Floral Voile Shirt: Burda 6849

I had planned to make a dress, with piping, for this post. However sewing through my left index finger a week ago (ouch) has meant fiddling with piping was not terribly enticing. Perhaps next time!

Burda 6849 in cotton voile

Burda 6849 in cotton voile

So I made a shirt instead. I took two lots of pictures – one just as a storm was hitting at lunchtime – then about 24 hours later on the beach… my Australian winter has been ‘all over the place’. I decided to use a few from both as the stormy backdrop really did make the colours jump off the screen – I habitually roll up my sleeves – fortunately I have one image of the sleeves unrolled. The weather forecast is for another cold front to roll through later today so I’m enjoying the sunshine while it lasts.

The Fabric

When I unpacked this lovely Pink Carnation Floral Printed Cotton Voile from Mood Fabrics NY I immediately thought of making a shirt. Mood has a huge selection of voiles… where you will also find a devastatingly lovely range of Liberty of London silk-cotton voiles (which arrived after I ordered, alas).

I think voile would be one of my favourite fabrics. It’s not as fancy as silk or wool but it’s one of the most wearable and washable fabrics I’ve encountered – which means that it passes my ‘lifestyle’ test with flying colours.

According to the Mood Fabric Dictionary (this always helps me when I’m stuck wondering what some mystery fabric is in BurdaStyle!) Voile is: “Plain, loosely woven. Characteristics: A thin semi-transparent dress material of cotton, wool, or silk. Sheer and very light weight. Usually made with cylindrical combed yarns. To obtain a top quality fabric, very highly twisted yarns are used. Voilé drapes and gathers very well. The clear surface is obtained by singeing away any fuzzy yarns. Has a hard finish and crisp, sometimes wiry hand”

This fabric is not loosely woven and is not semi-transparent. It strikes me more as a lawn than a voile. It has a higher-thread count than I expected for a voile.

A voile of this nature is perfect for shirts and dresses – and can also make a lovely lining for summer dresses. This voile is perfect for shirts as it isn’t semi-transparent and doesn’t requite a camisole underneath for decency. I also found it an exceptionally easy fabric to work with to create finishes such as flat-fell and French seams, rolled hems and more. It’s remarkably easy to cut out and iron. In short, it ‘s a dream to sew with.

Shirts have a few tricky elements if you have never sewn one before. However sewing with a lightweight fabric with high thread count certainly makes those tricky elements much easier to achieve.

Burda 6849 - insides, no overlocking in sight.

Burda 6849 – insides, no overlocking in sight.

The Shirt

Shirts are a staple in my wardrobe. So when I saw this ‘pretty as a picture’ lawn it was irresistible to add as another shirt to my wardrobe.

I decided to wanted a feminine, slim-fitting shirt with Burda 6849. It has a shaped centre back seam, four fish eye darts, shaped side seams and a curved hem. It is very feminine. The sleeves are also quite slim fitting.

Due to the nature of the print and the weight of the fabric, the seams, darts and pockets just disappear and you focus on the silhouette created by the pattern design. This fabric just sings, it’s so pretty!

Burda 6849 - front pockets and buttons.

Burda 6849 – front pockets and buttons.

As this lawn was so lovely and fine, I flat-felled the centre  back seam with a neat 4mm seam. I also decided to French seam the sleeves and side seams – like piping, manipulating the sleeves for a flat-fell seam with my sore hand was little too much of a challenge.

Burda 6849 - the cuffs

Burda 6849 – the cuffs

I did add a slight curve to the cuff edges. The placket is a simple one and while I thought about adding a tower placket, I decided not to as I liked the light nature of the fabric and how neatly it rolled up at the sleeve end with as little bulk as possible.

Some techniques used:-

Burda 6849 - back view

Burda 6849 – back view

Pattern: Burda 6849
Fabric: Pink Carnation Cotton Voile, Mood Fabrics NY

Burda 6849, view C. Sometimes I get demure and cover my wrists...[/

Burda 6849, view C. Sometimes I get demure and cover my wrists…[/



  • LaLa Sews
    July 26, 2015

    This is just beautiful.

  • Peter
    July 28, 2015

    Lovely shirt — it looks fantastic on you. And thanks for linking to my shirt sew-along post!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      July 31, 2015

      I confess to being a littel nervous about posting in the network with a shirt when you are such a master in this area! I’ve long admired your construction and finishes

  • Cennetta
    July 28, 2015

    Great looking shirt, Lizzy. Thank you for the helpful links.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      July 31, 2015

      I thought they are probably all well known sources – but you can never been sure and I often refer to other blogs posts and youtube when I’m sewing just to ensure I’m constructing in the right order

  • Lori
    July 29, 2015

    Very pretty shirt, thanks for the links for tutorials.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      July 31, 2015

      Thank you Lori, it’s always nice when something works out just the way you imagined!

  • Sarah Gunn
    July 29, 2015

    Lovely Lizzy 🙂

  • Fiona
    August 1, 2015

    A shirt was a fantastic choice for this voile Lizzy! You’ve done a beautiful job, the cuffs look so neat and are the part I always struggle with! I really like the shaping and length of the tail at the back of this pattern