Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Pendrell Homage Blouse

I love Tasia over at Sewaholic, she's one of the first blogs I found and she makes amazingly pretty clothes from vintage patterns, though she frequently makes them look really modern and not "dressed up" which appeals to me as I am not very good at the rest of the vintage look! She is super talented and has just started up her own pattern range for pear shaped ladies. Now I am not pear shaped. At all. But I love her first pattern-the Pendrell blouse -its so pretty and versatile and I love the ruffles and the different fabrics she uses for it. She has just started a sew along for the blouse and I want to join! I need more smart tops, I tend to just wear fitted Ts, and I've been looking for nice silky blouse patterns for ages. Trouble is I am not pear shaped. I've got wide shoulders, so high necks and ruffly shoulders are going to make me look pretty darn peculiar. Plus, I'd promised myself I wouldn't buy any more patterns due to my addiction, and as much as I want to support Tasia, breaking my pledge to buy a pattern that wouldn't fit or suit me seems a little unwise. Therefore-I am going to make my own version-the Pendrell Homage blouse. This is an excellent opportunity to continue my learning curve from the Christmas dress and try some things I really need to master doing.

My favourite of Tasia's Pendrells is View B in blue with the ruffles  so I am going to be homaging this one. I  luckily have some similar fabric that I can use from my charity shop find here -the blue of mine is much brighter than it looks in the phot and is quite similar to Tasia's.

I love the ruffles, particularly how they look on the back of the blouse, but they will make me look like a rugby player, so they are going to be re-distributed to the neck area, which will be a slightly sweetheart v that springs from the top of the princess seams like the Pendrell. Sleeve wise I am not entirely decide whether to use the same sleeves as the Christmas dress (short with tucks at the shoulder seam), or to do little cap sleeves. The tucks are tempting as they are a little like view A but less voluminous.Also, as my waist is much smaller than my other dimensions, I'm not going to be able to get it over my head unless I make it hugely baggy, so I'm going to need a fastening. Inspired by another lovely blouse that would look terrible on me Sencha by Collette Patterns, I'm going to put buttons down the back.

So some sketches - I did these before considering the shoulder tucks so they aren't shown.

The last diagram is trying to explain how the neck ruffles work-it's only showing half the blouse, as if it hasn't been buttoned up yet. There are two main ruffles on the front, both nike tick type shapes, and then one that goes along the back and over the shoulder. thee is then a facing on the inside. 

So I'm going to be learning/practising a lot of things:
1) Pattern modification. I have a copy of a great book called How to Use, Adapt and Design Sewing Patterns  which shows you how to turn one type of garment pattern into a pattern for another, using the basic principles of pattern blocks. This is a good opportunity to try this out as the Pendrell has princess seams, and I don't have a pattern that has full princess seams. The book however shows that its actually super easy to change a darted pattern into a princess seam pattern.
2) FBA. This will also give me a chance to FBA a princess seam which I haven't done before. The FBA on my Christmas dress using the darted Fit for real people method went a bit awry due to ease so I'm not exactly 100% sure I can do this either! I'm tempted to due two muslins as an experiment/practice, one where I do another darted FBA and then change it to princess seam and one where I princess seam first -if that make sense. Then I might have a clearer idea what I'm doing!
3) Proper pattern drafting. Then I've got to turn the basic pattern into something with a different neck, worlk out the ruffled collar pieces, sleeves..
4) V neck. My previous effort at this went very loose and odd, so its going to need a more concerted effort this time.
5) Collar. Its not like its going to need lots of tailoring or anything but different pieces and attaching and facings and everything will be needed.
6) lots of highly visible buttons.... previously most of my buttons have been singly or in pairs and hidden in waistbands.. I'm going to have to space them out properly and do loads and make them look nice (hopefully)
7) slippery fabric. I'm not as scared by this as other people seem to be -mainly as I possibly foolishly did my first ever major project-the dressing gown out of satin! never the less however that had some dodgy moments so making actual clothing that is worn outside is going to be a challenge!

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