Bordering on the Ridiculous


I kind of love this BWOF 4-2007-114 blouse for all it’s kookiness. The French cuffs, the ruffled Elizabethan neckline. Love it. But,  I admit that it borders on the ridiculous.  First, let me be clear. The directions are AWFUL.  I felt like a bleeding idiot because past the ‘add seam allowances’ I didn’t understand a thing. BWTF!! Holy cow.


I left off the neckline facing because I couldn’t understand the directions and how it was supposed to go in. I also scrapped the drafted right fold, left fold, fold facing, etc. lines because when I followed the directions, the hidden button placket was two inches wide. HUGE.

The one regret I have is how low cut this is. I cannot reach for pens or coffees in a meeting. Small children thought I might be a wet nurse. It is that LOW CUT. From the top, I can see my bra. The gaposis is so bad sitting down that I see London and France. ** ETA: I did wear it to work. But, with a lacy brown cami. Still got rave reviews.

And, on my anonymous coworker who does not have a low bust like me (we switched tops today to see) it’s ridiculous (camera phone pic).


Oh, and how I adore the French cuffs! We have cufflinks at work that all the men wear. Now, I get to rock my own.

backFuzzy photo of the back. I made a swayback adjustment.  I won’t lie. I used a lot of starch on the ruffles.


Overall, I like the look. But, I should have made a muslin. I would have seen to raise the neckline and elminate the gaposis. I wore it all day and got a ton of compliments. This blouse is so unique, fun and really makes a statement. But, as the immortal Tim Gunn say, ‘It’s a whole lotta look’.


  1. It may be a “whole lotta look” but you are pulling it off ! It would make a great “go out at night” type of blouse with jeans. Cute on you.

  2. Yeah, but you know what? Every once in a while you need a lotta look. I actually really like that blouse. Very Carrie Bradshaw, esp. if you wear it with a black bra. The other thing that I recommend for it if you don’t want the cami (the idea of which I love, BTW) is double sided tape.

  3. I can never figure out how the necklines never look too low in the pictures in Burda. Nevertheless, this is hot! Either get a great cami to wear with it or wear it at night. The neckline and all those fabulous ruffles make you look amazing. It’s good to push the envelope sometimes.

  4. I love it on you. You’re not a Leo by any chance? Because this looks like something my mother would wear, for the ruffles, of course!

    The cleavage is Classic Burda. Nancy K, I think it must be one of those Supermodel Ninja tricks. After all, Burda models don’t seem to have breasts, the cleavage never seems to reveal nada, LOL!

    One question, though. Is it white and black or cream and brown. My dinosaur’s res isn’t the best.

    I don’t think you can wear it to work (unless you needed a raise *winks*) but you MUST wear is.

  5. I like it. You need at least one piece in your closet like this. You know, I think it might look good with a vest too.

  6. Wow, looks fabo on you! You may have seen London and France but not the convicts down here in Australia? Not too low then….lol

  7. Fabulous. That is all. I want a top like that.

    Actually, I want a life that merits a top like that. Maybe one day…

  8. It does look fantastic on you, the ruffles around your face are perfect. I think as a general rule, we should just add at least 2″ to all BWOF necklines. Easier to take it away than add to it, right?

  9. Love it! The way the ruffles frame your face is soooo gorgeous.
    Tuck it into a pencil skirt with a great belt and high, high shoes – fabulous!

  10. Wow. That *is* a whole lotta look. It looks great on you. On me? Well, there would be no Wet Nurse thoughts but everyone would wonder who that 12-year old boy is . . .

    London and France . . . ha ha ha . . . *snort*

  11. I love this on you! I like the ruffles and even though it’s a strong look, you wear it well.

  12. Too bad it’s so low cut because it frames your face beautifully. You look gorgeous in it! Sally

  13. It’s entirely possibly to put a wire along the collar edge, cover that with a binding. That way you could skip the starching!

  14. “I cannot reach for pens or coffees in a meeting. Small children thought I might be a wet nurse.”….heck, who says you need a pen or a coffee at a meeting, as long as we look good, it’s all worth it!

  15. Raising the neckline very much would distort it from the lovely rounded and super-ruffled shape it has now, a problem I have with many (esp fancy) styles. A tip passed to me is to use a “stay”, a tiny ribbon or linkage of thread attached to a collar stay (or something like it) that slips inside the front of the bra. This would hold the front against the breastbone and allow for more, ahem, security.

  16. I like Mary Beth’s idea of a stay. Raising the neckline too much would ruin the effect and it is a great look, although yes definitely a bit on the dramatic side. I particularly like the combination of ruffles and tailoring which make it strong and alluring but not too feminine and frilly. It is a really great blouse. Everyone needs at least one really great blouse with enough presence to stand on its own. If it bothers you too much, make a muslin and someday make the perfect version of this blouse. But the look really suits you.

