I completed this blouse several weeks ago, but haven’t blogged about it because I have mixed feelings.
First the good stuff: as always this CLD pattern is excellently drafted. Read and follow directions carefully because the finishing techniques shared here are useful everywhere. Like most other reviewers, I’m particularly impressed with how the hidden buttonhole band snaps into place. Knowing how it works, and knowing where I need to place my buttons, I will sew the buttonholes at a earlier and more convenient stage. This pattern gets the very highest marks for drafting, style, and technical details.
Why do I have mixed feelings? Well the blouse is stated as “closer fitting” which leaves room for interpretation and error. The wiser sewist, measured the pattern for ease and selected size based on finished measurements. I took Louise’s advice and made the size small. Confession, I know that only in Louise’s patterns am I a small. In most other patterns, I’m not even a medium. I am a large or extra large. The first time I tried on the blouse, I felt like I was 8 years old and had grabbed my younger sister’s blouse instead of my own. It just felt too tight in the arms; too short; too tight across the chest.
The hem is just above the largest part of my but! which serves to bring attention to the very place I want to minimize. The sleeve, and again I was warned, at bracelet length isn’t short enough to feel right. It feels like I didn’t have quite enough fabric for a real sleeve so I shortened it and tried to make up the difference with a cuff – which didn’t work either.
I finished the hidden buttonholes and buttons and wore it for a full day. I wondered if most of the issues with the blouse were in my own mind. I’ve often stated that I don’t like close fitting garments. I’ve frequently stated my preference of sleeve lengths and this is the first time bracelet has appeared in my blog. Oh and I seldom have ever made or purchased a hidden button placket anything. So here I am with this garment wondering if the fit issues are fit issues or just that I’m completely out of my comfort zone. I wore the blouse twice.
Despite my reservations, DH assures me it is flattering in both color and fit. He thinks it is one of the best fitting garments I’ve ever had. My friends also complemented me on such an “fabulous top.” Well maybe the fabric has something to do with their opinion. I did use a 100% rayon, plain weave, with rich patterning. It drapes beautifully. Washes and irons like a dream. Sewing couldn’t have been easier. I did soak the fabric in starch and let it dry before sewing. I must remember to do this with all 100% rayons (more on this in another post) because this completely tamed the fabric during sewing. Stitches at both the serger and sewing machine were perfect. Buttonholes were easy peasy and perfect. I used plain 4-hole shirt buttons and attached them with the button foot. Nothing. Just no problems in sewing.
So why did I wait so long to review the blouse? I don’t think I’m going to wear this one very much. I’ve worn it twice and it continues to feel a size too small. I do prefer to wear it with the neckline folded back into a V:
That’s just a little more flattering for me.
I’m reviewing this blouse now because I’m getting reading to make a 2nd one. The next one will be in a size medium or large. (I haven’t finished measuring the pattern pieces.) I know for sure I’m adding length to both the body and the sleeve. It was these contemplations of what to do for the next version which prompted this post. Because
This pattern deserves TWO THUMBS UP.