Sunday, September 20

The Sutton Blouse of Doom

Let me state for the record firstly that I don't think there's anything wrong with the Sutton Blouse pattern. It's a perfectly nice pattern and I've seen some very lovely versions of it. I got my version from Indiesew, which is also a great site and quite likely to cost me a lot of money in the future. I hold no grudges with the pattern.

My version however is godawful on several levels and for several reasons.

Firstly: the fabric. It's a silk viscose mix that I got for £3 a metre (hurray) from the fabric stall outside the public market in Woolwich. It's bright red which in my opinion can never be a bad thing, and it has an embossed pattern which I think looks great on the roll, even if I wasn't entirely sure which was the front and which the back. However it was a bit of a bugger to cut out and being not the most entirely patient person in the world I probably could have made a better and more accurate job of it, which would have prevented a whole lot of pain later on.

I've also spent some time examining other people's versions of this blouse and come to the belated conclusion that it looks better made from a fabric with a print. However you swing it, this pattern does have a faint hint of the hospital scrubs about it, and in a plain fabric I think this is emphasised.

My next issue was the seam allowances. Oh god, 1/4 of an inch. As previously mentioned I'm on the less patient end of the spectrum and happily admit that being precise isn't high up my list of talents. So the 1/4 seam allowances properly kicked my arse, especially considering that the fabric was fairly slippery. Plus for some reason the thread kept breaking, so much swearing ensued. Swearing is high up my list of talents.

Now we come to the difficult issue of shape. Sutton Blouse: it's not you, it's me. I'm a fairly short (5ft4 on a good day) wide sort of a middle-aged person with broad shoulders and I give good chest. I spend a LOT of time searching for slightly short, slightly wide middle aged women with boobs wearing things I want to make on the internet to check that I won't look like a short cylinder when I'm looking at patterns and perhaps I should have looked longer and harder at this one. However I think the print thing distracted me. I suspect I could have got away with going down a size (always hard to work out given my shoulders), so then I might dislike the vision of boxiness I see in the mirror when I look at myself wearing this garment.

Let's not mention the fact that somehow I managed to make one of the back flaps (that is the technical term isn't it?) longer than the other. I have NO idea how. Please see accurate cutting. I think it stretched while I was swearing at the seam allowances, too. Frankly by the time I'd got to that bit I wanted the damn thing finished so that I could hide it in a drawer.

Here it is, then. Bear in mind that this is the most flattering photo I could manage to take of it.
It's always possible that like the Hollyburn Skirt that I made and loathed myself in, I will have a Damascene conversion about this top and decide it is the best thing ever. I'm not convinced.