30 June 2006 - 11:52 AM
Have been doodling around with ideas for that blouse that caught my eye the other day. Being lazy, I'd like to start with a pattern rather than creating one from scratch, but that involves finding something cut more or less like a potato sack. There are fewer and fewer such patterns out there (which is, in the main a good thing, though inconvenient for this project). However, browsing around I find Butterick 3523, which may just do the trick. Current preference is for the bracelet length sleeves; I can't stand loose sleeves flopping around my wrists and I don't think the short sleeves will have the right look.
I will likely open up the neckline a bit, perhaps make it more scooped. It seems counterintuitive, but close, modest little necklines have a tendency to emphasise my ample bosom. I have some photos taken when Maman and I were in Scotland for my graduation from St Andrews, and I was wearing some nice little silk t-shirts she'd given me. Except that the effect was of my tiny pinhead resting atop vast acreage of boobs. Contrariwise, the blouse I'd picked out for the actual ceremony had a portrait neckline and (even in photographs) looked fine. I vowed never to wear anything with a small round neckline again. I suspect the v-neck on this pattern may also be a bit on the small side.
The length will hacked back to hip length, and the side vents eliminated or at least much reduced. I am short and short-waisted, so longer things which draw the eye in an uninterrupted vertical line are good, but fingertip length is too long. I should probably cut to full length and shorten *after* smocking is done, else I will get something too short. I am thinking that the honeycomb effect might be most easily achieved by making vertical pintucks at 1-1.5 inch intervals around waist area, then tacking them together in a honeycomb pattern. The other option would be to follow something like the method described in American Dressmaking Step by Step by Mme. Lydia Trattles Coates(1917) which still involves tucks, but less permanent ones. I need to test these out on scrap fabric before cutting into my precious silk, obviously.
To finish, narrow hems, perhaps with some drawn-work faggoting, just for detail. Tiny pearl buttons, more than shown on the pattern. (It is a perennial complaint of mine that store-bought blouses skimp on the buttons, and therefore gap and misbehave. If the demmed buttons were small enough and spaced 1" apart, rather than the size of nickels and spaced 3" apart, it would make all the difference).