Category Archives: 11226-Blouse Perfected

TBP Finished!

First I want to thank everyone for their moral support and suggestions.

I agree that the fabric is really an important consideration.  I’m on the fence about this particular cut.  It is a 100% Linen but flows and drapes like slinky.  If I’d been using slinky, I would not have chosen a shirt pattern and maybe  I should have used a different pattern with this linen.  I just thought: Linen. You know, good, well-behaved linen.  I’ve never seen a linen of this quality.  I have a continuing issue with pairing the right fabric with the right pattern.  I think I need to be giving more thought, much more thought to my fabric’s qualities instead of just categorizing knit or woven. But what’s done is done and I’m at the point of saying, I’m not sure if this fabric is worth any more effort (not to mention that I don’t have large enough pieces for the collar pattern included.)

I also really wanted to try this pattern.  When CLD patterns work for me, they are the most wonderful patterns in the world. The fit issues are solved with the first garment; and usually that’s my standard back-waist length BWL and narrow shoulder adjustments NSA.  I use the patterns which work for me over and over, not only in their original format but as a basis to imitate RTW which attracts me.  So I really wanted to see if this pattern was going to be a new TNT for me.

But I wasn’t about to rip out that collar.  Louise’s instruction have you stitching and fusing with Steam-A-Seam.   It’s nearly impossible to open up such a seam.  Usually I damage the garment beyond use.  — like big honking holes and threads flying off into the atmosphere.  Instead, I hung the partially completed blouse on Mimie until I could decide what to do.

See, I was taught a long time ago, actually in a Home Decorating class, that when you have a big ugly error you either make a feature out of it or your nail paneling on-top to completely hide it.  My Paneling:

It helps to have an extensive machine embroidery collection and Embroidery Machine.  I measured the collar and started hunting for both trims and small doily like pieces.  I printed several of the doily like pieces out (in true size), trimmed the excess paper and started trying those on the back of the collar.  I liked this design the most:

but it was too tall.  It nicely covered up both goofs (being off center and upside down).  I don’t like to resize Free Standing Lace, even though I don’t make true FSL.  I always slip a coordinating tulle in the hoop.  As I fussed with the printed copies of my designs I realized I could just press the excess over the top of the collar.  Since I haven’t worn the blouse for an extended period of time, I don’t know if this will irritate the back of my neck.  I do know it’s a beautiful solution. My only concern is will the by-hand, slip stitching hold through multiple wears and laundries?

I was distressed with how much this fabric wrinkled just from that little bit of stitching.  After the pics, I spray starched and reironed. But I can tell you the wrinkling will be a major factor in the wear this gets and whether it stays in my closet.  I know myself.  I will stop wearing a garment which doesn’t fit and look nicely.

I like that the TBP can be worn as an over blouse.  Many times this winter, I’ve added a long sleeve blouse for a bit of extra warmth.  Blouses and vests are not as restrictive as jackets; and sweaters are often too hot for inside the house.

I made a size small and yes I trimmed the tissue.  I did my narrow shoulder adjustment but didn’t shorten the pattern with a back waist length alteration.  The pattern shoulder was dropping off Mimie by about 3 inches. It should be drop shouldered, so I only removed the normal 1″.  The patten has pretty straight sides ie. no body curves; and I could see there was at least a 2″ hem. So no BWL seemed to be needed.  In the pics though it looks like the back is hanging up on my hips.  I’ll bet if I do the BWL, that will go away.  However, the blouse also seems to be rising up in the front.  Maybe I should just do a sway-back adjustment instead?

I’m not sure I like the width at the hems of sleeves of View B.

I have 2 buttons left. Maybe I should fold the sleeve hems into something narrower and secure them with a button:

I often laugh at the CLD patterns.  These are the only patterns in the world where I am classified as a SMALL.  I might should have made an XS.  I didn’t because I usually wear a Small in CLD patters and I compared my last Loes Hinse pattern (it was still on the cutting table).  An XS would have been too close across the hips but this small seems really roomy and too large under the bust. But WAIT, I can’t trust this fabric.  Both collar and stand GREW after cutting. I’m pretty sure I’ll be making the next copy without any other pattern alterations.

