wearable! And quite lovely - that rosy brocade is perfect on you.

Digs said...

Bravo for making this top. Your photos are far more informative than BWOF's, and it looks like a fun top to wear. The result's gorgeous. Reminds me of a Doonsbury cartoon of long-long ago, "Dare to be great, Ms. Caucus".

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Your work is impeccable! This blouse is definitely a fashion statement.

gwensews said...

Wow--that's an extroidinary sleeve! Thank you for explaining it.

Bunny said...

Thanks for going for it with this style. You did a great job.

If memory serves me, I believe Roberta Carr explains this type of sleeve in her Couture book. Always intrigued me.

Claudine said...

You're fast! It's not even December yet. The top looks great. I really liked that one, too, and it's fun to see it made up.

Vicki said...

I didn't laugh, but I did roll my head when I thought of me wearing such a sleeve! You have done a good job with the construction. Hope you are brave enough to wear it. :))

a little sewing on the side said...

I love that you made this top. And this is only the 2nd time I've heard someone discuss Pauldron sewing. The first time was the anime costume I sewed for my neice.
lol. Love your sense of humour, too. Fashion is for wearing.

Sigrid said...

How wonderful that you just tried it. It's too much shoulder for me, but I love your attitude of "go for it and try". The fabric is beautiful, and like you said, you could always use it without the sleeves. Wouldn't have noticed it could be a sleeveless top if you wouldn't have written about it.

Eugenia said...

I think that your top looks amazing - I actually really love it and think that you look wonderful in it - a little restriction in arm movement is worth it to be able to make such a stylish fashion statement!

Gorgeous Things said...

You're a braver woman than I. I saw that and while I think it looks cute on you, I'd look like a defensive tackle for the New England Patriots! :)

Sharon said...

Wow! You're so fast. I just received my issue today and was curious about that top so I was really glad to see your version and explanation. I wouldn't have guessed from the photo how this was constructed. End result is beautiful - have fun wearing it!

Vicki W said...

Kudos to you for trying it out! You do like you are permanently shrugging your shoulders.

Ann Brodsky said...

I love it! Your choice of fabric is perfect for it. Thanks for reviewing it so quickly.

cidell said...

LOL. Ok. The commentary alone will keep me coming back to this review ;) Yeah, I see what you mean. But, I applaud Burda for being fashion forward and for you making it so quickly.

j.kaori said...

Congrats on making this blouse. As usual, your results are impeccable! It was definitely a page-stopper when I flipped through my issue of Burda, but at just above five feet in height, I knew I wouldn't have the pleasure of making it for me.

Christina said...

I was so curious to see what this would look like in real life, thanks for satisfying my curiosity! I love your attitude, you are right, we shouldn't hesitate to sew the fun stuff :)

DanHale said...

Like everyone else has said..You have done a great job! I really like the fabric too... :)

katherine h said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Go ahead and wear it every day whilst the fashion lasts. By the time I ever got round to finishing a project like this, the fashion would have moved on. I love it, enjoy!

lsaspacey said...

Wow, that is gorgeous! Your work is always impressive. Thanks for taking a risk. Here in Richmond (Hi neighbor!) we don't see a lot of that unless it's retail-approved risk from Anthropologie. Thanks!

Lynneb said...

That is indeed, an interesting and fashion forward blouse! You did a fabulous job sewing it...there must be a party somewhere in Richmond where you could wear it!

Kathi said...

Your post has left me laughing, for that I thank you! Your blouse immediately made me think of the women of Dynasty, especially the Linda Evans and Joan Collins characters!
Get dressed up and go walk around The Jefferson a few nights. There are parties there all the time until Christmas and nobody will ever realize you don't truly belong at one of them!

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Anonymous said...

You are my new style icon. Bravo!