2. A Modern Dot

Pattern: Burda 09/2011 #128 Sleeveless Blouse

Fabric: Dobby Broadcloth from Vogue Fabrics

Notions: (5) buttons, white broadcloth for facings and bias binding

Total Cost: about $16


You know how everyone says that a serger will speeds up the sewing process?  I didn’t believe them. I thought, ya ya – another justification for your expensive equipment. Well, holy crap, it does! This blouse would have taken me the better part of a week if I had to finish the seams on the sewing machine but with the serger’s help I had it done in a few short hours. Oh and I even learned how to thread the machine by myself!

I’m pretty amazed that this photo shoot even took place considering how lousy I feel. I may look pale but at least I have some energy in these shots.

This was my first pattern purchase from Burda. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by Colette and Pattern Runway but I was a little disappointed in how vague the instructions were. It took some insane amount of paper for a simple blouse and after assembling I realized that the pattern included sleeves and was long enough for a dress. I’m guessing that this is another version (yes, found it). Of course, the pattern makes no mention of the pieces you actually need to make the blouse so I had to deduce this on my own. That being said, the blouse was well drafted with everything trued and notches lining up. Once I started sewing, everything fell into place.

Looking at the sizing chart on Burdastyle, I chose to cut a 42. There must be some crazy ease on this because I shaved off nearly 4 inches from the side seams. I could have taken more in but the armhole shaping would have been disturbed. The front ease doesn’t bother me but the back bunches something wicked so I’ve been considering making an open boxed pleat at the center waist. Next time, I’ll cut a 38 but I want to check the measurements first.

Despite the negatives, I’m actually quite thrilled with the finished garment. The fabric is a dobby cloth I purchased from Vogue Fabrics last spring. Gail, from Today’s Agenda, made a darling Violet top from a similar (the same?) fabric recently. I hope you can get a sense of the texture from the photos because it’s a really fun take on a polka dot. I think it goes quite nicely with the pleats and the slanted shoulder seams. The blouse should pair nicely with my black dress and upcoming projects and I anticipate it getting a lot of use!


29 Responses to “2. A Modern Dot”

  1. Looks good! I noticed this pattern in the magazine, and after seeing yours I might need to make one myself.

    I think the way to go with burda is to get the magazine. It’s less than $10 a month and you get about 40 patterns. There can be some wacky patterns in there but I figure if I like 2 a month then it’s worth it. You have to trace the patterns off to use them, but I much prefer that to printing and taping! And as you noticed, their instructions are seriously lacking, so previous experience definitely helps.

    • Thanks, Maggie. I think you’re right that previous experience helps. The pattern really was not difficult to figure out but I wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner.
      I’m curious about a subscription but I’m afraid that I wouldn’t end up using 2 patterns a month. Liking the pattern is one thing but actually using it… I noticed that there is an option for a 3 month subscription, though. Couldn’t hurt to try it out!

  2. I absolutely love this blouse! This fabric is perfect for it too! Makes me hate my Violet a little bit more – she’s definitely the ugly stepsister!

    Size 42?! I wear a 38 in European sizes (approx. size 4 in US) and I think you are tinier than me. You might look at the measurements for size 36 too, next time.

    And you look adorable, as usual, despite not feeling well! Hope you’re on the mend!

    • Oh, I loved your Violet! Maybe the kid sister with the peter pan collar but certainly not the ugly stepsister. I feel the need to defend your blouse!
      Hmm… My measurements are almost a perfect 42 but I agree with you that I wouldn’t normally purchase a size 10 for a blouse. It all depends on the style really and this blouse is boxy in the waist – I’ll remember that for next time.
      Thanks, Gail. I’m afraid that the cold is settling in my chest and I just hope that it doesn’t turn into pneumonia. I had walking last spring and it took ages to get rid of.

  3. I posted over on burda too, but just wanted to pop in here as well! I think the blouse looks great! I saw that blouse on the website when burda released it and wasn’t sure what I thought of it – but after seeing yours I really like it! It looks really great on you.

