Vintage Lace Blouse Burda 3/2013 #137

Today I want to share with you a review of this vintage lace blouse that I made using pattern 3/2013 #137 from the BurdaStyle magazine and let you know about a good online source of organic fabrics that I found here in Germany.


But first the review.

I’d had this vintage cotton lace in my stash for literally years.  In fact I’m shocked when I think of how long it’s actually been!  It was vintage when I bought it and must be uber-vintage now! How time flies, especially after you’ve had children!  Anyway I bought it on a flea market during a holiday in Provence in the south of France many moons ago.


It had matured in my stash ever since, just waiting for a suitable project to come along and then I saw this blouse pattern in Burda Style and thought that finally it was a chance to give this lace a life.

Vintage cotton French lace from the South of France.

The pattern is rated as intermediate in the magazine, which I think is fair.  The main body of the blouse is made from a very fine organic cotton batist that I bought online at  I bought ten metres of it in the end of summer sale last year for forty euros and it was such a good buy – I’ve literally used it for everything!  I’ve lined so many dresses and skirts with it because it’s so soft and fine, it feels great next to the skin.

Organic cotton batist vintage lace blouse
Organic cotton batist vintage lace blouse

The cotton is so fine and transparent that I’ll have to be more careful about what I wear under it in future. As you can see in the above photo, a white vest is not recommended! It didn’t seem so see-through on the day that I wore it until I saw these photos – Oops! The camera never lies as they say! The cotton is natural coloured so I can obviously only get away with wearing cream or nude coloured under-things.

This was also why I chose to do French seams on all the seams, because I knew that they would be visible from the outside.  This made the construction of the blouse much more time-consuming and trickier than it should have been.

The basic construction of the blouse isn’t really complicated, just very fiddlely.  BurdaStyle magazine is available here in German although I’d downloaded the sewing instructions in English from the website. And as anyone who has made anything from Burda magazine knows, the sewing instructions are often complicated to understand and the lack of pictorial guidance to further assist only makes matters worse which made wading through these instructions bad enough but it was those front and back yoke pintucks that caused the most headaches – and I’m sure added to my growing collection of white hairs!

buttons on back opening and close-up of pintucks
buttons on back opening and close-up of pintucks

French seaming everything made it really difficult to match the pintucks up on the joining seam of the yoke to make a nice and sharp ‘v’ shape.  They fitted together nicely for the first seam and then were all off for the second.  So finally after unpicking them several times when they refused to match up neatly, I surrendered and made the extra effort of basting them first to make sure they lined up correctly before I sewed them.  Thankfully, this worked!  They are not absolutely perfect, but nothing that I make is and I can live with that.

I left off the neck piece of lace mainly because I didn’t have enough lace left but I also thought it would have pushed the laciness of it over the top.  I was actually thankful to have run out of lace because all the lace on the front and back yoke pieces was hand-stitched down and I’d simply had enough by that stage!

I’m not a patient sewer. If truth be told I prefer quick and easy projects. Fast sewing. It’s just where I am right now.  I have a toddler at my feet most of the time, what more can I say!

Burda 3/2013 #137
Burda 3/2013 #137

Overall though, I’m pretty happy with this blouse.

How about you?  Do you like quick and easy sewing or slow-burn projects?

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