I did it! I tamed the beast! I sewed this chiffon blouse, which I had been dreading, and it wasn’t so bad after all. I sewed the shit out of it, in fact. Five-headed hydra fabric, you are no match for ME!
This is Burda’s 10/2011 Chiffon blouse with tie band #128B. Here’s the picture of Burda’s model:
It’s got a baggy, 70s type feel, as you can see from the styling in Burda’s photo: the fringe bag, the big round sunglasses, long hair, and floppy, wide-brimmed hat. I don’t remember seeing too many leopard print stockings or snakeskin mini skirts then, but it’s ok with me if Burda wants to throw in little 80s with their 70s. That pistol belt buckle might even be a little bit 90s. The Burda model’s got more of a rock star groupie thing going on; I think I rock mine more like a secretary. I guess that’s why blouses with bows are called secretary blouses. Duh.
This was the first time I tried French Seams, which involves sewing the seams first with the WRONG sides together and a 2/8″ seam allowance, then flipping the fabric around so that the RIGHT sides are together and sewing a 3/8″ seam allowance. What this does is encase the fray-able ends of this chiffon fabric within the seam, so the seams look almost as good from the inside of the garment as they do from the outside. No surprise it’s called a french seam. I picture a sexy French woman insisting to her tailor that the inner seams be beautiful: “But Pierre, zey must look good even, how do you say, inside-out on ze floor of my boudoir!”
I modified this from the pattern a bit: I made the tie band much, much longer than the pattern called for. I also left out the interfacing on the tie band. I sewed one according to the directions but the interfacing made it too stiff and heavy, and it was too short to tie a low-hanging bow, so I ripped it out and did another one. Very glad I did.
The tie band & collar is constructed a bit strangely, as you might be able to see from the picture below…the tie is only attached to the back of the collar, so there is lots of room for the front collars to sort of flop around. I don’t think I like this very much. I will live with it for now but I am tempted to attach the tie band along the edges of the front collar as well. Alternately, I might add a button or hook-and-eye closure to the top of the front collar…that’s just gonna flop open a lot, as the fabric doesn’t have enough structure to keep that lying nicely. We’ll see.
Overall, I’m pleased with how this turned out. Once I made myself sit down and start sewing the damn thing, it turned out to be a fun project.