I have made the crossover neckline blouse versions with mixed feelings about the results. Those options, A,B and C, requires a separate review and I am not done tinkering yet. Here I am going to review the blouse with the pintucks, options D,E and F.
- It has more structure and therefore flattering to more figures than the unconstructed peasant blouses that have been offered by pattern companies over the past few years.
- Pintucks are a toe in the water for those interested in heirloom sewing.
- As a plus-size woman with a thick middle, the pintucks and center seam provided a strong but subtle vertical line that is very flattering.
- It does utilize a princess seam in front which can be a challenge to new sewers, but the upside is that unlike a sheath dress, this princess seam is not the focal point of the garment, so any minor errors are less likely to show. Good for those still shaky on this type of seaming.
- This is not a beginner project. Pintucks and princess seams, along with a tricky sleeve fit.
- The sleeve fit is so naf that it gets its own special category under con.
The Naf Sleeve.
It just plain did not fit. This is one of those times where in my earlier years as a home-sewer I would have collapsed in disappointment and called myself all kind of a bad seamstress.
Years later I am a little more savvy. It’s not always my fault.
It is wonderful that the pattern includes a tank, cap sleeve and long sleeve option. When you make a tank top or a shirt with cap sleeves, you raise the armscye at the side seams so the brassiere does not show. It is a tighter fit but that doesn’t matter because the arm is not constricted by a long sleeve.
When you insert a long sleeve into a higher armscye, often you get a problem. Those with small armcap circumference may not notice. But the average sewer probably will. The armscye is so high that it tightens the fit of the sleeve, which could be bearable if you didn’t have another seam riding right along the lower bicep. The sleeve feels incredibly constricted not like the breezy garment in the pattern envelope photo.
The patternmaker did not give a lowered armscye at side seam for the long sleeve version and it needed to happen. The long sleeve does not fit comfortably into the tank top version.
So sewers, if the sleeve doesn’t work on this pattern, it’s not your fault!
Some Assembly Required:
My main change from the pattern instructions was to construct the sleeve flat. There are no plackets to worry about so there was no reason not to construct the entire sleeve then sew to the shoulder flat.
This fabric was like a bad date where you know right away, this is so NOT the one.
Sometime in the spring I hit a fabric sale of poly/cotton quilting fabric at half off making the price around a dollar a yard, acceptable range for muslins. I bought several colors thinking I would make quick practice muslins of sheets and then sew up the poly/cotton as wearable muslins since it was technically usable as shirt cotton.
Here are the problems with super-cheap poly/cotton quilting fabric used as shirting:
- It builds up static and the static makes the fabric attracted to itself so when you run it under the machine it is always in danger of folding up into your seamline.
- Topstitching floats over it instead of melding into the fabric.
- It will not ease using the feed dogs. You must run the ease stitches even for the smallest amount of ease.
- It left tons of pink dust in my serger and sewing machine, clearly another sign of its chumpiness.
I have changed my stance on its use. If the blouse pattern has a lot of ease and larger armscyes I am going ahead and using the poly/cotton as practice muslins. I figure if it isn’t wearable, no great loss. And using it up gets it out of my stash quicker.
Normally when I encounter an abominable sleeve fit I abandon the pattern as often there are many other patterns available that offer essentially the same design and are probably designed correctly. This time I liked the slenderizing effect of the pintucks and center seam so much that I drafted my own sleeve pattern.
I drafted two versions actually, one a simple gathered long sleeve, and the other a readjusted version of the pattern.
Will I Sew it Again:
Yeah. Even though I have complained bitterly I did resolve those issues and I think it is good to go with better quality fabric.
Advice to Others:
I hate to say it but if you are a woman with any flesh on your arms, you will probably have to redraft the sleeve. I will give you a step-by-step of what I did in my next post. This is a cute design and I have seen it offered in some nicer department stores. You have to make a judgment balancing how much you like the design versus how much you like the idea of redrafting sleeves.
Overall Style Grade: A, for casual settings it works like a standard blouse but with some interesting design elements that offer some novelty.
Results Grade: Oh, my goodness, what to say here. If you are a newbie, D. If you are an intermediate or beyond, B. I can’t give an A even for more experienced sewers because the pattern is a little prickly to deal with.
Next Post: Thursday, October 18, 2010: How to Draft a Sleeve When You are Desperate and No One Has Taught You How.