Sunday, October 11, 2020

Too much ruffle? Burda 110 from April 2018

Ok, here's the deal. Now I'm just making random things to pass the time. Yep, we are barely out of lockdown here in N. Calif so it's more than 6 months of work-at-home, not much socializing, no parties, classes or group meet ups. Yeah, it's getting very tiresome. On the plus side, this summer I discovered that I actually like swimming for exercise. Who knew? Growing up with a pool but not swimming competitively I always thought the the back and forth of swimming laps was boring. To me swimming was a means to all the other water activities I love, like snorkeling, scuba, surfing, etc. But this year with the gyms closed and the air filled with smoke the backyard pool seemed like a good option. I discovered you can really relax and let your mind drift to other things as you swim back and forth. Which means that now I'm a little crabby because swim season is just about over. The weather is cooling off (which is good after the scorcher of a summer we've had) but the pool is getting a bit too chilly. So I'm putting away my swimsuit until spring and figuring out other exercise options. 

While swimming I thought about what to sew next, and whether I wanted to plan some projects or just follow another whim. I have come up with something of a plan, but one last whimsical item snuck in and here it is.  This pattern intrigued me for these many months and I finally decided to give it a try.

purple print top 4

Perhaps this is the ultimate shirt for a Zoom call - lots of visual interest around the neckline. Maybe too much. I had serious doubts as I sewed it but once finished I think it's starting to appeal. But it feels VERY ruffle-y when worn.  

purple print top front 2

This fabric was given to me by a friend who was destashing - she gave me a bin of things and they have been a gold mine. Including the green wool I used for two different coats (tri-color coat and peacoat).
This fabric is a silk crepe de chine. I really love the cornflower blue shade and the print is nice - the only feature I don't care for is that weird yellowish flower but like the pattern it's starting to appeal as well.  

Here's the pattern drawing and the photo from the BurdaStyle website. It may not be noticeable but in their version they call for a contrast fabric, like eyelet or lace as the insert in the center front but I decided to use the same fabric.  The pattern is from the Burda April 2018 # 110.  One of these days I'm going to have to do a bit of analysis - I think I find the most patterns to make from the April issues followed by October (although I think this Oct. 2020 was a complete dud).

Burda 04-2018-110 image

Once you cut out all the pattern pieces it's time to play Burda pattern puzzle :) .  Actually there were a few small pieces that I had to look closely to see how they fit together. I should have followed my own advice of a few months ago when I posted about how to use Burda patterns and matched all the "join" numbers. 

Ruffle blouse pattern pieces

There are the pattern pieces laid out on my table, basically in the same relationship as they sew together. All that is missing are the ruffle pieces, and the button band.  You can see that it is a 2-piece raglan sleeve, and then a front and back inset piece (which look like facings) to create more seams where you insert the lower ruffle. 

purple print top1

This is looking at the center front, with button bands attached and ready to finish off the neckline with the band which extends into long ties.  The lower ruffle is caught in the raglan sleeve seam in the front. 

purple print top back 5

purple print top back ruffle

So much ruffle!  It feels very nice to wear but when I catch a glimpse in the mirror I feel like I'm channeling one of those Elizabethan portraits of the fancy people with their big neck ruffs.

purple print top 7

By the way - those are my Ash jeans, 3rd pair made in slightly metallic denim. My fav summer jeans although I don't think I put jeans on more than twice in the last 3 months. Too warm! I just finished another pair of flare leg Ash jeans in corduroy. With more Ash jeans to come, I'm sure!

Whether I will wear this top is an open question. I probably will wear it for a video call one of these days and see how it looks on screen. But this is just the type of pattern I do like to make, plenty of detail and a bit of a pattern puzzle. 
Now back to my sewing planning. As I said this summer was all over the place, but now I'm in the mood for a specific project. I've decided to go all in on this pattern which I picked up at a Bay Area Sewists Meetup sometime in the past year. It is a single size pattern, my size 12, which is probably why I picked it up. 

