originally published Sep 17, 2012
.This will be quite detailed and mostly for my own benefit. I apologize for that and
freely forgive you for encourage you to click onto the next blog that you read if you find this type post boring.
The front remains largely the same through each version. That’s because I realized from other patterns that the size 38/12 is the correct size for my shoulders and front armscye. The front issues were a result of determining the correct amount of ease for woven fabrics for my tummy and hip areas. V1 contained too much ease. V2 was just a little bit shy and also had too short of sleeves. V3 appears to be the Goldilocks version. Having the right amount of ease visually diminishes the size of my tummy. It’s possible that the sleeves in V3 are too long.
In each of the side views the need for ease across the bust is indicated by the diagonal lines extending from bust to waist. This nearly always is apparent in a dartless blouse. The theory is that ease can be manipulated into various darts which can be rotated, moved to side seams and removed. In actual practice, and I think this style proves, ease should be added where it is needed and taken away where it is not. I know and have known women who refuse to make or buy or even try on a blouse/top without darts. They dislike the appearance of poor fit created by the dartless bodice. I’ve always tended to be small in that area and am personally pleased by the indication that I might actually need a bit of ease. The tightness across the tummy and hip, the wads of cloth accumulating in the back at the waist and the horizontal pull lines in the lower third of the armscye command my attention. I’m pleased with V3. I do note that the back seems to swing forward. While the temptation is to say more ease is needed in the back, it is more likely that the entire front from bust to waist should be increased a full-size. This should add enough ease that the back could drop into place.
Once again on the back V1 had too much ease. Additionally this was added with an FBA type slash and spread. The result was a shifting of the grain, a big poof of fabric in the center back and diagonal pull lines below the armscye. I made multiple alterations none of which corrected these issues in the least. The blouse will be worn underneath a vest. The vest will camouflage both the diagonals and excess ease. V2 is shy of enough ease and clearly indicates that more ease is needed at the high bust in the back and of course more ease across the back hip. I have to say, I think the sleeves of V2 are at an attractive length, but they feel slightly uncomfortable. By the time we get to V3, the sleeves are not only longer but I’ve increased 1 full size which is only 3/8″ on each side of the underarm and 1/8′ on each side of the wrist. Not much more fabric, but a whole new look. Most of the diagonals and drag lines in V3 are because it was not settled well onto my frame for the pictures. Since the blouse feels really comfortable and because the side view (posted yesterday) shows that the hem is even, I think I’m at the point of adding a sway-back alteration. I don’t have a sway-back. What I have are buttocks which are high due to the stairs I traverse several times daily and the weight I’ve gained due to my health issues. No matter the cause, if I want this pattern to fit perfectly, I’m going to need to make a little sway-back alteration.
This is a style that I love and have kept in my wardrobe for years. I resisted the urge to make any of the myriad of design changes possible because I wanted to be sure that any fit changes were due solely to the tissue alterations I planned and made. Before filing the tissue away, I will make three changes. (1) a 1/2″ sway-back alteration. (2) 1/2″ shortened sleeve length (3) add 1 full size to the front along the side.
Finally, I’m amazed at the sizes I finally traced. I seem to be a different size from top to bottom and front to back. I had to grade the pattern up to achieve the needed tummy/hip ease. Grading is something that I avoid. I think of it as akin to drafting my own patterns. Alas, the size I needed for my hips was not included on the BS master pattern. I’ve recorded the sizes I traced. I’m sharing this information mostly because I want to be able to find this information quickly in the near future. I’m not entirely sure that I’m finished with my fitting procedure. This works, but can it be repeated? More importantly, can be it be refined?