Today I bring you the long overdue reveal of my portrait blouse. This is the first pattern I attempted from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, and I've mentioned my trails with it briefly before.
|The Portrait Blouse.|
I made at least 2 muslins, and am fairly sure, though have no evidence, that there was a third in there somewhere as well. Admittedly my fitting process was not particularly methodical, however, by the final muslin I was fairly happy with it.
To the left is the version that Gertie recently posted to her blog, made from a stable knit, which is likely the best comparison to what mine should look like. You can read more about it here. I also used a fairly stable knit. It has some stretch to it, but hangs and feels much like a cotton. During fitting I lost the cap sleeves. This was, I'll admit, accidental. I did a narrow shoulder adjustment while fitting, because the shoulders seemed broad and I was getting pull lines. However, I think that these are just part of the style, not necessarily a fitting issue. In any case, by the time I moved into my fashion fabric I was happy with the muslin.
I'm not entirely sure what changed, but I'm significantly less happy with the final version. The biggest flaw I think is that no matter which I do, the bust darts stand out and make an unattractive point. They also aim to a point far higher than my bust point. It doesn't seem particularly noticeable in the picture, however, it is one of those flaws that can be all I notice. Luckily, it isn't a complete scrap, as I can still wear it layered under other things, such as the cardigan in the first image (which I don't really like as I think it hides my waist, but will keep wearing until I replace it with something nicer).
The other flaw in the top is that I didn't do a narrow hem, as instructed. Instead, I used some narrow twill tape as hem tape. And while it looks nice, and would have worked perfectly on a slightly heavier fabric, here it just turns the hem out a little bit, making a tiny ruffle. Luckily, I usually wear it tucked in, and when I wear it out over jeans the ruffle is almost completely unnoticeable.
Conclusion: I'd like to try this again, with a lighter fabric (like a crepe), before passing final judgement. I''m not sure if my issues with the pattern are completely from my haphazard fitting methods, or not, but I do think at least a few of my issues are from the pattern. I'll discuss that a little more when I post my full review of the book.