UFO Completed

This blouse was cut out and set aside over 2 years ago.  That definitely qualifies it as a UFO (Unfinished Object). Sometimes it is just more fun to cut and sew something new than go back to something you never finished. But, I really don’t want UFOs sitting around; too many other projects swirling in my brain.

But…You cut out an item at a sewing retreat.  Then you come home, unpack from the retreat, set the item on the shelf in a ‘project box’, then the next time you start to work on something, those items in the project box are forgotten.  You start something new!  A system for UFOs is a separate blog post, but I do now have one.

Given the amount of time that passed since it was cut out, and the fact that I have learned a lot more about fitting my body since then, I wasn’t sure it would even fit me. I think I used my sloper as a basis to make sure it would fit. But I didn’t keep many notes.  I quickly basted the shoulder and side seams; tried on the blouse to see if it was worth finishing.

I have been on this fitting journey for a few years, so I wasn’t quite sure where my mind was when this was cut. Lo and behold – the blouse was going to fit…and look pretty good. No round back problem, enough circumference…ok…let’s get this thing done. The bust dart was rotated to a tuck in shoulder seam, so I rotated my dart there as well.  I initally selected this pattern because of the neckline. My neck is short, so a V-neck looks best on me. Amazingly the blouse fit fine.  So, I decided to finish the blouse and along the way I made a few adjustments.

Pattern Number:  McCalls 6564 (A Palmer/Pletsch style).  These patterns are great because they do have a lot of fitting information.  But I used my sloper to make my changes.  This pattern is out of print, but available on the McCall’s pattern website.  Probably available on EBay and/or Etsy as well.

Fabric:  A stretch rayon print, purchased from Fabric Mart in May, 2011.  Yes, it has aged.  And I have another piece of this is a slightly more melon colorway.

Finished Blouse:

McCalls 6564

Changes made:  As you can see from the line drawing there is a belt that goes around the waist and ties on the side.  I had the belt on, but the blouse was too short to keep the belt.  It just didn’t flatter me.  I should have made the longer version in the pattern.  If I add 2-3 inches to the top next time, I could keep the belt.  So, I removed the belt and shorted one end of it into a tab.  I put a button hole on the tab, then attached a button to the dart where the previous belt had been.  I also put a snap on the side right to keep the left side in place when buttoned.

I also faced the hem rather than turning up a hem because the blouse was too short.  I probably could have placed the white flowers a little better, but it isn’t noticeable in wearing. This dress form is not exactly my shape

All in all, I think this will be a good blouse for summer.  I plan to wear it with beige crops or ankle pants.


A Tale of Two Blouses

I have two blouses to share.  You’ll see they are both made from the same fabric.  The back story:

The solid fabric came from Wal-Mart a few years ago.  This was the only time I ever bought fabric from WalMart.  The only reason I did was because I was going to a class at the Sewing Expo and needed a piece of test fabric for a class.  I had forgotten to take any test fabric with me.  This is a heavier cotton – very tightly woven.  I don’t recall what I used it for in the class, but I had a good-sized piece left over.  So it was good for more testing.

The striped fabric has lurex threads running vertically in the stripes.  I do like some subtle bling.  This is a lighter weight fabric that came from JoAnn’s , also a couple of years ago.  They are not the best match in weight, but would work for what I was doing.

Blouse #1:

Blue Blouse #1 (2)

I actually finished this blouse about a year ago.  I just never got around to blogging it.  For the blouse, I used  Lekala pattern 5167.  I made a couple of design changes – I sliced the pattern above the bust to create the “yoke” effect on the front.  I used the fabric on the bias for the “yoke”.  The collar is part of the new yoke pattern piece. The sleeve cuff was another design change.  The sleeve on this pattern is a bell sleeve and I don’t like bell sleeves.  I straightened out the sides of the sleeve, then added a cuff to the bottom, slightly gathering the sleeve into the cuff.  The cuff is also cut on the bias.

I also made a few fitting changes.  I moved the back waist shaping darts closer to the center.  I raised the bust point about 1/2″.  I did not realize that the front opening was so low.  I added a snap above the top button to keep it closed.  It is still a little low, but wearable.  I have adjusted the center front on the pattern by raising the area when it curves and the top button is placed.  Sorry I have no construction photos.  I will work on that!

Blouse #2:

Blue Blouse #2

For this blouse, I used my shoulder princess block. It is a jacket block, so I made adjustments for a blouse.  I raised the armhole 1″; reduced the shoulder width about 1/2″, removed the extra in the shoulders that accommodate a shoulder pad.  I used the 2 piece sleeve because it fits well.  I just changed it to a short sleeve that sits above the elbow.

The center front and center back, along with the sleeves are in the stripe.  The side front and side back, collar stand and collar, and facing are made from the solid.  For this one I was testing the neckline.  I wanted to do a jewel V-Neck opening.  The opening above the button is not what I had in mind.  It is not open enough, so I adjusted the pattern for future use.  I often have a hard time visualizing the amount of change I need for what I want to achieve.  I think my best option is to use a pattern from my vast pattern collection for the details I want to copy.

This neckline is what I had in mind:

Jewel VNeck picture

Both of these blouses are more fitted on me than they appear.  My ‘model’ dress form does not have my shape and size.  I am happy with the fit of each, I just need to work on getting the details I want on the garments.  I had nothing left of either of those fabrics after these blouses were cut out.

I have spent TOO much time over the last few years working on perfecting fit.  I can move on to incorporating the details I want now that I have some well-fitting blocks in my arsenal.

Until next time….