Yellow’s Not Mellow (on me)

I have an unrequited love of yellow.

And I keep trying to make it love me….

(sounds like the start of an angsty sequel to “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, eh?)

Similar to ArtAttack’s quest for a set of great TNT tee tops, I am on a quest for a set of TNT woven summer tops. Kbenco’s gorgeous version of this blouse for her daughter’s work experience week had me flicking through my BurdaStyle stash to hunt the pattern down (it’s Blouse 118A  from the Oct 2010 issue) (you can also download it)


So…I found this lovely yellow cotton voile at Spotlight, traced the pattern and began my quest!

I put a few read-but-never-tried techniques into practice too…my first ever FBA (full bust adjustment), properly set in sleeves and I finally nailed fine rolled hems! All worked!

The most useful FBA resource was an online course I took a year ago via Pattern Review – run by Sarah Veblen. Her notes and technical details for a wide variety of FBA (and SBA) techniques are great! I applied a standard FBA to a size 40 blouse and finally got the fit right on shoulders, back and chest!! I know this by virtue of the toile I made before this yellow blouse…it’s perfect. However, I got a bit too excited to finish this yellow one and mistakenly sewed the sleeves in with french seams on the seam line …which made the shoulders a tad too tight….aaaagh…

So, you are not getting a picture of me in it…not only does the colour completely wash me out, the pull lines on the shoulders/neck are depressing. It’s probably going to go live with a lovely dark brunette friend of mine!


If you have the Threads Archive DVD (and I strongly suggest you get it, if you don’t), there’s an excellent article titled “Basics – Setting in a Perfect Sleeve”- on page 20 of the July 2003 issue (#107). It shows how to ease with pins, baste on the seam line, then sew the seam, with body of the blouse against the feed-dogs…no puckers or anything!!! A-mazing!

And for fine rolled hem techniques with Janome machines, I followed the excellent video that came with my FootBook App. You can see my handiwork on the scarf hem and sleeve hem. I think this my new ‘favourite’ foot.

So, while this version didn’t work for me, I think it’s a great little number…one quest success down!!

I have also stuck this on my inspiration board:

or any specific color really.

(for more crack-up sewing memes, check out Fyeah Seamstress Tiger….just hilarious!!!!!!)


  1. aww it is a shame that you are not happy with this for you but sounds like you learnt a lot anyway! 🙂 I have a similar issue with yellow though. i am so plae it makes me look yellow and that is not a good look! 😛

    • Yes Kim, all great practice! I may break my ‘oath’ to swear off yellow …I just remembered I have a gorgeous piece of yellow wool…..for a skirt…that might work better….

  2. Stunning blouse. I love the style – very classic. I can’t wear yellow either so I feel your pain. I have thought about taking an online sewing class myself – will have to look into that one. I can sew like mad, but I’m terrified to do anything that actually has to fit someone.

    • Thanks Lawana…I hear you…on both yellow and fit….construction knowledge is all well and good…but fit is the holy grail! I’m lucky to have found some real-life sewing buddies who are way ahead of me re: the mysteries of fit…they inspire me to keep trying! The PR courses are great – I think there’s a sale on their courses at the moment? Also check out Craftsy – Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress class is fabulous. I also really learned a lot from Louise Cutting’s ‘Insider Techniques’ DVDs (you can now download them straight to your computer) So many great resources!!!

  3. I’m pleased to see this worked for you after your parka disaster. It’s a lovely blouse, nice going. I love the yellow and I’m surprised it doesn’t like you. It is so hard to find nice yellow prints these days, might have to check out Spotlight, I’ll blame you.

  4. I cannot wear yellow either, but I love it. I can wear a butter shade of very pale yellow, it’s very flattering. Would suggest you look for that color and see if it works on you. And, of course, you CAN wear yellow, just not up against your face. A skirt sounds ideal. I love this blouse, it’s so prim and proper, yet fitted! I’m glad you feel good about the experience.

