Sunday, March 30, 2008

New Blouse To Wear Tomorrow

Now that the alterations have been done, this is definitely a blouse I can cut and sew in an afternoon, which is great because I want to make it again in a less … er … vibrant color. I'll take a pic of me wearing it tomorrow, but for now here it is on Zillie.

I thought I'd be stalled again at the buttons but can you believe this match?? There they were, just waiting in the button bin, and plentiful in number too. Yeah, they're shank buttons that I had to sew on by (gasp!) hand, but I managed to trudge through it. ;-)

Here's the final back pattern piece which was changed to sew with a CB seam. The red line is the old CB cut-on-fold line. I kept the width at the top since I wanted to keep the same density of gathering. Instead of adding two waist darts as I was first contemplating, I scooped out the center back at waist level, which is where the extra fabric really needed to be removed. This worked out well. I also removed most of the extra width added at the sideseam area and some more width was removed at CB because my new seam line is 1/2" in from the original CB. With these changes, the "essence" of the blouse is intact but the tent effect is greatly reduced (it's still a loose-fitting blouse, so there is some "tent" but in a good way, if you know what I mean!). The last tweak was to lower the front and back armholes about 1/4" because one last try-on of the muslin told me I should do that (and the muslin was right).

Speaking of the armholes and sleeves, the Simplicity instructions said to sew the sleeves in the round and insert them very early on in the construction, before any of the gathering. This is just plain stupid (it's a raglan sleeve on a very casual blouse!) and a royal pain when gathering all the un-flat pieces to the yoke. Instead, I did everything flat and then sewed the sideseams and underarm seams last.

There were a couple of comments with questions related to this blouse so I'll answer them now while I'm thinking about it.

OP Gal: "I'm always confused, though, as to what the term "overfitting" means."

For this blouse, it meant that I didn't want to end up with a fitted blouse when I was making a loose, very casual top. I had to accept that there would be some fullness/tenting. For other garments, I think overfitting means taking alterations to the extreme so that it's no longer comfortable to wear and/or flattering. It's better to have fabric skim lumps/bumps instead of accentuate them, and that can happen when fitting becomes overfitting. At least that's my take.

Laceflower: "I too need to do the FBA but patterns never mark the bust point any more. How do you begin with out this needed landmark?"

I either hold the tissue up to me and mark my actual bust point or I'll just guess my best. For me, it's usually obvious where the general vicinity of the apex is on patterns that aren't marked. If I guess wrong, the muslin will let me know. I really am just a fly/sew by the seat of my pants kinda girl. ;-)

Cathy: "I have a question re the alteration on the front side seam. You split the pattern there and spread inserting the needed room. Am I accomplishing the same thing by just adding that measurement to the outer edge of the pattern or am I missing some part of the idea?"

By sliding the seam allowance out like I did, the sideseams of both pieces will still match up perfectly when I'm sewing them. It's like altering a pattern with NO seam allowances and then adding them later. Alterations really need to be done within the body of the pattern, not the seam allowances.


  1. Very nice! I like the colour (assuming it is a lovely coral colour?)

  2. Gorgeous blouse! The color is just perfect for Florida. And I love how the buttons match so perfectly. Isn't it great to have a good stash?

  3. Great job on the blouse, Debbie. I like the color and style. Can't wait to see it on you.

  4. That is such a pretty blouse in a great color! It makes me kind of mad I threw away my old '80's pattern in a very similar style. That was before I discovered Patternreview, of course. It such a nice, summer style too.

  5. Very pretty blouse and I love the vibrant colour. I'm sure it looks gorgeous on you

  6. Great blouse--I love the fun summery color and was too afraid of the tent effect to try this. May have to reconsider. Thank you for answering the question--that makes sense now.

  7. Fun blouse :) I understand your surprise at having plentiful matching buttons on hand; that rarely happens, does it!

  8. Your blouse looks so summery (she said jealously as she watched the snow/rain/hail coming down outside her sewing room window). The color reminds me of a tropical drink. Yummy!

  9. Zillie is lookin' hot. Great casual blouse. It's a pinky, coraly spring I guess!

  10. The top is beautiful! And that's how I would describe the term overfitted also. Also, thank you for so aptly describing why it is better to slash and spread when making alterations. I attempted to say that several months ago and did so very badly! I am now going to refer to this post whenever I need to explain why!!!

  11. Debbie,
    I’ve been enjoying your blog for almost a year – I’m sorry that I’ve done more lurking than commenting to let you that I’m part of your regular audience. In any event, I recently got an “Excellent Blog” award, and an obligation to pass it on to other excellent blogs. Yours was one of the first that came to mind! If you would like to accept it, you can find it here:
    Take care,

  12. Really nice! I love the details and it look so comfortable.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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