Okay, okay, I fully realize I have an addiction to anything remotely purple, but I’m definitely not going to do anything about it. I’m just going to keep on wearing what makes me happy! Yet, I am at least trying to find new shades of that color to love, such as the fuchsia and burgundy colors in my last two posts. This modern Burda Style outfit which I made a few years back definitely falls in that category, and the fact that they are very useful yet elegant separate pieces makes them perfect for many seasons and occasions.
FABRIC: 2 ½ yards of a crinkled polyester print for the blouse and just under 2 yards of a crepe back satin poly for skirt
NOTIONS: All I needed was lots of thread and one zipper!
TIME TO COMPLETE: Both garments were finished in November 2017 – 5 hours was spent to make the skirt and 8 hours went towards the blouse.
THE INSIDES: My blouse is entirely French seamed inside while my skirt has bias bound side seam edges.
Even though my entire outfit’s fiber content is polyester, I find both pieces are more comfortable to wear than your ‘normal’ man-made material. The blouse’s fabric has a wonderful crushed texture to it that makes ironing non-issue and keeps it from feeling uncomfortably clingy to the skin. It floats weightlessly around my body for a very sexy slinkiness. Even though I had several yards of fabric, and the sleeves alone took up almost a yard, I still have some significant blouse material leftover that will just have to wait for a future project to finish it off.
The skirt’s fabric is soft, flowing, and very good quality. It has a darker, more raisin or rich wine color, with a satin side and a lighter, more purple toned, buff crepe side. I used the satin side facing out on the lower body of the skirt, while the buffed crepe side went towards the hip panel and the waistband. This is the fourth time I am using this fabric – the first time was to make the ‘pocket’ flaps and the belt for my 1955 Redingote jacket (post here), the second time was for this 1950s dress slip, and the third time was as the contrast for this early 1930s dress. I truly squeezed out every inch of potential my small 3 something yard cut of fabric!
The patterns pieces and the construction for these two separate pieces was so much simpler than it might appear. I highly recommend them. Both have a generous fit and came together in no time, with little need for extra shaping. For the blouse, that is understandable because it is not supposed to be fitted. For the skirt, the loose fit is because it is meant to sit below the waist and sit around the hips. The fact the front mock wrap look to the skirt is really only a deep pleat not only makes for full leg coverage but also easy sewing. I could have technically gone down a size for both the blouse and skirt instead of choosing my ‘normal’ size and still have room probably. I’m just happy with to have them and be wearing them. For these designs, a well-tailored fit is not as important or glaringly obvious.
My only variance from the original design of either piece was to add ties to each end of the blouse and adapt the sleeve hem for a bias band cuff. The sleeves were way too fussy and so very long the way Burda designed them, so I cut off the excess fabric and gathered the hem ends into self-drafted wide bias bands. A mere side button closing wasn’t going to do the trick, neither was just wrapping it under a waistband, I thought. So the ties I added help add to the versatility of this blouse because now I can tie it more than one way! The front can be crossed like an X, or one side over the other like a regular wrap top. Many looks out of one top is further achieved by switching up what I wear underneath – especially when that is my 1950s slip made out of the same material as my skirt!
If I had been using a solid color material for the blouse, I might have chosen to asymmetrically button the wrap front much like this vintage 1940s pattern below, Butterick #3964. Truth be told though, I think this Burda top is a call back to the 1970s era (look at Butterick 6887 pattern as an example) with its full sleeves, loose style, and the crazy blocked print fabric I used. I can just picture a Disco dancer wearing this with some bell bottoms! The blouse is fabulous to move around in, with full freedom of movement and a dramatic swish with every sway of my arms.
The skirt still remains controlled in shape for every movement, and is a great restrained contrast to the top. It strikes me as quite classy, especially in such a rich color. I love the fact that I don’t have to worry about flashing too much leg with the faux wrap appearance. (Of course, Burda shows you how to make the skirt have a full slit if you want.) Even though the horizontal hip panel doesn’t visually minimize that widest section of my body, I do think that the restrained skirt and the blouse wrapping around the waist evens proportions out.
The skirt also looks best with snug body fitting sweater tops in the winter or light colored, simple tops in the summer, to again both even out the wide waistband and dark tone. Its pattern recommendations call for materials with a heavier weight (woolens or even a sequined knit) than a silky polyester as I chose, and I found through trial that it’s a good idea, after all – it would keep the skirt in place on the hips just from the weight, for one thing. The longer, ankle length version has a silhouette even more tapered down to a skinny hem and is so pretty for an evening style. It makes me want to revisit this pattern in the future.
This staying-at-home business is turning my mind to try all sorts of fashion ideas. You, know, I’m always on the fence about whether or not I prefer a loose, flowing, romantic fashion or a well-tailored, precisely fitted outfit. Through this quarantine, I’ve been going from a new fascination with the 1920s era to my good-old-standby favorite decade the 1940s, from a bold and clingy t-shirt dress (previous post) to this vintage-inspired yet modern combo of easy separates. Sewing is one of the many facets of life right now keeping me sane, just as blogging does, and in between it all I am trying new things yet still endeavoring to not forget myself in all this craziness. My sewing, just the same as anybody else’s, is uniquely individual and it’s my visual manifestation of what’s knocking around in my head! What’s getting you by these last few months? Do you notice your style preferences changing at all?