1950s Collar Confection Blouse by Decades of Style:
From the pattern envelope, "The collar on this vintage blouse pattern is as close to perfection as you can get! This is one of those patterns that will fit perfectly with a business suit or a pair of jeans. The blouse has cap sleeves with petal shaping at the shoulder edge. There are tucks in the front and darts at the back waist and shoulder to provide shaping. Draped collar and button closure. Light to medium weight fabric recommended. Make sure your fabric has a soft hand or the collar will not drape effectively. Voile, georgette, linen, rayon, silk or cotton."
I love the overall design of this pattern, and I love the concept of a basic blouse with a defining collar feature that makes it unique. If fit to perfection, this blouse could be made again and again as a wardrobe staple good for work or casual.
This is a first try muslin exemplifying the fit adjustments I made in a tissue fitting. I made no changed to the back of the pattern, except a tiny sway back adjustment. I made several key changes to the front, the most important of which was a full bust adjustment of a whopping 5" inches. I used the Palmer Pletsch y-dart FBA method. I added a side dart and moved some of the adjustment into the tucks at the waist. Because I also have a very thick middle, I also did a wide waist adjustment.
However, I am still having fit trouble. Observe below.
This version is my "(not really) wearable muslin" made of a cotton polyester blend bed sheet, thrifted for less than $2. I like the print, it reminds me of a feminine Hawaiian shirt. However the fabric is stiff, much stiffer than I expected. I think the firm drape is inhibiting some of the design features of the pattern.
Major fit issues include 1) excess fabric above the armpit and bust area 2) too high collar, 3) misplaced side dart and misplaced waist darts, and 4) trouble with the facings. Any advice?
1) I dislike the fit in the upper chest. There is just too much fabric gaping and poofing in my upper bust region. I speculate the length of the bodice in this area could be taken up at the shoulder. I also apparently have what is known as a "hollow chest" that accentuates the excess fabric. Everything seems to lay smoother if I pinch out a horizontal tuck about 1" deep at my upper bust, which means I should likely do this to the pattern. But I am unclear what effect this might have on the fit at the armhole. Any advice on altering this fit is welcome.
2) The neckline on my finished blouse is quite a bit higher and smaller than the pattern illustration's neckline. The lowest, widest part of the neckline does not span across my chest or dip as low as it does on the lovely, tiny model illustrated on the cover. Upon further inspection, I see this is because the neckline and collar pieces are not graded with the size of the pattern. Width and length change, but the collar is the same depth and width in a 30" bust as a 46" bust. This means that the larger the size, the more conservative the neckline looks.
3) All darts and tucks are in wonky positions in the fabric version (but I swear they all lined up in the tissue fitting!). The FBA side dart is sitting too low. The fabric seems to want to be gathered above the armpit, from within the armhole area, but the dart originates from the side of the pattern and sit low against my bust. I think it needs moved or replaced. Also, I realize now that the front waist tucks are not graded with the size of the blouse (just like the collar), meaning as you go up in size, they (may) shift out of alignment with the bust. Next time I plan to wait to sew the bust darts until I have pieced together much of the blouse, so I can adjust and reposition to match my bust apex and figure.
4) On this version, I resorted to using bias binding to finish the arms instead of the facings, as I struggled to get the facings to lay as they should. After ripping out the facings twice, and knowing this was only a muslin, I finally opted for the easy finish. The technique worked well. Does anyone see a problem with using bias binding to face rather than full facings?
Problem area: Upper bust/armpit excess. What do you think I should do?
I am accepting any and all advice. Thanks!