I don’t remember when I purchased this pattern. It may have even been gifted to me. I do remember why I was interested. It’s the extended shoulder with sleeve.
It had a fashionable, easy look. Definitely a change from my usual set in sleeve silhouette. I thought it would need knit fabrics. To my surprise the recommended fabrics are: synthetic suede, charmeuse and mens suiting. All wovens without stretch. I returned my selected knit to its place on the self and chose a rayon crepe recently purchased from Casual Elegance. I made my normal 1″ NSA and BWL pattern adjustments and cut at tunic length . Next I trimmed out the neckline as a high round neckline is definitely not my best look. Honestly, this was enough of a departure from my usual style that I was nervous. I wanted something to reassure me.
This was a simple sew. I left a 6″ vent at the center back neck; added a button and loop before finishing the neckline with bias tape. Mostly it was straight or gently curves. I serged the shoulders and sleeves but initially basted the side seams to check for fit.
I realized, too late, that this pattern really wasn’t an easy winner when matching patterns. By that I mean, I should have taken much more care. I didn’t want to make full pattern pieces (rather than the half front and half back provided) because I wasn’t sure I would use the pattern twice. To camouflage the mismatched stripes, I added a 1/4″ black ribbon at the shoulder and again where the sleeve is stitched to the bodice. Even though heavily starched, the rayon crepe fabric was wiggly. I used a glue stick to baste the ribbon in place before stitching. Instead of a straight stitch I chose one of the decorative stitches to attach the ribbon permanently. A little bit of effort, yes. But not terribly time-consuming or difficult and very effective. I find adding a solid line between unmatched plaids, strips or patterns, reduces the jarring effect of those unmatched elements. Somehow, having a place for the eye to rest (the black ribbon) makes the mismatch un- or barely noticeable.
I finished with a 3″ hem because at fitting I felt the tunic length was much too long and disproportionate on me. I looked all torso balanced on two short sticks.
I opted to take “final” pictures without shoulder pads and then slipped the pads in to place. I think there is a subtle and desirable difference between the two looks. I will be sewing the 1/4″ pads in permanently.
I don’t dislike this look, but I’m not wildly enthusiastic either. It is still heavily starched which will make a difference by in appearance and comfort. It’s an OK look that might be punched up into something more flattering. Also, I think my viewpoint is colored by the 90’s when I weighed an additional 50 pounds and this was about the only style available. Even though it has both a bust dart a back shoulder neck it is rather shapeless. (I’m not sure which bra I was wearing and that too could make a difference). I hand hemmed the bottom hem. Carefully. Also this has been pressed several times just because I press anytime the next seam will cross a previously stitched seam. I don’t know, maybe different colors would make a difference. I like this print and it’s colors, but I look tired even though I just had a miracle mask that was supposed to brighten and lift my entire countenance.
Sigh, I will make this pattern once more before deciding if it is a keeper. I love the print and the colors (even if black is not one of my personal bests). This blouse will be fine beneath my winter vests and I have one less “black” fabric to return to my shelves.