You can’t judge this book by its cover. I would not have purchased this pattern based upon the pattern envelope.
But I have taken a short workshop with Connie Crawford and have many of her text books. I know that she knows her stuff, I’ve seen her patterns made up and how they flatter larger women. And I know she is an excellent pattern maker so I took a chance that this might be the blouse I’ve been looking for and made up the large in the Miss sizing range.
I have done an in-depth review of it at PatternReview.com because it is a sweet blouse pattern, well drafted and graded and very relaxing to sew up. There were some problems with the instructions but I hope I have provided the fixes for them in my review (link supplied above).
I made View A darts from the shoulder with the long sleeves from View B. I used a well aged silk crepe de chine from the stash.
The illustrations show a small collar, especially in the Version B drawing. Not true! It’s a nice normal collar and the one pattern piece is used for both versions of the blouse.
And those long darts over the bust? They actually release about 1.5″ above the second button. I’ve marked up the stitched lines so you can see them more clearly.
The collar has a very nice shape to it. It curves up over the shoulder and is nicely rounded in the back but the illustration shows it to be a straight, unshaped collar.
The seam allowances are 3/8″ used for the neckline, collar, center front and cuffs. Smart! It makes these pieces easier to join and to turn. The side seams and sleeves joining seams are the ubiquitous 5/8″ allowances.
There are no fancy methods in this pattern’s instructions. You hand stitch the inside of the collar band and the cuffs. Except for the problems above, it’s a great pattern to use for your first blouse, no fancy “burrito” methods, etc. I just relaxed and sewed, slowly. The kind of simple sewing that was so needed after struggling through a kimono made without pattern pieces.
I love the fit. Next time I make this blouse or a variation of it I will slant the shoulder seam down slightly and give the shoulder line an ever-so-slight concave curve.
The sleeves are the perfect length for me without shortening them. The shoulders sit perfectly, the length of the shoulder seam ends right at my shoulder point. I can reach forward comfortably. It’s just perfect. It put it on and I get happy.
The four darts do not release a lot of extra fabric fullness over the bust
The button placement is interesting, too. The first button down the front is 1 1/4″ from the collar band so that it can be buttoned with a nice and modest spread to the collar.
The second and third buttons are 3 1/4″ apart so that the third is exactly placed horizontally between the bust points, preventing the dreaded gaposious. The rest of the buttons down the front are 3 9/16″ apart and end 2″ above the hemline so that the blouse can be worn untucked and neat. Next time I might make it a bit longer.
Under that awful illustration is a very well graded and well drafted classic that provides a lovely alternative to side or waist darts.