Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Burda Magazine 3/2009 109 Over Blouse

Do you want to increase the work on a blouse sewing project? Just follow these guidelines.

1. Choose a blouse pattern with an inset neck band/front placket
2. Pick a fabric that can be challenging to work with - example: silk charmeuse
3. Add piping around the neck band
4. Hand dye the fabric for the piping
5. Hand baste the piping in place before final machine sewing
6. Redo piping several times
7. Make your own buttons out of polymer clay
8. Put the placket button holes on 45 degree angles so that button looks like the print,

I loved this Andrew Gn polka dotted blouse with piped trim. Notice how the big buttons on the skirt echo the polka dots. So cool.

I found this dark brown silk printed with cream flower petals that reminded of me of polka dots, well abstract polka dots. This fabric is everywhere. I bought mine at Hancock’s. It was available at www.Fabricmartfabrics.com at about the same time and is still available at Vogue Fabrics and FashionFabricClub/DenverFabrics. I would love to learn more about the supply chain for fabric. Why are some so hard to get, and others show up everywhere, like this one. I thought this Burda blouse was similar to the inspiration blouse. The fabric used to cover the piping is silk/cotton sateen I found at my local quilting store, of all places. It was bright white. To make it more cream colored, I tea dyed it. A long time tea drinker, I know from personal spills and splatters, just what color the stains are; the perfect light brown tinted color I needed. The grocery store brand of tea, made especially for iced tea or drip coffee makers (cheap, black and strong) worked just great. Five minutes swirling the piece of fabric around in a pot of hot, regular strength tea, yielded the perfect color.


The filler for the piping was rayon rat tail cord. Normally I am a “machine sew everything” person, but I always hand baste piping to a garment for control and careful placement. The neck band has 90 degree inside corners and outside corners. After I had machine stitched the piping in place, I was very dissatisfied with the look on the piping on the inside corner. I remembered a picture of piping on a similar corner, applied using a overlapping technique, from a 2005 Threads magazine article called “Perfect Piping” by Susan Kahlje. There were no instructions, but the picture was clear enough for me to figure it how to do it on my own.

Button sources in my town are limited. Many years ago someone gave a presentation at our ASG Fashion Focus neighborhood group on making buttons from polymer clay (like Fimo or Sculpey brands). I loved the idea. A Google of "polymer clay buttons" will bring up numerous web sites with pictures and instructions if you are interested. With a dollar for a package of clay, and a half hour for forming and baking, you can have machine washable buttons in any size, color or shape you want. I made flat oval buttons, with shapes similar to the larger petals in the print. I used a canapĂ© cutter to cut the oval out of flattened clay, and a corn handle to make the holes for the thread. I don’t know how familiar folks are with corn handles, especially if they don’t eat sweet corn right off the cob. They are little pronged handles you stick in the end of a cooked ear of sweet corn to make the eating a tad neater. They keep the butter and salt off your fingers, but it still gets on your face. I wanted the buttons to look scattered like the ovals in the print. To accomplish this I put the button holes on 45 degree angles, alternating the direction of each one.
I chose this pattern because the neck band was like the one on the inspiration blouse, but I was concerned about the front gathers, which are below the bust. They put lots of fabric in the waist area and not in the bust where I would have expected it. I thought about moving the gathers up to the bust when I sewed the front to the placket, but didn’t. I wish I had, and will probably do it in the near future, when I am in the mood for careful seam ripping. The placket buckles when there is any movement that pulls the fabric over the bust. After I get it fixed, I plan to wear the blouse tucked into a skirt under a jacket, not as an over blouse.


36 comments:

Digs said...

What a beautiful story: I was practically on the edge of my seat waiting for the finish. And a beautiful end result. Lovely top.

a little sewing on the side said...

Wow, this blouse looks glorious on you. It was a lot of trouble, but you sure got a great result!

Cindy C said...

Wow, that is an outstanding job! The piping and buttons are especially exciting, and the careful placement of the buttons to look like random petals is genius.

sewing elle said...

Its fabulous! I love the fabric and the piping and I love the way you made your own buttons. What a great idea.

