As I posted in a previous pattern review McCalls 5884 was in need of some serious de-dorking.
Sometimes a neckline is very low cut so you can get a woven over your head. I looked for a placket in the back,finding none I assumed that the neckline had to be low to take the blouse on and off. I was wrong. There is a placket. It is in front, hidden by the tie band at the bottom of the V-neck.
When I raised the neckline I worried that I couldn’t get the top over my head but the placket takes care of that. But then the placket is too long too. If it bulged out during wearing people could see your brassiere. I shortened the placket also.
The Tie Band
I cut off about 1 ½ inches off each side to narrow the band.
Decide if you want to make a bow or not. I do not bow so I shortened the band by a good six inches. The tie ends should reach your hemline or hang a little below for this design.
I cut on the straight grain, not the bias as the pattern piece is marked. The bias will cost you a lot of material and it makes no difference to the lay of the band on the neckline. If you cut on the straight you can get away with using a remnant.
Applying the Tie Band
I sewed the band together completely and then attached it to the neckline. I left about 10 inches open in the middle, sewed the strips and then pulled them through the opening. Then I topstitched down the opening. There was no raw edge on the band. It was complete.
I laid the band on the neckline so the seam of the band extended a bit farther out than the edge of the neckline. Sewed it on, touched it up with the iron on the pressing ham.
Then I turned the band into the neckline so it hid the rough edge and topstitched in place from the right side.
I curved the hemline with my French curve. The squared off hem in this style of blouse said “homemade” to me. Traditionally I know one does a rolled hem but I cheated by serging. After serging I turned under just a ¼ inch as I topstitched. Since I put the wrong side down the feed dogs ate the extra fabric in the curves so the hem laid flat.
Trapeze the hemline
Not everyone likes this but I do. A lot of blouses are being worn as tunics and have some extra fabric at the hem so it doesn’t cling to the trouser. Most of the time my narrow shoulders call me to pinch out a little at the top of a neckline. I did that with a pivot and didn’t bother to shave off the side seams since I wanted a little swing.
It took a lot to de-dork this pattern and I might not have bothered if I had seen more patterns like this one and if they had been as cheap. I wasn’t willing to buy another pattern and I did not find the alterations cumbersome. However I have been sewing a few years.
What really annoyed me about this pattern was not the changes but that is was one of those simple designs that new sewers are often encouraged to try which then turn out dorky looking. The new sewer does not know it isn’t her fault and after a few of these kinds of hits to her sewing self-esteem, she gives up. Though I like the pattern and will continue sewing it, I can see that McCalls did a bit of a slapdash job on this one.
Next Post: Saturday, September 11, 2010:Tip When Making Those Pattern Tissue Alteration Cuts in a Hurry