Serious, with a side of Twee
I bought this pink dotted swiss cotton from Mood when I was looking to replace a circle skirt that was faded beyond recognition and needed some serious retirement. It was the wrong fabric for the job, but I faithfully wore the skirt, because I didn’t have a lot of clothes to chose from after a serious cull prior to moving. When the skirt was involved with a cleaning accident and bleach spots appeared, I was annoyed because I had spent time on the skirt, but not that upset because it wasn’t really doing its job of replacing my original skirt. That skirt was retired without being blogged about.
I had bought too much of this dotted fabric and didn’t want to make (another) replacement skirt. I am trying to concentrate on picking the right fabric for the job and thought that it might make an appropriate blouse — I have other blouses RTW blouses made out of a similar material, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. The buttons are from Pacific Trimmings. I picked them out because they’re a match for some buttons on a blouse that belonged to my grandma. I intended to get some cute pearly ones, but I got a bit caught up!
I chose Vogue 8772 as my pattern. I had toiled and made up this pattern back in Australia, but encountered difficulty bringing my arms forward, and wearing a peculiar shade of yellow so close to my face. I finished it, donated it, and vowed to learn from it. Of course, it would’ve been easier to learn from it if I had of kept the damn garment, but here we are. (There’s a wrap dress in my future with the exact same story behind it).
The notes I had left myself in regards to the adjustments I made to the pattern made no bloody sense, so I went back to the start made some familiar adjustments — shortened the bodice by 5cm, a 2.5cm FBA, a 1.2cm narrow shoulder adjustment, and shortened the sleeves by 7.5cm. (My bodice piece also says I did a swayback adjustment, but I can’t confirm or deny any evidence of that). I made up a toile and using Sunni’s broad back adjustment, added in 2.4cm across the back and sleeves. I also experimented with making a Peter Pan collar, but after some serious reflection, decided against it. Yes, I’m twee. However, I figured there would be some room for contrasts in the shirt if I made it according to the pattern, which is with a pointed collar. It wouldn’t be too sweet, just sweet enough.
After my last shirt dress, I made sure to concentrate on cutting out more carefully, which paid off. I also did my first continuous lap and only made one mistake (it’s inside out I think). They’re not perfect, but better than I expected. I prefer plackets, so I think I might do that on my next shirt. I also don’t appear to have over-fitted it, which is good! Small victories! Obviously, there are adjustments to be made…
After making the broad back adjustment and shortening the sleeves, I didn’t true my seams on the paper pattern, and the sleeves didn’t match up at their seams. I fudged it during construction and you can’t tell from the outside, but it will need fixing for future versions.
Sleeves, man. This particular pattern has a very high sleeve head, which makes setting it an absolute nightmare. There’s still a few tiny creases in my sleeve, but I am not going to get hung up about that. On future versions, I’m going to reduce the height of that sucker and save myself from the tedium.
I followed the instructions pretty closely, except for the fisheye darts in the bodice. I did them last, so that I could leave them out if I desired, but that looked less twee than I wanted. If I had’ve done the flat Peter Pan collar, then it might have been okay to leave the darts out, but as it stood, I felt I needed the darts to maintain a certain sense of girliness. I made them exactly as the pattern pieces said I should, but when I showed Neil my finished shirt, he suggested I might want to make the shirt more fitted. I ummed and ahhed about this, but made the decision to go fitted and take the width out of the front darts and the sides. I often wear shirts underneath other garments and tucked in, so this move made sense. Neil suggested if the fabric had’ve been a bit lighter, then the fit was fine. Back in Australia he had to wear shirts all the time, so his practical experience is important to me.
The darts did give me a hard time, looking pointy and bubbly, but that’s got more to do with how large they have to be (they are Big Honkin Darts, I’ll give you that). I’ve beaten them into submission with my iron for now, I think they’ll relax a little with a wash. I will be updating the pattern piece to make the darts look more like Megan’s curved darts, because that’s essentially what I did, only freehanded on the machine instead of planned. There’s some drag lines on the front that suggest a forward shoulder adjustment might be in order. I also want to revisit my FBA as there is extra fabric over my hips (you can see it flouncing with the shirt untucked). Actually, you know what, this is making me want to do princess seams I think…
Neil and I took a trip to Beacon a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, where it was finally cool enough to wear long sleeves. I kind of understand this obsession with autumn now — the cool change is such a relief!