  17. I love the ruffles!! I do admit that you have to wear it with attitude and confidence or it will wear you but I like it. Especially the greatment on the edges of the ruffles. Soooo cute!

  18. You must be a really good sewer, as you created a great piece from poorly written instructions. And, it goes with saying, “It looks great on you”.

  19. LOVE IT!!!! You’re rocking it too. Great job. And it is so reassuring to hear that you sometimes don’t understand directions. I am really struggling with that aspect of sewing. Thanks for admitting it. It gives me the confidence to continue.

  20. Lovin it! The french cuffs are very nice. It’s always good to step out of our comfort zones and rock a new look.

  21. Cidell, this was one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever read. You could take this on the road! “Small children think I might be a wet nurse..”, I’m still wiping diet coke off my computer screen.

    I think this is a gorgeous blouse and it frames your lovely face perfectly. I love the serged ruffles. It’s a whole lotta look perfect for a whole lotta woman!

  22. I’m bummed to read that the instructions are so bad because I think it looks terrific! It definitely falls on the right side of the “Is this fabulous? Or ridiculous? Or fabulous?” debate. Gaps aren’t good, but is the depth of the neckline too much even for non-work wear? From the pics I’d think not, but pics don’t always convey reality well.

  23. would running a line of elastic on the inside of the neckline keep the neckline from gapping? A fancier way to do that would be with a couple of rows of teeny gethers to pull the neckline in a bit. I think the designer Kleinbacker used to do that with his gowns.

  24. This is SO couture-looking and simply stunning on you! You certainly showed those Burda instructions who’s boss 🙂 WTG

  25. Definitely a stunning top. Wear it with pride Cidell, fantastic result.. And those bwof necklines! You know my opinion on them.

  26. What’s wrong with a whole lotta look? That’s one reason to sew, right? I think the blouse is gorgeous on you. As for BWOF instructions, I always thought it was me, not them. I’ll have to check out the English translation one day to see if it’s the translation, or really me!

  27. Oh sweetie, it may be a “whole lotta look” but YOU can pull it off with your confident air and straight professional posture. Surely, pull this out every few weeks and wear it when you need to feel a pick-me-up. Not every woman can get away with ruffles, especially these ruffles, but you pull it off magnificantly. Beautiful blouse. (So, maybe you can make another in a totally awesome patterned or colorful fabric with the neckline adjustment and you can wear that one, too!)

  28. Who needs instructions? You sewed the heck out of this! It looks amazing on you, and while a Lot of Look, definitely not Too Much Look.

  29. it is a whole lotta look! I see it with a great dancing skirt for a night on the town. Me, I don’t dance, but you’re young and hot! I like the double sided tape suggestion made above!

  30. I LOVE it – it’s a beautiful quirky piece that looks fantastic on you! And, I think the very low-cut neck is part of the look and raising it might make it look matronly. I’d much prefer it low-cut with a cami. This would be positively stunning in silk duppioni.

  31. I think Tim Gunn would think it is fabulous. Looks great on you, as does your haircut.

  32. Wow! Fabulous look. I love this neckline, and appreciate your comments on it, cause I will definitely make it now, and with your foresight, will move up the neckline and see if I can’t add some organza or something stiff to the ruffle. Great review – thanks a million.

  33. Your décolletage is still young, firm and beautiful – show it off! It won’t last forever so enjoy it….I think it’s a great blouse, wear it as a statement piece with the rest of your ensemble being pretty simple. I like it with a necklace too.

  34. It’s definitely not meek–I love it. Especially like the combo of cufflinks and big ruffles. Very bad&ss.

  35. There’s nothing ridiculous about it! It looks fabulous on you. I’m a huge fan of big collars, as you may have noticed, and this is a especially good one.

  36. This is not a ridiculous blouse…it has flair, and flair is good. You look really, really nice in it.

  37. You always chose very unique styles. I appreciate that about you and I’m always enlightened and given ideas when I see your latest creations. I really like it!

  38. I’m a design school grad myself, and I stumbled onto your blog today. I have to compliment you on your gorgeous pieces! Well done! I’m saddened when I think about how few younger people are learning the art and skill of sewing. You are truly gifted. Thanks for sharing for work with us 🙂

  39. I am in them middle of making this blouse at the moment. Only now did it dawn on me to see if there were any reviews on Pattern Review. Thanks for your notes. Now I don’t feel so stupid as I struggle to understand the instructions regarding the facing, frills and neckline flounce. I think I’ll just go with my instincts. Love your top.

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