Monday, 24 March 2014

Long Awaited Portrait

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.

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