Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SWAP Diary Jan 27 2009

Blouse 2 - Pleated Back Collar.

This pattern uses the Lady Boutique rounded bottom sloper as the basis for the drafting instructions. I had previously drafted this sloper to my personal measurements.

I drafted the blouse pattern pieces using the diagrams in the magazine. I shortened the shoulders by 1.5 cm. and raised the armholes 2 cm. on this blouse too. I see a trend here with LB drafting instructions ….. Either I will have to do this for every pattern I draft from this magazine or working backwards I can adjust my personal sloper to factor in the assumtions that there will be an armhole enlargement in all drafting instructions.

I was still not feeling confident enough to skip a muslin. This one was made in a cotton blend. A tie dye print with multicolored couched threads on top. It was one of those fabrics that I bought because I thought the color and texture was interesting up-close. I really need to remember to step back and view fabric from a distance, like it would be seen by someone else if it were a garment on a body. After I got the fabric home, it turned into one of those “what was I thinking” fabrics

When I tried on the completed muslin I got a bit of a surprise. With all my measuring, it hadn’t occurred to me to make sure the sleeve cuffs, formed by sewn pleats, would fit over my hands. They didn’t.

So the pleats are a little skimpy on the muslin and the appropriate changes were made to the sleeve pattern. Once I could get the muslin on, I was pleased to find that the neckline fit well. The neckline worried me the most going into this project.

The fit in the torso was loose. I had envisioned a semi fitted over blouse because the fabric I planned to use was a stiffer silk dupianni.

So to get the shape I wanted, I shorten the bodice pattern pieces by 2 inches to end at the high hip, and deepened the darts in the waist area extending them down to the hip to get a smoother look. Since the dart now took up fabric at the hip area, I had to add the same amount to the side seam. I took out about 2 inches in the bust area at the side seam. And because I did not want to change the arm hole shape (requires redrafting the sleeves) I pivoted the arm hole from the shoulder point to match the new side seam. (A technique found in Nancy Zeiman’s Busy Woman’s Fitting Book) I also added a center back seam for more shaping and faced the hem edge instead of using a turned hem as suggested. I am not a neat pattern drafter/modifier. When I got done with all these changes, I had so many different lines and bits of tissue paper taped to the original pattern, it is a real mess. I have to work on being neater.

The blouse turned out just as I envisioned.

The fabric is a rather light weight silk dupiani print purchased back in 2005 from www.fabricmartfabrics.com according to my Stash Inventory database. Because of the weight of the fabric, I decided to line the bodice with camel colored Bemberg rayon to prevent wrinkles and reduce stress on the seams.


  1. Your final blouse looks great ! I love the neckline and your sketches!!!

  2. Beautiful! The color is gorgeous and the style is very flattering.

  3. First thank you so much for sharing your process with us. Second, I bought that fabric from FM too! Mine is a shirtdress that should have been lined but I didn't...and now its looking long and like I should cut it off! But anyway, I'm amazed at how many of the same fabrics we both purchase from FM!!!

  4. Very pretty1 That's a beautiful dupioni.

  5. Lovely! The cuffs and neckline make this blouse very intereting.

  6. My pattern pieces look just like you described when I "twist" the basic look - slashing here and spreading there and adding to the back and scooping out front just does these things to patterns...
    Your blouse looks great and the fit is superb. You must be well satisfied! And all the others enjoy your little sketches of yourself... :)

  7. I love your cartoons. You should publish a sewing book! The dupioni blouse is gorgeous.

  8. Audrey, all your hard work was totally worth it! It looks fantastic. Can't wait to see you wear this.

  9. Love the little line drawings - they are sooooooo cute!