The original blouse, and my two versions to date
The original blouse is rather tatty and stained now, so I am glad I have managed to copy it successfully!
The first version was a dry run, where I checked I had the pattern fit right and tried out all the techniques I needed to put it together, (Shirt Yoke, Button Stand and two part Collar) with help from Professor Pincushion on You Tube. I decided the polycotton version did not need the interfacing I had added, so my next version has none.
This is where I started to make changes. I lengthened the front so it is the same back and front, rather than shorter at the front. I moved the buttons so they fell on the fullest part of my bust but were further apart so I only needed six. I also hand stitched the armhole binding to get the finish I wanted. It is actually a lovely blouse to wear, but I want to try the Viscose!
I bought my viscose on-line and it is a little thinner than the original blouse fabric but I love the colour and dots. I washed and ironed it, then used spray starch to stabilise it. I lay it on tissue paper to cut it out, using my pattern weights and rotary blade. Then I fit a new 70/10 Microtex needle and used Gutermann’s Sew All polyester thread on my machine, and made sure I had a good collection of sharp pins!
I also fitted my Acufeed foot (it is a built in Even Feed/Walking foot on my Janome) and the needle plate that came with the 1/4″ seam Acufeed foot as it had a smaller hole in the needle plate. This means it is less likely to stuff a fine fabric down the hole! Alternatively I could have stuck some tape over it, but I had the plate so I thought I would use it. I did a lot of hand stitching, but I prefer to do that as I feel more in control.
All that preparation helped, the blouse is finished and I love it. This version is 2″ longer and I added two patch pockets instead of the single breast pocket. No, I didn’t attempt to pattern match them! I did put some woven fusible interfacing in the collar and yoke as unlike the cream polycotton the viscose needed more body. I skipped the top button and buttonhole as I have always left it open. The viscose version drapes beautifully and feels very light and airy. Now I just need fine weather!
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It has been a long haul but I am very pleased with the results, I now have three sleeveless blouses for the summer! It was so much easier to start with a pattern I knew fitted and I loved! Self fitting is a nightmare for me. If this has encouraged you to have a go, the course is still available on Bluprint (previously Craftsy) PATTERN DRAFTING FROM READY TO WEAR with STEFFANI LINCECUM, or you can buy her book PATTERNMAKING FOR A PERFECT FIT, and don’t forget PROFESSOR PINCUSHION on YouTube for your sewing tutorials!