Review: The Blouse
I like to think of myself as a pretty good sewer / sewist. I've made a lot of garments and know my way around a pattern. However, I found that I learnt a lot from The Avid Seamstress's tips and tricks. The booklet accompanying the pattern has non-patronising instructions and provides different techniques. For example, I have never block fused pieces before - block fusing is where you interface the fabric before cutting out a piece - but it made a lot of difference to the precision with which I cut out the colour. Normally I end up with collar pieces that aren't an exact match, but using a rotary cutter and the block fusing technique gave me a much more professional finish.
Another useful tip was to add a line of gathering stitches to the sleeves to ease them in. This was so much easier than adding millions of pins to ease sleeves in.
The fit was perfect. I made a size 10 and stuck to the recommended seam allowance of 1cm. This was a little fiddly. I'm used to a larger seam allowance and like to do a French seam but couldn't for The Blouse. If I was making it again (and I think I will - I love it) I would allow a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Working with the Atelier Brunette fabric was a dream. I used to sew with cotton fabric and my garments always looked a bit stiff and a bit homemade. It's lovely that things look homemade of course, but sometimes you want someone to say 'ooh where did you buy that?' to smugly answer that you made it yourself. Viscose has such a lovely drape that it feels a bit more fashionable. I don't think I'll go back to cotton and will investigate other eco viscose suppliers for Stitch and Stash.
I had a couple of mishaps. I always do. Firstly, I didn't pattern match the front bodice very well and thought this wouldn't matter, but my pattern repeat kind of stuttered across the placket, with a very close repeat of the blue and rust-coloured splodges. I decided to recut it and I'm really pleased I did as the result looks much better. I also misaligned my button holes slightly - completely my error - by lining the button foot against the outer edge of the fabric I ended up with them straight but not centred. This isn't too obvious.
One tiny criticism of the pattern - it wasn't always clear which line was for the size 10, as the cutting lines for the different sizes are small dash, larger dash or straight line and then these repeat for the next three sizes. So the larger dashes were for the size 10, the size 16 or the size 22. On the outer seams it was obvious where to cut, but around shaped areas such as the shoulders and arm holes it took a bit of figuring out.
So, I loved loved loved this pattern. The style, fit, instructions, tips, finish - all were fantastic. I would definitely make it again.