Walter’s Front Ti-e Blouse is another new Silhouette Patterns for fall 2108 that I just had to try. Unfortunately it’s the kind of style that feels great and looks good on other people.
I began to have reservations when I copied the pattern pieces. I was not expecting the front horizontal seam. My fault. I know. I just didn’t see it even in the schematic. I don’t like to draw a line across my big ol’ tummy or my generous seat. So if I’m going to wear a horizontal seam, it will be up in the Empire zone. My best line is a center vertical seam. Even the princess seams are better lines on me. I didn’t attempt to change the position of the horizontal line. I like to make a pattern pretty much as it is designed the first time. I mean, other than making needed fitting changes.
Which weren’t many. I made back and front shoulder slope adjustments, round back adjustment and added 1″ to the back 3/8″ to the front side seams.
Hey, for you guys always wanting a blouse with a 2-piece sleeve, you need to buy this pattern now. The two piece sleeve is the only sleeve I know of which really allows a trim, perfect, arm fit. Love it in coats and jackets but I’m usually not dissatisfied with my top/blouse sleeves and prefer the faster flat-sleeve construction. IOW I substituted the 1-piece sleeve from SP600. SP518 has a lovely curved cuff which –er– I also did not use. I prefered my LH5202 version. I just fold up the SP600 sleeve to shorten it and then use the LH5202 cuff I copied. The sleeve is slightly long which is my fault. I did not fold the sleeve up enough this time.
Not helping was that I decided I wanted a looser fit blouse and did not use the back darts. But that wouldn’t have helped those wrinkles along the back sides. They totally surprised me. Since I’ve been adding a 5/8″ RBA and 5/8″ should slope adjustments, I have NOT had back wrinkles.
I really struggled with the front
I wanted to make it exactly as Peggy directed. Even re-watched the Classic Blouse SP600 Sew Along. I’m using a silk fabric. I knew it might be a challenge. It has wanted to slide around the stack since I bought it 4 years ago from Fabricmartfabrics. Beautiful color. Silk. I mean, real SIIIIIIILK. It is that classic smooth shiny stuff that slides about. I spray starched the yardage 4 times. F_O_U_R before pressing and laying out with pattern on top. Most of the construction was smooth and easy. Can’t fault Peggy’s draft, ever. Even with my changes the pieces practically put themselves together. BUT I could not get the front plackets to fold evenly. I would press flat. Carefully fold and smooth the iron along the fold while periodically burning/steaming my fingers. I did each side 3 times. 30 minutes of scorching my fingers.I even marked the folds using a ruler and chalk. I’d fold along the line give it a fingernail press before the iron and it would unfold creating a wobbly, very amateurish, front band under the iron. Practically in tears, I gave up. Made the front the old-fashioned way with facings, stitched right-sides-together and inverted. Since the placket was such a b%tch, I tossed the collar too. I’d say I’m an intermediate/advanced sewists. I do well enough that people rarely ‘know’ I’ve sewn something. There are somethings I just can’t sew well. Others, like this collar, that I struggle with and usually get 99% right. I wasn’t struggling with this collar after having flubbed a very simple placket. Not doing it.
Blouse feels great but looks terrible. It’s probably on the way to Goodwill. I even tried something interesting to hold the front ties. But it does not work. On me. All the models and pins I saw of similar garments looked fab, just stylin’ with their beautiful front ties. The ties add weight to my tummy and on me, there is too much excess fabric created by the pleat. The upper bodice just folds in flat like my non-bra wearing grandmothers’ bosoms. Not a look I ever liked or wanted to wear. Even if I shortened the sleeves, I’d have to rip open the front and figure out how to remove most of the excess and then I’d still have the bad-for-me- line and those ties.
I wasn’t expecting those exact ties. I thought they would be inserted in the vertical front dart. Again, my fault. I should have looked at the schematic more closely. I saw what I wanted to see. The two-piece front, especially where it was divided,surprised me. The ties looked too large. I thought at first I was supposed to fold them in half. The instructions clearly show cutting 4, stitching 2-each together and inverting. Even my silk seemed too thick for that treatment. I should have stopped right then and just roll-hemmed. But I didn’t. I kept doggedly following the directions. Even when alarms sounded over how the ties were sewn in along the seam line. My ties were too heavy. I had a heck of a time getting that seam straight. I had to baste the pleat on the upper-blouse, baste the tie onto pleat, then baste the seam before serging. Oh and talk about having a time figuring the pleat out. The instructions say bring the two dots together. I didn’t mark any dots. Thought “Hold on. This happened to me on 418.” For 418 I just guessed by looking at the pic. My guess turned out right. I decided this time I needed to go back and find the dots and figure out how I was missing them. Well, I couldn’t find any dots. Couldn’t find any circles I was thinking maybe a unfilled dot? Wondered if the dots were on the plus versions. I mean she did include two sleeve strips. Same size. Same titles. But exact same piece. No difference in length that I detected. Maybe she made a second error and forgot the dots on the regular sizes. I couldn’t find dots. I re-read instructions. All I see are the T’s she uses for notches. I figured that one out, long ago and pretty easily. But I didn’t expect a T to be a dot. Now I know.
Look I’ve seen a lot of great versions of very similar blouses. Have not seen 518 on Pattern Review, yet but I’m sure someone will post a beautimus version. The style doesn’t work for me. I may wear a few times as an underlayer i.e. with vest, cardigan or jacket on top. But I don’t predict a long stay in my life and I won’t use the pattern again. YMMV