Sunday, January 18, 2015

Plaid attitude - new to me: Burda 6840 blouse

January is here, thus I must make a plaid shirt. Well not really but I made one last January, seen here, but that one was flannel and this one is not. Ok, let's get it out of the way - I found this fabric at a garage sale. Yep, last summer just stopped by one where I saw a sign, saw the bins of fabric and rummage through some awful stuff to came up with a vintage-y plaid cotton, super soft and perfect for a shirt. So maybe 4 yards for a couple of bucks? Sold.

But I am getting ahead of the actual news in this post. I used a new pattern! A new to me at least. Not sure when this was released but it is a Burda Envelope pattern 6840 with two views, a collared shirt or a bow blouse. I love a pattern with multiple views!

shirt front
I would say this pattern has features of what I consider a blouse or a shirt. What is the difference?  In my mind a shirt is a style that can be worn by a man or woman but a blouse is female only. Sound right? I am sure there is some technical definition. But as you can see this blouse has no darts but instead pleats at the shoulder yoke. Which made it perfect for a plaid as it could match at the side seams with no horizontal dart to consider.  The sleeves matched up well, or at least I fiddled around with the layout/cutting until I decided they would match. I like a plaid to match across the body and continue to the sleeves. 
Also a hidden button placket. Hidden Button Placket !!!  I love this design element and SO few patterns have this. It is such a pain to add it but this one is beautiful
And now I will show you my hidden button secret. I only had 7 of these perfect little red buttons in my button box. No idea where they came from but I liked the way they matched so I have used a few white buttons on the lower part of the shirt front - they will never be seen except now I just showed you. 

front placket

Not bad with that plaid, huh?  It is such a pleasure to work with a well behaved cotton. Makes me realize that some of the c*** they sell at the chain fabric stores is so not worth the bother. 

As for this pattern, I have two tiny criticisms of the design elements. First, there are 4 pleats on the shirt front. Somehow I thought it was just a little bit too full there, for me 3 pleats would have been fine. However if you have a full chest this pattern might just be a nice choice, plenty of room in the bust. Second little criticism, I think the collar stand is a tiny bit skimpy in height. it is maybe 1/8-1/4" shorter than the collar stand on my other shirt pattern - the Simplicity one. I think were I to make this again I might make that a bit taller. But that is just personal preference. 

Here is a look at the pattern envelope, Burda 6840. When I bought it I thought the bow blouse was very pretty but on further reflection the bow would probably drive me crazy so I don't see that in my future. But it is pretty!   Burda question - is it just me or is Burda very skimpy on the pattern markings? I am accustomed to Vogue patterns which have way more notches and markings. For example, sleeves with front/back notches. dots etc. While I might not use them or even believe them, I like them to be there.  Slight nitpick which I realize makes no sense, but there it is.

Burda shirt pattern

And it fits quite well. A perfect shirt to wear with jeans. The sleeves are a bit long, I did not shorten them and I knew they would be long, but I like shirt sleeves to have length, sometimes I wear with a sweater and the cuffs pulled out, or rolled up so the extra length is good. The actual length of the shirt was quite long so I shortened by about 2 inches. 
Shirt front on me

Shirt back on me
There is an inverted pleat in the center back which is a feature I always like. I have my hand in my pocket which is making the lower portion tight around the hip but it falls straight. There is no shaping in the back but that is the design which is how a shirt with a center back pleat should fit.
What else?  Cuffs - you can see I used up 4 of my precious little red buttons on the cuffs. I like a 2 button cuff so that only left 3 for the shirt front.  When doing the sleeves I started to make a placket but after a few minutes thought why bother, and so did the easy shirt cuff finish. What is that called? It is just a slice in the bottom of the sleeve and a strip sewn and folded over? Anyway it works well on this type of fabric. I did make it a bit longer than as shown on the pattern which makes it easier to roll up the sleeves. Cuffs are always too big around for my dainty wrists (ha) but I leave them as is and just move the buttons over.  Cut them on the bias just for fun, I like the look. 

shirt cuff

Here is why I was motivated to make this shirt now. I received this sweater for a Christmas gift and I love it. Perfect match for the shirt fabric. I have worn this outfit twice now already which is a sewing success, hot off the sewing machine and right onto me!

with sweater

So a new pattern for January, and I have purchased a couple of others recently. They had Burda envelope patterns on sale at Joann's for $ 2.49 which is a steal and I just saw them again on sale this month. Maybe a new trend?  I am waiting for the Vogues to go on sale as I have decided on a couple of those also.

