Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Come on Summer

Because I want to wear my new blouse!

I have my aunt's settlement tomorrow, so I'm going to be lazy and lift my pattern review over here, even though some of it has been said before. (It's okay, some hasn't).

Pattern Description: Simple, versatile blouse perfect for creative embellishment, with deep tucks at the front and back waist for a loose but curvy shape great for tucking in. Version 1 closes with snaps, making it the easiest to sew. Version 2 has neckline tucks and buttons up the back. Version 3 has a keyhole neckline with tie closure and buttons up the back. I made version 3.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 0 - 18. I made a 6. Colette Patterns sizing is pretty reality-based - bust size ranges from 33" to 46". The size 6 I made is 36-28-38, which is pretty accurate for me.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Very much so.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Aside from coming in an adorable little booklet instead of the standard folded sheets or BWOF's cryptic instructions, these were stellar. This pattern is rated beginner and I can't imagine a beginner who would have a problem. There are 3 versions of the blouse in the pattern, and EACH version has its own instructions, no hopscotching back and forth, "see version 1, paragraph 3, then go to version 3, paragraph 5." Each one is complete in itself, and even as an experienced sewer, I appreciated that. The drawings are well done and very clear, and the pattern drafting is good - everything fit together cleanly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I've been wanting to try Colette Patterns for a while - I saw some really nice things made up from the first series, but although I liked them, the dresses really didn't feel like me. Now separates are always me, and when I saw the Sencha blouse, I jumped. The first few versions I saw were from silky fabric, but I decided to start in a cotton and work outward. I like the 3 variations, they're all useful in their own way, and it's nice to have something to put under all the jackets I make.

Fabric Used: Fabric with a story, my favorite kind! The striped cotton I used is from the 1960s - it's a Souleido curtain gifted to me by a co-worker. Her father passed away recently and she's cleaning out his house, and she brought this in to me a few weeks ago, very apologetic because it was faded and dusty, but she knew that I sewed and she thought the colors would be something I might be able to use. She's in her late 50s now, and she said it was in her parents' sunroom when she was in college.

I liked it right off, though I didn't expect to use it so soon. But since we're still in the Winter That Will Not End, I'm compelled to make summer clothes. And when I decided to make a muslin of the Sencha blouse, this is what I reached for. I showed her a picture of it today and she teared up - and then sent the picture to her brother, to ask if he remembered the curtains.

The buttons on the back are from a local sidewalk sale, and they're NOT as yellow as they photograph, they're more of a Velveeta cheese orangey color. It works in regular light.

The fabric recommendations are: lightweight fabrics such as silk or rayon crepe, silk charmeuse, silk habotai, jacquard. Medium weight fabrics such as cotton poplin or light twill.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I traced this in a straight 6 and did everything as instructed, just to try it out. I deviated only in one place - the instructions have you interface the front and back facings, but not the center back where the buttons and buttonholes will be. I decided that especially with the huge buttons I had chosen, not to interface that area would be a dire mistake, and unless you're using a very lightweight fabric, I would recommend interfacing along the back fold line for most fabrics.

Because my fabric was a bit heavier than recommended, I'm not going to tie the ties. I tried it and they make for a lumpy bow. I like the hanging ties anyway - I cut them cross-grain so the stries would go in the opposite direction of the rest of the top.

The instructions also recommend hand-hemming the sleeves and the hem, and under-stitching the facings to keep them flat. For a delicate fabric, that would definitely be the way to go, but since this was (a) a muslin and (b) a casual summer top, I went ahead and topstitched in red. I think it looks happy.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'll definitely make this again, maybe Version 2 with the tucks at the neckline. That has possibilities . . . I would recommend it - even for a more advanced sewer, it's a good basic shape that can be changed up depending on your fabric choice.

Conclusion: Definitely a winner in my book. Colette Patterns have a good vintage/retro vibe to them, without trying to be accurately vintage or costumey as some retro patterns can be. This feels like a best-of-both.


Linda L said...

I just ordered this pattern and waiting for it to arrive. Every version of this blouse I have seen made by others has been an inspiration. Love the use of stripes that you made. Lovely blouse.

Lisette M said...

I really, really love your version. The buttons are just perfect!

Nancy K said...

Gertie has made several of these blouses and the vibe is just too retro for me, but yours is much more modern to my eyes and I definitely see possibilities here. Maybe it's the choice of fabric, but I really like it. Great blouse

Cennetta said...

You have gotten off to a nice start with this lovely blouse.

Hmm.., I've to check out her patterns. Sounds very promising.

Little Hunting Creek said...

So pretty! I just ordered this pattern for my birthday and now I'm trying to decide what fabric I have is worthy of being made first.
I love those colors and the stripes look very summery

Salinda said...

I really, really like this top! The stripes are so cute!

Rose said...

Great blouse!

lsaspacey said...

Great job! This also makes me more interested in that pattern. I don't have a fondness for silky tops; especially NOT if I have to make them, so seeing this in a cotton really appeals to me. Thanks for posting.

Meg said...

Very cute take on this pattern!

Andrea said...

I've been checking out this pattern. Yours is adorable. I really like the colors. It will be great for Spring.

gwensews said...

That's a terrific blouse. Love the stripes and the color.

Linda T said...

Lovely blouse!