I’m loving this fabric that I found at Denver Fabrics last month.  At first, I was confused by my cursory burn test, but after I did a more serious test, I figured out that it is mercerised cotton which has been lovely to work with and it’s left me wishing I could find more of it.

The mercerisation process not only adds this lovely sheen to the fabric, but it makes the fibers accept dye more easily, which explains why the colors in this fabric are so beautifully saturated.

As for the blouse itself, it is Butterick 4985, again taking inspiration from Katie at Kadiddlehopper.  I really love the flutter sleeve on this one and I’ve been on the hunt for a good tie neck blouse for some time.

Butterick 4985

What I learned:

French Seams:  I love French seams.  I used them on my first big project–a duvet I made from two sheets in college by hand.  I wanted a nice clean look on the inside, so I used the French seams for everything.  If you’ve ever tried matching seam intersections with French seams, it’s a bit tricky.  Some of them were great the first try, and others took more perseverance.  I see some sewing etude practice with French seams in my not-too-distant future.

Mark the buttons silly!:  I’ve started marking everything on the wrong side of the pattern pieces and in the seam allowances.  This works great for many things, but CF lines and button markings on a blouse, not so much.  Marking buttons afterwards especially just didn’t work on this empire line.  I think the buttons look okay really only because this print is so busy and I used a very neutral button.  Not my best effort here.

More seams=less distortion:  I know people love doing FBA’s the Palmer Pletsch way.  I’m not saying it’s not a good way to go about it, I just think it doesn’t work for everyone, and I’m one that it’s not helpful for.  I mean not to put down their method–I know they’ve helped a lot of people, and you, dear reader might be one of them.  I am not.  The starting point leaves me swimming in my neck and shoulders, and I end up with 6-8 extra inches of fabric to deal with in the waist and hips.  There’s a couple of techniques I’ve been experimenting with, and they’ve all given me a better fit than a traditional FBA.

For starters, I trace off a size that fit my shoulder point to shoulder point measurement.  This ensures that the garment is the right size at the point that it’s hanging off my body (i.e. from my shoulders–picking patterns based on the high bust may work for some, but if you think about it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense because your garment isn’t hanging from your ribcage).  2.75″ along the armscye seam, where my full bust level is located, I use the armhole portion of a French curve to curve out to the next largest size, which gives me a little more room for my bust.  This is a fairly fitted top, so I knew I would need a little more room still, so I borrowed space from the seam allowances included in this pattern (5/8″).  I sewed the side seams at 4/8″ and each of the side-center front seams at 3/8″.  Because the change was across 4 seperate seams, there was no distortion in the waist that I must deal with in traditional FBA’s, and the blouse retained it’s overall shape.  I could use a little extra length in the upper bodice, but not too much.

I’ve been so excited to finish this blouse and once I started feeling better yesterday, it’s been all I could think about.  While I like the Farm Blouse, the colors and the style of this blouse are so much more me.  My heart is just filled with big splashy bright colors all the time–might as well wear them, right?

My full review is here.

5 Comments

  1. Lovely, I have this pattern too. However I might need to make my sleeves larger as they aren’t as fluttery in the front as I thought they’d be. Also, did you eliminate the underbust gathers from the pattern? I can’t really see them.

  2. Nice! I am so impressed by your ability to pick flattering prints. And I agree, more seams does equal better fit. I do the same thing with darts. Less distortion in your print and a smoother transition through the curves.

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