Category Archives: 2009/5-04 Perfect White Blouse

2009/5 #4 After Laundering

I decided to launder, take pictures and then make a final decision of the wearability of Style 4 from Ottobre 5/2009.  I also decided that pictures on my body were more revealing than pictures on my dressform. So here it goes:

I love the embroidery but the look on my face sums up my feelings. This pattern is NOT a winner. It’s a sad day when the best view is your broad back and that’s not good either.  Laundering did dissolve the remaining embroidery stabilizers and allow the blouse to drape a little better. The photos are worse than the in-person view. Still all those wrinkles and drapes are present.  I do like the neckline and definitely want to use that in the future. The rest of the pattern pfftttt.  Not going to waste my time.


NOT the Perfect Blouse

Before viewing the pictures, it’s important to realize a large portion of the wrinkles are due to the embroidery and remaining stabilizer.  The stabilizer shrunk and tightened as it dehydrated (from being exposed to the air). I’m sure the stabilizer caused all the crinkles and contributed to some of those folds. But the drapery beneath the front armscyes has me stumped.

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The hem is pressed and interfaced but not stitched. The blue arrows point to the major drapes beneath the armscyes.

The back is a little large but otherwise fits smoothly. These drapes are on the front between side seam to embroidery.  Let me pin the sleeve back and give you another view:
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I can lessen but not eliminate the drapes by taking in the side seams between waist and sleeve hem. However the blouse becomes too tight and the drapes are never completely eliminated. Changing the slope of the shoulder had no effect.  I carefully clipped into the stabilizer on both inside and outside of the garment trying to minimize that effect. Didn’t help.  I was flummoxed.

I was puzzled.  I pulled out the tissue of both this pattern and the Vintage Blouse and did a careful comparison.  I had assumed that the patterns would be very similar.  The side seams are curved which tells me the vertical darts of the basic block  were moved to the side seams and then eliminated.  The neckline is shaped differently too. But I was not prepared for the other differences.

  • The shoulder slope is different.  It is much straighter than the Vintage blouse – probably better for the square shouldered figure.
  • The back armscye is the same but the front is much deeper. 
  • The shape of the sleeve cap is different and yes I checked to be sure I had correctly marked front and top. 
  • Finally there is at least another inch of ease on each front; and 3″ on the back.  I was unprepared for this difference. The instructions specify a stretch woven. I had assumed the Perfect Blouse pattern would be slightly smaller than the Vintage Blouse.

I can’t change the shape of the front armscye (it would need to be filled in). I removed 1/2″ from the back side seam and then  adjusted as much as possible between waist and sleeve hem on the side seams (It’s an uneven amount with more removed from the arm pit area.)  Then I finished it completely including button and buttonholes.  Currently I’m  soaking the blouse to remove the rest of the embroidery stabilizer.  Don’t know if I’ll post pictures of the final garment. After the laundry it’s likely to end up in the donate pile.

The all important question: Would you make this again?  Had there not be significant differences between the patterns, I might have blamed the embroidery and tried the pattern again. But knowing there are crucial drafting differences I will not make this again.  I do like the neckline and sleeve treatments. If I want to use these details I will  trace my Vintage Blouse pattern and then transfer those design details to the new tracing.

Ottobre 5-2009 4 the NOT Perfect Blouse

I was quite surprised when I reached the fitting of this blouse. The reviews at are positive with minor criticisms.   I wasn’t expecting anything bad but did take the time to quickly compare the tissue with the well fitting Vintage Blouse.  My initial impression was that I would need to remove ease at fitting,  otherwise this would be a simple blouse.  The pattern is well drafted.  I made my usual 1″ back-waist-length adjustment and then began to embroider.

That’s where it started going horribly wrong. The embroidery pattern I selected was in multiple colors. I reduced it one color as I love tone on tone embroidery and then rearranged the sewing order to reduce floating stitches. The finished embroidery should have looked like this:

It never finished. The embroidery was a mess–possibly my fault.  Those leaves are several long stitches grouped together. My embroidery software read them as float stitches.  I instructed my software to add a tie off and trim at each float stitch.  The stitches really were too long. I had to add 3 layers of stabilizer to avoid tunneling.   All those tie-offs and clips jammed my machine. Sizing down the design would not work as the stems are small circles comprised of 7-9 stitches. Resizing causes the circles to be so small that they would punch a hole in the cloth.  Normally I set up the embroidery machine and then I’m in the same area but doing something else.  For the first time in ages, years even, I was watching every stitch.  I changed to a titanium needle and then changed it again.  I lubricated the threads. The design should have stitched out in about 20 minutes.  After an hour, I threw up my hands and shut the machine down for the night.  The next day, I thanked the heavens that I had bought too much fabric and cut new fronts.  I still wanted embroidery on the front. I chose a new design, changed and stitched it out on each of the fronts.
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This stitched out perfectly… twice. I planned to stitch it out on one side only. When the first side finished the blouse looked — empty.  I mirrored the design and stitched it out on the left side. Now it look like too much embroidery. I may  have more serious problems with it . I know I forgot to add the tie-offs and trims because I was changing hoop sizes and some of the other settings.

Sigh, I’m not entirely happy with the embroidery but it is important to mention because the embroidery may be part of the fit issues I’m having.  You see, I still needed 2 layers of water soluble stabilizer. When the embroidery completed, I removed the major unstitched portions of stabilizer.  I’ve had disasters in the past when I’ve clipped closely to remove stabilizer and so when possible I wait and remove the last bits after the washing machine has had a chance to soften or wash out the tiny places.  I did the embroidery one day. The next day I finished the shoulders and neckline; and basted the sleeves and sides together.  When I tried the blouse for fitting, on I was stunned.

The Perfect White Blouse — in Pink

I’ve begun working on my summer 6PAC.  I’ve chosen pink and brown as my colors and selected this pattern for the first top.
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Actually I chose the fabric first then the pattern. The fabric is a light pink polyester/cotton twill purchased from Fabricmart last year.  Advertised with 1% lycra, I thought it would make excellent summer shorts or trousers.  Unfortunately it is blouse weight, so a blouse it will become.

I traced size 38 neck and shoulders, 40 across the armscye (which gives me breadth for my back) and size 48 along the side. After tracing, I made my usual 1″ back waist length adjustment.  It was difficult for me to find the critical top of shoulder and waistline ticks. In fact, I compared front to back in order to place the waistline mark on the front before making the BWL.

I compared the finished pattern to the Vintage Blouse tissue and I’m feeling a little uneasy.  I expected this blouse to be narrower because the pattern specifies a woven fabric with stretch. The tissue is however obviously larger than my roomy Vintage Blouse.  I also read of one person who had issues with the fit of the perfect blouse pattern. I’m feeling a little uneasy after these 2 facts, but I continued to add seam allowances and cut my fabric.  I’m happy to see that this pattern has a back shoulder dart, a bust dart and shaped side seams.

I traced all the pieces for future use.  I’m leaving off the collar and making short sleeves. I plan to wear this blouse in lieu of a short sleeve T-shirt. There are times when air-conditioning chills me to the bone and a secondary layer is really necessary, so I could be wearing this under another blouse and want to it be closer fitting than usual. I’m using the sleeve from the pattern and  cutting it shorter.