The blouse is done... sort of. Even though I conserved thread as much as possible, there wasn't enough to safely venture forth on the button holes and the one store in town that carries that brand was closed by the time I realized more was needed. I'll pick it up today.
This trick with the collar stand was learned so long ago that I no longer remember from where or who but it's wonderful. Stitch the fused band to the neckline from the inside with right side matched to wrong side. That way, the hand stitching will end up under the collar and when your collar is open and folded back at the front, the neat seam will show.
My fabric is very light weight. I'd serged the hemline as shown below and didn't like the way the fabric pulled so on the sleeve I attempted using the fusing technique from t-shirts and it worked well and provided enough body to support the hem without over-weighting the garment. I'm not sure if this is an actual recommended technique - I need to do some more research - but I tried it and it worked in this case.
After Pearl let me know where to find the finished measurements, I knew to reduce the blouse length by 3 1/2" only that's more easily done before cutting out the pieces than after sewing the garment together. I played with chalk lines and a dressmaker's ruler until I got as graceful a shape as possible and then...
... cut along the line and fused a strip of bias cotton tape to strengthen the hem, zigzag stitched over it, pressed it up, and stitched it in place. It's okay but I prefer the lighter and more malleable fusible interfacing so I'll cut narrow strips of it for next time.
Here's the finished back. Millicent is slimmer than me so it's snugger on my body (but wearable) and I was right that the shoulders are about 1/2 - 3/4" too wide so I'll pin and play and figure out how much and then alter the pattern for next time. I read somewhere to do that alteration along the princess seam instead of at the shoulder point because there will be less impact on the shape of the armhole although it'll be higher which means I'll add the same amount in additional cap height to the sleeve.
Here's the front minus the buttons which are basic white. Even though there are a few corrections for next time, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and the lines are quite flattering for my figure. I think I'll sew another one - LOL. I highly recommend the pattern - Butterick 5678 - with modifications if you happen to have narrow shoulders and wider hips like me.
Last night, I started reading Over-Dressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline and I was totally shocked by the following paragraph. She writes...
I owned sixty-one tops, sixty T-shirts, thirty-four tank tops, twenty-one skirts, twenty-four dresses, twenty pairs of shoes, twenty sweaters, eighteen belts, fifteen cardigans and hooded sweatshirts, fourteen pairs of shorts, fourteen jackets, thirteen pairs of jeans, twelve bras, eleven pairs of tights, five blazers, four long-sleeved shirts, three pairs of workout pants, two pairs of dress pants, two pairs of pajama pants, and one vest. Socks and underwear notwithstanding, I owned 354 items of clothing. Americans buy an average of sixty-four items of clothing a year, a little more than one piece of clothing per week.
I couldn't relate to that on any level. It's possible - but highly unlikely - that I own sixty-four garments in total and the majority of my wardrobe is at least three years old. If I could add one wearable garment a month, that would be a major step forward toward having a complete wardrobe that actually works. Right now, it's so hit and miss and I have so few garments that I'm having trouble dressing myself which is ridiculous considering I sew but a fact none the less. I've spent far too much time working on fit and muslins and not enough time on actual clothes to wear. When I do make something I enjoy, it gets worn too often plus there's the problem of my fluctuating weight. We'd need to narrow that number down even more to what is in my closet that I can actually fit in to - a number substantially below sixty-four. Later in the chapter the author goes on to say...
Building a wardrobe over time, saving up and investing in well-made pieces, obsessing over the perfect hem, luxuriating in fabrics, patching up and altering our clothes are old-fashioned habits. But they're also deeply satisfying antidotes to the empty uniformity of cheapness. If more of us picked up the lost art of sewing or reconnected with the seamstresses and tailors in our communities, we could all be our own fashion designers and constantly reinvent, personalize, and perfect the things we own.
YES YES ! ! Perhaps the book will encourage me in my goal to tone up, maintain, and make ongoing and sustainable progress toward sewing a wardrobe that works.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - a wearable muslin