Monday, September 7, 2015

Pattern Review Sewing Bee Round 1 - Fitted Blouse

So nothing like a contest to finally get me back into sewing.  I decided to enter Pattern Review's Sewing Bee, even though chances are I won't make it past round one.  But whatever, it finally got me out of my sewing funk, and I finished a project.  Actually, so far two, but I'm trying to finish up the third to post the second and third.  This is the blouse that I made for the contest.  Whilst on vacation, I was a bad girl and bought tons of fabrics.  But luckily, they aren't sitting around in my stash, but getting made! 

So, I am going to be lame and insert the pattern review, as I need to finish up my third item, so I can wear it all tomorrow. But you can see part of the second item in these pictures, as it's a new stretchy gray wool skirt.

Pattern or style used and how it fits the criteria: I used McCall's 6649 Laura Ashley blouse pattern with New Look 6078 sleeves. It is a button up blouse with set in sleeves. As you can tell by the pictures the pattern has been heavily modified! In order to get the secretarial look I was going for, I first extended the yoke into the front piece by two inches. I then rotated the side front bust dart into the shoulder (as I made the D cup, this is a substantial dart!), and used gathers instead of the dart. I left out the dart below the bust, to accommodate my slight stomach. The back darts and the curved side seams also help with making this a form fitting blouse. I also added two inches in the hips. Instead of the collar + collar stand, I made a tie.

Fabric Used-Material Content and Yardage: I used a plaid silk charmeuse bought on my vacation to San Francisco, I used almost 3 yards of it due to cutting several of the pieces on the bias.

Describe your closure: I used black pearl like buttons for the closures. Eight on the front placket and two on each sleeve cuff.

Describe the other components you used (e.g. buttons, collar, sleeve type, trim, pockets, contrast, etc): Instead of a traditional shirt collar, I made the more secretarial tie collar. This works well with the drape of the fabric. I made the sleeves bracelet length, as I have learned over the years that even if my sleeves are full length, I roll them up during the day. Rolled sleeves would have not worked with the fluidity of the fabric. I kept the continuous placket from the McCalls sleeve. I also widened the cuff about an inch. I used french seams to keep the inside looking nice.

Describe the fitting technique(s) you used to achieve shaping: The shaping is created by the shoulder gathers in the front (as I rotated the bust dart to the shoulder), the curved side seams, and the darts in the back. I added width to the hip, and took out width in the shoulder

Indicate here that you included the photos required - Remember that the Front and Back photos MUST be on a live model (although head may be omitted/obscured) and blog links are NOT allowed:
1. Front [Required]: yes
2. Back [Required]: yes
3. Inside detail [Required]: front with back in mirror
4. [Optional]: side
5. [Optional]: on mannequin to see details.

Describe what you like most about this blouse: I love how easy this blouse feels. It doesn't wrinkle, so it will wear well during the work day. The bow tie collar adds a layer of femininity that is often lost when wearing button downs.

Describe your biggest challenge in creating this blouse: The fabric! It is the shiftiest fabric I have ever sewn, and I've sewn quite a lot.

What other information would you like to share about this blouse and your process? Glue sticks really make a difference in making button downs!

 And I'll leave you guys with a sneak peak of probably the awesomest fabric I have ever bought. It's a stretch silk satin, and look at those chili peppers!  It's the lining to the skirt and the jacket.  I'll show it off properly when I finish the never ending jacket!  Until next time, happy sewing.


  1. what a great use for your purple chilli's, can't wait to see it. Love the diagonal check effect on the blouse.

  2. That will be a nice, luxurious lining!

  3. Really love the blouse! Good luck on getting to round 2!