Sunday, September 08, 2013

FO: 1960's Painterly Camouflage Blouse

I hadn't been near my sewing machine since The Girl went back to London.
It has been unseasonably sunny up here and I almost started to believe it would stay that way. But there are 40 acres of ripe barley surrounding the farmhouse, filling the air with a toast-like smell: slightly nutty and warm, a sign that harvest-time and autumn are coming fast.
Time for some longer sleeves.
This blouse is a mix-up of two Simplicity patterns from the 1960's: 4482 and 6238.
I have used 6238 twice before, for my Raindrops on Roses shell top, and my Innocent Crush voile blouse. The dart placement is so uncannily "me" that I thought I could use the body shape of this pattern with the wonderfully "Audrey-eque" neckline of 4482 to create my perfect 1960's pattern.
I hadn't reckoned on the radically different cut of 4482.
You can't really tell from the envelope drawings, but the shoulders of 4482 are much squarer and are drafted almost straight across, while 6238 has a gentle downward slope from neck to shoulder.
When I laid one pattern on top of the other, they had very little in common. Even the bust darts were in an entirely different place.
I decided to keep the shoulder shaping and back-neck darts from 6238, but drop the neckline to the level of 4482, blending the two together at the mid-shoulder point.
It almost worked!
However, I have the beginnings of a funnel-neck shape at the back and you can see from the photos that the cut emphasises my asymmetrical shoulders: one is higher than the other, and as a result this neckline slides off to one side. Sigh.
Simplicity 6238 in size 12 (32) with the neckline from Simplicity 4482 (size 14).
1.5 metres of Edges Dash in green by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller, from Fabric RehabYes, it is quilting cotton.  Ooh - they have it in teal and terracotta now too!
One gold invisible zip  at centre back (which you can't see - woo hoo!) and a tiny hook and eye at the very top to help control the funnel-neck issue.

Cutting the pattern out was the hardest part.  I was super-stingy in my fabric-buying and it was a real squeeze to get long sleeves and a scarf out of this yardage.  To be honest, the fabric is a bit too stiff for the scarf.  I can't imagine me wearing it very often.
The invisible zip behaved itself:  my best effort so far!  But it is not the most comfortable thing ever to have the business side of a zip next to your skin.  Maybe it needs some sort of under-placket...?
Otherwise, nothing of interest to report about the construction.

I had great hopes for this project.
I thought it would turn out like Toast's Brushstroke Top.
But of course that one is made from "soft, fluid viscose".  Schoolgirl error!
When will I learn that quilting cotton is great for skirts but dangerously stiff for tops?
I was seduced by the print.  Tsk.

However... I like its silhouette worn with a long jersey skirt.
It would look good with narrow trousers too - a pattern like the Charley Tux Pants from Named?  Though I might start straying into 1980's-style territory if I kept the head-band!
It will be worn.  Maybe not as often as I had hoped, but it's not a write-off.
I like the colour and the print.
I like the sleeves, which are darted at the elbows, by the way.
In summary:  it's a wearable muslin.


beate grigutsch said...

oh roo - this blouse is very chic!
color and cut suits you perfect and the fabric gets softer with every wash.

would like to see this in combination with a "colored" bottom :-)

Sarahel said...

No wonder you were seduced by the print, it's gorgeous. And the style is great. 'Chic' is exactly right.

seamedstraightforward said...

You are too harsh a critic, your top is stunning! Really, it is.

Donna Hensley said...

I think it looks very sophisticated, esp. how you paired it w/ that skirt. :)

sewingslowly said...

I really like it. Hopefully a couple of washes and some time in the closet will send it up in your estimation too.

sewstyled said...

Love the print and all those shades of green. I like when pattern add shaping to the sleeve by way of a dart or easing at the elbow.

Gail said...

I love this color on you, and I can see why you were seduced by this fabric. Fantastic print! And, weren't funnel necks a "thing" in the '60s? I've been seeing them on a lot of tops in the 1964 Dr. Who programs I've been rewatching.

Ugh - I have asymmetrical shoulders too - they drive me crazy!

MaryinTN said...

I like it paired with the skirt! The funnel neck adds interest. Luv the print on the fabric too. Awesome!

opportunityknits said...

The print is seductive indeed! The top looks really good to me and I kind of like the funnel neckline.

Emma said...

You look fantastic. That is a fabulous colour and shape on you. Love the necklace and earrings against that green too.
You know the cotton will soften with washing. The more you wear it, the more you will love it.

Giselle said...

The top looks lovely! I love the notes you wrote up about it, that's wonderfully useful. A really interesting thing combining two patterns, I will do something like this too, one day...!
Thanks so much.

LinB said...

The silhouette is great on you, the color does amazing things for your hair and face. I think that a simple tweak of the shoulder seam, nipped in at the neck edge and blended out to the shoulder, would solve your funnel problem. Tedious and dreary to unpick the facing, stitch and then re-do the facing? Yes. But it takes less time than sewing a new blouse from scratch, and will make a marked improvement in how you feel about the garment. (I am guilty of using quilting cottons for garments my ownself. The colors! The patterns! The natural fiber! The huge bags of quilting scraps from other women's stashes, gifted to me because they could not bear to throw them away!)

Lynne said...

What a great top, I LOVE the colour and the print.

Helen said...

When I first saw this, I thought it looked like a Toast-type blouse! So, at least your inspiration is recognisable! I love it. It doesn't look too stiff at all, and works well with your skirt (and would do with slim trousers like you say).

Why is it that the perfect prints are always on the wrong fabric type? And nearly always on quilting fabric! Why!?

Marie said...

This is lovely on you, especially that last shot of you with the slinky jersey skirt too!

acharmofmagpies said...

No wonder that fabric seduced you, the colour is amazing on you. It's a great silhouette too, I hope you solve the fitting issues for the next iteration!