Friday, June 27, 2014

Josephine Blouse.

Josephine Blouse


I have so many amazing indie women's patterns on my hard drive, and I'm slowly working my way through them! This is Made by Rae's Josephine pattern, of course, sleeveless and blouse length, in a Kaufman lawn from the London Calling line that unfortunately camouflages the pintucks in the front!

Josephine Blouse


And you can't see the cute little slit at the neck, either, because it stayed closed for photos! Dang! You'll just have to believe me: it has a cute little notch at the center front.

Like all of the Made by Rae patterns I've tried (and I have tried many, although not all, of them!), the Josephine pattern is extremely clear and easy to follow, and the construction of this blouse is straightforward and basic. I like that Rae often includes a summary sheet of instructions so that you don't have to consult the more detailed photographic instructions on your second, third, or tenth sews. This top uses techniques that were already very familiar to me (pintucks and bias binding at neck and sleeves), so it was easy and fast to sew.

Fitting was a bit more of a challenge, however. On the plus side, Rae provides separate bodice pieces for small and larger bra cup sizes. No full-bust-adjustment required. YAY!

But on the down side, my final blouse was really shapeless and boxy. I took it in quite a bit on the sides, and it was still pretty shapeless. I wonder if I could go with a smaller size next time. One of the issues I face with fitting in general is that choosing pattern size by my bust measurement often leads to distorted results, because my bust measurement is somewhat out of proportion to my shoulder and back width. That said, the shoulders and upper back on this blouse are perfect. It was the area below the bust that was the issue.

So initially I had not planned to include the elastic casing on the back of the blouse (it's not called for on the sleeveless version), but I ended up adding it after I finished the rest of the construction because the blouse just really needed a little more shape.

Josephine blouse


I fiddled with the length of the back elastic a little bit. Too tight and the blouse pulled in too much and it was uncomfortable. Too loose and it didn't provide the needed shape. This is what I arrived at. The blouse still has a boxy fit, but it's much improved. This is after a day hunched over at my desk so the top is a bit crumpled, of course. Taking photos in the morning ain't happening.

Josephine Blouse

Paired with skinny ankle pants, the top has a boxy 60s vibe. I'm not sure that it's the most flattering shape on me (I look better in lower necklines, for one thing), but it is dressy enough for work, modest, and looks great under a jacket or cardigan. See what I mean? And the fabric is really pretty and was surprisingly affordable considering the quality.

Josephine Blouse


By the way, yes, I wear this jacket as often as I can get away with. It is a soft rayon, very drapey and comfortable, and it is the perfect thing for those "slightly too formal for a cardigan" but "not formal enough for a suit" meetings that, being a lawyer who never goes to court, seem make up 90% of my work engagements! I've had it forever and I love it and I refuse to acknowledge that it is starting to get completely worn out because I know I'll struggle to find a replacement, so specific is my need for something casual and hip but still attorney-like and respectable. I need to start sewing blazers!

In conclusion, I enjoyed sewing this pattern! And the final result is cute, albeit a bit boxy on me, even with an elastic casing in the back. Next time I make this pattern, I will use a softer, drapier fabric, and I am tempted to modify it with a tie-neck like Teri did here to add a little more interest to the neckline. How darling would that bow blouse look with a suit? Seriously! Alternately, I could lower the neckline to a deeper scoop quite easily, since it is faced with simple bias.

Josephine Blouse


Oops, who is this? Scantily-clad photo-bomber alert!

Josephine Blouse


Hi Maggie!!

Josephine Blouse


Goofy little sweet thing! She refused to look at the camera!

14 comments:

  1. I have to completely agree with you that it looks particularly awesome with the jacket! I love it! Such awesome fabric. And your little photobomber could not be cuter. I'll bet someday you'll be glad to have these photos with her. I'm usually the one behind the camera so I don't have too many photos with my kids. I love these!

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    1. That's the downside of being the family photographer, for sure! I love your avatar photo! So cute. Maggie is so squirmy these days, it's really hard to get her to pose for a camera at all!

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  2. It's really pretty - and especially when accessorised with a Maggie. I can see the boxiness you refer to at the front, and I think maybe it's because a lot of FBA type adjustments seem to add width all the way down, which is surely not so flattering for most since it creates a 'tent'. A while back I did some searching for an FBA method that didn't add all that width. If you want, have a look at this - I think I used the Simplicity version (for a customer in a sewing lesson at the shop) with success: http://sewing-lingerie-myself.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/fun-with-fbas.html or maybe this http://www.pinterest.com/pin/136445063684179715/ looks like a good alternative. Gosh, that was a very dull, technical comment wasn't it?

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    1. I love dull, technical responses! No, seriously, we're all sewing geeks here, no apology necessary. I find FBAs to be fascinating. I think you have absolutely nailed the issue here. The FBA adds so much width, and if there's no vertical dart, you end up with huge poof at the midsection. Attempts to take it out at the side seam utterly failed (part of the problem is that with no fastenings, I couldn't make it too tight to pull up and over said big boobies! (HAHA, the things we sewers talk about, right?) I want to try this technique next time!

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    2. Dude. That first link you listed is really eye-opening. Awesome FBA geekery, here I come!

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  3. It is awesome with the jacket. And the fabric is great! I have similar issues with a lot of woven tops. I have found that putting two vertical fish-eye darts in the back really helps. It works a little better than the elastic in the back because it takes out some width in the lower torso area as well as the waistline. A little more fiddly but I find that I actually wear the woven tops to which I have made the fish-eye darts.

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    1. Yes, to be fair, I rarely buy RTW woven tops either. Button downs always gape at the boobs and they're just not as flattering. But I really want to overcome that! I like your idea for the back, I really felt that what this top needs is back darts, but it is so hard to pin out back darts on yourself, and I don't have any seamstresses to help me! I like the fish-eye dart idea, I must inspect some of your makes more closely to understand how this works!

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  4. Love the fabric you've used for this Inder. I have one cut out in voile, but can't seem to get myself to actually sew it. I think that the shape is adding to my hesitation.....
    And ack! That Miss Maggie!

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  5. Sweet, sweet Maggie. And I love the top!

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    1. Thank you!! It's actually a very practical top, and I've worn it several times. And the fabric is luscious.

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  6. I like it! I think it makes a nice shell to wear under cardigans and jackets.:)

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    1. Thanks Cindy! Yes, it looks great under a cardigan or jacket. A suit jacket is really amazing for creating curves, and I actually wear tops like this quite a bit.

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  7. I really like your blouse! The color looks great on you and the fit looks great! It is so nice to see the clothesless one loving her mMommy! No bows at the neck please!

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  8. I'm sorry.... You have big boobs and skinny legs and you're complaining.... you've lost me there. :)
    The top looks lovely with the jacket. I think any flat fronted top with a high neckline can look a bit "front-y" when it's not broken up in any way. A jacket does it, tucking it in does it, a belt etc etc. This looks like a pretty handy everyday top and definitely worth playing around with the pattern.

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