from sarah the sewist
I finished the Hot Patterns Plain & Simple Princess Shirt this evening. I can honestly say, I have never, ever been so happy with a blouse pattern. I can really see myself making this one over and over again. I had some issues that I talked about here. But, they were really my own screwy assumptions getting in my way, and once I sorted stuff out, it really made sense and came together. Other boo-boos that were really my own fault—in the battle with the collar, I spaced turning the raw edges of the collar under and into itself; I neglected to turn the shoulder facing under; and I made it a size too big. I’ve had a few mishaps lately with things being too small in the, er, boob area, and so I was a little neurotic with the sizing and went up instead of down, as I was in between sizes.
Anyway, this is the three-quarter length sleeve version, and it’s in an absolutely beautiful stretch cotton sateen from Robert Kaufman’s “Vera” line that I got at Bolt here in Stumptown with this pattern in mind. I had second-guessed myself shortly afterward, thinking that maybe this pattern wasn’t special enough for such a wonderfully smooth, elegant, and uniquely sturdy fabric. I’m glad I didn’t just make another skirt or something, because the pattern and the fabric do pair very well together, creating a sort of fifties vibe.
I like the shape of the neckline created by the lapel-like collar—even though I sort of screwed it up. I know I said it in my earlier post about this project, but really, if you’re planning on making this shirt, please read the instructions thoroughly, check out something like Complete Guide to Sewing‘s (great book—I must review soon!) instructions for creating a lapel and read through and study the pictures on Off the Cuff. I’ve been sewing for a really long time, considering my age, and this part of the construction really proved to be challenging. It was really rewarding, though, and I felt like I learned something and added some skills to my sewing repertoire.
This shirt also made me realize that if I want to create a really nice shirt, that’s more of a dressy, wear-to-work style, princess seams are the way to go. It’s much easier for me to tweak for my fitting needs—which I haven’t done with this shirt, but I really need to take in the waist on literally everything I make—blouses, pants, skirts. It’s much easier to do with princess seams. And, while I didn’t need to do this with this blouse (because I purchased “Glamour Girl” range), it’s much easier to make an adjustment for my above-mentioned issues with fitting blouses. I also think, looking at these pictures, it’s just a better look for me, it’s more structured, and I think that looks nicer on my short self. I’m not a tall person, and I often think that a lot of professional looking clothes look funny on me, and I think the waists aren’t in the right spot, etc, and it’s much easier to precisely locate those critical points that make a difference in the overall structured appearance.
It’s funny, I was kind of stressed out that this pattern would be a disaster, since I’d had a recent fitting?/drafting?/design?/printing? issue with an independent company’s pattern (not that that there aren’t major problems with patterns from the Big 4), and I really didn’t want to have another frustrating end.
I plan to make more of these—who knows when, since one of the things I really love about sewing is trying new styles, techniques and fabrics, and Josh and I have quite a few projects queued up. (We need to write about that, too.)
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