Happy Sewing, Beth

The much needed rain made an appearance in December and we all breathed a sigh of relief. As it turns out that was premature - it has been a totally dry January with nothing in sight. I think this year's new plantings will be succulents which do well in our now very dry California. For today's garden photo, a pink Hibiscus which I had outside up until a week ago when it seemed too cold. So living indoors now and putting out a gorgeous bloom every so often.

hibiscus Jan 2015


  1. This shirt is so cute and it looks great with your new sweater!

  2. Very nice and perfect plaid matching. I might have to check out this pattern.

  3. What a great shirt for plaids and your execution is perfect! As a full busted gal I particularly love the front pleats instead of darts. Thanks for reviewing this.


  4. It is a very pretty shirt. I love the plaid.

  5. The last Burda shirt I made did have the sleeve markings, though confusingly (but fair enough) they'd chosen different symbols from the Big 4, so notches were dots and dots were snips or something like that. I'm surprised yours didn't. In my experience Burda has the markings you need and absolutely no more, so I always make sure I copy all of them, unlike some other patterns.


  6. love the hidden button!

  7. Looks fantastic, great pattern for plaids.

  8. Oh Beth we are such "kindred" spirits! I'm currently working on a cotton button up too! I love yours and agree with you...there is nothing better than working with cotton that behaves well! Your top is beautiful on you and now I can't wait to complete mine too!

  9. You did a beautiful job on this, and it does look fantastic with your sweater. On a selfish note, I am glad you made this and could share your impressions since I just picked up this pattern, at Joann's in Oregon, a few weeks ago. Your thoughts are helpful! Thanks for sharing them.

  10. Ahh. Nice. I love the hidden button placket and your style.

  11. What a lovely hibiscus! Excellent job on the shirt, definitely. Could the collar be a tad short because it's a cutaway collar? Those tend to be shorter than regular collars, and what a cool feature on a sewing pattern -- don't think it's common.

  12. Lovely! I am on a mission to collect shirt patterns with different features (love shirts) and this is interesting. Thanks for sharing your amazing work.

  13. This is so nice! I would buy this if I saw it in a store :) Especially like how you can see different views and angles of the plaid from the front (shoulders, bias cuffs, and the front with the pleats) makes it so interesting to look at!

  14. I love easy to wear shirts like this. Ahhhhh.

  15. Looks wonderful! Love that you showed your button secret. I never seem to have just the right amount of buttons on hand for any project, and have to mix them as well. I'm trying to make a few woven tops as well this month. Really like the combination of the sweater with this shirt.

  16. That shirt and sweater combo is Perfect. I love the shirt.. I think I'm slowly being won over to plaid shirts.

  17. Very nice shirt! I love how this fabric would have made a man shirt look outdated but a totally fancy woman version! The pleats/plaid association is so smart!

  18. Perfect shirt for your sweater and a nice feminine style for a plaid shirt.

  19. Thanks to your wonderful pictures, this pattern is now on my wishlist :P
    I absolutely love shirt patterns as I find them perfect for that quick trip out to the shops, not to mention they go with jeans and skirts!
    I'm so glad that you mentioned that some cotton fabrics can be hard to work with. I recently bought a bunch of gorgeous cotton fabrics, and for some reason they are just a pain to sew! Unlike my other cottons, they pucker so easily!
    I often alter my patterns for petites, and somehow length is often still an issue for me. Thankfully I am like you and prefer a slightly longer length (at least for sleeves).

  20. Love the bias cuffs and hidden placket! Never a fan of front pleats in blouses as they can make the bust look wider and droopy and add bulk where you don't need it. Is the back yoke extended to make that front shoulder seam? It does seem that in some banded collar patterns, the top collar is too narrow to cover the band...weird that designers get away with this? Who wants to see the band? Great blouse to wear with denim!

  21. Really nice - a very classic style that fits and suits you well :) I can't pull off pleats myself, but I like how this looks on you :) LOVE the hidden button placket - more shirt patterns should include this feature!! ^_^

  22. Hidden Button Placket!! That is just so cool - I have a RTW shirt with this feature and I love it! Both of the shirts on the pattern sleeve look great too. The colours in this plaid (we call it tartan where I come from, the word plaid doesn't really exist in the Aussie vernacular) are really gorgeous, and what a great match with that awesome sweater. I'm eye-ing off your sweater with a little bit of jealousy - its fabulous :)

  23. I love how your top looks, especially with your new sweater!


Related Posts with Thumbnails