Despite looking like a fairly straightforward blazer and pants, it has 9 pages of instruction sheets, fully detailed tailoring steps and seems just the thing to pass the time once we jump ahead with our clocks and I will be spending even more time at home. Yves St. Laurent - tres chic right? I will try to make all 3 pieces and see how it goes. I have a couple of ideas for fabric - but the idea of a burgundy color jacket as the center one pictured is looking so good to me.  (I think I had some shoes just like that, in burgundy suede, alas long gone). So that's the tentative plan, and I will try to document and post as many details as I can along the way.  


We have hit our stride with the Hello Stitch Sewing club, the Tuesday evening portion is instruction, videos I've made to illustrate specifics, and sewing techniques. Then the Thursday evening sessions are like office hours combined with happy hour, a time to hang out together, get questions answered, sew together and talk. I miss teaching in Berkeley but this really nice considering the constraints we are under - plus you don't have to be local to do the class. I think next month we will be sewing this pattern. 

purple print top 8

Now I have to dash - it's time to pick my last few oranges before some varmint gets them. And do a bit of shopping for the garden - it will be time to plant the tulip bulbs soon 🌷.

I hope everyone is staying well and like me you are thankful for any and all creative outlets we have.

Happy Sewing, Beth

Garden photo for the day, everything is fading and dry but the hydrangeas manage to look interesting even at the end of the summer. This one was bright pink back in May. 



  1. It is very ruffly! Can it be worn with the neck open, for a more casual look? I do love that purple colour. I hope you find some new exercise that you enjoy and that this lockdown finishes soon. Best xx

  2. Too many ruffles 🤩 I don't really like ruffles though, so not the best to judge

    Did you think about getting a wetsuit so you can keep swimming?

  3. I don't look good in ruffles but this top looks quite nice on you. It's fun to rescue fabrics from your collection and remember when you got and/or were gifted it. I found some Halloween fabrics (small pieces) in my collection and will make masks for the holiday for me and my friends. Karen

  4. Unfortunately, ruffles don't work for me either, I'm too big on top. But with your size and figure, you can wear and look good in anything! The print is cute, I really like the hemline curves and side splits, but at my age and size, I'd look ridiculous with those ruffles.
    How cool is too cool for swimming where you live?

    1. It's not the outdoor temp that is too cold but the pool water. Our backyard pool is heated with solar, but once it starts getting cloudy/rainy plus the nighttime temps will be 40 to 50℉ so the pool doesn't warm up. The water will be in the 60's℉ so that is a bit too chilly for me.

  5. Too many ruffles even for me who loves the ruffles everywhere. The fabric is very pretty. This pattern is in my to be sewn list. I think I will omit the neck ruffles and probably add some of the ruffles around the yoke seam. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I like the ruffles. I don't see why you couldn't just incorporate that bib into the pattern and cut the front all one piece though.

    1. The bib part actually incorporates some shaping and is an example of a dart rotated into seaming.

  7. I think this top is VERY flattering on you: the bulk of the ruffles at the shoulder line balance your figure beautifully. As Katherine H. mentioned, I think this would look more modern with the ties untied and one button undone -- more flirtatious!

    I do not care for the bib, but fitting seams are elegant and more unique than obvious darts (and look better in matching rather than contrast fabric, in my mind).

  8. I think it looks great when you wear it. Looking at the pattern, it seems to be covered in ruffles but they don't stand out that much as you've used the same fabric. Perfect to have something a bit different in all the Zoom meetings, I'd say.

  9. There are a number of pools around you that are heated year round. Keep up your swimming. It's good for the body and the soul.

  10. There are a number of pools around you that are heated year round. Keep up your swimming. It's good for the body and the soul.

  11. Hi Beth! Are those the jeans you were working on during our jeans making class last year? They look familiar. I can tell you like a project you can sink your teeth into. The blouse was a good fit that way. I've noticed that many of you more experienced sewists love a good, old fashioned complicated project. I would run. LOL. I'm so glad the online classes are working out for you. It's a great idea. I hope I can join in at some point. This school year has been extremely busy and I just haven't had time. I am also ready for the pandemic to be over, but I am trying to stay positive and grateful. Thanks for sharing your sewing!

  12. I love it on you. I think both your frame and the great fabric choice make it a winner for me. Jo x

  13. I'm not usually ruffly, but I love the flounciness of this blouse, and the fabric is just perfect too. Right weight, fabulous color. It's just a carefree beautiful result.