Giraffe print blouse – Burda 10/2011 #118

What kind of print do you call this then?

I think it looks like a blue and white giraffe, or a super-magnified lizard skin, or some seriously wonky tiling.

It’s made from this pattern. Just a very simple blouse with just two bust darts. The instructions were short and cryptic (of course, it is Burda after all) and I totally ignored the construction order. Much easier to sew in the armholes flat, then do the sides and the sleeve seams all in one so you can take it in if needed.

This fabric is lush, a very drapey but sturdy vintage crepe, from The Shop on Cheshire Street, AKA my favourite shop on Brick Lane. I can spend ages in there rummaging. All the fabric is folded up on shelves but they don’t seem to mind me pulling it all out and making a huge mess. There are wooden drawers full of lace and trimmings, and everything’s pretty reasonable too. Think this was less than a tenner for 2 metres.

I do think covered buttons look look very polished on a blouse like this, but is there anything worse than making them? So I was lucky to find these at the Peter Jensen sale.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m all about the finished result when it comes to sewing. I love day-dreaming about what I’m going to make – it all looks so perfect in my head. I’m not that interested in construction for it’s own sake. In fact I tend to skip reading sew-alongs and detailed technical instructions on other people’s blogs.

Ironically this always leads me to rush the actual sewing part to get to the wearing, which naturally leads to things I make looking a bit crap. For example, the buttonholes on this are rubbish. Too short and skimpily threaded. (tho luckily I only need to undo the top one to get the blouse on and off).

There’s some kind of life lesson in there somewhere, but it’s probably too late to change my slapdash ways.

I think this is why I hate most things I make immediately after I’ve finished them. They just don’t match up to the vision I had at the start. I usually come round to them in the end (I also made the skirt I’m wearing, I never blogged it because I didn’t like it but meh, actually it’s okay. Apart from the zip at the back.)

Overall I’m pretty pleased with this blouse. It looks great tucked into things, but don’t think I’ll be wearing it loose. There’s a distinct early 90s vibe, I can just see Elaine from Seinfeld rocking it with a massive boxy jacket on top.

(I know the 90s are supposed to be in fashion, or at least a version of them, but it’s not for me. All I can think of is ‘The Rachel’ and oversized Nirvana t-shirts. I seem to remember wearing brown corduroy flares for much of the decade and I don’t want to go back to there.)


27 thoughts on “Giraffe print blouse – Burda 10/2011 #118

  1. Lucianna November 16, 2012 / 12:07 PM

    When I was visiting London I made it to the shop in Brick Lane! It is really amazing! I always look for fabric shops. I am from Canada and I can recommend Toronto fabric stores . Prices are really great for what the shops have to offer. Check the availability of online shopping, they are really worth visiting.

  2. Jane's sew & tell November 12, 2012 / 7:57 PM

    Oh! I didn’t know about that shop and its so near my office! Perhaps a trip tomorrow lunchtime

    Great blouse by the way

  3. thesecretlifeofseams November 12, 2012 / 3:58 PM

    Great print and I love this style of collar! Have been meaning to check out The Shop but haven’t been out to brick lane in yonks, with such tempting fabrics I need to make it happen.
    For me also, dreaming about it and wearing it are the best bits and I fear I’m irredeemably slapdash. To balance it out I tell myself, you totally MADE A SHIRT.

  4. Sew Little Time November 12, 2012 / 11:56 AM

    i think it would be great with skinnies! and thanks for mentioning that shop – it looks amazing! must pay it a visit!

  5. CherryPix November 12, 2012 / 5:19 AM

    Love the fabric! And you picked a great pattern for it…the simple lines are great for letting the print ‘speak’….the covered buttons are the piece de resistence! Very chic. I too am ambivalent about things I finish making….someone in the blogosphere recommended letting things ‘marinate in the closet’ a while…they sometimes become much more likeable…[or not] ;-}

    • yesilikethat November 12, 2012 / 9:54 AM

      Some marinating is always good, I think!

  6. theperfectnose November 12, 2012 / 1:57 AM

    Bauhaus brick. I like it. I’d suggest wearing it with skinnies/peg skirt/pencil skirt/ denim mini for a neater silhouette. You’ve got the figure to carry off that look so you totally should.

