One of the biggest thrill for me when it comes to sewing is trying patterns that are constructed in a more creative way. At first glance, this Burdastyle blouse from the April 2018 issue might not look like anything unusual.
But the magic is in the sleeves. They are draped, with small pleats and then the sleeve head is folded in the middle and joined at the shoulder seam.
This creates a very voluminous sleeve, with beautiful draped lines. I used a soft rayon challis, so the body of the sleeves is not as pronounced, but with a stiffer fabric, the sleeves would be really big!
I interfaced the cuffs with silk organza since I didn’t want to mess with fusibles as they tend to change the hand of soft fabrics. The silk organza was perfect for this purpose, and if you sew silks, sheer fabrics and the likes, get your hands on some silk organza if you haven’t already. I’m still using the same piece I bought over 10 years ago, so totally worth investing in.
As for the construction, it was pretty straight forward. I found the only confusing part to me was how to deal with the draped edge. It is folded inwards, and I serged the edges, but the edge of the fabric can sometimes peak out since these sleeves have a life of their own. In fact, getting both sleeves to look exactly the same at all time, is nearly impossible.
As you can see, the shape of the sleeves is not 100% identical, and this is like an ongoing process during the day. This is a blouse that has a life on its own, but I don’t mind at all!
BTW, the hemming is done using my favourite narrow hem technique, which I highly recommend for light soft fabrics!
The neckline has a keyhole opening, and all the edges are covered with bias tape. As you can guess, this was the hardest part to get right. I even ended up ripping the keyhole, since I didn’t like how messy it looked on the inside. It went better the second time, but the curve was nearly impossible to get even.
This has quickly become one of my favourite blouses to wear this summer. I did a size 38 and it has plenty of ease, but that’s part of the style. So using a soft fabric with drape will probably look better than a stiffer fabric I think since it might make the blouse look a bit boxy. Anyhow, I’m a super fan of this pattern, and very happy I did give it a go!