Despite being uncharacteristically restrained up until this point, I had a blow-out.
TWO Craftsy classes may have been purchased while I was procrastinating from the letters page (I mean, subbing hard) at work today. Usually the promotional emails that hit my inbox every day rebound into my deleted items before I can read the words “flash sale”.
But today I was weak. I succumbed to the temptations of Adjust the Bust and the Flirty Day Dress. I love the other Craftsy classes I’ve enrolled in, and while I *technically* haven’t finished any of them, I find them a wonderful resource and the price of a paper pattern accompanying the class almost justifies the class itself for the project-based classes.
After all, isn’t all education a good investment?
Even the kind that enables my expensive sewing obsession that leads to what is essentially “look at me, look at me” blogging?
I certainly think so!
Speaking of which, I finished a blouse!
Let me introduce you to the daggy 90s styled McCall’s 2818. It’s a Palmer/Pletsch pattern that on the envelope promises to provide a perfect fit for large-busted ladies such as myself.
I made view B, round neck, cap sleeves and scalloped hem, in a size 10, with adjustments galore. The Palmer/Pletsch patterns have step-by-step tissue fit instructions and the princess seams give you the ability to fine-tune the fit that you don’t quite get with darts.
It is a semi-fitted blouse with a button-back closure. I saw lots of potential from the line drawings and thought it’d be a good wardrobe staple when it comes to summery-type work clothes, on the days I decide to dress like a journalist.
I spent a good three hours one afternoon in front of the mirror doing the tissue fit for this blouse. It was my first real tissue fitting experience so I wanted to follow the instructions and see if the results justified the stuffing around.
To cut a long story short, the tissue fit WAS helpful, but it definitely wasn’t the only fitting process I would use in future garment construction.
Pattern alterations and design changes
I’m sure this is totally normal, but it sure felt like I changed a lot of stuff in the tissue fit and basted fit phases of this blouse.
- 2″ full bust adjustment
- lowered bust apex 3/4″ (does that mean I have saggy boobs??)
- Shortened waist 3/4″
- Moved shoulder seam
- Removed about 2.5″ from the side front and side back seams after the FBA (otherwise the blouse would have been a tent of a thing)
- tapered princess seams to my curves which involved pinching more fabric out across the bust
The only things I didn’t really alter were the back, shoulders and sleeves.
I ranted a bit about it on my Pattern Review, but for all the fit help this pattern gives you, I find it a bit of an oversight they wouldn’t point out in the detailed pattern instructions – given that the patterns are targeted to a fitting newbie – that the FBA will add to your waist measurement, and for a lot of ladies they don’t need the additional width across the whole bodice.
I wish I had taken photos of this blouse when I was fitting it. After I made the changes according to the pattern instructions during the tissue fit and cut out all my fabric and basted it together I was actually pretty horrified at how unflattering this blouse was. It was hideous. I’ve got more attractive skin-coloured grandma panties in my closet.
Maybe I’m being too harsh and it is obvious to most sewists that you’d alter your pattern at the side seams, but I just feel like a true fit beginner needs to be given those guidelines to know that it’s OK to mess with other parts of the pattern than what the instructions say.
Another issue I would raise regarding the pattern instructions was the lack of explanation when it comes to easing princess seams. They just tell you to staystich the seam, clip, baste and stitch. True busty ladies have a preeeeetty big curve across the side front that needs to be eased into the relatively straight centre front, so why they would neglect to mention that kind of important technique is beyond me. But as I say, I like to have ALL the information, and I suppose the six pages of pattern instructions was where they drew the line. Of course, all these gripes I raise because I’ve worked with FBAs and princess seams before, but there’s probably 100 other things I didn’t do because I didn’t know about them and the pattern instructions only say so much.
Apart from my continued ranting about the pattern instructions, I guess they were actually pretty good. The scalloped hem was a bit fiddly but I got there in the end thanks to the diagrams. It is a pretty cute detail so it’s worth the effort if you really love it.
Another thing; it’s not clear in the photos, but the button back is so cute. I love this kind of detail (although it’s kind of annoying to put on).
Here’s a close-up of the buttons seeing as they’re not visible in these pics. I bought them a while ago not knowing what they’d get used on but I reckon they suit the fabric quite well!
Well, there’s my rant for one night! I think I might sign off this post to start watching the Adjust the Bust class – chances are I’ll learn a few tips I that would’ve made my life easier when constructing this blouse. Lucky I can’t get enough of learning!