Friday 17 August 2018

Second part of my Burda retro-hippie adventure with Nos. 114 and 115, June 2018, inspired by Elle magazine's peasant blouse feature

'You look nice,' my husband commented as I set off for town wearing this ivory cotton version of Burda No. 114/115 June 2018. His appreciation was timely as I needed a little encouragement. This is not my usual 'look,' or at least it hasn't been since 1972, my university heyday of embroidered Romanian blouses.

If the blue blouse version of this retro-hippie style was easy to carry off lakeside over a bathing suit, (see previous post) I wasn't sure about the full length dress at all with these sleeves.

First of all, I am a very active cook in the kitchen. The sleeves (borrowed from the blouse version of the pattern) working over a gas burner are just begging for trouble. On their first test drive, they flopped all over the place and my grown daughter grabbed my arm and rolled the flounce out of the flame's way just in time.

Second, I cut a 42-45 but the design turned out to be pretty full already without me needing to be so generous for my hips.

Third, my choice of ivory risks taking this in the direction of a nightgown (or weirdly like some Franciscan priest on mission in the tropics) needing very definitive accessorizing. Hence the leopard print scarf around the waist (which is not defined in the design. A tie belt is included in the pattern.)

If you want to see how different this design can look in a bright silk, check out Ellen's version, here: Ellen's Sewing Passion.

Fourth, the dress as drafted is a little too long. I didn't need to add my usual four centimeters to a Burda hemline. I suspect Burda's model below is about six feet tall. Again, a scarf hipwrap helps reduce the length a little as well as define the hip area from ballooning out.

I adjusted my plans a bit as I tackled this project. To add the recommended lace insert into the flounced sleeves just took it one step too close to bedtime. So I skipped the lace (mine was too stark white anyway for ivory, as I'd bought it originally for the blue version of these sleeves, viz. previous post) and decided to hoik up the boho effect with leather belts, ethnic scarves and earrings.

I've posted Elle's inspiration page on the ethnic blouse. And below is a closeup of my version, sans embroidery, braiding, lace, and a lot of the other seasonal trademarks of the retro-hippie, leaving only my handmade ties and tassles made from embroidery thread bought to match the ivory tone of the fabric.

NB I made the tassles more expertly the second time around compared to the blue blouse, remembering this time to work fifteen tie threads to be braided into the strings through the embroidery thread bundle's dual ends before cutting the embroidery thread packet into two neat sections for tassles, then securing the tassles with a 'neck' of encircling thread tightly fastened, and only then braiding the 15 strands of dangling embroidery thread into strings. I bought five packets of embroidery thread to be safe. This saved me all kinds of headaches trying to attach a finished tassle neatly to a separate braid.

So if my husband likes it, I'll probably wear it until the weather turns and experiment with jewelry and waist effects—but then, he's an old hippie himself.