Pattern Description: This trendy empire-line blouse is made up in a brightly printed batiste. Narrow self-fabric drawstrings cinch it to the figure, and the long sleeves can be rolled up as desired.
Pattern Sizing: BWOF 38-46. I'm generally a 38 in BWOF's patterns, and this was no exception.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, but more like the line drawing, as Christina Sonja said in her review (which was the reason I made this top).
Were the instructions easy to follow? Remarkably clear for BWOF. I didn't get confused once, which is always a plus with one of their patterns.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't even notice this blouse in the May 2007 issue of Burda (this appears to be a trend with me, not noticing patterns that I later decide I love) but Christina's review of it for her wardrobe and on her blog convinced me that I needed to make one. I love the casual/dressy vibe of this - it really can be dressed up or down quite easily - and I thought it would also be a good start to get me back into slower and more focused sewing.
Fabric Used: Gorgeous cotton batiste from Gorgeous Fabrics. Purchased specifically for this top, like I really need a reason to buy fabrics from Ann. Really.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Nary a one. The drawstrings are run through casings on the inside of the top. The pattern gives options for grommets or buttonholes for the drawstrings; I chose to make buttonholes. I used tiny squares of iron-on interfacing behind the buttonholes to stabilize them, but the interfacing is barely visible beyond the edges of the holes.
I used plain white batiste for the facings and the drawstring casings for this blouse, which wasn't so much skimping on the good stuff as realizing that the fabric is pretty sheer and I'd rather have white backing than have the pattern show through. Because the batiste is really light and airy, I didn't use interfacing on the collar and facings - I didn't want even a little stiffness in only two parts of the blouse. For the collar, I added a layer of white batiste between the two layers of fabric; for the facings, I just used white batiste and topstitched it along the outside edge and again along the facing edge to add stability. The buttons I used aren't heavy, so they don't weigh it down.
On a sheer fabric like this, trimming the seam allowances evenly and narrowly was a must. I don't think anything looks as homemade (in the bad sense) as bulky or uneven seam allowances that show through a garment. I did the stitching on the facings very slowly because I wanted a perfect line and I didn't want the very narrow seam allowance I had pressed to skooch over and do something that would cause me to have to pick out a whole line of tiny white-on-white stitches.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would highly recommend this top. I think it would look flattering on most body types, and the drawstrings allow it to be easily adjusted for fit. I'd probably make it again myself in darker colors and try to work it into the fall/winter wardrobe.
Conclusion: I got this done last night just in time to wear to the Memorial Day cookout today, and I can't wait to give it a test drive. I think I'm really going to like this one.