Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Burda 07-2011 105 floppy front blouse - pattern review

Pattern Description:
sleeveless top with asymmetrical draped front pieces

Pattern Sizing:
European 36 to 44. I used a size 38 and just widened at the hips to a size 40, although this turned out not to be necessary and I reduced the width once I had fitted the top.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes, taking into consideration the changes I made

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I downloaded the instructions  from the German website and these were pretty clear.  I couldn’t follow them as I added a lining but there was another review saying the English instructions were useless. I can’t comment on that as I couldn’t find the instructions in English on-line as this pattern does not seem to be sold on  the US Burda website for some strange reason.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the unusual draped front pieces. The pattern actually did go together well and fitted once I made my usually alterations. After wearing for a few days, I find that I really dislike the fact that every time I bend over, people can see all the way down the front of my shirt to whatever I happen to be wearing on the bottom! It’s pretty typical for this type of style and the only real solution is to wear a camisole underneath. Living in the Philippines where it is always hot and sticky, I really dislike having to wear two layers of anything ( there are some days where I would even like to forgo underwear but I am definitely too old for that! ) so I would love to find a another solution! Any suggestions?

Fabric Used:
A thin cotton or rayon woven fabric, which I think I bought at some market in Holland . It’s been in my stash for at least 15 years. I originally wondered if it would be suitable for the pattern as Burda made the top in a silk chiffon, but my fabric was very supple I decided to try. As it is a floral print, I had to line the front pieces so that the draped flaps, which would normally show the inside of the fabric, would look good on both sides.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made plenty! I carefully read the great review by The Slapdash Sewist and at Home Made Couture before starting so benefitted from their comments! I generally put a dart in the back ( see photo 1) as well as add to the back length at the shoulder point to correct for my protruding shoulder blades and generally bad posture.
( armhole line still has to be smoothed out)

I omitted the band at the bottom as I felt there was no point in it as I wasn’t going to use a contrast fabric, so I lengthened the blouse by 6cm and made a deep double hem at the back to give the garment some weight and help it hang better. I also felt that the seam that holds the 2 front pieces together was too close to the armpit, so moved it 1.5cm closer to the centre front and trimmed the same amount off the edge of the flounce so that it wouldn’t be too wide.

I used the same fabric to line both front pieces edge to edge, so that the inside of the printed fabric would not show on the collar flounces. This was a good decision as I could encase all the raw edges on the flounces as well as at the bottom and at the armholes. On the back I used self bias binding to finish armholes and neck line after having added some interfacing to stabilize. The original left front pattern reaches the centre front at the top and then curves away to the stitching line holding the front pieces together. (if you look at the pattern pieces here, you will see what I mean) I felt that this was a bit weird (especially if your fabric is a bit transparent), so made it a straight line to the hem.

The 2 previous reviews had mentioned that the triangular flounce on the left side hung a bit weirdly. I thought about taking it off, but decided it would be better to anchor the 2 front togther i at the centre front so it could not drop away, but would roll over like a small collar. I tacked them on the centre front at the same height as the stitching line which holds the 2 fronts together. (on the pattern pieces above the new lines are drawn in red)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes I would! If you don’t cut on the bias (as the instructions tell you), and use a reasonably stable fabric, it is not that difficult.  But if you line it edge to edge like I did, you should be an experienced sewer as it fiddly.  I would also shorten the strap and tack both fronts together higher at centre front as it is a bit too open at the neckline for my comfort.

I want to make this pattern again in a solid fabric without the lining and with contrast topstitching as well as a contrast strap folding up the flounce. This would also be cute as an evening top in a crepe, if you add some beads to that little strap as well! I was even thinking about lengthening it and using it for a dress made out of a heavier knit so I can leave all the edges unfinished!. The fabric doesn’t have to be that thin, it just needs to drape well, so should be suitable for most jerseys.


  1. Thanks for your hints, looks great! I will be making this soon, am going to put it on the straight of grain and lengthen it,

  2. Hi i really love to learn how to sew, making blouses and dresses. Please let me know where may i attend some classes. I am full time employee but i want this to be my part time job and same time a happy hobby. Please help me !