Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wardrobe Staples



Shirt - McCall's 5630 (Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fit Blouse)

M5630
I've had McCall's 5630 in my pattern stash for a long time (it's OOP now), along with some fabulous white cotton Ralph Lauren shirting (from Ressy's co-op).  My favorite button-down blouse in my closet is from Victoria's Secret, with front vertical darts and side seam darts, back vertical darts and shoulder darts, with french cuffs.  I was happy to change the french cuffs out, but really wanted a great fit through the bodice.  This is the only pattern I own (including 3 years of Burda subscriptions) with 3 of the 4 darts included.
I took my time with the collar and stand, using my wooden tailor's clapper to press the seams open carefully and trim closely.  My hand-stitching was impeccable along the collar stand, front button placket, and cuffs (Susan Khalje would be proud)... and I was thinking, "Damn, I'm good!".  Then it happened.  The bump in the road.  Can you tell what it is before I say it out loud?
Too much ease in the sleeve cap. No matter how I tried to gather it, ease it, pin it... I got puckers.  I ripped, I re-stitched.  Still puckers.  Yuck! I navigated through the worst part of a tailored, fitted shirt... and got stuck with stupid sleeve seam puckers??? Seriously?  In all honesty, the only person who will notice will be my husband, because I pointed them out to him.  So, whenever I wear this shirt I know that he will say, "Wow, you look great! Too bad you messed up the sleeves..." And I will laugh, because it's a reminder that I am my own worst critic, and the blouse is 98% "Amazing" and 2% "Oops".  I should've known better, as the last 2 reviews on PR warned of that problem, but I didn't take the time to measure and check.  Oh well, live and learn!  I will fine-tune the pattern and remove some ease, so the next version will be perfect.  Actually, I haven't serged those seams yet, so I may still remove those sleeves, and fix this version!
What I did take the time to do, was to tissue fit the pattern on Bo.  Something I've never been able to do before, but now I can! It was so awesome being able to pin it together, slip it on her, and check the fit without doing a muslin.  I have to re-train my brain that this is now an option with all my patterns...
Pants - Simplicity 4135
Misses'/ Miss Petite Pants
This is my 3rd version of the Simplicity Threads pattern 4135.  I consider this my TNT pants pattern, and this tiime I used some really nice "Easy Care Wool Blend" in charcoal from Gorgeous Fabrics.  Such a great fabric... it's pressed beautifully and is a really lovely suiting weight.  Great for winter, but will transition into spring, too.  I used a black cotton broadcloth from the scrap box for the pockets and waistband facing.  The only change this time around was the narrowing of the pantleg.  When I wear these for real, I'll take a pic so you can see that it was definitely a change for the better! Sadly, Little Man accidentally head-butted me today during a wrestling session, and my right eye is all swollen, so you'll just have to deal with pics of Bo modeling for now! If you've never made pants with a pocket bag that extends to the center front, then you're really missing out on a no-gaping pocket situation!
This won't be last you hear from me on either of these patterns! They are true "wardrobe staples" and with many beautiful cotton shirtings in the stash and another length of "Easy Care Wool Blend" on it's way to me from Boston (yes, I caved during the 1 day sale), I will hopefully continue to improve my skills on them, too!

21 comments:

Gail said...

Funny, I've just done my own version of the black trouser, white shirt. Beautifully constructed.

Anonymous said...

which type of interfacing did you use for the collars?

Aminat said...

Beautiful, love the collars

Lori said...

Great blouse, the collars look fantastic.

Michelle said...

That looks fantastic! If you make another version, try reducing the sleeve cap....I tried trimming a little off after reading Kathleen Fasanella's post on sleeve cap ease, and the reduced sleeve cap doesn't negatively impact fit or range of motion at all.

Amanda S. said...

Great wardrobe staples! I looked for that pants pattern after the last time you made it, but sadly found it to be OOP. I say fix the blouse sleeve heads and make it perfect. It doesn't sound like too much more work and you'll be so much happier.

Karin said...

I don't have any advice on the sleeves, but I will say that your shirt looks very good, as do the pants. How fab to have great fitting, quality basics!

Gorgeous Things said...

I posted on my blog about set in sleeves. You can see it here:
http://gorgeousfabrics.com/blog/2009/01/01/setting-a-sleeve-in-to-an-armhole/

I also agree with Michelle that you can try taking out some of the ease in the shoulder cap.
HTH!

Gorgeous Things said...

PS - It looks fantastic! Despite the puckers. And yes, we are our own worst critics.

JoanneM said...

Great blouse. You did a perfect job!

gwensews said...

The sleeve fix is not difficult, and really, that shirt is worth it. I love when we get a pants pattern to fit and can use it as a TNT. My grandson head-butted me a while ago, and knocked my front tooth loose.

Beangirl. said...

Yes, my first thought was, "OMG what did she do to those SLEEVECAPS?!" Ha. Not. My first thought was, "Wow, what a great classic work outfit!" I am totally jealous of the fitting assistant.

alethia said...

The blouse looks awesome.

Irene said...

Great shirt! Hope you can deal with the sleeve situation to your satisfaction. Funny, I don't remember having the "sleeve bumps" problem when I made this up.

Summerset said...

Those are great classics - everyone should have them, even if they don't wear them often. Vintage shirt patterns often have the sorts of darts you're talking about. At this point, though, you already have a pattern that works, so no need to cast about for another.

Bunny said...

Your collar is spectacular. I love your pants and you are so right about the pants stay to the center front. As psychic minds would have it, I did a post on making a stay yesterday. It does add a lot to the hang of the pants and I can tell just the way they fit Bo. Really great staples for the wardrobe.

Big in Japan said...

Both look very crisp and professional, real grown-up like. Wear the shirt under a jacket a few times and maybe you'll forget about the puckers. What puckers?

Myra said...

I agree with everyone here...you don't notice any sleeve cap issue, just a beautiful blouse! I love both pieces.

Amanda from Amanda's Adventures in Sewing has a great tutorial on sleeve cap ease too! Take a look when you get a chance, it helped me! http://amandasadventuresinsewing.blogspot.com/2009/12/easy-way-to-ease-in-sleeves-picture.html. Hope she doesn't mind me giving her the plug since she didn't!

angie.a said...

Wow, both of these are beautiful. Sadly I have neither in stash. Drat it.

Rosy said...

Love the collars!! It looks totally professional. These two items are a real wardrobe. Great job!

rock fabric scissors said...

You always inspire me to get back at the sewing machine! Re: your sleeve puckers, why not unstitch the cap and make 3 or 4 pleats at the top of the sleeve to make it look intentionally puffed? Puffed-top sleeves are really a popular new look right now, maybe you could use that to your advantage!