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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fitted blouse contest on PR - Pattern pre-test

Pattern Review is holding a Fitted Blouse Contest - Maria from cleverthinking99.blogspot.com is managing this contest, so if you want more information, please contact her on her blog.

I have decided to make Vogue Pattern 8833.


As my bust is 34 inches I decided on size 12.  I have a larger front than back, and I am still trying to work out what size is best as my base size, and which bits to alter.  This may take some months, so I decided to work just with this size for this project.

I traced off the main pattern pieces so that I can put alterations on these. This keeps the main pattern intact, because I will probably work out that I need to use a different size while working through this project.

The muslin fits well over the bust but is too large on shoulders and through the back. My back and shoulders  usually have to be taken in, so this does not surprise me.  It is a long time since I used a Vogue pattern though, so I am not altogether sure how wide the shoulders sit on me anymore.
Front : not tied, sits well at bust, shoulders far too wide.


Back - the back seam is already pinned for taking in.  Shoulders far too wide.

I checked the pattern to assess the size 8 shoulders and armhole area  and found that these were not as narrow as I needed, so using a size 8 pattern may not have eliminated this problem entirely, although the upper back may have been a better fit.  I also found that the sleeve heads had too much ease at the front .  As I am going to have to relocate the sleeves I shall assess sleeve head fullness in due course.  Sandra Betzina writes (in Power Sewing: new ways to make fine clothes fast) that American patterns (McCalls, Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity) run larger across the chest, so this may account for the wide shoulder set.  I am English born and often find that European patterns suit my shape better (Burda). I'm also a wiry thin build (whatever weight I am, and always with a little tum!)  and that will make a difference to fitting - frame shape and body padding are two separate issues, always.
After alterations pinned - Yes, about right, I can bend over comfortably.
Shoulders too wide - pin marks shoulder bone.  Move sleeve.  Back neck reasonable.
Blouse tie wrapped. Sits nicely at chest/bust.





Blouse wrap tied - Before alterations.
Back alteration - also shows how sleeve needs moving inwards to match narrow back alteration.

That's this weekend's progress.  I'm going to put the blouse on my dummy now and see what it looks like on her. Then during the week I shall start the alterations so that weekend 2 of this project sees the pre-test complete! 

Looking forward to seeing other people's blouses...

Cheers, Sarah Liz :)

14 comments:

  1. Good luck with all the adjustments, that is quite a lot of work but you will have a beautiful fitted blouse in the end. How do you do the pinning in the back? When I try with a mirror I pin myself sometimes and I find it quite difficult to pin symmetrically.

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    1. Thank you Elise - the adjustments will take time. I am not yet sure how I will do all the adjustments because I do not have anyone to help me. I find a camera helps - my husband took these photos, but I have also worked out how to use the self-timer. I find this a real help because you have a visual reference to look at. I then look at the photo, take the blouse off, and pin what I think is needed. Put the blouse back on, take a photo. I now have the blouse on a very old dressmakers dummy (and luckily she is very flat in the back, like me - modern dummies can be a little fuller ). That confirmed what I suspected. Symmetry - I just use judgement, but also it is wise to remember bodies are not always symmetrical. So if I do something one side, I just measure and do the same on the other side if symmetry is needed. In any case, you never quite get things right, but there is I am sure an area of tolerance in sewing, as in other areas in life, even though we like things to be perfect!

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    2. Oh yes, a camera and then take it off and pin! I did use my camera and timer as well but I didn't think of taking the garment off before pinning, that's why it didn't work oops haha! Thank you for the tip.

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    3. Hi Elise, yes it's so obvious, isn't it :), only I didn't work it out either until my husband suggested it!! Its still fiddly though, and I think having someone to help would make the job easier and perhaps more accurate. but one has to do the best one can with whatever limitations there are.

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  2. You are definitely going to end up with a perfectly fitting blouse and good luck with the PR competition too. Looking forward to seeing your final blouse in your fashion fabric! It's amazing how different some of the pattern companies are with their sizings and even within their own patterns. Making a muslin is such a great way to work on a pattern to get it right before working on our fashion fabrics... the extra time and effort is so worth it in the long run and to the final outcomes :)

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    1. Hi Chris, yes you are quite right - the ambiguity with patterns is always tedious - you sort of have to reinvent the wheel every time. One day, when I have time (laughing, ha, since when did that appear) I am going to draft something that is more me shaped. I am not going for perfection with this blouse, just something wearable - I'm getting back into the sewing water and sometines its enough just to get something done and improve with each project. But yes, I agree, a bit of extra time is worth it - otherwise the rubbish bin ends up with the outcome! What a waste.

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  3. I like how you've started to get a good fit with lots of time to spare. This will help you get a great fit for your new blouse in lots of time for the contest.
    Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Hi Maria, yes, life has taught me to get started early because the deadline always arrives sooner than expected, or something happens in your life, or you get sick etc. And sometimes these things do happen and you don't make the deadline, but that's also life. It's the "having a go" as the Australian vernacular puts it (for the benefit of Elise who is overseas), that is the important thing.

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  4. Muslins - time consuming - YES. Worth the time spent - YOU BET! You've done a nice muslin there, and it looks like you are well on the way to a fantastic fit.

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  5. Hi Faye, yes, the idea of all the time spent getting the muslin right can seem quite daunting, especially when trying to fit sewing in around work and all the other essentials of life. Its the only way to work out the fit problems though.

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  6. Hi Sarah,
    The muslin is looking great! It's time consuming but well worth it sometime. I look forward to seeing the finished product! Vita

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    1. Hi Vita -And I look forward to showing and sharing it with you. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  7. The muslin is really looking good, Sarah! This is a really nice blouse pattern...can't wait to see it in your fashion fabric!

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  8. Hi, Lynne, thank you - it is a nice style - I have never had a wrap blouse before, so I can't wait to finish it either.

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