Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Haute Couture attempt of a blouse :-)

Burda 9/2010, #110 - was my trial run for an Haute Couture Silk Blouse. I doubt the Chanel House would hire me after seeing this blouse, but I am happy nevertheless :-)



Pattern Sizing:
I went one size smaller. I always do, with Burda patterns. For some reason, if I go true to measurements, pieces turn out too baggy.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It did, more or less.

The original style
Were the instructions easy to follow?
It is a relatively easy style, but I did follow instructions, which were ok, except for the closures. I had to guess how the closures work. I used self-fabric selvedge to reinforce the stitched edges underneath the buttons; and, instead of making buttonholes, I decided to make loops on the outside, and small snaps inside.

I reenforced the side seam allowance (1" / 2.5 cm wide) with a selvedge strip.
The buttons are sewn through the seam allowance and through the strip.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked how the blouse drapes, as well as the style. I don’t like the height of the collar - it collapses. Therefore, for drapey fabrics, I would either reduce the height of the collar, or reinforce the collar with some interfacing.

the neckline
Fabric Used:
I chose silk charmeuse, and it feels really wonderful against the skin!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I have already described some of the changes I made above.

More importantly, I have sewn the entire blouse by hand! I also hand-overcast the entire blouse, following an example of an Haute Couture silk blouse featured in Claire Shaeffer’s PDF “Behind the Seams: Chaeffer on Chanel” 

Two reasons:
(1) I wanted to learn and apply couture techniques I learned recently, and
(2) I wanted to have more control over the slippery charmeuse. I was watching Netflix movies while I was sewing, because the sewing process took several long evenings.

Hand-overcast shoulder seam.
Seam allowances are about 1" (2.5 cm) for all seams


I also made self-fabric bias binding for the sleeves. 


Lessons learnt:
Shoulder seams: even though I hand-stitched, then pressed-open the shoulder seams and then hand overcast each section, as in the Shaeffer’s example, I would have rather used a narrow French seam. It would have added more stability to the seams. 

This reminds me of Roberta Carr’s Rules of Couture (from her book Couture: The Art of Fine Sewing) " "Sew with your head... Understand that couture requires judgment."
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would recommend this sleeveless version, but I won’t sew it again- there are enough other styles I am looking forward to.

Conclusion: 
I really like the final result, even though there were few things I would have done differently for this type of fabric (marking, shoulder seams, hem). But, all in all, it makes a great wardrobe builder that works well with cardigans (which I love), jackets, or on its own.


paired with a cardigan
Apart from the garment itself, I really enjoyed sewing charmeuse. As Ms. Carr said: "Enjoy the process as much as the result." Which I definitely did!

13 comments:

  1. It's beautiful Marina! And your hand overcasting is impeccable! This looks like classic that you will be able to wear forever.

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  2. Marina, it looks fabulous. What a great learning curve doing it all by hand but oh so satisfying when completed. I think you will get a lot of wear out of it. Well done!

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  3. What a great review and your finished blouse looks beautiful. I especially love it with the cardigan, so elegant!

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  4. Wow! It's so beautiful. Thank you for always putting up such detailed descriptions of what you did; it's starting to push me towards trying more complicated techniques.

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  5. this is really lovely, i want to learn more about sewing! beautiful job.

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  6. Very impressive, all hand stitched, this is one area I need to improve on. Beautiful blouse.

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  7. Gorgeous! Great job on the handsewing. I'm convinced that if I ever sewed anything completely by hand, it would fall apart before I stepped out the door.

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  8. this is why the word elegant was invented

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  9. I love this design - simple but so effective and versatile! And I'd like something similar in my wardrobe...

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  10. Terrific job! I love your overcasting.

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  11. Wow! I wasn't sure I wanted to make this when I saw it in the magazine but now I'm inspired to make one in silk charmeuse just like this! And I'm SO inspired by the couture sewing techniques; I just bought this book and I'm really looking forward to using some of the techniques!

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  13. I want to make this, but can't seem to find the pattern online. Can you help?

    Beautiful job!

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