Now this is scary! Apparently, I cut this blouse out last year. But I have no memory of doing so. I know it must have been last year because I remember cutting out the pattern and altering it for an FBA in December of 2008--the first time we stayed in a condo at the Massanutten Ski Resort in western Virginia. I also know it had to have been before October 2009 because that was when we decided to add a French drain to out basement and I had to dismantle my sewing room.
THAT's when I found IT--a 1-gallon plastic bag consisting of the pattern, thread, filled bobbin, and cut out fabric with pattern pieces still pinned in place. I'm too young for a senior moment, so I was very upset that I couldn't remember cutting this out. All sorts of possible causal diseases flitted through my mind until I re-read the pattern instructions. BINGO! Immediately, I realized that the traumatic experience I suffered after initially reading the pattern instructions caused instant amnesia after I hid all evidence of the cut out pattern deep in a drawer in my sewing room--until I found it again.
When the 2010 UFO Pattern Contest began, I instantly thought of this pattern as a candidate; only to cringe as I remembered those instructions.
But two things made me persist: 1) the fabric itself--a beautiful brushed-cotton sateen that had been aging in my stash since I bought it in the early 1990s from 7th Avenue--on online swatch company long defunct; and 2) the pattern itself, a vintage Palmer & Pletsch blouse pattern for a classic cowl-neck collared suit-blouse--called the "suitable blouse". One of the pluses of this pattern--FBA instructions so very-detailed that I felt like Madams Palmer & Pletsch were right in the room with me holding my hand as I did my first cutting into a pattern to perform an FBA.
On the right is a picture of the fabric.
Well, this was no 1 hour pattern or even 3 hour pattern to construct. This blouse has lots of classy details and yes, they take time to do. The instructions are 6, count them, 6 pages long!
One very nice detail is the loops at the collar and and sleeves. I covered my buttons, too. Here's a close-up of one of the sleeves. This pattern takes 13 buttons!
In spite of all the details, the instructions were easy to understand and filled with Palmer & Pletsch tips for easier or nicer looking results. And, being the masters of fit, every so often, they instruct you to stop and try on the pattern for fit, with tips on what to do if it doesn't look write. During one of these fittings, I decided that my bust darts were way too long and shortened them by 1 1/2 inches on each side with very pleasing results.
Likes: Loved the FBA. This blouse fits me no matter how big a breath I take to call my kids down to dinner! Believe me, I can really take in a lot of air.
Liked the sleeves. There's no cuff, but it still looks very professional with the buttons, loops and small pleat.
Dislikes: Shoulder pads are every short-waisted, petite girl's friend; but, sheesh! This pattern is from the late 1980s, and I sort of forgot that that was when the shoulder pads in ladies blouses rivaled those in a quarterback's uniform. I'm not sure I'll feel comfortable wearing this blouse without a jacket. Also, even though I used the size pads called for, the shoulders are too wide and hang off my arms. I believe the pattern refers to them as "slightly extended"!? I think I could have used even bigger pads, but it would have looked too bizarre.
Look at those goofy shoulder pads! And I don't even think they're big enough to fit the blouse. That or the shoulders need to be cut back to fit mine.
And the jury's still out on the cowl-neck.
Suited and ready for work!
Conclusion: This pattern was one of the most difficult blouse patterns I have attempted to date. I learned a lot of techniques making it. But, as it was more difficult, my results were not as good as I had hoped they would be; and I also found myself a bit impatient at times with how "fiddly" the pattern was. The outdated style, not quite so evident from the artist's depiction on the pattern cover, and less than "perfect cowl" cowl disappointed me. I do love my blouse and will be wearing it to work, but I probably will not make this pattern again. And especially not until after I've altered the pattern to eliminate those shoulder pads and bring in the shoulder seams.
The 2010 Blizzard was on its way, barreling towards the DC Metro Region and getting ready to pound us.
I got home from work around 1:00, having been dismissed from work due to the impending storm. The subway trains coming home were "uber"-packed with fellow commuters all wanting to get home ahead of the storm.
I needed to de-stress and fast! A nice easy lingerie project seemed the answer, since I'd just finished sewing the Lingerie Secrets "High Cut Pantie" and was greatly pleased with the results. So-o-o-o, it was Lingerie Secrets' "The Smoothie" pattern to the rescue!
I already had my fabric pre-washed and my pattern cut out, so I got out the fabric, laid out the pattern and cut it out in a little over half an hour. Again on account of having just made the other Lingerie Secrets pattern, I was familiar with the basic construction of underwear, so I started sewing them up right away.
DH and the boys had gone to the gym and about a half an hour into sewing, they called to tell me they were on their way to pick me up and take me out to eat. By this time the snow was falling harder, but still not sticking on the roads and sidewalks as the temperature was still in the mid-30s. After our rather late lunch, we came home; and I started righ back up sewing again.
Within about an hour--voila--another beautiful pair of underwear with excellent fit. And for me, another TNT lingerie pattern. This makes three patterns from Lingerie Secrets that I have sewn with this year and every one of them have been a winner.
I have now cut out two more pairs of "The Smoothie" and one more of the "High Cut Pantie" which are awaiting my next instant de-stress moment and maybe Round 2 of the Blizzard of 2010??!!!
I'm a devoted wife and mom, a librarian, and I love cats and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE dogs. Sewing is my favorite hobby. I will use this blog to share my enthusiasm for sewing and hope it inspires others to create as well.