Saf-T-Pockets Traci

Having decided that shoulder seams and side seams are not enough shaping for my body, I continually look for patterns that also contain seams and darts in that 10″ region between shoulder and bust.  That being my current frame of mind, I really zeroed in on SaF-T-Patterns 2017 “Traci’s Top”

It is a shoulder princess seam with additional horizontal additions i.e. the empire and an upper bodice yoke.

Yeah, I purchased quickly and without much further thought..

Does anyone other than me get upset with the lack of landmarks on today’s patterns?  I planned to use Peggy Sagers LCD method of fitting because it works for me.  However, even Peggy says she wont drape someone elses patterns because she has no idea what decisions they had to make. So feel kinda on my own.  I perused the instructions and opted to trace a size large because that’s what the designer recommends for my bust measurement.  Now here’s where my gripe comes in. Before I cut fabric, I like to measure across the bust, waist and hip of the pattern to be sure there will be sufficient fabric to start with; but nooooooooooooooooooo there isn’t a bust point, waist or hip marked unless it is some special  and cryptic notation I don’t get. I’m left to  wonder and guess where these landmarks should fall.   I can only hope that I have measured in the right places in which case the large will be big enough in these zones.

I sort through my stash and choose a rayon challis I’m not entirely loving.  I’m not wild about the print. The colors are just sort of meh. BUT perfect!… for a test garment. Just before laying out the pattern pieces, I decide to do my 1″ back waist length adjustment, just as I used to do. I mean I used to trace a pattern and immediately add 1″ narrow shoulder and back waist length adjustments.  I can’t count on that being the right answer  any more.  Looking at the pattern pieces and the checking the measurements on the pattern envelope, I decide  the BWL is a safe bet and an 1/2″ RBA is also needed but I should wait until draping to make any other changes. .

I cut all my pieces from my rayon challis fabric and baste them together.  I tried to place my pieces to take advantage of the print. Don’t think I did a good job, but I tried. I didn’t want to fiddle with a center front placket and simply scooped the front neckline  8″ below the shoulder point.  I did take initial fitting pictures and …

… they weren’t wonderful.

However, I could tell that with my 1″ BWL, the lengths were about right. I went immediately from (L)ength  to C(ircumference).  I pinched out 1″ at the underarm (removing a total of 4″ circumference at the bust).  Everywhere else the circumference seemed to be OK.

I proceeded to D(epth) considerations. I increased the shoulder slope 1/2″. Left looked good. Right, not so much.  I increased the entire right shoulder seam allowance  1/4″. That’s typical for me and  it worked this time too. At least, the right looked as good as the left. The front was looking pretty good. Oddly the side backs looked like I had rouched them when  joining to the center back piece.

I unstitched the side backs; cut 1/2″ off their tops and stitched back together. Not sure what heppened their because the seams walked perfectly. I must have stretched the side backs either when handling or stitching. At this point (Fit04 and Pic set 05)  I decided to restore the armscye.  I had been surprised when I compared my sleeveless template to the original pattern and the pattern was a near match.  But that changed, of course, when I took away circumference at the underarm and length with the shoulder slope adjustment.

I tried, really tried all the way through Fit 05, to like the pointy hem

Other than the swish factor, I H-A-T-E it. HATE HATE HATE. That’s pretty strong . But I at the very least,  strongly dislike the pointy  side seam hem .  After Fit05, I rounded the points and finished my blouse with a rolled hem and bias tape for neckline and armscyes.

.. 

So, I’m not wild about this top. The fabric print has something to do with that, also the hem. Another fabric would correct the print issue, redrafting the hem might take care of the my issue with the points.  But I also  do not like the gathering at the upper back bodice where it joins the yoke.

I’m not even sure why it is there. If I make this again, and that’s a pretty big IF, I’d remove the gathering. Not even convert to pleats or tucks. Just G-O-N-E.

