This is not a blouse that WOWs me. Make no mistake, I enjoyed the sewing especially the sleeves. The pattern is fine. Initially a little big, but the finished garment is not wonderful. The finished garment is one of those plain, basic tops that everyone needs and should be glad to have in their wardrobe.
During fitting, I kept thinking the blouse was wearing me. 15 years ago (back in the 90’s) I did indeed wear styles very similar. I was also 40 pounds heavier. (isn’t that the weight of small child?) Clothing looks and fits differently now. Also I’ve quite gotten accustomed to the closer fit and shorter styles. I started transforming this blouse by adding a belt.
Helpful, but not the entire answer. I then folded out and stitched about 2.5″ horizontally below that humongous bust dart, and all around my body. Shortening the blouse made a big difference, in my mind.
It still looked like the blouse overwhelming. I took in 1/4″ along the side seams just between bust dart and about 4″ down from the sleeve-armscye. I can’t tell that it helped. I probably need to take out more. At the same time I added these triangular shoulder pads that have been marinating in the stash. They are 3/8″ fat. I prefer the 1/4″ but I had these and they do work with raglan armscyes. I feel like the shoulder pads lifted the shoulder too much and the neckline is now floating away from my body at the shoulder. Not sure what the solution to that is. The pad can’t be moved up higher, it would show in the neckline. It can’t be moved down lower because at that point the pad would be too narrow for the sleeve. For now, it’s such a bland garment, I’m leaving the shoulder pads alone. I felt the sleeves were adding to the “too big” impression and decided to control them a bit. I turn up my hem and inserted 1″ elastic. Finally still wanting the make the blouse shorter, I finished by folding the 1″ hem bias binding completely to the inside making the binding a facing. With the fabric coloring, the bias band makes no impact anyway.
Fit wise, it no longer looks like the blouse is wearing me. The effect of the shoulder pads is subtle and acceptable. Take a look at how the sleeve is bunching on my right arm before looking at the back view:
The mid-back is buckling. Some would immediately call this “sway back”. I know from long experience that I am not sway-back. Usually, I need more room across the butt. This pattern had 3/8″ more pattern across the back then my ABO-Ebb. The ABO-Ebb doesn’t buckle. It floats freely. Why is this buckling? I think it’s the fabric. I think the fabric got moved into a different position and just stayed there. Just like the sleeves didn’t fall back into place, neither did the back. However, recently I read came across a blog article that discusses a half-dozen causes of the mid back buckling. I’m wondering if maybe my tummy doesn’t need more room and is pulling the back because as seen from the side:
My garment is clearly shorter in the center front that the back and there are front-side drag lines. A problem I often experience. For future versions I will remove an additional 2.5″ at the shorten/length line and add a front wedge of about 1/2″ to make the hems even. Still wondering if I need to add more butt room. I think not, because in addition to a curve hem the sides are vented. The butt should be fine.
Not entirely satisfied with the garment, I started playing with my vests. It’s a given I’ll be wearing a vest during the winter, and most of the fall and spring. I may as well see what works, right?
Yes, these work. they cover all the ills of the blouse and coordinate beautifully with the pants. These have the WOW factor the blouse was missing.