Wednesday 26 October 2011

Burda blouse 121 October 2011, much easier than it looks

Just turned in the latest domestic comic novel, in the same vein as A Visit From Voltaire, to my literary agent in London.  It's been a very productive summer (working with publishers to re-edit/digitalize three mysteries and the Voltaire comedy into e-books was very time-consuming) but partly because with my husband in hospital most of the year, it was very quiet for me at home between daily clinic visits.

I'm thrilled to report he's finally back on his feet and we're really enjoying our hard-won time together.
Facing an uncertain future with him so ill, my sewing mojo dropped pretty sharply over the summer, but against all the odds, we now have the chance to look forward to a busy autumn of MET opera transmissions, live concerts and even a little trip to England in a few weeks, instead of me finishing the year alone. Prayers answered! So here's a post along the lines of Ageing Love.
They say this is the season for ruffles, but as I sewed this up, using the last of the Indian silks from my son's Calcutta summer adventure, I couldn't help worrying that I was veering into Aurora territory. Terms of Endearment  is one of my favourite movies, but certainly not because the feisty Aurora is anybody's style icon, even when you're close to her age. In fact, her uptight fluffy fussiness as she relaunches herself into romantic and sexual adventure is one of the comic counterpoints to beau Garrett's sexy "relax, Aurora," astronaut. Still, I think under a black tuxedo jacket, I could just carry it off.

Nevertheless, this very romantic blouse is temptingly easy and quick to sew. I mean, the finished product looks like a bigger deal than it is, but there is absolutely nothing technically difficult about it, not even interfacing required on the blouse version, nor cuffs/button/buttonholes. (There are also two dress-length versions without the ruffling. I expect you could even do the full-length dress with ruffling in chiffon as a peignoir for a knock-em-dead New-Year's-Eve-for-two outfit. I will not be responsible for the outcome of such an assignation. Remember my mother's sage advice, "Never drink more than two martinis with a man you're not engaged to." Yup, my mom was the original Aurora!)

All you need is the patience to machine hem and re-hem ruffles and hems and long edges. I used a French seam on the body sides and shoulders, and zigzagged the raw edges of the sleeve seam, and skipped the body darts for a soft and flowing look. I'm sure the front and back darts would, however, be advisable, if your fabric has more body, e.g. a taffeta or cotton.

This item will travel, along with the paisley blouse posted earlier, to a November concert conducted by son at Cambridge followed by a day in London with the elder and youngest kids, at UCL and the LSE. I mean, if someone brings you silk from India, the least you can do is show up wearing it!

But for now, I think, what with the royal blue satin ruffled blouse, the navy polka dot sleeveless ruffled blouse and this one, I'm set for the season as far as blue ruffles are concerned. I also counted some five "tie" blouses in my collection going over the years, so that's done, too.


  1. You're right about too many ruffles. It is too much. that's why the Burda's version in all black looks better - more strictly.
    Love your blog, your posts are funny!

  2. I love this tied blouse look and ruffles are fine with me although I think this blouse would work nicely in a tailored no frills version as well.

  3. "Relax!" it's not nearly fluffy enough for Aurora:-)
    It's very pretty. You are building up a cache of Lovely blouses. All prettier than the last one.
    It sounds like your son is excelling in music. Conducting. Very impressive, indeed!

  4. That is really good news about your husband, enjoy your plans together. Personally I love ruffles so I think your new blouse is great, the only thing that makes me nervous about this pattern is that wraps can have a tendency to gape, but yours looks pretty secure on the dressform.