All the changes I made to the upper bodice, raised the empire on the right side  to within 2″ of my underarm. It makes me wonder if I have made the correct fit alterations.  I’m not anxious to repeat 6 fittings.

BUT, what I absolutely love is that I think I confirmed my personal fitting theory.   By selecting patterns with darts and seams between shoulder and bust, I am able to more quickly fit patterns to my body.

 

Blue Maxi

… with a black background.

I’ve been planning this particular garment even before I made the previous version.  Even before I bought the lovely viscose/nylon fabric from Craftsy.

I paired the above fabric with a solid black ponte already in the stash.

I used the upper bodice pieces of B6299 adding panels 33×40″ of the viscose/nylon for the skirt.

I agonized over it for a while. Should I attach the skirt differently?  I used pleats just like Version 1, because they worked. Which direction should the skirt be cut? On grain? Cross grain?  Cross grain had a slight connection between printed squares which I thought would create a more vertical appearance. Being short all my life and now wide, that’s something always on my mind.  I also agonized about neckline shape and finishes. Finally opting for a faced V neck and elastic along the armscyes.  My facing is large. It is the center front and center back pieces but not the side front or side back. So it is almost completely self-lined. I could have stitched them together as one piece securing in place when I added the side panels. I opted to tack the side panels in place along the lower empire line. I feared that the V neckline might need adjusting and I wanted an easy option should that become real. I also wanted to snug the empire to my body a little bit and at the last possible second, stitched clear elastic along the empire seam.

I agonized about the front. Should it be left blank? Embroidered? Top stitched in blue or white thread. Should I find jewelry or camisole to fill in the neckline? It just seemed, not quite done.

From my jewelry collection emerged a small cloisonné pin purchased more than 15 years ago in Wisconsin and never used. I’m sorry that my pics did not turn out better. The best, was actually cropped from the full view of the front as I agonized over placement. On the Shoulder?

Center front?

I like both placements. I need earrings. (PS I will wear black sandels or black heels or black boots and if I carry a bag it too will be black.)

 

Clever Crossings

Anyone out there a Fit For Art patterns fan? I certainly have become one. FFA released a new variations called Clever Crossings 

Now, I had considered this conversion on my own. It’s really not that difficult to create a surplice front from a pattern that fits. Problem is, most surplices don’t hang nicely on me. They gap; or they grow.  I ended up taking in the last surplice I did 7 times, 7 inches. Finally tossed the thing in the trash along with the pattern (I think an Ottobre Design). I’m not fated to achieve better results by creating my own surplice either. But it wasn’t the surplice alone that got my attention.  FFA has added shawl collar to the surplice; tweaked the surplice to have an upper insert, empire or curved hem or uneven hem created via side tucks. Most intriguing to me is the tulip sleeve. I simply had no idea how to go from the TRT long sleeve to the flutter sleeve. Alas, I will not be using the most interesting sleeve until fall. (I can’t stand sleeves or any kind mid-summer).

What they don’t advertise is the fitting procedure for the surplice which is included in the instructions. Generally I read through the instructions one and never consult them again. I’m looking for anything tricky rather than new. I’ve got lots of experience under my belt when it comes to sewing. Which translates to lots of preferred ways of doing things. I’m not doing something different just because it is in the instructions. Actually I’ve had several experiences where doing what was in the instructions made the process much more difficult and resulted in a  amateurish finish. But I do at least skim the instructions and stopped short when I realized I had not seen this method of fitting the surplice.  And I won’t be sharing that today either. It’s a process that requires either a genuine muslin that you plan to toss, or a wearable garment in which the needed change is discovered and then transferred to the pattern for the next garment. I decided upon the later because I’ve had so many surplices that fit nicely out of the envelope but as the day wore on needed more and more safety pins in front. I’d rather like to know the full extend of the needed alteration before slashing the pattern.

