Monthly Archives: May 2014

Style 5, Otto 2/2014

Making this blouse, #5 Ottobre Design 2/2014,

is a prelude for another project.  I chose it for the classic design:  Set in sleeves, scoop neck, horizontal bust dart.  I admit it is close in design to Pamela’s T shirt.  It even has some shaping in the side seams, but it is drafted for woven fabrics.  Since I’ve been refitting all my patterns, I decided to start fresh with Otto. Before choosing my size, I flipped the tape measure over and took my measurements in MM’s.  To my surprise I fit, just fit within a size 46 at both bust and hip. My tummy however belongs in the next size up. I made my 1″ back-waist-length adjustment and then compared the pattern to Otto’s Vintage Blouse which I had refit just a few weeks ago.  They were close. Right at the hip, the vintage blouse is about 3/8″ wider both front and back pieces than this classic top.  If it has been 1/8″, I wouldn’t have bothered.  Even 1/4″ difference, I would have ignored. 3/8″ is getting too close to 1/2″ which would mean a difference of 2″ ease (4 pieces of fabric {front, back, left, right} times 1/2″).  I definitely felt uneasy.

Besides I wanted to try-out  two new-to-me alterations by Pam Erny. (Brought to my attention by a comment on a previous post.)  (Link is to the alterations).  The full-hip alteration made sense to me. I measured down from the waist to ensure that I spread the pattern 1/2″ over the fullest part of my hip (which is 7″ down from the waist).  My concern with the full-hip is getting enough ease across my b utt without developing the Judi Jetson hem.

I did not fully follow Pam’s Full Abdomen Alteration instructions. If you look at the diagram, it does not add length.  I cut my pattern as in the diagram and also added length to the center piece.

I pinned the pieces together and pinned the tissue to Mimie, my dressform. On Mimie, I could tell that the neckline was too high and that the shoulders (which measured a mere 3″) were hanging over about 1″. I made a 1/2″ narrow shoulder adjustment. Normally I narrow the shoulder by a full 1″.

My fabric is a 100% cotton purchased from Joanns  last week. I like paisleys and felt the fabric was perfectly colored for inclusion in my Summer 6PAC. Although the pics don’t really show it, rose-pink dominates the paisleys  with a few narrow, rose-brown lines. In the pics, the blouse has an over all brown coloring.

The fabric was labeled “premium 100% cotton” for $12.99/yard. At the counter the cutter happily announced it was on sale for $9.99/yard.  I’m not even sure what “premium” is supposed to indicate. I know Pima. I like Pima cottons. This felt OK in the store and wasn’t what I would call cheap, even at the sale price of $9.99/yard. As always, I serged the ends and laundered it once. It did not shrink (a good sign), but was not as slick and smooth as when first purchased.

Onto fit.  The Back:

There are things about this I really like.  I did not insert shoulder pads yet my shoulders do not appear rounded or sloped.    The hem is even across the bottom and does not swing outward like Judi Jetson has arrived. It was not necessary for me to make the full hip adjustment to the back piece. There is more than enough ease. My only criticism is the puffiness in the center of the back.  I’m seriously considering a future sway-back adjustment even though it means adding a center back seam.

The pattern has a horizontal bust dart and plenty of ease over the tummy but I see the drag line from the bust. From the front my shoulders do look rounded. Guess I need those shoulder pads after-all.

I’m wondering how much my “picture posture” is effecting the side view. When I take photos I always think “Stand straight.  Shoulders back. Knees relaxed.”  Maybe I should quit talking to myself and just stand there relaxed. From the side view the center back looks puffy; there are multiple drag lines from the bust and the front hem is rising like flood waters.  Oh and something I’m never noticed before, my head is sitting way forward–I’m turtle necked?

Despite my criticisms, I like the blouse. I was afraid it would look like a hospital smock. I think the scoop neck has saved it from that awful look, but a little more could be done.  I’m seriously thinking of adding a shirt-tail hem,  changing the sleeve length and adding a little more curve in the side seam. I’m keeping the full hip alteration but removing Pam Erny’s  full abdomen alteration. I think I need an FBA  over my tummy.

As always, Otto’s drafting is superb.  I do have problems finding all the markings — I never found the waist indication on this one but did find all the sleeve notches including the gathering lines. Which weren’t needed. I pinned the sleeve in 3 places; set the serger differential to 1.5 and serged the sleeve to the blouse with the sleeve down on the feed dogs. Perfect!   I use bias tape to finish the neckline; turned up and stitched to finish all hems. (Even though I knew the latter smacked of hospital smocks.)       Possibly I could have traced the pattern and applied my NSA and BWL alterations instead of fussing with new-to-me alterations. Part of sewing fun is trying these new things and deciding if they work for you or not. I did like that PE’s alterations do not change the side seams. I didn’t have to get out my curves and blend lines together. Really this was a 3-piece, easy-to-sew pattern.