A blouse within a blouse

This project started of as a test garment for McCalls 7387, which was an utter fail. If it hadn’t been for the nice print and a perfect button placket (made using a new technique), I would have given up. With a bit of pattern tetris, I was able to transform it into a blouse that I love.

I’d made McCalls 7387 view A a while back and I wish I’d made some notes. It wasn’t a complete failure, but I know I had to make changes to the armhole and it was a little too short. I’ve enjoyed wearing it around the house on a hot summers day so it wasn’t a total loss.

Since I was likely to run into trouble with the sleeves, I decided to save my floral print and use another print as a test garment. I retraced out the pattern, using view B (tunic length) and made a square shoulder adjustment. From memory, the hidden placket assembly was over complicated and I’d forgotten that the yoke notches didn’t match up on the back. I drafted my own placket and found this great hidden placket tutorial from Atelier Saison on how to construct it. The secret is in the pre-folding using the paper pattern piece. I was able to make a perfect placket on rayon challis, without interfacing, pins or glue.

Hidden button placket

Alas, the rest of the shirt was a bit of a disaster. It came out looking like a tent, the extra weight of the back pleat was pulling the back collar down. It was so long I could use it as a dress, and the sleeves still didn’t fit well. I must have taken the sides in a lot on the first shirt to get a better fit. I’d toyed with using it as a swim coverup, but in reality, I knew I wouldn’t wear it. I really did love the print, it reminds me of fallen gum leaves, and also that placket!

McCall’s 7378 view B – FAIL!

So I started looking around for other patterns that I could use to refashion the shirt into. I didn’t have any spare fabric, so I needed to be able to recut it solely from the shirt pieces.

I think I looked at about 5 patterns to see if the pieces would fit, finally settling on Ottobre 2/2013 #9 “Triangle Cap-sleeved Blouse”. I needed to add a scrap piece into the the front shoulder, but with a bit of pattern tetris, the pieces were able to fit. A bonus was that this pattern had a collar and stand ( the McCalls collar was badly fitting) and bust and shoulder darts for shaping.

Shirt refashion – pattern tetris

Next came the joy of unpicking the McCall’s shirt, all but the hem and placket were unpicked. Then some careful pressing, and comparing to the original pattern, to make sure the pieces hadn’t distorted. I’d traced the Ottobre pattern onto the McCall’s pattern sheets so I could line things up against the original pattern and then cut out the new one.

The resulting shirt turned out a perfect fit. The collar was made using David Page Coffin’s method of construction – perfect results every time. I’d made a square shoulder adjustment to the pattern and the sleeve opening sits right, the patch being hardly noticeable. I’m glad I persisted with this, as I no have a shirt that I absolutely love.

Ottobre 2/2013 #9 Triangle

5 thoughts on “A blouse within a blouse

  1. Thank you for such a great post. I’m bookmarking it to remember to try the placket and to revisit my copy of Coffin’s book. I love your blog so much.

    It’s funny – we finished raking the leaves outside after Christmas. I was thinking how nice it was to have that job finished for the season and wondered – as I often do – what the narrow leaves were. After raking for hours, I’d be too tired to look it up and then I’d forget about it.

    So now I know – smile. And yes we do have several sweet gum trees. Why I never looked up to notice the leaves, I’ll never understand. Maybe cause I’m usually bent over picking up the spikey balls that fall from them.

    I love your fabric and I love the shirt you ended up with. Very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny coincidence – I just had a dress fail. Also for tent reasons. There was no scope to remake it and belting didn’t help so its going to be an at home dress for the super hot days we get from time to time.

    Liked by 1 person

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