Sunday, March 13, 2011

a new blouse for me! Pattern review

I made myself another new blouse today! I am very happy with the end result, but the process was not as happy as I wanted it to be. So, I thought I would share with you... First of all, let me tell you about the fabric! A couple of weeks ago, I stopped off at City Craft in downtown Dallas for the first time. What a fun shop! I had been wanting to go for a while & I'm so glad I finally did. They had some awesome fabrics, trims, etc that I had seen online but never in person. I'm a touchy/feely kind of girl so this was fun for me! I bought some beautiful bamboo felt that is the softest thing I've ever touched! But that's another day's post. The fabric I bought for this top was Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush voile. Let me tell you, this is the most amazing fabric, beautiful drape & it sewed up wonderfully! I am in love with this fabric. Thinking maybe I need to go back & get some more in another print? It makes me happy.

I also bought the pattern for Indygo Junction's Bell Sleeve Blouse that day. I was getting a little tired of making Schoolhouse Tunic's, and I do believe my friends are tired of looking at me in them! So I decided to try something new. Here's the pattern cover:
I have never sewn an Indygo Junction pattern before, but I have looked at them many times & there are quite a few that appeal to me, so I was excited to try this one. Well.....
I was not as happy with the pattern as I thought I would be. First of all, the cutting directions were very confusing. The pattern cover shows 2 views, not labelled. The sketches inside the pattern show three views, A, B & C. AND the directions themselves describe FOUR views (A,B,C & D) which do NOT match up with the sketches! So, step one was to figure out which view I was actually making and which pattern pieces I needed, which was not an easy thing to do. Now, mind you, I have been sewing from patterns for forty-some years so this should not have been this difficult!
I might add that the fabric & notion requirements are not listed on the outside of the pattern, so I had to take it all apart in the store to find them. Then, in two different places it listed two different amounts of interfacing needed. I ended up with a ton of fabric leftover (like I said, it's beautiful fabric! But I bought what the pattern suggested).
I decided to make the blouse length because all of the other tunic patterns I have made ended up being way too long. I am not a very tall person. The pattern cover described this as "mid-hip length" which sounded perfect to me. As you can see from the photo above, it ended up being considerably shorter than that. If I make it again (and I might) I will make the tunic length. There was not length measurement given on the pattern (I know, I know, I should have measured the pattern pieces before I cut. Sigh.).

I made the pattern one size bigger than my measurements because I like my tops to be roomy. This just fits, not roomy at all, so I would say that the sizing is a bit off too.
Altogether I was not too unhappy with the construction of the garment. The instructions were fairly clear. The only thing I did change was to finish off seams and facings to give it a more professional look.
So, will I make this again? Probably, with some changes. Would I recommend it to you? Sure, as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open! I would not suggest this pattern for beginners, mainly because of the confusion factor. Will I buy another Indygo Junction pattern? Maybe. But I will be more cautious next time!


PunkiePie (Jen) said...

I'm sorry to hear all your troubles with the pattern but it is a cute top.

Lisa said...

Well it sure turned out lovely! Gorgeous top..

Maria said...

What a great photo of you Ellyn. You look very pleased with yourself.
Even though you had a problem the blouse looks lovely.

Sally said...

This blouse looks great! Although, I would not have been very pleased to have to figure out which view, etc... I want everything spelled out neatly for me :-)

I love the AMH voile! It is soooo soft and smooth. I have a couple pieces that I haven't used. I did use a small bit to make my dad's wife a ruffly scraf... I thought it turned out nice.

Sewjoe said...

Turned out cute! I have heard that their patterns are not the easiest to follow. I just won a free one from them for being a facebook fan. I am not complaining!!