  4. omg! This is fabulous—I love the tiny dot with the shoulder pleats, nicely layered design elements there. And your bias binding looks *perfect*!

    Burda instructions are crazy. They’re often badly translated, too—no help at all. Oh well—it forces us to learn, right?

    • Thanks, Eunny! I’ll confess that the bias binding does jut out a little under the arms. This happens to me occasionally and I’m still trying to understand why. I’ve heard that it’s a sign your bias tape fabric was too heavy for the self fabric but I’m not entirely sure.

  5. I do like your version of this shirt (actually I’m very taken with your black/white, pattern and texture wardrobe schema). It’s the second version of the shirt I’ve seen (oobop! has a great one in black and brown gingham I liked too: http://ooobop.com/2011/10/03/ooobop-gingham-blouse-with-me-in-it/ ), and Iove the way the yoke comes over the shoulder, and the black dobby texture is fantastic.

    I’m curious that you said when you downloaded it, that it came with sleeves…given that it’s getting to winter, I was looking at this shirt, and thinking lovely but chilly, so sleeves might be good! Do you think that sleeves belonged to the shirt at all? I’m wondering how it would work with the extended shoulder – or perhaps it was just a Burda mis-print!

  6. Burda patterns generally have a crazy amount of ease, I always cut at least one size smaller than I should.
    I really love your shirt. That pattern never spoke to me, but now I see it under a new light! (And it’s the second time it happens, with one of your creations. I guess you inspire me 😀 )

    • Thanks, Paunnet! I think that’s one of the greatest things about crafting in the digital age! So often I wouldn’t look twice at a knitting or sewing pattern but then some creative soul brings it into a new light. It’s quite spectacular, no?
      It’s good to know that Burda is liberal with the ease. I just measured the pattern (which I probably should have done in the beginning) and the bust has over 6 inches of ease! I normally like my garments with about 2 inches of positive ease.

  7. Another lovely creation! The gathers at the neckline are awesome. I hear you about the vague instructions. I’m currently battling through a project from Patrones magazine (a Spanish publication) which is similar to Burda. The instructions are a paragraph long and they might as well just omit them because they read to the equivalent of “sew the blouse”. We’re definitely spoiled with Colette patterns!

  8. The fabric you used is called Dotted Swiss and was used frequently for little girls’ dresses back in the 50’s. I have the same fabric and was trying to use in a modern way. I really like the pattern you used.

  9. I love this polka dot variation, and the blouse looks great! You look fresh as a daisy & not sick at all, too. Love the little peek at your tattoo 🙂 I’ve found that Burda has a ton of ease, and I keep sizing down. But I’ll also admit that it’s high time I start using my high bust measurement.

  10. PS – I’ve done the reverse…I’m new to Colette, and have used Burda for quite a while. Boy oh boy… smooth sailing!!!

  11. I love this top! It looks so versatile and lovely. And I agree with the lack of instructions on Burda patterns- I do a lot of “winging” it when I use them.

  12. Lovely blouse. Love it in the polka ovals! And so glad it led me here…. fab blog too! I made this blouse in gingham and was really pleased with the results. It was a little gem of a pattern amongst all the folksy ones and I agree that for the cover price, the magazine is well worth it because there are always 1 or 2 at the very least that are great.

  13. I’ve had this top on my list, but it’s always nice to see it on an actual person (as opposed to the way it’s photographed in the magasine, and that can sometimes be deceiving… and hear about the challenges.
    THanks for sharing !

  14. lovely blouse, and totally agree about the ease. i also chopped 4 inches off first burda pattern i used too!

  15. What a beautiful blouse! I love the fabric and it fits you well. I also love how the neckline shows off your tat. Way cute.

  16. Lovely shirt!

  17. I was unable to figure out the neckband/collar on this one. Does anyone have a closeup of that specific part? My shirt is almost done!!!


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