For $12 (plus shipping) you get a lot of pattern pieces. I don’t want  to dig through all that flimsy tissue every time I want a new variation. Besides, you have to sort through different cup sizes for the same pattern piece. So even though it took an hour,  I sorted through and  traced all the size Large, A cup pattern  pieces. I knew immediately I was not making a true surplice i.e. right and left sides do not have a surplice.

I don’t really think of this as a faux-surplice. It isn’t just bias tape or contrast band stitched to the front piece. It is a separate full left front and surplice right front.

I opted to stitch the 2 tucks

 

which create the asymmetrical hem

The pattern includes (and I traced) a pattern piece for a shaped front band and back band. Not sure why I traced those because I always intended to cut a strip from a contrast fabric to create the band. It’s a knit.  A cross-grain strip will wrap around that edge just as easily as a fussed-with shaped band.

Well I take it, back I didn’t always intended to use just the contrast band. I did consider using the contrast fabric for the surplice front or maybe substituted for back or side panels. In my head, those variations always looked like the Art To Wear of the person trying to use up scraps rather than the artist selecting materials. KWIM? Let’s just say I have a limited appreciation of Art To Wear.

I am puzzled about the final fit. The back really surprised me. This is the first time I’ve seen such tightness across the back and really narrow at the shoulders.

I do remember narrowing the shoulders about a half-inch and of course sloping them. I expected to make a small adjustment to the front shoulder. But along with the other fitting concerns, I just pleated the front shoulder of the surplice to fit the back

I’m reluctant to blame the fabric. I’ve used that too many times. It sounds like a goto excuse rather than a bona-fide issue. But this was not the best fabric. It’s a 100% poly that has been sitting in the stash for numerous years. It’s the kind that pills and will be in and out of the wardrobe quickly. Which makes it good for a wearable muslin i.e. nice enough that I can stand wearing it several times and discover any issues but I won’t have to tolerate its shortcomings for very long.  Back to the point, I don’t see any of these issues in my  first sleeveless TRT  nor any of the other sleeved versions. So are they fabric issues? Did they result from adding the surplice? Combining surplice with full front?  So what’s the plan? Well I like it:

So I’m going to wear it and check the fit of the surplice. I’m going to review my previous versions of the TRT and see if any of the others have a tight-fitting back and see how narrow they are across the shoulders.  After I take stock, another one of these is definitely in the works.

SP575 Sleeveless Version

Having decided I might use Sonya’s blouse again, I transferred my alterations to the tissue copy; folded originals and put in a 9×12 mailing envelope and was putting my copy in another envelope…. when it occurred to me I should just do the sleeveless version now. In quick order I decide I should take it up a notch by narrowing the shoulder and creating a neckline more flattering for me. I traced the back and front of the upper bodice/yoke sections. Marked 1/2″ from the armscye edge and that’s where I lined up my sleeveless template. I can understand why Peggy seems short on words. This is so easy. It raised the armhole, narrowed the shoulder and created a sleeveless armscye in about 5 seconds. You just slap the sleeveless template down there and run your pen along the outside. Since this is  a sleeveless, presumably summer garment, I also widened the neckline. Again measuring 1/2″ from the neckline edge along the shoulder. On the back, I aligned my curve with the mark and the existing CB neckline; drew my new back neckline.  On the front, I made by 1/2″ mark on the shoulder but also marked 1/2″ up from the bottom yoke edge. I traced a V neckline between the two marks again using my french curve.  It is a shallow V.  Making the changes to the sleeveless bodice was really quick. 5 minutes or less.

I chose a fabric, pressed and laid it and my pattern pieces out on my cutting table. Turned off the light and went upstairs. This is my habit. I find it gives me time to review the changes and plans I’ve made. Sometimes I remember something really important. This time I realized I was not taking advantage of the white and yellow strip seersucker. On my first layout I was matching stripes when I could have been playing with them. Next day I spent a few minutes drawing bias lines on the center front and upper bodice pieces.  I laid the sides out on the straight of grain;

upper bodice cross grain. Center front and center back are on the bias.

