Category Archives: 2016/2-16 Peplum Wrap Blouse

My Pretty New Blouse– Otto 16 2016/2


I removed the tissue after cutting the fabric; measured down 8 inches drew and cut my V neckline.


I finished it with commercial bias tape which is folded to the inside, top and edge stitched for a nice finish.

Otto specifies a zipper back closure but I know from experience my block will slip over my head and slid down my body.  I do not fit woven blouses closely.  At most, their fitting will hint at a shape beneath. That’s because I don’t like my fabric constricting movement or people being able to count my curves (rolls). I did however decide to ‘fudge’ just a little. Just in case I did need a bigger opening, by creating a 4″ neckline vent closed by a single button


and elastic loop


Good lord! Both pics show that I need to do some serious thread clipping.

Let me back-up a sec and say that I did tape the back and front necklines immediately after cutting them. I know for a fact that necklines will stretch. Sometimes even stay stitching will cause the fabric to stretch. The back vent was formed by cutting the back on the selvege, and leaving the top 4″ open when stitching the CB seam. I pressed the seam open then top stitched to keep it open.

I echoed the same top/edge stitching on the sleeve hems


and around that lovely mitered hem.


Otto perfectly executed the miter. I interface my hems and serge finish the raw edge.  For this hem I left the miter unfinished; folded the raw edges together and stitched 1/4″ away. I press the seam open using a point presser before top and edge stitching.  It’s really a beautiful finish.

Fit is a bit sketchy.  I love the front view


but admit I didn’t get the proportions right.  I think Otto used 2:1 i.e the top portion is twice width of the peplum.  Mine is closer to a 3:1 proportion.  This looks good on me. I got out my croquis and played with proportions. I could have cut the top portion at waist level. It would take more changes to the  peplum to reach a 2:1 than I wanted to make. Plus, I would not have liked the peplum at waist level with it long enough to equal the length above. It would have been almost a 1:1 proportion which doesn’t flatter me. (It turns me into a square peg atop a popsicle stick.) ATM I’m doubly glad I used my block because I did create a nice proportion. Had I copied Otto, proportions for me personally would have been off.

I did not add weight to the back hem. Part of the reason the back looks like this:


Of course the fact I didn’t straighten the garment before pics also contributes.  The back feels just a touch tight between the shoulder blades. Something I’ve not experienced will all the previous versions using my block. I don’t know if I have many of this type fabric left.  I had 4 yards of it which tells me that it is old, old Walmart-$1-fabric old. Modern fabrics are woven differently and behave differently on the body.  Still I’m going to add 1/8″ to the back block.  That’s a total of 1/4″ ease between those shoulder blades and should be just enough.

I stitched the shoulders the same as I did all summer:  left shoulder 1/4″ deep right shoulder 3/8″ deep. That was the fix for the side swags on all my summer garments. I also added 1/4″ shoulder pads.


They won’t be seen, as they would for sleeveless garments and I’m happy to be sporting ‘shoulders’ once again. (I don’t love my summer shoulderless appearance but I like even less the look of shoulder pads peeking out.)

To my surprise, this blouse has swags both left  and right  sides


Surprised? No, I’m stunned.  All the shoulder draping was done to eliminate these very drag lines.  They’ve been non-existent on the garments I’ve made using my block.   They appear only when I start with a pattern and copy my shoulder slope to the pattern instead of starting with my block and copying details from the pattern to the block.  I’m really glad for this lovely, busy print which will disguise the swags from the cursory glance. To be honest, I’m not sure this is a fabric issue, which it could be, or that I didn’t do something, make some kind of adjustment that should have been made.

I have to admit this is more of an Inspired by than real Otto draft. Even the peplums had to be altered after tracing.  Despite problems noted above, I love my blouse. It makes me feel feminine. I did think this would be a one-and-done. It’s rather distinctive and multiples would be noticed. I used cheap tracing paper instead of my good paper felt (Aisle Runner purchased at Hobby Lobby). But I’ve kept the pieces. I can see at least one more version for summer and maybe another version with a button front opening. There could be more copies in my future.





2/2016 #16

I like the looks of Peplum Wrap Blouse. Meant to make it earlier in the year.   It gives me a very feminine vibe. I’ve decided to use a navy,  cotton, floral-print fabric. That cotton might have some poly in it.  The fabric presses beautifully-(cotton) and resists wrinkles (polyester). I’m not going to give it a burn test. Confirming my assumption would make no difference in my sewing choices. However I do have a problem because it has no stretch whereas the #16 2/2016 pattern suggests fabrics with 10% stretch. I know from experience that 10% isn’t much during wear.  It’s just enough the fabric will recover from a deep breath or mild physical movement (i.e. don’t expect it to perform well at the gym but you’ll look great lunchin’ with the ladies..)

Looking at both the schematic and models,


I think this is my basic block with a few changes.It has a center back seam. Front is cut on a fold. The bodice is separated around the waist, I think maybe just above. The front has a V neckline. The  back neckline is not shown on the models. I’m guessing from the schematic that it is scooped a little and until just now I didn’t see that the back darts had been moved to the neckline.  The blouse bottom is formed into peplums. The has a little flouncing has been added to the peplums and  front forms an overlap. The hems are mitered at CF.   The sleeve appears to standard 3/4″ length.

After that evaluation, I decided not to trace all the pattern pieces.  I rarely trace facings (pieces 6 and 7) because after I make my fitting changes, facings have to be redrafted. Since this pattern appears to be a basic block, I opted not to trace pieces 1, 2 or 3 either. Instead I quickly cut copies of my basic block which is  drafted for woven -non-stretch fabrics. That eliminates my first worry (voiced in Para 1) of choosing a non-stretch fabric when the pattern suggests 10% stretch. Copying my block also eliminates all the fitting issues. It already has my shoulder slope; my front length, my back waist length; and all the circumference I like to wear. I did copy pieces 4 and 5 the peplums.  They are 7″ deep including the 1″ hem.  I added 1/4″ SA to the hems (I prefer a 1.25″ hem); 1/4″ SA to the top of the Peplum and 1/2″ to the side seams. After tracing the peplums I drew a stitching line 7″  above my block’s  hem edge and a cutting line 1/4″ below that. Slashed and trashed the tissue below the cutting line.    After walking the stitching lines of block to peplum, I increased the peplums length  3.5″. That’s a lot. More even then the biggest pattern size Otto included. OK part of that is the difference between stretch and non-stretch fabrics  but that’s still a lot more circumference than the largest size of the original pattern.

My sleeve block already has my 3 favorite lengths marked on it. So when I cut a copy of it, I folded up at the 3/4 length line and added  1.25″ for my standard hem depth.

For necklines, I eyeballed the pattern pieces and opted for a 1″ deeper back and 6″ deep from V both options I change when cutting fabric.

The problem with all my assumptions is that I may miss subtle drafting choices. They may have drafted the back neckline 3/4″ deep and the front 5″.  That change I’m OK with as I’m using favorites which became favorites because they look good on me. It’s quite possible that at the first fitting, I would change whatever they drafted to my favorites. I’m not so confident about just slashing off the amount of the peplum from the bottom of my block. I may have significantly disrupted proportions. These kind of things are why  I would prefer to trace  the original  and apply a standard number of changes. That way I would know I have only changed the pattern for fit and all the choices the designer made  –which gives their creation its unique character and appeal — would still be intact. There’s a strong possibility that with my choice to start with my block and make minor changes, that I’m really sewing a different design which is not what I wanted.

Let’s take a look.  The Schematic


Pics of my finished pattern pieces

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