Sunday, February 27, 2011

Butterick 4985- Sewing for Spring

This week I finished up my first official spring project, Butterick 4985, view C (the plain white version shown below.) I used a watercolor pansy print cotton that I purchased 6 or 7 years ago at Hobby Lobby. I had just two yards of fabric, and I was able to just barely squeeze this pattern out of it. There were hardly any scraps left at all.

I made this blouse once before and I wasn't very happy with it. I was just learning how to do an FBA and I made the top portion too big, and the bottom of the blouse not quite big enough. I wore it one time and then tossed it into the back of the closet. But over the years, I've thought about this pattern from time to time and I've always wanted to give it another go and make it work.
I think I got pretty close this time.

The first time I made this, I used a straight size 16 with a standard 1" FBA which added width as well as length to the bust. I really don't need width, though. The finished pattern has plenty of circumference. I just need extra length. So this time I did an FBA which added length only. I slashed a horizontal line from the side seam line to the center front, right through the bust point. The I slashed straight up from the lower edge to the bust point, leaving a hinge. I spread the pattern 1" (red lines) and let the lower slash open up (blue lines.) The extra width at the lower edge was easily absorbed into the underbust gathers.

I got a nice fit in the upper bodice without the blousiness that I got through the bust in the first version.
I also added 1" of length at the waist this time. The first time I made this it was too short. This version is much better. Of course I had to add 2" of length to the front facing- 1" at the bust line and 1" at the waist, to compensate for my pattern adjustments. I also tapered in to a 14 at the shoulder/neckline. The 16 is usually too wide for me at the shoulder and the first version of this blouse was literally falling off of my shoulders. Not a good look. And to give myself a little breathing room, I tapered out to an 18 from waist to hip.
The back could probably use a sway back adjustment, but it's really not bad and no one would ever notice but me.

To compensate for my large upper arms, I added 1.25" of width to the armbands, and to make sure the gathered sleeve didn't turn out too skimpy, I added 2" of width to the bottom of the sleeve:

The sleeves turned out just right.
Overall, I think the blouse turned out fine, but I'm still just not in love with it like I thought I would be. I think the neckband is too skimpy (narrow.) Maybe adding the collar to it would help, but I didn't have enough fabric to cut the collar on this version. I'm also having problems getting the neckband/ front edge to lay nicely. No matter how much I press it or tug it into place, one side always seems to droop, giving the impression that I sewed it crooked or something. In the photo below, you can see how the right side seems to collapse against my chest:

I'm not sure what's causing that- I used a nice beefy cotton and interfaced the front facings. It bothers me, though.
I don't think I'll make this version again, however, I might give the flutter sleeve tie-neck version a go. I'd use a softer fabric with lots of drape to allow those sleeves to really flutter. And maybe the neck ties would help alleviate that droopy neckband issue.

In the meantime, I'm about to embark on a new knit dress project, and the Princess needs some new things for spring, too.

Happy sewing!


Venus de Hilo said...

Lovely blouse! You've achieved a nice fit.

I have this pattern in my stash, and my first attempt (quite a while ago) was, er, let's call it a "learning experience" that highlighted where out-of-the envelope doesn't fit. I always thought the pattern had potential, and you've reminded me to try it again, now that time has passed and I know more about what adjustments will need to be made. Your FBA method looks especially helpful. Thanks for posting this!

Ruth said...

The blouse is lovely. It looks to me like you got a perfect fit. Sorry about the droopy neckband.

Maria (viola33) said...

Very nice pattern, and I like the print on fabric, pansy. The blouse looks lovely on you.

sewing spots said...

This is lovely on you!

gwensews said...

That's very pretty, so springy! Looks like a perfect fit.

Karin said...

It's a really cute blouse- just the thing for Spring, too! I don't really notice the droop. Maybe after a few washes it will disappear?

Audrey said...

What a pretty blouse, and the fit is excellent!

Vanessa said...

This is a nice blouse! I hope you will wear this one more than the one you made years ago, it is pretty!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love the print you've chosen here! I made this pattern twice and didn't love either of them. But I haven't gotten rid of it either so I guess I still have hope for it.