    • Hi Becky – I’m going to a colour workshop next weekend…I kind of already know ‘my’ colours (have done similar workshops) but its been a while….pale yellow may well work for me (but of course, I prefer rich sunny/egg yolk versions of yellow!!) I think a skirt is the best way to go. But will wait til autumn rolls around again (down here in Oz) since the other yellow fabric I have is wool. I do like the style of the blouse, so plan on more versions…

    • LOL- 1. What is it about yellow that makes it so hard to wear?? 2. This blouse looks like ‘you’ too…based on my very limited but appreciative awareness of what you like to make 😉

  5. I know what you mean about yellow because I can’t wear it either though its such a lovely range of colours. Actually, I can’t wear it near my face …. have you thought of making something with elements of yellow in it but not blocks of colour near your face?

    Lovely blouse too …. hope you’ll find another way to make it again in a different fabric? :o)

  6. The blouse looks so nice on the hanger. How nasty of it to misbehave otherwise. Is it worth dyeing or are the other issues of wadder status?
    Thanks for the link, this pattern was the favourite of the 4 blouses I made my daughter, and now I am wishing I had not used the pattern for her so that I could make some for myself 🙂

    • LOL…my DD (16) and I have a race to the BurdaStyle each month, to ‘stake out’ patterns….fortunately, I am faster at materialising the patterns, so to speak! I think you’ve probably launched a thousand blouses with your lovely version! Perhaps your DD will be ‘generous’ with sharing the style with a little more time….As for this yellow one, it will have a nice home with my friend. She can wear this yellow and has narrower shoulders than me! I will make another version…. and sew the sleeve in correctly this time!!! (ie allow for turns of cloth for french seam!).

  7. I love this variation and saw that fabric at Spotlight too! Very well done, it looks so good!!! They’re getting some nice cottons in, eh? I got my lawn from Spotlight too (tucked dress). Your blouse is fantastic and I have that issue – so I should give it a whirl. FBAs saved my hinie a few times too! Thanks for the link to the sewing tiger website – will go waste time on it now… 😀

    • Hi Kat! FBA’s are my new best friend…don’t know why I was so intimidated…goodness knows I researched how to do them for MONTHS…including Sarah Veblen’s course….I’ve applied an FBA on every item since this top, with great results…well, great results with with regards to that fit issue…but I have picked a lot of dud patterns (on me) lately!!

      • Yeah, I think picking dud patterns is just part of getting to the good ones! FBAs are way more simple than I ever thought they would be too…NO FEAR!!!

    • Thanks AR…but it really is too small…thanks to overzealous french seaming on armscye seam LINE as opposed to in the seam allowance, which would have allowed enough room….I only figured this out once the whole thing was stitched up…I couldn’t bear to take to it with the seam ripper….anyway, the colour REALLY doesn’t work next to my face…(as confirmed by several independent-and-brutally-honest sources 🙂

  8. I LOVE this blouse! I really like this pattern, although not in the bulky fabrics Burda made it up in. I’m so sorry the yellow didn’t work, but I’m so loving this yellow polka-dot number! It’s funny, though, because I hear you on wearing yellow. I have one item of yellow in my life, and it’s mustard yellow, with a lot of brown flecks in it. I think the wrong shade of yellow would make me look, well…. jaundiced. *shudder*

  9. That blouse is lovely, so is the fabric pity about the colour for you – though I have the same problem – all to do with skin tone. When you have such a strong adverse reaction to a colour there will be others you’ll look fabulous in.

    • Thank you Tulle & Tweed! I look much better in greens, which I fortunately like! I am trying to break out of my neutrals/black habit…but easier said than done! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Striped scarf neck tie blouse | He Cooks… She Sews!

  11. Love this blouse, such a shame the colour doesn’t suit you. I love yellow too, and I can wear pale yellow quite well espiecially with a dark contrast. Glad to hear the fba worked, Will you make another?

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