While this pattern isn’t quite a TNT, it’s so close. I loved how quickly it came together. In an hour and 20 minutes I had basted the side seams, serged and stitched all the others; applied my facings, buttonholes and buttons. I was ready for a first try on which I expected to be good… but not perfect.

It did not disappoint. I spent a few quick sessions tweaking the seams.  I took the underarm in 7/8″ zeroing about 5″ down; increased the curve of the princess darts about 1/4″ above the waist; and offset the back to add 1/2″ ease.  My butt still needs a little ease. Someone will suggest a sway back alteration but I’m looking at the side diagonal pulling from the hip and the tightness across the hip. I think I need a little more ease.

Overall, it fits a little more nicely then my previous short sleeve.

The extra inch I added at the hem, makes the proportions more pleasing though I don’t discount that the slightly more fitted silhouette contributes. I’m on the verge of calling this a TNT. As I said, I need to add a little more hip room and I think I’d like to tweak the fit in the back a little closer. But I like it.

Sonya’s Blouse

I’ve come to terms with the idea I will no longer be sewing or wearing pillowcase dresses. That means no easy T-shirts; sarong skirts, or most other super simple patterns.  I need seams or darts to create curves in the fabric; curves to go around my own. So in that vein, I looked over Silhouette Patterns line up and found this interesting #575

It has yokes both  in back and front; princess seam panels (also front and back) and set in sleeves.  I love an extended shoulder and kimono sleeve but I always have to ‘settle’ for having folds of cloth that are  inherent to the style and worsened by my shape.

I’ve had such good luck with the armscye princess style that I excitedly hoped I was seeing on the schematic a yoke bisecting the armscye

I should have asked. The yoke extended about 1″ or so below the armscye.  On the plus side, the armscye is all one piece. Which is the negative side as well for me as it offers no place for additional shaping in the spot I need shaping. I put the pattern aside for several weeks. It was in the donate box when I decided I should try it at least once. Indy patterns are not cheap. To discard the pattern without at least a muslin seems like a real waste of $$$. Then too, Peggy’s drafting is definitely different from other Indies. She makes fitting look so easy when she drapes figures of all sizes and shapes.

Previously I had fit #195 starting with a 7W, B cup.  I wasn’t entirely satisfied with either the end result or the process .So this time I decided to make a size  4, the largest of the regular sizing and add 1.25″ to the side seams for fitting.   I also decided to use a C cup even though I barely fill out my B cup bras.  I chose the C because I struggled with gaping in the armscye. Peggy repeatedly says you tweak the shoulder angle, increased the bust dart and if that doesn’t work go to a larger cup size.  So I chose the C cup. One last change before cutting my fabric,  was adding a 5/8″ round back alteration with center back seam.  I need the extra length. I need roundness or back necklines stick out. I had to add it for 195. Instead of waiting until it was obviously wrong, I added the RBA now.

My fabric is a linen from the Walmart $1 days. It’s one of the fabrics which made me say WTF when people said the $1 fabric was all junk. There is junk linen but this is not it. It is a muted pink color a sort of salmon which might not be that popular. I actually had in mind doing some discharge or printing but decided it would make a great muslin. See I love the history of linen. Love sewing linen. Nothing more wonderful that putting a fresh, cool linen shirt on my back. But I hate the wrinkles that develop almost immediately thereafter. This 1.75 yards had sat in my stash for ages just simply because I knew I didn’t want to wear the wrinkled mess that would eventually develop.

For the first fitting, I basted the seams all at 3/8″ using water soluble thread . I love early successes.  The levels are about right. Neither neckline nor shoulders are  noticeably too wide and the back neckline does not gape at this stage.

Also there are not as many of the side diagonals as I usually see before correcting the shoulder angle.  However I’m not going to  work on them  yet because over all the first fitting is ginormous. Peggy says, check L(ength), then C(ircumference) before proceeding to D(epth).

