“Whether or not God has kissed your brow, you still have to work. Without learning and preparation, you won’t know how to harness the power of that kiss.”

Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stephanie's Blouse by Silhouettes

I've never worked with Silhouette patterns before, but we are trying them out at Victorian Cupboard to see how they work with our sewing audience. We find it so hard to get new garment sewers - everyone at Open Sew tends to work on handbags or home dec. I think one of the big impediments is fear of fitting issues and the second may or may not be level of difficulty. So we are trying the Silhouette patterns, which are by Peggy Sagers because they make use of b, c, and d cup sizing and promise an uncomplicated pattern suitable for all sewing levels. I've just opened up the pattern for Stephanie's Blouse which is a pretty straight forward shirt. We're offering it as a class at the end of July, so I really need to make it up this weekend so it can hang in the shop for a bit to lure some stitchers!

A couple of interesting things with the pattern. All sizes come in the same package, but are broken down with 4 smaller sizes and 4 larger sizes grouped separately. Also, it has princess lines and there is a separate front side piece for each cup size, which is nice. Additionally, when they give the measurements for your particular size, they give the finished blouse size, not your body size. They do this so you get to choose how much ease you want, and they suggest you measure out a blouse that fits you well and choose your size based on those measurements, which isn't a bad idea. There is no set in sleeve -- the sleeve is built into the front and back pieces. Interesting and easy to sew. In addition to the princess seams, the sleeve is a two piece sleeve, so there is room for adjustment for a larger upper arm if necessary.

One thing I'm not really happy with is the 3/8 inch seam allowance. I like french seams on a blouse. Since I am teaching this, I will do it as the pattern calls for and just serge the edges, but if I were doing it only for myself, I would add extra seam allowance while cutting the pattern pieces so I could do my french seams.

Since it is such a basic pattern, I'm going to jazz it up a bit and am using a nice stripe which I will mix up with some pieces cut on the vertical and some on the horizontal. I'd also like to try to introduce some specialty stitches -- possibly do the bottom of the sleeve as a separate piece and join with the spanish hemstitch foot.

Will post results as I go along. If anyone out there has made this pattern, feel free to chime in with your thoughts and suggestions.

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