First, let me acknowledge the few good things about this blouse I sewed this week, before I get into the shoulda, coulda, wouldas.
The fabric was a gift from Sonja of Gingermakes, who apparently knows my colors better than I do. I don't think I would ever have chosen this light brown chambray for myself, but it actually looks really nice with my hair, skintone and eyecolor.
I used Pattern Runway's Pussy Bow Blouse pattern, which I altered to accommodate my wide hips. I also added pockets (self-drafted), and constructed the center front slightly differently (folding it over instead of under to create a faux placket with topstitching in the men's shirt style). I think both of those details worked really well. I omitted the bow:
I think it's a fairly lovely (if slightly boring) well-made basic blouse that fits me properly through the shoulders, bust AND hips — not something I could accomplish in any ready-to-wear blouse.
But then, my friends, there's the back:
Here's where I should let helpful reader Phyllis weigh in with an "I told you so." Here was her sage advice upon seeing the alteration I made on the Pussy Bow Blouse pattern — which was perfect when sewing with a drapey silk, but not-quite-right in a heavier weight shirting like this chambray:
"The alteration you did for your chiffon blouse was perfect for that fabric, but notice there was also extra ease added all the way from the bust to the hip - and while it worked for a drapey chiffon it would not be optimal for a crisp shirting fabric for example. Different fabrics require different alteration methods depending hand of the fabric."
Recall what it was I did, slashing and spreading to add ease to the hip (on both the front and back pattern pieces:
Here was Phyllis's very helpful illustration, which she emailed to me (how lovely that she actually cut out a miniature bodice pattern piece, and then slashed and spread it to make her suggestion so super clear!):
See how Phyllis' alteration slashes the pattern piece at the waist, and then spreads only below that point? So that ease is not added all the way up to the shoulder like in my alteration? Yeah, that would have been smart to do. I made my choice (the lazy route), but I can live with it. Perhaps I can add some after-the-fact darts in the back for a better silhouette:
I should definitely sew another variation of this blouse, using Phyllis' method to see how much better it would look. That would be scientific, wouldn't it?
What about you? Did you take any shortcuts this weekend? Will you live to regret them? Me, I hate looking back. Onward!