Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Burda 06-2013, #119, and what I hope is the seam method of pattern alteration

I have a new blouse!

It's a pretty simple one. The point of making it was to experiment with fitting. I would clearly benefit from a full bust adjustment -- many of my tops are either too loose at the shoulders or too tight through the bust -- but I've muddled along without knowing how to do one for a long time.

I don't think the method I used is a common one, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out. It's the seam method from the book Fitting and Pattern Alteration, recommended by Susan Khalje in the Craftsy course I'm working my way through. At the risk of overreaching here as a brand-new blogger, I'm going to try to summarize it, only because I didn't find much about this method online. So just skip this part if you want, obviously.

If I understand the basics of this method correctly (and that's a huge IF; this was not at all easy for me to figure out so please point me toward better information if you can!), the idea is to make your alterations right at the seamline to minimize distortion while at the same time preserving the length of the seamline, so that you don't have to make changes in other pieces that connect to the altered piece. To make this happen, you cut carefully just along the inside of the seamline on your pattern piece, choose points at which to clip "hinges" through the seam allowance just to the outside of the seamline so you can overlap and/or spread as you need to, and then redraw dart lines etc.

Below is what I ended up with. Toward the top of the photo, you can just see an overlapped piece of seam allowance where I made one of the hinges. (The slash through the middle of the dart does not interfere with the integrity of the seamline since that extra fabric will be gone once you sew the dart.)

I give this method bonus points because, since you're working with the seamline, not the cutting line, you don't have to add a seam allowance when you trace patterns from magazines like Burda or Manequim. Though you do have to draw in the seamlines if they're not on your pattern already.

Okay, enough about that. This pattern is straightforward if you've made this type of shirt before. The only change I made aside from the FBA was to place the patch pockets a bit higher, so they didn't outline my "apexes."

This fabric is a loosely woven cotton that Mood offered in an online sale a while back. It is extremely blue. As I was making the blouse, I left it hanging off the back of a chair before I got the collar and sleeves on, and my husband pointed out that it looked almost exactly like a WalMart greeter's vest. So true! It made me laugh, but now I'll always think of that when I wear it.

The back could use some work, or maybe it's just too snug around my hips? Will keep working on how to make my clothes fit . . .

The pattern review is here.

A good dinner for a hot day:
Shred some cold roasted chicken, toss with lots of cilantro torn into big pieces, add a big handful of sliced almonds you've toasted in a dry skillet. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and coarse salt. Eat with good bread and wine, preferably outside. Adapted from Forever Summer, by Nigella Lawson, but she uses parsley instead of cilantro.


  1. Your new blouse looks good and fits you nicely around the bust! I've got the same book and love it, so far all of the alterations I made with these instructions have worked out fine so far. For the fba, though, I'm wondering why the authors don't change the lenghth of the front as well, as I can see that on very fullbusted girls the bust apex often is lower than average. What do you think?

    1. That's a good point, Marie. On looking back at part 3 of the book, I see that the alteration I made is actually meant for "larger bust," where there's primarily a width increase, as opposed to "prominent bust," where length is also affected. The latter alteration looks more involved. I think the trick will be to learn the more standard methods of pattern alteration so this seam method is just one tool in the toolbox, to be used when it's appropriate. I'm glad you stopped by again!

  2. Your blouse looks good! Step by step, you'll work it all out, 'cause you're doing the homework. Congrats on taking classes and blogging even though it is lots of work.

    1. Thank you, Mary Beth! Yes, I'll try to be patient and keep doing the work and we'll see where it goes . . .

  3. The puddling at the back is usually caused by either a sway back or short back length.