Blouse On The Loose
I have a few skirt patterns that I like and I use often enough I barely look at what I’m doing when I make them. But you can’t leave the house in nothing but a skirt. I find blouse patterns either more complicated than I care to deal with, set in sleeves come to mind. Or its not a style of shirt I would wear, long sleeves or asymmetric in that case. However, I found a shirt pattern that looks casual, and easy to put together. I found some lightweight fabric on sale and decided to give it a go. First, I decided to preserve the pattern by applying a light weight fuse-able interfacing to the wrong side of the pattern pieces. This turned out to be a good idea since they discontinued the pattern right after I bought it. I cut out the pieces leaving plenty of paper around the cut out lines. Then I cut out the interfacing and fused it to the pattern pieces. I cut out the size I needed and saved the other other sizes just in case. This is spelled out in better detail in my blog post titled Pattern Preservation, check it out!
I have the fabric washed, dried, pressed and folded with right sides together. I have my pattern pieces cut out and stabilized, and I have myself measured and my size circled everywhere on the cutting diagram and instructions. The straight of grain is so important. Cutting fabric “Willy Nillie” causes the garment to drape improperly. Place your pattern piece according to diagram with the straight of grain symbol ( <——–> ) running parallel with the fold and selvages. Measure all along the line to be sure its not askew. Pin in all the important places and cut out. Take your time and be precise.
I prefer to work backwards just a tad. I like to do my seam finish before I create my seam. I serge all the edges of the pattern pieces that will not be encased. Then I follow the instructions for garment construction. Very seldom do I feel the need to alter them. This pattern calls for gathering. I would rather eat beetles than do gathering. I looked this pattern over and realized there was elastic and was fooled into thinking I could avoid gathers. Thankfully, there is not much to gather and with a little fiddling I was able to complete the gather smoothly.
I finished this blouse through the day. It was obvious that the neckline plunged a lot deeper in real life than it did in the picture. I could have gone a size smaller I think too, although I measured myself and fall right in the middle for the size I cut out. There is an eyelet and cord feature that I chose not to use, but its decorative and sits entirely below the point of the “V” neckline. Its low enough that I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it out. I couldn’t de-construct the whole thing and make it over again. I decided to use a lace insertion to add coverage at the point of the neckband. I poured over the patterns I had and then turned to the internet. I found two and crocheted them and tried them out. I loved one, but it wasn’t shaped right for the neckband. I liked the other and with two motifs overlaid it fills the gap and makes this blouse wearable. I used pins to stabilize the neckline and hold the lace insertion in place. Using a matching thread (matching the lace) I couched it down securely. I used a cotton to crochet the motif so it should be washable.
The insertion was stitched onto the neck facing on the inside of the garment. The stitching isn’t visible on the outside. I think I’ll try this one size smaller next time.
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