I finished a new blouse.
This is a project that took me far longer than it should have, actually. Been working on it for a few weeks! and that is not like me... I had it nearly finished, and then toddled off to get buttons. Got completely distracted by a sale on at Spotlight and the dye selection and, you guessed it, came home with a heap of new dyes and some other odds and sods, as you do, but no buttons... then it was a while before I could get back to the fabric store, blah blah blah. Then I went off it for a bit, thinking it was awfully boring and uninspiring, and it came thisclose to getting dip-dyed on the weekend, but then I came to my senses. I think I will be glad I kept it snowy white. Everyone could use an ivory shirt in their collection, right? And now my husband's white linen shirt will finally be safe from my clutches...
The fabric is a light slightly fluffy brushed cotton, and I used pattern 102 from Burdastyle magazine 10/2010. I have used this pattern partially before to make my black blouse, so I know it to be quite nice; billowy but still slightly mannish. I do like that in a ladies' shirt.
Because the fabric is slightly sheer I finished all the seams with French seaming, except for the armholes which were just overlocked. I curved the top edge of the sleeve cuff and put on two buttons and buttonholes, one perpendicular to the other for a little touch of something interesting. I did this because the sleeve cuff dimensions provided by the pattern are overly generous and I found them to be too long. So rather than clipping them off to the right length I just kept them long and put in this double offset buttonhole feature for fun.
Blouse; Burdastyle magazine 10/2010, 102, ivory brushed cotton
Jeans; Burda 7863, khaki stretch gabardine, details here
Boots; Andrea and Joen, from Uggies in Dunsborough
Loose-fitting button-up blouse with two piece sleeves, cuffs, collar stand and collar
36-44, I made a straight 38
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you had finished sewing it?
I left off the breast pockets, but otherwise yes
Were the instructions easy to follow?
If you have made up a tailored shirt before, then yes. For a beginner I would recommend getting a pattern with step by step illustrations, like one of the big 4 for example, for a first go at a tailored shirt.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the big blouse-y shape of this blouse! If I was making it up again, I don't know if I would bother with the two piece sleeves but instead go with a one piece sleeve with a slit and a separate placket piece for the vent, a procedure I am more familiar with. And these sleeves are so loose-fitting that it doesn't seem worth the effort of that little bit of shaping you get with having the two pieces.
lightweight, slightly fluffy, brushed cotton blend
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I left off the breast pockets.
The method for putting together the front facing and collar stand was inefficient in my opinion, so I did it instead by turning the facing to the outside around the collar stand and sewing it in one seam, then turning the facing to the inside. This not only means less fiddling about with slipstitching the collar stand seam allowance under, but also means the collar stand seam allowances are down inside the facing and not up inside the collar stand itself, meaning less bulk. The usual issue of all those bulky seam allowances inside the collar stand are a slight pet peeve of mine, and I thought having a front self facing that branches up into the shoulder seam is a great solution to this small problem...
I also altered the button placement.
The pattern stipulates one yoke piece; I cut two and enclosed the seam allowances of the back piece and shoulder edges of the front pieces between the two yoke pieces. A double thickness yoke is more stable too.
The cuff dimensions are generous and I found them to be too long; but I kept the extra length, curved off the top edge and just had two buttonholes and two buttons, for an interesting little feature.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably I will sew this again sometime, and yes, I do recommend this to others!
Nicely blouse-y and feminine, but still with a slightly tailored and mannish air about it, so I am pretty happy with the look of this lovely and flattering pattern. I think I will get a tonne of wear out of this!