Fitted blouse contest on PR - more pattern alterations

In between trialing two different patterns for trousers, I have been doing the alterations on a second muslin for a blouse I am making for the Fitted Blouse Contest on PR. 

I am making a Vogue pattern blouse that is fitted and shaped with princess seams at the front and back.  The front also has a dart to give shape.  The pattern gives an option for A,B,C, and D bust sizing - I chose B.
I am also using the version with a collar (one of the contest rules) and have chosen short sleeves.

I decided to make size 12 as a have a 34 inch bust.  I do have a narrow back, so was not sure what size to use .  My first muslin showed that the back was too loose, and the shoulder seams were also too large for me.  The sleeve head was too large (another review on PR for this blouse also found that the sleeve head was far too large).  I needed to take out some of the fullness.

Here are my amended pattern pieces:

alterations for narrow back.
I took out a section from shoulder to princess seam - if you look closely you can see the sticky tape which is holding the folded section down.  I also altered the front at the shoulder so that the shoulder width matched that of the back.  I also drew my alterations on the pattern and these will be the new cutting lines.

Sleeve pattern piece
With the sleeve head, I folded out an amount that would take out some of the excess ease. This excess was only at the front of the sleeve head.

With this set of alterations, I was not confident to proceed, so I decided to make another muslin - and I do not enjoy making muslins!

2nd muslin - back.

This muslin certainly fits better than the original muslin in the back.  Excuse the hem feature - I was using the last of the muslin fabric :).

2nd muslin- back, close up
The sleeve head fits better than the original one did, but there is a slight pucker at the CB/SB seam.  If you remember, I took out a portion of the back princess seams - these are curved, and when you alter a curve, you alter its length.  I shall have to fold out about 1/4 in the CB piece (horizontally) to take out this fullness.

2nd muslin - front
I have used up a bit of my old shirt stash for the front of the muslin, which is why the colour has suddenly changed!  I don't worry about what fabric I use for muslins, so long as it is plain and light in colour(so I can see what needs doing)  and a suitable weight.  I have also added a collar band because this will help hold the muslin in place. 

2nd muslin - front.
Hmm, as you can see, still having problems with the ease amount on the front sleeve head.  Also, I am still not happy with the shape of the sleeve seam.  I will need to take out a little more.  I didn't want to overdo things the first time around.

I also found the sleeve head seemed to fit better by moving the sleeve/shoulder point (where the circle is on the pattern) forward 1 inch (2 centimetres).

2nd muslin - sleeve head
Do you see what I mean - a little full, and shape not great.  I  am fussy about sleeve heads!  One of my little obsessive things.

2nd muslin, back, tied

Not too bad, - strangely the waist is one inch below tie on the dummy.  The front waistline is fine.  I am just going to compensate on the "real" blouse by moving my seam shaping up a little bit - as the blouse is tied I am not too worried about the waistline marking, I am more worried about the shaping down to the tie band.

2nd muslin, back, upper shaping when tied.

Not too bad -  now I better try the muslin on me...

2nd muslin - front
Looking good - bust points about right, but the shoulders are too long.

2nd muslin- back
Looking reasonable - again, though , the shoulders are too long.

2nd muslin - back
Now the bend test - if a blouse is too fitted, you can't bend.  I do like to be able to move, so I always bend over to check the fit.  Of course, with a tie belt, you are always going to have some blousing again when you stand up straight, but I don't mind that effect.  So long as the shape is okay.

I think this blouse is going to be okay to go ahead with now.  I am happy to make the alterations as I have outlined without retesting.

Muslins really are tedious, aren't they?  Especially when that's all you seem to do - what with pants trials and making two muslins for this blouse - which I did not expect!

I will have to get moving now on cutting out and making up the blouse now, because the contest ends on the 31st March 2013.

Happy sewing everyone,

Sarah Liz :)


  1. The fit is looking very good. I'm sure when you sew with your "real" fabric the sleeve cap will go together perfectly :)

  2. Thank you Carolyn - I'll be cutting it out tomorrow, at long last :)

  3. sounds like you're comming right along with your blouse, I'm sure it will turn out fantastic!


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