Saturday, March 31, 2012

Finished: BSM 10-2011-137 & BSM 02-10-137

See sidebar for PR Review or
 click here: Pants   Blouse 
Bringing this outfit to fruition was like a birthing a 12 pound baby after a 36 hour labor.  The biggest obstacle was my OCD about matching fabrics.  Then I took a little quilting detour in the middle of the project.  But, it's finished.

Pants:  BSM 10-11-137

I don't remember where I bought the fabric for the pants, but if I'd known it would be so hard to match, I would have left it in the store.  The fabric is woven with dark olive green and brown threads (and even a little black) so it doesn't know if it wants to be green or brown.  If I chose brown as a coordinating fabric, the fabric looked green and vice versa.  I took the swatch to three different fabric stores hoping to find a coordinating fabric for a blouse.  I'm not entirely happy with my final choice but I just refused to worry about it anymore.  Lesson learned:  Get over this unhealthy "fabrics have to match" obsession!

I added a partial lining to the front of the pants.  This technique was used on another Burda pants pattern I made recently and I like the results.  I traced the pants front, including the hip yoke section, to just below the knee.  After the pockets were finished, I basted the lining to the pants front and treated the two layers as one.  Technically, the technique I used is underlining, not lining.

From Threads website:
Underlining vs. lining
Let's clear up one point first: lining and underlining a garment are two different procedures, and depending on their purpose, one or both can be used in a single piece of clothing. Usually cut from a slippery fabric, lining is attached only at the garment's waistband or neck, and sometimes its hem -- otherwise, it hangs free in the garment. It's generally used to give a finished look to the inside of the garment, prevent seams from raveling, reduce wrinkling, help conceal some figure faults, and make a garment easier to slip on and off.

Underlining, on the other hand, is cut from the same pattern pieces as the fashion fabric and is attached before construction begins. Then, as the garment is constructed, the underlining and fashion fabric are handled as a single unit. Most often, underlining is cut from fine cotton batiste, light- to medium-weight cotton broadcloth, or silk organza. But a variety of other materials can also be used to underline a fashion fabric.

Blouse:  BSM 02-10-137 

I bought three different pieces of fabric to make a top for the pants.  The more I worked with the first piece, a green silk, the less I liked it with the pants fabric.  It wasn't the right green.  So I set it aside, hoping it wouldn't morph into a UFO, and I ordered a tan knit. I didn't like that either.  I finally found a dark olive peachskin at JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts.

The same main pattern pieces are used for the blouse and a dress.  The blouse instructions say to add 5/8" seam allowances and the dress instructions specify a 3/8" seam allowance.  Because the blouse front is placed on the fold, it is impossible to add 5/8" seam allowance to the front placket area – that would eliminate the placket opening. There has to be a 3/8" seam allowance on the placket opening and on the front band.  There is no mention of that in the seam allowance instructions.  Fortunately, I remembered this problem from the first time I sewed this pattern.  It's not enough to thoroughly read Burda's instructions for the garment I'm sewing.  Now, I have to read the instructions for all of the garments that use the same pieces.  Sheesh.

For some unknown reason, I wanted to make and use piping.  This blouse called for pleated trim around the placket and cuffs.  I substituted the piping.  I've never been overly successful making bias strips by the sew-a-twisted-tube method.  I found an easier method that requires folding a square or rectangle of fabric.  Another little tip:  The Bernina bulky overlock foot #12 is recommended for making piping.  However, my piping was much thinner than the channel in the foot so the foot wasn't securely holding the filler cord in position.  I used the three-groove pintuck foot #30 instead and it worked beautifully.

I used polyester peachskin to make this blouse. I know I vowed never to sew polyester again, but promises are made to be broken, right?  I was more concerned about the color than anything else.


  1. You may not think that the fabrics match, but I think you have a winning outfit! Sometimes a bit of difference in individual fabrics makes the whole more interesting!

  2. I agree with Shannon. They look great together. I'm glad you made this top as I've been looking for a placket front blouse and this one fits the bill. I'll have to play with the length but the basic style is a good one.

  3. This doesn't really fit here, but I didn't see a way to email you listed on your site. Back in April 2009 you wrote a blog about learning to make your own patterns, however, I didn't see anything in your blogs after that date regarding your progress. Was wondering if it ever got off the ground and if you had any tips. I'm getting ready to start this project myself.

    1. No, unfortunately I haven't really worked on that goal yet. Every once in a while, I look at the books I have and wish I had more time to make an easy skirt.

    2. OK, thanks. Just trying to find the best way to learn how to make my own patterns. Did find some great videos on making your own dress form with duck tape, though. Will be making one of those soon. Looked easy and very useable.

  4. I'm glad you finished the outfit, and it looks great! I share your obsession with matching fabrics and I think that for certain figures it looks so much better to have a "column" look. Great job!

  5. The colors look wonderful together, so despite the angst, I'm giving the outfit a "thumbs up".