Work in Progress: Floral Wool Blouse1/14/2016
I am working with a beautiful floral wool that reminds me of Ukrainian and Russian floral head scarves, or Frida Kahlo, my style crush. It will become a 7/8 sleeve blouse with pleated neckline and a slightly drop-off shoulder.
The original pattern is from Burdastyle magazine 05-2015, #116. I made a few changes to it by eliminating the hemband (not sure the term is correct) and the pleats at the hem, as well as the center back seam, which, I think, may have been added to make finishing of the neckline easier. This center back seam would be an eye sore on this floral print - so away with it! Finally, the original blouse has a zipper in the side seam and I don't see the need of adding any closure for this wide style.
Progress so far
The muslin is done: it is a relatively simple blouse and hardly any changes were needed. The drop-off shoulder was unexpected - you can hardly see it on the image or the technical drawing - but I liked the easy and relaxed look and so I leave it as is. Generally, I often have to shorten the shoulder length on Burdastyle patterns because of my narrow shoulders, but with this style I'd like to believe that it was intentional.
As usual I cannot resist using couture sewing techniques - I am not in a rush after all. There are a few decisions to be made, and I still haven’t made up my mind on some of those.
The wool I am working with is quite lightweight and somewhat transparent. French seams are an option, but I actually prefer more drapey and less bulky hand overcasting.
My choice of the bias bound neckline makes things more complicated because of the V-neck in the back. In addition, I could not find any perfect tutorials in my couture resources. Facing is an option because I could cross over the bias strips at the V-point and then conceal the ends on the wrong side under the facing. However, adding facing would also add two more layers of wool at the neckline – more bulk... There is a Banded V-Neck on Woven Fabric tutorial in Lynda Maynard's Couture Sewing Techniques; with some adjustments I could use it to finish the neckline.
This one is straightforward, and I will use a technique described in Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing Techniques. I will try to write a quick tutorial on this if I am happy with the result.
Plain hem is my preferred choice. It is made by folding and stitching the hem allowance to the wrong side of the garment. I think it will work best with this garment style, since it has hardly any flare, producing a flatter and drapier hem finish than a narrow hem.