Friday, November 30, 2012

Peplum blouse, pattern review

During my recent visit to Britex I purchased a beautiful stretch silk floral fabric, the most expensive piece of fabric I've ever purchased (but so worth it!).  I only got a small amount, with some kind of sleeveless shell in mind.  After making the Minna blouse by Salme patterns, their Peplum blouse caught my eye.  E-downloads make those impulse pattern buys oh-so easy!
I made not one, but two muslin versions of the Peplum blouse.  The first was so awful that after massive fit and style alterations, I had a to make a second before committing to my special fabric.  I'm still not 100% in love with the fit (pulling at the shoulders and bust in a weird way), but I typically wear these types of blouses with cardigans, so no biggie.
Ready for lecture!
Okay, so for the review.  I love the style of this blouse.  Love the front and back keyhole, love the peplum, love the interesting way the lining is sewn in.  But man, I wouldn't suggest taking on this project without a good understanding of fitting a pattern to your own body.  As mentioned in previous posts, I have a small bust and am relatively straight from waist to hips.  The pattern appears to be designed for a woman with a very large bust to waist ratio, so after measuring myself and the paper pattern (there was only a garment measurement for the bust), I graded out from bust to waist and made all of the darts shallower.
The shoulders were too narrow for my apparent football-player body, so I had to adjust those as well, grading out several sizes.  Deepening the arm scythe may improve the fit a bit, now that I'm looking at my pattern alterations...
My final front bodice piece looked like this after my changes with similar alterations made to the back bodice:
I had a suspicion that the peplum would have too much flounce for my taste, so I slashed and reduced evenly around the peplum.  Here's the before:
And the less-flouncy after:
 Love that my peach necklace matches perfectly!
 Here's the back view.  I had to extend the button loop, because of my broad shoulders.

 Side view of the peplum, and invisible side zipper:

The bodice is lined with nude Bemberg (and I think I still have enough left to line a dress!):
Overall, I'm happy with the final product.  I will wear it, which indicates my satisfaction, but there are still improvements to be made to the fit.  Mostly, I'm just happy that my expensive fabric purchase amounted to something worth wearing!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Henry Turtle pin cushion

I could not resist this pin cushion pattern from Heather Bailey.  Truly, the price was a bit high at my local boutique fabric store, but I bought it anyway--it's that cute.  In an ongoing effort to reduce my fabric stash, I used what I had on had: some leftover Lotta Jansdotter "Bella" dotted yellow for the body (and the stripe for the belly) and Anna Maria Horner "Good Folks" for the shell.  Instead of French knots for the eyes, I used tiny seed beads since I had them on hand.  

This was a rare instance when I sewed the entire thing during the day (as opposed to after the kids' bedtime).  I cut the fabric while the little one was playing with trains, and did the majority of the sewing during a single naptime and a bit of cooperative playtime between my two boys (when they were setting up a tea party outside my sewing room :). Three cheers for a quick, adorable and useful sewing project!  
Now, hopefully I can get over the feeling that I'm using him as a voodoo doll when I poke him with pins (you know, use him as intended...)