When I first saw this blouse back in April of last year, I thought the two rows of buttons and the rolled sleeves with tabs looked really cute. I was hesitant to make it however because it is a boxy style with no shaping whatsoever. Not usually very flattering as I have no curves at all. I kept seeing them on Pattern Review though and it sorta grew on me. About 3 weeks ago I was eager to make something fast and cute to wear to school since the new semester was fast approaching. This blouse is labeled as easy and fast on the magazine so I went for it. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
I first cut out a size 38 (the pattern came in sizes 36 – 44 I believe) and made a muslin. It was huge. Not only was it huge but there two weird lines coming down from the bust at either side and I had a lot of excess fabric bunching up at the back waist. I have recently figured out that I have what sewists call “sway back”. This is just that the curvature of my spine at the lower back is more pronounced that “normal”. It’s quite common to have this, very few people have straight spines. So, to fix that problem with the excess fabric, I knew I had to do a sway back adjustment and it would be my first time doing it. I also knew I had to size down.
I cut a 36 next and made a second muslin. Still needed sway back adjustment. Made a third muslin (I thought this was supposed to be quick and easy???) with the sway back adjustment done and it still looked funky but I blamed the fabric I was using, muslin. However, this a boxy style with kimono sleeves, it will never be a smooth fit, it’s just not in the nature of this type of design. I cut out the final garment in fashion fabric from that muslin and hoped for the best.
Now, the actual construction of the blouse isn’t terribly complicated but I would not classify it as quick and easy either. First, it has flat felled seams which I had never do and they are time consuming. BWOF’s instructions for that were cryptic at best so I used my Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing as reference. Not quick. Second, there’s a lot of fidgety details with all the buttons, getting them to line up correctly, making the shoulder tabs, etc. Not quick. I had to remove the set of working buttons after I had marked the placement and sewn them on because they were all wrong. So glad I was not doing that by hand!
I FINALLY finished it today and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it. There is no bunching at the back waist, no odd lines coming down from the bust and it’s not huge. Phew! The flat felled seams are not perfect but they are not bad for my first time either. The fabric is cotton batiste, it’s very sheer and I was worried it would be too revealing but it’s OK once on. If you look really closely, especially from the back, you can probably see my bra but it’s not terribly revealing. It should be very cool for hot Miami days!