A casual summer outfit: Burda short sleeve shirt and altered RTW pants

I’m really behind on blogging some garments – this shirt was made way back at the beginning of December. At the time, the weather was warming up and I decided I needed some new short sleeve shirts. So, armed with yet another fabric order from The Remnant Warehouse, I got to work.

A woman wearing a short sleeve white shirt and loose, floral print pants.
Apologies for the terrible indoor photos – I couldn’t get this shirt to photograph well outside. Custom necklace from Demeter Studio, marble bangle Country Road from a BSS page, Diana Ferrari gold leather flats from op shop.

This pattern is one you’ve seen before – Burda silk blouse 04/2011 #105. I used it as the base for a 50s style shirtdress, and made it up in some lovely polka dot crepe back satin pre-blog. I’d already made quite a few fit adjustments and style adjustments in my previous iterations.

For this version, I simply cut off the sleeve 4cm from the underarm and added a cuff, finished width 3.5cm. I slightly shortened the collar point as I know Burda’s penchant for outlandish collars, and changed the buttonband construction. Following this Fashion Incubator post, I constructed a kind of faux-separate buttonband, which is really just an extension of the shirt, folded back under and pleated to give the illusion of a seam. It’s a technique I see in RTW very frequently.

A close up of a buttonband on a white button up shirt.

I’m impressed with how professional the buttonband looks, and just how easy it was to execute. I’ll certainly be doing more buttonbands like this in the future – sure beats sewing on a fiddly separate band. If you wish to alter an existing shirt pattern for this method, all you do is add 1/2 buttonband width + buttonband width + 1/2″ (for pleat) from the centre front. Note that this also shifts the CF further along, so think carefully if you are going to be pattern matching.

A woman wearing a short sleeve white shirt and loose, floral print pants.
That moment you realise your pants make you look like you’re wearing a nappy.

The fabric is a cotton/elastane shirting. I bought it thinking it might not need as much ironing as a regular cotton shirt – but was unfortunately wrong! Otherwise it is good quality fabric, with a lovely thickness and smooth feel. Unfortunately, the shirt has developed some unsightly yellow stains on the pocket, cuffs and collar. At first I thought it was washing powder residue as they appeared after the first wash, but they have not budged with subsequent washes and soaks. I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is, but I’m not too concerned – stains don’t really bother me.


The pants I’m wearing with it are nothing spectacular – just RTW viscose ones I bought from the op shop and altered. As I mentioned in another post, I seem to be doing more altering than sewing these days, and thought I’d show you an example of what I’ve been up to.

Although generous through the leg, the original elastic waist was constrictive. So I unpicked it, topstitching and all, and inserted soft knitted elastic to my desired circumference. I didn’t have elastic wide enough to fill the waistband, so I took a tip from Heather and created a ruffled waistband finish. The stitching is maybe 12mm from the top, with another close line of edgestitching. The bottom of the band is also edgestitched.

The elastic waist of a pair of pants.

I also removed the elastic from the legs and hemmed them, so they are a more tapered than harem. They’re not the most flattering of garments – they are from Rivers, after all – and they’re certainly not what I’d be wearing if I had a choice. But they are lightweight and comfortable and that’s all I can hope for right now.

Bart Simpsons throws flowers at Homer. Bart: oh, go eat some flowers! Homer: [screams]. My secret shame.
I can’t believe I just admitting to owning something from Rivers.
This shirt pattern is definitely a winner. I’ve worn the short sleeved variation countless times since making it, though it’s not on high rotation now being a slightly too-fitted style. Fingers crossed I get back into it soon!

A woman wearing a short sleeve white shirt and loose, floral print pants.


The deets:
Pattern: Burda silk blouse 04/2011 #105
Pattern details: Long sleeve blouse pattern, available as PDF download or in Burdastyle magazine. Sizes 36-44.
Fabric: 2 x 115cm stretch cotton shirting – white from The Remnant Warehouse
Other materials: Buttons, from stash. Tessuti lightweight interfacing.
Mods: Size 40 bust, 44 hips. Most of the fitting changes were made in the first version I sewed of this pattern.
– 13mm forward shoulder adjustment, moved sleeve cap forward 13mm to match
– took some ease out of sleeve cap by narrowing and shortening approx. 2cm
– slashed and added 1cm vertically to front piece at bust; this made bust dart wider, I also lowered apex 8mm from original position
– 12mm swayback adjustment
– broad back adjustments: let out side seam and sleeve seam 5mm at underarm, drew back armscye and sleeve cap approx. 5mm wider, added 5cm to CB piece, tapering to nothing at hem; this became a box pleat under the yoke
– shortened sleeve and possibly widened slightly? Added cuff, finished width 3.5cm
– changed buttonband to a 3cm wide industry-style band as per Fashion Incubator tutorial
– took about 1cm from collar at tip to make it less pointy

Author: Siobhan S

30 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic disability advocate.

8 thoughts on “A casual summer outfit: Burda short sleeve shirt and altered RTW pants”

  1. I think pants like that are more flattering IRL that in photos. I have some similar, but with massive gathering at the back that make me look like I am wearing a *full* nappy in photos, but on I feel like they are easy and chic. I’m sure that’s what I would think of these ones too.
    Love the shirt. I have an old 70s simplicity shirt pattern that I think I might spend some time hacking into an ultimate shirt pattern this year by adding a yoke – feeling you on the broad back adjustment! It has a fold over button stand, but without the pleat detail. Might just have to try that. (I’ve already de-70s the collar!!)


    1. Love the idea of a 70s Simplicity shirt pattern! Though I might be tempted to keep the outrageous collar haha. The pleat technique is definitely one worth trying. Fashion Incubator never fails to impress me with her multitude of failproof industry techniques.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely shirt! White shirts like yours always look so fresh and summer-y, and yet put-together. And even though the pants are more for comfort than style, I think they make a really nice outfit with your pretty new shirt. =)

    PS: I am off to check out that Fashion Incubator technique–thanks for mentioning it!


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