There’s a whole story behind this blouse for me – it was pretty much my favourite pattern way back in the 20th century. I wore the blouse I made from it pretty much any time I wanted to look professional and/or dressed up. And then I moved out on my own and thought I’d taken my whole fabric and pattern stash with me, but when I went to look for this pattern, the only piece I could find was the pocket flap. I hung on to it for a while, but eventually I gave up on ever finding the other pieces and threw out the pocket flap, since by then the pattern was already out of print.
Fast forward to this spring when my mom was emptying her house to move. Way in the back of the closet in a box at the bottom of a stack of boxes was the missing part of my stash. In the stash was a half-done blouse. Folded up inside the blouse was the pattern, the envelope, and the instructions. I didn’t get a chance to check it out at the time, and I didn’t bother to get excited because I was a lot less fat back then, and chances are I’d cut a size way smaller than I am now and I’d have to grade up and that’s a pain etc.
The other night I had a look at the pattern and the blouse, and found empirical proof that you really do fit your frame and then adjust for your fluff. Back then, I didn’t know about that, and I made the pattern in the size indicated by my full-bust measurement – I wore a B cup at the time so it was OK. Well, that was a size 22, and today a size 22 pattern is where I start to fit my frame and then I do a full-bust adjustment. And the unfinished blouse fit me very nicely through the back and shoulders, it just wouldn’t do up in front. So I traced the pattern onto new paper, and did a happy dance and a princess FBA like in Debbie Cook’s tutorial.
- get the sleeves to fit properly – if there’s enough of the unfinished fabric to get it right, the old blouse may be wearable open
- make a muslin to test the full-bust alteration (with luck it will be wearable)
- make one out of really nice fabric – I also found some burgundy and black shot silk shantung (say that fast, I dare you) in the old stash, and I bet that would be seriously fabulous. Or the black linen eyelet I have kicking around would be really nice too. Or…