Last week, I suddenly decided that what my wardrobe lacked was simple, semi fitted button-up (or button-down, if you are from the US) shirts. And because I could, I decided to make one there and then.
I used Burda 2561. I notice on Pattern Review this pattern has been around since 2002. I bought this pattern in 2008, but it has languished in the stash. Nearly 2014, and Spotlight today I noticed this pattern is still in the catalogue, albeit with new photos. Why not? It is a simple blouse, with a self facing buttonhole placket, a simple collar and no cuffs to worry about. Straightforward and classic as it gets, I reckon it would be a pretty good starting point if you have a penchant for fiddling around with patternmaking.
I'm pretty happy with the fit I achieved on this blouse. I did a 1cm FBA after I had relocated the bust darts. I also added a centre back seam to help with the back fit. I added width to the sleeves around the biceps, and as usual cut this sleeve on the bias.
I used a length of red linen I picked up at Remnant Warehouse earlier this year. I didn't have quite enough, so I had to scrounge out the collar pieces, by cutting the collar to a narrower width, and cutting the undercollar piece on the bias. I read somewhere once that doing this helps with the roll of the collar. Then again, don't quote me on this, I could be making that up! I also added the patch pockets, not included in the pattern.
This pattern would be pretty good, but for two reservations. One, the direction for the slits on the sleeve hems. (Sorry you can't really see them here). They have you sewing a small rectangle, then snipping into the rectangle and turning the hems out. What you get are rectangular slits. They looked terrible. I fiddled around and resewed the slits, event though they looked better, they weren't as good as if you had sewn a triangle in order to make triangular slits. Seems pretty basic, doesn't it?
Then we come to the sleeves. Man, I had my suspicions when I first saw them. The sleeve head had that exaggerated curve you get with sleeves that are meant to be gathered. This is a set in sleeve. So I did everything I could think of to ensure the sleeves went in smoothly: I ran three rows of gathering right round the sleeve not just between the notches. After I pinned the sleeves in to fit the armhole, I removed them and laid them over the end of my tailor's ham, and steamed them, hoping to shrink them a bit. Then I re-pinned them and sewed them in. I swear, I addressed every gather and pleat that inevitably got caught in the seam line, but the sleeve seams still look puckered, mainly at the back:
Sorry about this, blogger does not want to show this photo right way up, no matter how often I've tried to load it :((
The puckering is definitely there, but being linen, I reckon I can just about get away with it. Maybe.
Here's hoping Burda addressed this issue when they changes the cover art.
This back view shows also that the truncated collar doesn't quite cover the seam at the collar in back. At least the seam is nice and neat!
So there you go. A nicely fitted blouse, let down by sleeves that just about defeated me. I would countenance making this again, if I could get my head around re-drafting the sleeve pieces so they, you know, had some relationship to the size of the armhole! Any advice as to where to go to do this would be appreciated!