Frankly, though I was surprised at how large my blouse was.  I had added much more to the side seams of the 7W to give my hips enough room.

I increased the 3/8″ side seams to 7/8″ increasing to 1 1/8″ at the underarm.  2nd fitting looked much better. In fact, good enough that I felt (C)ircumference was right.  I started working on (D)epth at the shoulders.  I increased the slope 1/2″ then backed it off to 3/8″ because  the back neck started gaping and the shoulders pulling backwards ( remember I have already added a 5/8″ RBA.)

Since I couldn’t tweak the shoulder more, I  offset the yoke/upper bodice (both front and back) 1/2″ at the side seam, zeroing at the side panel seam; and then a 2nd time a full 1″. That got most but not all of the side drapes/V’s that develop on my frame.

BTW, because the yoke is mostly cut on the bias, it eases beautifully. That 1″ offset was hardly an issue.

At that point I started fussing with distribution of circumference.  I know Peggy says it doesn’t matter, circumference is circumference, but I swear I need more fabric on the back side of me than in the front. This blouse was no different.  If I increased the side seams evenly, 1/2″ 3/4″ 1″ both back and front, I could make the front look nice and shapely, but the back would be too tight. Release so that the back skims my butt and the front is not blousey but balloonish. Eventually I realized I was also dealing with some line/style decisions and proportions that have little to do with actual fit i.e. how the fabric encapsulates the body.   Like…

I don’t care for the neckline on me. I left off the little stand up collar because I hate wearing those things.  They rub my neck until it is raw. I constantly pulling and push at it. Eventually I realized, don’t make those things. If you don’t like them, don’t make them. While I eliminated the annoying collar, I did not reshape the neckline. I did try to fold the ‘lapel’ and create a small V, but the linen was having none of that. It, the linen, would have made a great stand-up, mandarin collar. Too bad I didn’t agree.

 

 

You can’t see this; I  made by own facing.  I hate little skinny facings as was provided in the envelope. To me they are fussy and I’m rarely able to finish them nicely .  So I made big facings.  I usually substitute bias tape to finish the back neckline. Fearing I might have stretched the neckline, I opted for a big, back facing with which I could ease the stretched out neckline. BTW, it was worry for naught. Facing and blouse stitched together perfectly.

I also realized I have a proportions issue. Which improves with different pants, but still is not right to my eye.

Looking at the finished garment (right and me smiling), I think the shoulders may be 1/2″ too wide. Despite the different lengths of my shorts, I still think my blouse should be another 1-1/2″ longer which would give me enough fabric for a narrow hem too.

One note, I’m note sure the selection of a C vs B cup made any difference. I did remove what amounts to a 1″ deep dart just below the yoke and at the top of the lower bodice.  However, I think I did near if not more when fitting #195.

The finished garment is blousey with a distinctive camp shirt vibe.

Of course the big question is will I make this again? Well a camp shirt may not make anyone say WOW but it is a very good component of nearly every woman’s wardrobe. I’ll have to recheck that the armscyes are big enough for me to wear  over other tops. A favorite use of mine is transitioning  my camp shirts into coordinated summer  3rd layers.   So I can see more of these with long and 3/4 sleeves to be  worn year round. (Unfortunately I don’t wear short sleeves very much so this version may not see much use.) I also want  to make a sleeveless version  to test Peggy’s theory that any of her patterns can be converted by copying the appropriate armscye  and sleeve template. I’m sure she’s right. I just want to have the experience. Afterall, I have my perfected sleeveless armscye . I should try it out, right?  I think seams are quicker/easier to sew than are darts (which must be marked and then sewn). I’m wondering how hard it would be to develop a more shapely version of my new camp shirt pattern. I’d love to grab this pattern, change the neckline and produce a shapely, attractive blouse.  Then I take a deep breath and remember how hard I worked at converting  Connie Crawford’s 0456 only to find that she had already drafted all the changes I wanted with B6299. I rather buy another pattern than redraft. So I predict a sprinkling of this pattern in my wardrobe. One or two versions spring, fall and winter. Maybe even a few in summer as  3rd layers and sleeveless. But it’s not going to be a goto like the Tabula Rasa or B6299 i.e. good pattern but not fav.

