Note: I’m still catching up on my creations from 2019 – so bear with me, I think this is the last one!
What’s there to say about a pattern you’ve made over and over again? Well, about 1000 words, judging by this blog post! I’ve been sewing less lately, but in a more focused manner – creating those garments I’ll get a lot of wear out of, instead of one off fantasy items (Regency Gown and bonnet excluded!). This means button up shirts!
Burda and Grainline Archer form the backbone of my shirt pattern library, and this particular pattern is Burda long sleeved blouse 04/2010 #114.* I’ve made it a few times before, and a few times more in garments that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it to the finished item stage. It’s a classic button-up shirt, with yoke, sleeves that pleat into cuffs, curved hem and front chest pocket.
I performed my usual adjustments, as you can see at the end of this post, with an additional (and crucial) adjustment to the sleeve cuffs. In my previous shirts, they were just a smidge too tall, so I couldn’t roll my shirt sleeves up properly without folding the cuffs themselves.
This time, I took 1cm height from the cuffs and added it to the sleeve hem, so the length of the sleeve stayed the same but the cuff was more proportional. I love Burda but they’re always adding weird design details to their shirts like this – oversized cuffs, collars, you name it. It’s fun, I guess (?) but not very practical.
The fabric was a generous gift from my friend Lauren on Instagram, who sourced it from a fabric-only op shop (my dream destination!). It’s a Cotton & Steel cotton (!), very soft but substantial with a lovely drape. Thank you, Lauren!
I did a quick series on Instagram on tips for sewing plackets and buttonholes: you can check out the post here or I’ve reproduced it below. I always like talking about the technical aspects of sewing! (Skip the next few paragraphs if you don’t. If you do, there’s more about how I make shirts in this blog post.)
My tips for a perfect placket: follow the tutorial on Off the Cuff blog.
My tips for a perfect buttonhole:
1. Do a sample buttonhole on scrap fabric first.
2. Using those measurements mark your own buttonhole placement carefully (I use a Frixion pen)…I prefer 3.5cm down from collar and 8-10cm up from hem then spaced evenly but if you have a large bust you may prefer to work from your bust point.
3. Use water soluble stabiliser underneath to prevent tunnelling.
4. Don’t be afraid to unpick and redo if need be (see below, my machine chucks it in halfway through a buttonhole sometimes!) Just don’t tear a hole in your fabric like I did! (Luckily the new buttonhole covered it.)
Finally: I’ve only ever had success with machines with automatic buttonhole functions. If yours is manual, you’re on your own! (Cheating, I know.)
Hm, what else. I used a faux separate buttonband on the right, fold under on the left. My tower placket is self drafted. The sleeve cap has had significant ease removed (how-to here). I’ve sewn this pattern (& other altered shirt patterns) so many times before these alterations seem usual to me, but reading Dressmaking Debacles write about her fit/design issues reminded me that this is not how this pattern is drafted!
And finally, a note on Burda patterns. The Burdastyle website, from which I sourced pretty much all of my downloadable Burda patterns, is no more. It has been replaced with a new website (still burdastyle.com), with the same address but a fraction of the pattern library. Of course, now all of my links to Burda patterns are broken, and the search function to find them again doesn’t even work. *deep sigh*.
For unknown reasons, when Burdastyle decided to revamp their website, they removed alllll of their user’s downloadable patterns from their library and their pattern reviews, without ANY NOTICE. I only read about it on a forum, but as a user of the website for many years I received no notification that my extensive pattern library and catalogue of reviews would be deleted. WTF, Burda.
So, anyway. Good pattern, bad website redesign. I’d sew it again, and probably will, now the fit is perfected. That’s why I like seeing repeat patterns reviewed – you find out just how successful a pattern is in real life, after the initial blog post; you see which patterns work their way into an everyday wardrobe and which don’t, and you can read about the ongoing fitting tweaks necessary to make the pattern just right.
What’s your favourite repeat pattern? And were you caught out by the great Burdastyle website debacle? Mine are probably this Burda shirt, Grainline Archer, Style Arc Elle Pant and Grainline Hemlock tee.
Pattern: Burda Long Sleeved Blouse 04/2010 #114
Pattern details: “This classic long-sleeve button-up blouse features a single breast pocket and darts for a flattering and feminine fit. Make it in a bold kelly green or orange and pair with white trousers for a clean summer outfit.” Available from Burdastyle magazine, April 2010, or as an A4 PDF download. Sizes 38-46. No seam allowances added. PDF comes with 2 shirt and 1 dress variations (#114-116).
Fabric: 2.6m Cotton & Steel soft ivory printed cotton, gift from Lauren on Instagram
Other materials: Sheerweft interfacing from Spotlight. 10mm shell/mother of pearl (?) buttons, from Aliexpress.
Mods: Size 42 bust to size 44 hips.
– 1/2″ forward head adjustment, same to sleeve cap; lowered front neck 6mm to smooth out curve created by this adjustment
– Approx. 8mm height removed from sleeve cap and some width to reduce ease to approx. 6mm either side of shoulder notch
– Added 1.5cm length to hem (+1.5cm hem allowance)
– Changed right shirt buttonband to 3cm faux separate buttonband, left to 3cm fold under
– Added 11mm to CB collar/stand on fold (2.2cm total) to true and match wider 3cm buttonband
– Added self-drafted tower placket to sleeve with cuff to match width
– Lengthened sleeve by 1cm and shortened cuff by same amount for more proportional cuff height
- Style Arc Elle + more Burda love
- Burda long sleeved blouse 04/2010 #114, V2
- What I talk about when I talk about shirtmaking (shirtmaking techniques)
- Fabric shopping on Aliexpress (where I bought my buttons for this shirt)
*Burda pattern names are always so wordy, but there is certain logic to them. 04/2010 means it was in the April 2010 edition of their magazine, and #114 is the pattern number. I don’t buy the magazines, as I prefer to purchase individual patterns as PDF downloads.