Anonymous said...

what an enterprise, but a joy to behold. I love your buttons and the angling of the buttonholes. I've never seen that before. and thanks for the Susan Khalje reference for the piping. This is a delightful blouse.

Trudy Callan said...

Wow. What a lot of work, but worth it in the end. It's just beautiful. Love the creative placement of the buttons.

Sue said...

It was worth all the work! Your blouse looks great - the piping is fabulous and I love the idea of diy buttons!

katherine h said...

Oh, most gorgeous. I certainly can appreciate the efforts you have gone to with the details of this blouse. It looks divine. Have lots of fun wearing it.

Jenny said...

Sounds like a lot of work, but it does look really beautiful!

KID, MD said...

Wow!! Nice work. You did a lot to make this happen, but it totally paid off. The blouse looks great!

gwensews said...

Your efforts paid off. It's a cute blouse. Interesting though, that the gathers are below the bust, but evidently, that is the way it is meant to bo styled.

senaSews said...

Wow, i really love this blouse. I love the fabric with the piping and the buttons. Absolutey adorable!

Dei said...

For all your troubles, the blouse is fabulous. All the extras take our garments to that next level. :)

Eugenia said...

You've done an amazing job with this blouse. Definitely worth all the work - it really is beautiful and suits you so well.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Audrey - each one of your pieces are becoming works of art. The process is so well thought out and then you use such wonderful techniques to obtain the final product. Love this top! Only which one does it replace in the wardrobe?

Kathi said...

Beautiful blouse - you have put so much thought into every detail!! I am especially impressed with your knowledge of tea stains!!

Vicki W said...

Great blouse and I love the buttons!

Joyce in NC said...

The blouse is beautiful. It looks very good on you. Thanks for all the tips.

Mary Nanna said...

How to get the perfect blouse:
1) start with a vision
2) hand dye your fabric to the perfect shade
3) hand baste your piping
4) use an interesting design
5) make your own buttons and artistically arrange them

congratulations - you look amazing!

Cennetta said...

Lovely blouse. All of the extra work: hand sewing, dyeing of fabric and handcrafted buttons make this an extraordinary blouse. Thanks for sharing the process.

Gail said...

Ok you've made me decide. I have this blouse half finished on my sewing table. I was put off by Kbenco's comments about the position of the gathering being unflattering. I'm finishing this weekend. Interestingly I have very similar fabric ready for another blouse.

Sew Shy said...

Wow, well worth the effort. I especially love the custom buttons and their placement on the angle.

Vicki said...

All that work paid off! Lovely blouse/top

meli88a said...

Wow, nice work! The hurdles you had to clear are well worthwhile.

KayY said...

Like everyone else, I think this blouse is absolutely gorgeous! Your attention to detail really pays off.

Bunny said...

Great blouse and your efforts really turned out a fabulous garment.

Joy said...

Wow! The details are amazing.

I noticed that kbenco moved the gathers in her version: http://kbenco.blogspot.com/2010/01/bwof-03-2009-109-blouse.html

NGLaLALa said...

Beautiful blouse!! I love that you dyed the white.

Lisette M said...

It turned out gorgeous!!

KimP said...

Great post Audrey - very entertaining! Only you and Martha Stewart would make buttons from scratch (or clay, rather). : )

It looks beautiful on you which means it was worth the extra trouble!

j.kaori said...

Fabulous blouse and very entertaining story! I love all of the details (especially the buttons) that went into making this. It looks fantastic.

nicoledemana said...

You are an amazing sewer I hope one day to be able to get an item of clothing to look so smart mine look like a jumble lot lol

Brenna said...

You have gotten lots of wows...here's another one...WOW! I love that fabric. I think your blouse looks more professional that the original!
I didn't know the polyclay buttons were washable...good to know!

Brenna

Isabelle said...

Wow, this is so beautiful. Very inspired. Congratulations on this outstanding work!

Linda said...

I am always inspired by your garments. This is another excellent looking garment. Love the extra design touches-piping and the alternating direction for the button holes.

sabouha said...

i love this blouse nd i'll make it inchalah,sabah from algeria