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  • Meridy Dunn

The Dominican Blouse

Hello to everyone. Firstly I would like to thank you all for subscribing to this blah blah blog.

I have been very busy working on my spring summer fashion/sewing plan. I had hoped to share part 1 with you today, however I got distracted with this blouse.

I have quietly been working away at this pattern for a few weeks, ( actually thats a fib, I don't do anything quietly!). I wanted to design a shirt/blouse that did not require tucking. I find that most tops are way to long for my body shape, I end up tucking lots of the top into my undies, for the record I wear BIG undies.

Firstly I made a toile of the front and back yokes, I sewed them up then started designing the collar.

This is where I lost a few days, and practiced my entire expletive vocabulary. The thing about collars is that they have to sit nicely on the yoke, they also need to sit loosely around the neck, otherwise you can't move your head. My perserverance paid off, I was really happy with the end result.

The name of the Blouse was inspired by the Dominican nuns that were responsible for my early education.

I have good and not so good memories, but I am grateful for a good start to learning which I have pursued my entire life.

I remember their collars of the 1970s being very similar to mine.

So I set about drafting. The yokes, sleeves and back were easy. The challenge was working out the width of the front, how much would I gather? How would it fit in the band? where on my body would the front and back bands sit? Would the back look peculiar because it wasnt as gathered?

The only way to work this out was toiles, so I did 3. Once I was happy with the

amount of gathers, I was able to do a final pattern make of the front, and front and back bands.

The sleeves I had drafted previously, so I manipulated them to fit the armscye. They were perfect. ( playing around with armholes/ sleeves is dangerous territory, go carefully.)

I was ready to sew the blouse up, I just needed to select some fabric from the neverending cupboard of love ( the stash).

The fun part for me is that I discover fabric that I had completely forgotten about, its like buying it all over again except I dont have to pay.

I chose this beautiful cotton, it has a type of stenciling, I'm not sure how to descibe it. Incredibly soft and very feminine.

I will make it again in a drapey fabric (crepe?), This will create a completely different look.

I have drawn up the pattern pieces ( not to scale). This is so you can see how my pieces fit and how they came together. If you have a blouse pattern with yokes you may be able to replicate what I have done. The biggest change is the size of the front, you can see it has to be signicantly gathered top and bottom. The bands will also need to fit you.

I know many will say, "why draft a pattern when I can buy one?", I understand that. However there is something incredibly rewarding about making your own patterns. Its like when you bake a cake and its bloody delicious, and so much better than a store bought one.

This brings my blog to a conclusion.

I look forward to presenting my Spring Summer 2021/22 plans ( part 1) In my next blog.

Remember I mentioned life long learning, well this blog is a part of that learning.

The illustrations in this blog are my work, using Illustrator. This programme is an ongoing challenge but like most things repetition is the key to success . I'm hanging in there.

Happy Sewing x


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