Summer Dressing

I’ve been rewatching all of Peggy’s video broadcasts. In case you didn’t know it, I’m really a fan. I know I let go of some snark sometimes. I had a hard time understanding Peggy’s process and it’s not easy for me to implement.  Sizing is still a big problem for me.  I don’t think I’m measuring my clothes accurately. I do get excited when get something right. Like when I found my sleeveless template and sleeveless armscye measurement.  I have to remember that I’m fitting patterns with Peggy’s instructions but they aren’t Peggy’s patterns. Even Peggy says she won’t drape someone else’s patterns. That’s because she doesn’t know what they’ve done and so she is guessing at to fix.  My experience with the 906’s supports her statement. Point is, I’m coming around to being a big supporter and eve trying her method where perhaps I shouldn’t.  Anyway the recent videos I’m watching have been showing how easy it is to take a one of Peggy’s  top patterns which you’ve fit and make it into a dress.  I don’t wear a lot of dresses. My uniform is pants (long or short), plus a top (blouse, knit top) and a wrap (something to add when I too cold). But when the summer temps start hitting 98, 99 and +,  I want a dress. A dress can cover everything up while still being cool. With an open neckline, the air circulates through the hem all the way up to the neck.  Choose a cotton or rayon and the air can circulate right though the fabric. Dresses are my goto for really hot weather.

I’ve come to accept that I will not be making garments with only shoulder and side seams. Not if I want them to look nicely on me. Even with that limitation,  I’ve got 3 top patterns I’m in love with, the Tabula Rasa Jacket/Blouse, the Tabula Rasa Tee and princess seamed  B6299.  I just used the B6299 for a summer blouse and think it would be perfect for a summer dress.  This is a variation I will use sparingly but often enough I prefer to have a pattern.  First I trace  my 4 piece variation  front, back, side front, side back. I make a rough guess and add  20″ length to each piece.  It’s a guess because while I like a Maxi dress, I’ve discovered they are a hazard to me on stairs. What I make is between maxi and midi.  I measure a dress in the closet to find the hem circumference. Measure my pattern hem and subtract the seam allowances.  I decide I need to about 2″ with 6 seams that’s about 1/4″ so I add that to each piece.  I take a long ruler and draw a line from the 1/4″ just added at the hem up to the hip. Do that once for front and back, twice on each side piece.

Then I start the process of pulling fabrics off the shelf; and putting them back up. I have several prints I bought thinking of summer dresses. The first ones I pull down are knits. I’m not entirely satisfied with my knit version of B6299 so I put all them away. Plus I wonder if ITY will be all that cool. I don’t think the air penetrates and ITY the way it does a woven cotton or rayon.  I pull down a couple of prints and actually get one ironed when I realized it is a stripe. I don’t want to mess with stripes. Or plaids. My patience has been worn down working with 906. I want easy. I’m willing to work on the length and hem circumference issues nothing more challenging.  I pull out a butterfly print on a woven rayon. Press and lay out pattern pieces. I’m short by about 12″. 2 yards of 56″ wide fabric is not enough for B6299 dress. I find a crepe de shine press and lay out the fabrics. Before cutting, I wonder about its temperature factor. Will it be as warm as an ITY?  It seems to me that crepe de shines are not all that breathable. This is an elderly fabric. I’m sure it would be better as a long sleeve, winter blouse. I put it away and go back to my butterfly print.  I’ll have to piece. Will the print disguise the piecing? Can I piece artistically?

