Pattern Review – HotPatterns Fit to be Tied Blouse

Pattern Description: (from the HotPatterns website) “You’re going to adore this stunningly stylish Shirt, designed for classic shirting fabrics like crisp linen, cotton poplin, lawn or silk twill, but just as glorious in crisp taffeta, single-ply Thai silk, silk dupioni or chambray denim.
Fitted Shirt has a shaped hem, slightly cut-in armholes, shoulder yoke, front button band and shirt collar with stand. Shirt back is pleated onto the yoke, and features shoulder princess seams. Shirt front is gathered onto the button band and has an optional tie. Long sleeves have an inverted pleat at the sleeve head, finishing with French cuffs-perfect for cufflinks!
How many ways to wear this fabulous shirt ? Team it with a sober Jacket and Pants or Skirt for a beautiful office look; wear it with your favorite evening Pants; or try it to dress up some artfully distressed vintage jeans”

Sizing: 6 to 26. I made a 10

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? So-so. This is billed as a pattern for intermdiate-level sewers, and that’s absolutely right. This is a great looking shirt, and if you know how to do shirt construction, you won’t have any problems. But if you are a relative newbie or less experienced sewer, you will definitely want to have a reference on shirt construction nearby.

Fabric Used: Tessuti Stretch Cotton Shirting in Brown:

Any changes? Not in the styling of the blouse, but I did construct it differently from the way they recommend. For one thing, Rather than leave the front button bands open at the bottom and then hemming them as you do the rest of the shirt hem, I sewed across the bottom of the band at the hemline, like you do with a facing, before sewing the band to the shirt fronts. I think it gives a cleaner look.

Likes/Dislikes: Love the style. I really love the raglan sleeves. They make for a very interesting design focal point. I also love the fact that, between the collar, the button band and the cuffs there are loads of opportunities to play with grain. We all know how much I love that!

One thing to note, and this isn’t a dislike, is that the instructions assume you already have a lot of construction knowledge. So they tell you to apply the cuffs and the collar, but they don’t take you step by step through the process, and the illustrations are more like schematics for some of the steps. It’s not insurmountable, and in fact, as I commented on Kathleen Fasanella’s site, I would rather have a chic pattern with no instructions than a dowdy one with flawless instructions. If you keep a good sewing reference nearby, you will do just fine. I recommend Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin. Another fabulous reference is Pam’s blog, Off the Cuff Style.

Construction Notes: There are a few things here that may help you. Since the gathering is the most prominent design feature of this pattern, I wasn’t going to fool around. I ran a double row of hand-basting stitches (each stitch was about 3/8 inch).
The instructions tell you to pull the basting stitches up so the notches on the front match up to those on the button band. If it makes it easier for you, the notches are 2 1/2 inches apart, so you can use a ruler to measure it.

The hand basting gives you control over the exact placement of the gathers, making for a better result. That’s really critical in this design, so I think it’s worth the extra five minutes total that it adds to your sewing time. Like I say, you’re worth it, don’t you think?

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I would definitely sew it again. This would be a real stunner in a 4 ply silk. I recommend it with the caveats above. You either need to know what you are doing or have a good reference nearby.

Conclusion: I really love this shirt. It’s a very cool look and on, it makes the girls look perky and the waist look tiny. There’s two great selling points right there! Here’s a picture on the dress form. It looks better on me. Also, I haven’t yet found the perfect buttons for it, but I will, and it will be fabulous!

Happy sewing!

About Gorgeous Things

I own an online fabric store, www.gorgeousfabrics.com. Everything else you need to know about me is what I tell you on my blog, darlings!
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