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May 26, 2015

Mom's Blouse -- Muslin 1



For a first stab, this blouse muslin is not terrible.  Frankly, it fits no worse than most of the ready-to-wear tops my mother generally wears.

I decided to work from a basic fitted blouse pattern, Butterick 9232 from 1960, which has been sitting in my stash for many years.



I traced the pattern pieces, widening the waist (and not closing the darts) to give it more of an A-line shape.  I added a yoke to the back and a sloping shoulder adjustment.  I didn't change the sleeve at all (but skipped the cuff) and decided to add the collar.  My fabric is an old cotton sheet.







I added a center pleat to the back but I'll remove it: the back is very full.  My mother's biggest fit challenges are her forward-sloping shoulders and rounded back.  I'll need to move the shoulder seam forward and perhaps re-draft the yoke so that, on paper, it will slope slightly upward at the edges.  I'll likely narrow the shoulders and back at least 1/2" on each side.





I'll likely move the shoulder seam to where those pins are.



I think she needs some sort of sloping shoulder adjustment in front too.  There may be other adjustments to make and if they're obvious to you please let me know.

 She wants this to be loose-fitting for summer but not so over-sized that it isn't flattering.  Originally we were going for a caftan top.

I'll add some shaping in front too.
I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying working on this.  Since my mother lives with us, she can try things on immediately -- no waiting.  This blouse goes together quickly, so once I make my changes I can whip up another version pretty fast.  I hope to get another version done by week's end.



Have a great day, everybody!

24 comments:

  1. You're right that you need to do a sloping shoulder adjustment. It will automatically straighten out the bottom seam of the yoke.It was perhaps best to just leave open the darts to give some ease. The challenge now is balance; you're mother needs a shorter front and a longer back to make sure everything hangs level.

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    1. Adding some ease AND closing the darts would also give shaping and ease.

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  2. She definitely needs a rounded back alteration. It'll remove the diagonal drag lines. Since that alteration can affect the fit in a number of ways I'd personally do that first before anything else. You can open the yoke seam and pin in fabric to see what all it changes and to get an idea of how big of an alteration to do. The shoulders definitely need to be narrowed and balanced across the shoulder.

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  3. Forgot to mention. Yes it is easier to fit someone else!

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  4. How wonderful Peter that you're now updating your Mom's wardrobe! It says a lot for both you and Michael that your mother lives with you. Cherish her. I lost mine a few years ago and not a day goes by I don't miss her and wish she was here!

    Kiss the puppies for me!

    Hugs

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  5. Your mom is so cute! Love her attitude. If only there were clothing manufacturers making clothes that fit older folks.

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  6. That sheet could be your mom's A+++ color--it looks wonderful on her!

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  7. Yes, I second the need for a sloping shoulder alteration and round back alteration. How nice that you are making a custom shirt for your mom!

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  8. Cute style on her, I like the swingingness of the A-line shape, very flattering.

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  9. Nice progress. Your mom is the sweetest and you're a good son. BTW - I love the stamp on the pattern envelope, "Jesus is coming soon."

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  10. You Mom is so darling! I think you need to start with a much, much smaller size pattern. Measure your Mom's chest high up under her armpits and then the full bust. Then do a full bust adjustment. You can find instructions for this adjustment all over the internet. Better than having to do all those fiddly adjustments on a way-too-large pattern.

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    Replies
    1. Her upper bust is 35" and I'm using a 36" pattern, it's just that she's very narrow in the back.

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  11. Can't wait for the photo shoot! It may become visible to the naked eye whence Cathy's trademark poses and coquettish charms originated. Just sayin'...

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  12. I love how she's loving the attention! Reminds me of my grandma, I like making her feel special too.

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  13. Lucky Mammy, as we say in Dublin! Wish I had someone to help me update my wardrobe!!

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  14. I suspect you already have this in mind; but when you slope the shoulders, I believe you'll want to do so on the shirt fronts as well, to take out the excess in the front pieces at the shoulder tips causing the wrinkles from underarms to neck. You should be able to pin this out to preview it as well.

    And I agree with the others -- this color could be a wearable muslin!

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  15. You are on the right track and adding a rounded back slash and spread will allow your yoke to be perfectly horizontal. I'm with ustabahippie and say using a smaller size would reduce the front bulk after you added the gatherer back fabric. Making side vents allow fabric to lay flat on the sides and allows moms to find their pants pockets for storing tissues and for sitting without having the blouse billow out.

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    Replies
    1. I have Simplicity 2339, an in-print Amazing Fit blouse pattern -- maybe I'll give that a try in a 12 and see how that goes....

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  16. I agree with mrsmole about the side vents. And the pattern has bust dart though I can't see them in the muslin (?) - these should also remove some of the bulk in front.

    How wonderfully generous of you and Michael to have your mum live with you.

    Spud.

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  17. Hi Peter,

    You are off to a great start. A couple of things that others did not mention. Because of your mom's diminutive frame, I think the collar and sleeves should be smaller. I am looking forward to the finished result.

    Bill in GR

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  18. Darts and Princess seams (to the shoulder) will be your friend when sewing for your mom. Princess seams make fitting much easier. Even if you only take a very narrow vertical dart on the front and back it will have a slimming look.

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  19. I am thinking a caftan top would be light and loose fitting with the fabric being allowed to drape. The muslin color is not cheerful if repeated for the fashion fabric. Maybe something brighter like a pale turquoise or pink with white cotton pants might be nice for summer.

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  20. Still needs a bust dart, though. Blow doing an FBA, just pin one into the muslin to account for that long deep creasing, and adjust the side seam. I love this part - the analytical part, I'm glad you are too. It IS far more interesting when you get instant feedback.

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  21. Pattern Fitting with Confidence by Nancy Zieman is a good reference for fit issues.
    Besides the shoulder and back areas, the bust darting to accommodate her more than B-cup bust is another fit area to amend.

    I like the print fabric you are planning for the top-I do like seniors with some colour and pattern near their faces to add some zip to their apparel. Too many stores think "blah" is ok for seniors' clothing.

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