I’ve made this pattern (b6299) numerous times; the 4 piece version the most often. It is an easy sew, just takes a little longer for the extended seams.   I stitch together with confidence from having made it so many times before. The one thing I was concerned with was sufficient walking room and that turns out to be totally unimportant. This pattern may in fact be just a little big on me.  Initially it looked rather like a large sack.  I cut the neckline a little lower and added 10″ of elastic across the back.

No quite so sack like, but I’m not sure the back was significantly improved. I did like the front and side views (above).  Did you notice the piecing at all?

I pieced the center back. I drew a diagonal line on the center back pattern piece

Laid out my fabric and pattern piece, then placed my ruler so it extended 1/4″ past the diagonal line

folded my pattern up and out-of-the-way

Before carefully trimming away

It’s sort of a repeat for the bottom half except placing the ruler on the other side of the line and folding the top part down and out-of-the-way. I end up with 2 pieces (4 total)

Where are serged together with 1/4″ seams. I didn’t make or have to keep extra pieces, yet I still have an easy pattern if I want to piece the back again. I can see doing that for a vent and using a contrasting fabric. Eyelet springs to mind. Can you imagine how beautiful this would have been if I had a cream colored eyelet on hand?

 

6299 Ruffled Blouse

This is why I love basic blocks.  I wanted another coordinating blouse for the yellow shorts.   I like having coordinated wardrobe pieces rather than ‘sets’ i.e. the same  top and bottom always worn together.  So I look through the stash and find a fabric that looks really nice. This is a light-weight, cotton fabric purchased from Craftsy earlier this year. The truth is the new fabrics  are more than just current and beautiful. They are easier to handle. They drape differently and surprisingly need less fitting effort. I’ve already spent my money on the stash so I continue to attempt turning it into items of use. I always look for something in deep stash. I’m always relieved when only the new stuff will work for the current project.

After the fabric, I look through my Pinterest files for inspiration and find

Tada! It’s my 6299 with a ruffled collar and sleeve. 6299 was drafted as a sleeveless bodice. I have sleeveless down pat. I’m struggling with re-fitting 906. I want this to be easy. Simple. I opt for ditching the sleeve work. I pull out my pattern pieces and the button-front created for a previous version.  Once again, beauty of a TNT. Fitting: done; button front: done. Two biggies out-of-the-way. I decide that I do want a higher back. It’s really an easy change. I copy the back piece; extend the CB line up about 2″ and then using my french curve draw a line joining to the shoulder. Not a big deal. In fact to copy the back piece, I placed the previous piece on top of the tissue and cut around it excepting the neckline.

So last thing I need is the ruffles. Time for a little pattern work. I overlap the front and back along the shoulder seam allowances and trace the CB, neckline, and CF.  I cut that so it is 3.34″ deep, the same depth as the unsewn shoulder. That gives me a facing. I think hmmm. I might want this so I copy the facing. Along the outside edge of the copy, slash and spread 1/4″ in 10 different places. Secure that with a little tape and cut a copy of it which will become the 2nd and narrower ruffle. I play a little with the two ruffle patterns and decide that my 2nd ruffle should be trimmed to 2.5″

I finished the edge with a serger rolled hem.  I wasted over an hour trying to use the rolled hem foot of my machine. I should know better. But I had to try. This fabric this style just seem to call for the more delicate finish of the hemmed edge. I’m settling for the serger finished edge because it is reliably beautiful all the way around and all the way around both ruffles. Couldn’t satisfactorily finish more than 4″ using the little foot at the SM.

By now, sewing the blouse felt like simplicity itself. I was finished within 4 hours and that includes the pattern work and foolin’ around with the hemmer foot.

I finished the armscyes with commercial bias tape; folded and stitched to the inside.

I did one try on before machine blind hemming my blouse. I checked mostly for enough ease across the hip while close enough fit under the arms. Looking now, it might benefit from being a little closer fit but hey this is summer time. I like light-weight, loosely fit cotton blouses in the summer. Don’t you?

Really it’s just a nice summer blouse; fits well; in colors which flatter me and a print which speaks to my soul.