originally published Sept 4, 2012
ETA January 2013 I finally decided this buttonhole technique just wouldn’t work for me. I carefullyaligned the facing and the blouse front. Using the manual buttonhole procedure, I stitched from the facing side all the way through to the front. The result is a stress-free buttoning experience.
In my defense, it is 99 degrees outside and while considerably cooler inside, I’m still sweating like a pig while wearing these cool weather clothes. I did try to show how I would wear this blouse but it was just too dang hot to spend a lot of time fussing, posing and taking pics. I think I even look like I’m melting. But let’s get on with the reveal:
I made 7 alterations and fittings to the shoulder and upper back. I added and removed a back “yoke”. Really it was just two big horizontal dart strategically placed to look like a yoke. After Alteration #7, I realized that the back puffiness and the diagonal wrinkles were caused by the alteration I did to the tissue to add back width.
I tried to combine two alterations into one. I added width to the tummy and hip area by adding a vertical waist dart, which remains unsewn as I need the ease to cover said tummy, hip and the butt below. That alteration is correct. It is the back alteration which is in error. I reasoned that since we do a Y type alteration to add width and depth for the bust, something similar with only 2 legs would add width for the back. And it does, but with limited positive effect. What happens is that the grain for the sides is shifted and placed on the bias. Diagonal folds then develop starting on the front under the bust, traversing the sides and to the back. The effect is happening on both sides and comes together in the middle of the back creating the pouf because this is shirting and not a flowing fabric. A flowing fabric would have cascaded into a beautiful cowl neck drape over my behind. Instead, I have a pouf in the middle of my back.
Usually with an FBA we also create and sew a horizontal bust dart. This reverses the biasing effect on the front. I didn’t want to change the design of this dartless blouse and decided to live with the effect in front. While I don’t want bust darts in the back either, I thought adding the “yoke” (moving the bust dart up to the shoulder level) would correct the biasing for this version. The yoke removed the diagonal wrinkles around the armscye but not the folding of the fabric along the sides or the pouf in the center back. The “yoke” also dramatically changed the back armscye. Had I kept the yoke, I would have needed to reshape the armscyes and possibly sleeve cap. What I decided to do is sew the shirt without alterations beyond what was done to the tissue and then dress like I normally do in the fall and winter, with a vest:
All the back issues just simply disappear. (I swear I never noticed the front of the vest sticking out like that. Must be my posture.) Also disappearing is the anomaly created by Burda’s instructions, the flying front facing:
I had decided to follow Burda’s instructions which create a buttonhole on the facing, but not through the front. They are trying to create an easy hidden placket. It fails on several points. It is awkward/difficult to button, but unbuttons easily. The facing not being secure shifts away or flying as I like to call it, creating a weird looking front. I’m contemplating adding either fusible web or a line of stitching to secure the facing to the blouse front. This is one of those design elements that Burda offers and those of you with good sense decide not to do. However, I was feeling a bit experimental (and at the time not expecting all the fitting hoop-a-la) and went with it. Since I’m likely to always wear a vest with this blouse, I could just leave it as is.
I also used my favorite cuff finish. I pleated the edges as directed but skipped any kind of vent. I serged the cuff to the sleeve before sewing the side seams. In fact, since I knew this to be a drop sleeve, I took a minute and walked the seams. The sleeve head and the armscye exactly matched so I serged the sleeve to the armscye and then the side seam, sleeve seam and cuff all in one go.
Blouse #1 for my Autumn 6PAC is, technically, DONE!
I still need to work on improving the fit of my tops so my plan for the next will be
- Cut shoulder line size 12/38
- Swing out immediately to cut size 14/40 through the armscye all the way to the hem.
- Make 1″ BWL
- Add “waistline” dart adding 2″ from tummy to hem.
- Cut shoulder line and armscye size 12/38
- At underarm swing out to size 14/40 all the way to the hem
- Make 1″ BWL
- Add FBA 1″ at bust, 2″ at tummy to hem.
Note: May need to divy up those 2″ adjustments. It becomes difficult to keep the tissue flat when spreading it so far apart.
A pattern observation: I don’t like adding ease by crossing the side cutting lines. I seem to lose the designer shape, yet I must do something to accommodate my own body shape and will inevitably not look like the anemic, walking eating-disordered models that are put forth as ideals.