2014 Fitted Blouse Contest – Progress (Barely)

Hello out there!

I’m pleased to have started working on my fitted blouse for Pattern Review’s contest, but I’m afraid I will not make the deadline for this one after all. 😦 I just have not had the time to get much done, and haven’t even gotten my muslin finished. I’m really disappointed, guys; I wanted so badly to participate in this contest, just for the thrill of finishing something. Ugh.

Here’s where things stand:




Side view

First off, my apologies for once again wearing a t-shirt that’s the same color as unbleached muslin for these photos. You’d think I’d remember that, right?? As you can see, I’ve only got the very basic first steps done on this so far, and I’m missing a back piece. I also sewed the first back piece to the front inside-out, hence the crazy shoulder seam that’s visible above. My first impressions fit-wise are that my adjustments worked out okay, but it will be easier to know for sure once I get that second back piece darted and attached. I’m toying with the idea of making the tucks in the front go up a bit higher to lose some of the volume, but I won’t do anything there until I get the back finished and see how buttoning it impacts the fit.

I’ve abandoned the detachable collar idea for now, since this pattern is WAY harder than I imagined. The back pieces include facings already (with a line showing you where to fold and sew), and the neckline is finished with a bias facing in conjunction with the back facings. So at this point, until I figure out how to properly sew those facings, I’m not thinking about taking that collar on and off!! The first thing I ever tried to sew was a different 1940’s blouse with the same type of setup: facings were drafted as part of the bodice pieces, specifically near the placket where the shirt buttoned. I was able to figure that out after LOTS of reading and studying the instructions and diagrams and by thinking it through very thoroughly before trying it; naturally, I threw that project out because it was made out of scrap fabric that I hated and would never have worn, and I’m kicking myself for it now! I think what I need to do is spend a lot of quality time with this project, which hasn’t been possible as yet.

Guys, I’m seriously bummed about this. It seemed impossible NOT to finish, since I had an entire month. But between life being insane and this pattern being more difficult that I had anticipated, I just cannot get there. But I’ll be plugging away on it, and my goal is to finish it before the end of next month. That probably sounds ridiculous–it IS 5 or 6 weeks, after all–but with everything that’s going on, it’s pretty reasonable. In the meantime, I’ll be eagerly keeping up with my blog roll to see what all of you are sewing or wearing, and how you’re all doing.

PS: Just for fun, here’s an 8-bit avatar of yours truly! It was created by the singer of our band for our upcoming EP release show (this Friday–OMG!!) in keeping with the 8-bit theme of our original artwork. It’s fun!


Fitted Blouse Contest – Getting Started

Hello again!

I’ve been working on my Pattern Review Fitted Blouse Contest project whenever I can, and I’ve got a few photos to share. (Here is a link to the discussion thread for this contest if you’re interested–I’m so excited about it!) I’m glad we have the entire month to do this, because I already feel so far behind; my muslin isn’t even finished yet! 

Here is my pattern and fabric for this contest–isn’t it pretty?? 🙂


Except for the thread, this is a stash-busting project–yay!

And just what the hell am I planning to do with these awesome materials, you ask? Behold:


Vintage Simplicity 2343. I’m going for the version on the far right.

I’m really excited about this project. I love this pattern so much, and it fills a need in my wardrobe. I’ve envisioned this piece since buying the fabric, so I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening after all these months! And because I can’t just do something and have it be straightforward, I’ve decided to do my best to make the collar detachable. I bought an AMAZING vintage beaded collar at the shop that matches this shirt perfectly (and of course I forgot to photograph it–sorry, guys!) and I want to be able to swap it for the original rather than just lay it over top and hope it doesn’t slip around. We’ll see how I do! My plan at this point is to utilize snaps.

As I mentioned above, I’ve got my muslin started. I traced this one, because I know it won’t fit right out of the envelope based on my experience with my last fitted vintage blouse. My Fall for Cotton project was my size (bust-wise, anyway), and I still felt like I could have made a few adjustments to the fit in a few places; this pattern is a size bigger, so I know I will swim in it if I don’t start out with some changes. Step 1: remove 1/2″ width from each seam line. Step 2: sew that shit together and see if it helped. Step 3: figure out how to adjust the sleeve pieces to fit into the no-longer-matching armholes. I screwed up the cutting of the muslin already, by not cutting the front on a fold. I’ll fix it, I promise! 🙂 

I’ve been a little mystified by the darts on this blouse. Have any of you ever seen these before??


Weird-ass darts

Here’s how they look pinned in place (I think?):


It looks right, and yet it doesn’t. O_o

If any of you have helpful advice on sewing darts that look like this, please share in the comments–I’d love correction or reassurance, whichever is appropriate. Hopefully once I sew them, it will become clear to me whether or not they’re right!

What are all of you working on? Is anyone else out there entering this contest at Pattern Review?