A long time before I decided to jump into the deep end with VPLL1912, I wanted to make a couple of blouses. They are the type of garment I was never able to buy off the rack. Many moons ago, I used to be a very sportive person, and it has left me with shoulders too wide for any high-street designer.
So today, I finally bit the bullet and made what I hoped would be a wearable muslin.
The pattern used was Simplicity 2447:
I opted for a mix of View E and F with short sleeves and pockets. The fabric used was more of the purple gingham already known from the Wiksten Tova, as a kind friend gifted me with ~10m of it (thanks, Steph!). I like gingham, but it’s not so fab that I’d be heartbroken if the muslin turned out unwearable (sorry, Steph!) – and I fully expected issues, given my difficulties with store bought blouses.
Actually, it turned out better than expected. That’s not to say perfect … there are a few issues, some of which are caused by the pattern, some by my tendency to screw up.
1. The collar
It’s HUGE. And by HUGE, I mean absolutely ginormous. Seventies monstrosity monster collar. Naw, that’s a no go.
At this point, I tend towards just using the neckband and turning that into a mandarin style collar, but can also see that just shortening it a bit might work. Might try both options – what do you think?
2. The button band
Entirely my own fault.
Well, mostly, anyways. The instructions in the pattern advise to fold over 5/8″, then cut it back to 1/4″. Now, I always found that weird. Why would I want to cut 5/8″ in the first place, just to fold over and then cut it back? So I kinda made the placket too wide, which meant the neckband didn’t fit. D’oh. That was fixable, though – I just cut the front seams off the placket, then folded the edges inwards, pressed and topstitched them back together. Not perfect, but worked.
3. The button holes and buttons
Again, this one is on me. Who knew that 3.5 cm look like a lot on a measuring tape, but is actually far too closely spaced for workable buttons?
And then I broke one of the buttons (I sewed them on with the machine, and I am rather grateful that the button broke and not the needle), and because of the insane spacing I needed like 15 and had only 12 to begin with, so the buttons now stop kinda in the middle of my belly. Since I do have a belly that shows rather too clearly how fond I am of a beer or two occasionally (German, it’s the genes, I can’t help it, really), this is not a good thing. And I’m afraid I don’t like the make enough to order more, even though I seem to remember they were really cheap.
4. The hem line
The hemline is curved, which is fine, but the back hem is a lot longer than the front. I might just shorten that a tad.
It’s also crooked
5. The pockets
And this is another one of my own faults. They’re ever so slightly off … LeSigh. Time to learn how to do tailor’s tacks, as this is a result of my markings wearing off, and me being to lazy to get the pattern and redo them. More permanent markings would have prevented this.
Overall, however, I’m quite pleased with the fit – and the really exciting part: the blouse is not too tight in the shoulders! My arms fit in the sleeves – both things high street blouses don’t do for me. Ever.
So, even if this turned out to be a muslin that I’ll keep for, you know, those really hot summer days where you veg on the couch (the likes of which are but a myth here in Brighton) and don’t really care what you look like, I’m quite happy with it.
And I’m super glad I made a muslin in the first place, as I feel that with a few changes, this could become my summer blouse go to pattern.