    • yesilikethat November 12, 2012 / 9:54 AM

      Nice idea, skinny jeans and a denim mini are actually next on my sewing list! I want to sew more pencil skirts but they’re just so rubbish for cycling that I don’t get much wear out of them in the week.

    • theperfectnose November 12, 2012 / 10:32 AM

      I insert invisible zippers into the back vent in my peg skirts and wear satin shorts underneath. Although I get around on a scooter-might be different for cycling.

    • yesilikethat November 12, 2012 / 10:39 AM

      Think it’s the up and down leg motion (so to speak) that makes pencil skirts bad for biking. Even non-stretchy A-lines are a bit dodgy. Luckily I wear thick tights! (or leggings/shorts in the summer)

    • theperfectnose November 12, 2012 / 10:46 AM

      Just put on the skirt when you get there-that’s what I do in winter ‘cuz I have my waterproof+windproof bike pants on then XD

    • yesilikethat November 12, 2012 / 11:00 AM

      Do you know what, I never even thought of that! Ha ha. I’m not the most lateral of thinkers. Must get sewing some pencil skirts then 🙂

    • theperfectnose November 12, 2012 / 11:07 AM

      XD I wear my regular tights under my waterproof pants and change into tunics/dresses/skirts when I get to Uni/work. Bit different in summer but it depends on where I’m going. Saw some chick on a scooter in the city wearing bumshorts and nothing below. Not great for road-rash prevention.. XD

  7. gingermakes November 12, 2012 / 12:59 AM

    Love this! It’s really unique! I was thinking blue giraffe, or maybe mosaic?

    I’m with you– I always hate what I make right away (or usually halfway through the project). It’s so easy to see all my stupid mistakes and imperfections. I’m trying to take my time, do a good job, and then relax and let go of my expectations. Easier said than done!

  8. byhandlondon November 11, 2012 / 10:49 PM

    Funnily enough as I was reading I was thinking about an amazing dress my Mum had in the 90s that this blouse reminds me of! I think often the problem with making stuff is that you’re always more critical of your own quality than someone else’s. And things hardly ever turn out the way you pictured them! Sometimes you’re in the mood to be anal with the details, sometimes you want a quick fix… But we’re only ever getting better at what we make.

    • yesilikethat November 12, 2012 / 9:53 AM

      That’s true, sometimes it’s good to look back and see what you’ve learned rather than always looking forward at how much better you want to be! 🙂

  9. Vicki Kate November 11, 2012 / 7:15 PM

    It looks great! I love the print although I don’t know how to describe it either!

  10. Kerry November 11, 2012 / 6:33 PM

    Very nice, good simple shape works well with the fabric. Your skirt is also really nice too.

  11. didyoumakethat November 11, 2012 / 6:03 PM

    I love your blouse. I love your whole outfit! I must check out that shop. Also, is someone in your home doing The Knowledge?

    • yesilikethat November 11, 2012 / 6:59 PM

      Ooh, well spotted, that is a Knowledge map. Unfortunately neither of us are trainee cab drivers, just thought it would ‘temporarily’ fill the empty space above the sofa (two years ago….). It’s good for those ‘Where exactly IS Surbiton??’ moments.

  12. Tamsin W-P November 11, 2012 / 5:59 PM

    I have that pattern! lovely shirt – the fabric is fab! Shops like that were not in Brick Lane when I was a regular down there. Maybe I need to have a trip into London soon.

    • yesilikethat November 11, 2012 / 6:58 PM

      Definitely! There’s so many great shops there, nice coffee shops too (had a salted caramel cake there the other day that was amazing).

  13. ooobop! November 11, 2012 / 5:06 PM

    This looks like a ‘Best of November’ Burda winner to me! Such cool fabric and perfect buttons. I love the neckline – very vintage. And I love the look of that shop too. Shamefully enough, I have only been to Brick Lane once. Totally missed any fabric shops… distracted by food and vintage clothes. But I will return and I will certainly pay a visit to that shop. Thanks so much for the tip off!

    • yesilikethat November 11, 2012 / 6:56 PM

      No problem, it’s such a lovely shop. They sell vintage clothes as well, but I mainly just look at the fabric…

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