TBP: The Blouse Perfected

I’ve been waiting for this pattern for months.  I love Louise Cuttings drafting and her wonderful instructions.  I have to stop short of saying I love all her patterns.  If you’ve followed me for any time at all, you know that I’ve not had good results from a few.  But the CLD patterns that work for me, are wonderful.  I’m on the auto-ship list just for a chance at another great pattern.


I’m working on View B and it occurs to me that although this pattern is named “The Blouse Perfected“, it looks more like the perfect shirt for women.  Seriously, it has all the hallmarks of a perfect shirt.  It has a back yoke that extends over the shoulders just slightly onto the front.  It has the button placket front; collar WITH stand; single breast pocket and is slightly drop shouldered.  View A has the classic tailored sleeve, with cuff and sleeve placket placed in exactly the right place.  Most shirts, have a rolled or narrow hem. Louise, and I agree completely, prefers a much deeper hem. The depth of the hem, is the only difference I would note between a classic women’s shirt and The Blouse Perfected.



I opted for View B because I knew I would be spending lots of time and effort on the collar and stand.  I wanted to breeze straight through the sleeve application.  I love View C, but probably won’t make it.  It’s very distinctive.  You know how I feel about distinctive garments.  I’m so looking forward to perfecting the fit for View A and B.  I do think this is a pattern I can use over and over.


I’m using a fine 100% linen from Fabricmart.  I’ve never worked with a linen like this before.  I like linen. It’s always been a pleasure to sew, but it seems to continue shrinking with each wash.  I preshrunk this twice and them steamed heavily.   This linen is so smooth. It is lightweight, but I wouldn’t call this handkerchief linen.  It’s also opaque- not transparent at all.  It is quite fluid;  drapes and swings nicely.  I’m totally beguiled by it’s wonderful qualities which turned into horrors during sewing.


I did say I loved Louise’s instructions?  I followed them carefully for the collar and stand.  They are similar to Debbie Cook’s instructions but there are several important differences.  It’s one of those things you have to try for yourself and determine which is best for you.   I’m so glad I followed Louise instruction to put those small pieces on the ironing board and on top of the pattern piece to fuse the interfacing.  You kind of scoot the fabric around so that it’s the same shape as the pattern piece.  My wonderful, fluid linen flowed all over the place, totally losing it’s shape.  And get this, it grew.  The collar (cut mostly on the bias) grew by 1″.  The stand grew only a little. I didn’t check the other non-interfaced pieces.  My thought is, not to adjust the pattern according to the fit of this linen.  I don’t trust the fabric.  I also had a horrible time with the front plackets entirely because of the fabric.  I clipped as instructed and tried to fold the plackets using my metallic hem template. What a disgusting mess.  Pressed all that out and tried marking with a disappearing marker.  OK, it marked fine.  But when I tried to fold on the marked line, it wiggled back and forth like some kind of panicked snake.Finally, I basted (love the basting stitch on my HV Ruby) along the lines, folded on the basting and finger pressed every 2 inches before pressing at the ironing board.
That did work. I was just concerned because my top stitching looks to be a scant 1/4″ when the pattern dictated top stitching a full 1/4″.  Collars, stands and necklines are all carefully drafted with close tolerances.  I was uneasy about being off even 1/8″.


But I persisted.  I’d read an instruction; execute the instruction.  It was going really, really well even if it was slow. I didn’t have to rip anything out or resew.  I got the stand on.  I got the collar in and basted to the back stand.  I carefully and accurately top stitched the stand.  Oh my Gosh it was beautiful.  I’m getting close to RTW perfection with the stands.  The public areas look perfect. I’m off in 2 places on the inside back of the collar.  No one but me will every know this stand is not perfectly executed.  I’m doing the happy dance.


It’s been a long day and I place the work-in-progress on my dressform.  Despite the fact this linen as been a b*tch, it looks great on the dress form. I may have a little more ease than desired across the bust and under the arms. The under collar pulls the upper collar to the wrong side just barely 1/8″.  The plackets overlap beautifully.  That pocket is gorgeous.  I turn the dressform so I can see the back




W-T-H????   I’ve inserted the collar upside down and in easing have gotten it off-centered. What the H??? am I going to do with this?