The spring issue of Ottobre Woman arrived about a month ago and what a good issue it is! The editor says they have added a new Finnish designer, Cecilia Sorensen, to the staff. Maybe she is responsible for all the nice stuff? But then, I thought the previous issue was especially good, too.
I liked so much that it was hard to decide what to make first, but the cute summery Triangle blouse won. The pattern instructions specified a sheer viscose/silk fabric (sounds like Radience would work really well for a luxe version). I had no such fabric in stash, so I ordered some Imperial Batiste to make this up, thinking the weight would be about right….and no ironing.
While waiting for the “good” fabric to arrive, I made a muslin from stash. I didn’t want it to be exactly the same, because the triangle design is way too distinctive. But the beauty of patterns without seam allowances is that the front piece was presented as a whole front, with a line designating where the seamline would be to create the triangle. So I just made regular unpieced fronts from a heavy but drapey mystery fabric, and contrast front bands from a ticking-like fabric scrap.
I had recently done some snoop-shopping of Eileen Fisher and noted that she is using a lot of neckline bands. Now, hers are real ones (band plus facing). To mimic that look with less work, I drafted and cut a neckline facing and turned it to the outside. The facing was positioned on the fabric to match the bands which were cut on the bias.
Voila, iteration number one.
Construction notes: for both versions, I used my usual gambit for tracing the Euro patterns: find my size based on my bust measurement. Cut the shoulder one size smaller. Cut the hip one size larger. That’s all the fitting I need for a loose blouse like this one.
Ottobre does believe in darts, and this pattern has both shoulder darts and bust darts to finesse the fit. With it’s little cap sleeves, it is an easy sew. The hem does dip a little bit in front, which is more graceful that a straight-across hemline.
Don’t be put off from the pulls that show up around the bust in the photo. They are because of the grabby fabric of my dressform.
I will have to wear this a lot this summer, because the color blocking thing will probably be over pretty quick. It’s a happy little blouse, so that should be no problem. No, I did not have it finished for St. Patrick’s day.
Another pattern that got it’s first trial by me is the jacket from Cutting Line Design’s Pure and Simple. The top from this pattern is a favorite of many people, but I haven’t seen the jacket made up very much. I can say that I will be using it again for sure! The pattern is for a coat or long jacket with three horizontal sections (another opportunity for color blocking). The first horizontal seam hides the pocket openings. It is easy to extend the top section to the length you want if you don’t want to include the horizontal seams, and that’s what I did. To replace the lost pockets, I made patch breast pockets.
The fit is loose and boxy, the facing is cut-on, so this is another easy-going project. The sleeves are just lovely in this jacket – they are not supposed to be dropped sleeves, and on me they were almost perfect – no weird folds in the sleeve at all. Next time I’ll narrow the shoulders just a bit. As is, the armcye sleeve is in the vicinity of my shoulder, but would look a little neater if it was just a little bit closer.
When you consider the nice shell that is the companion piece of this jacket, it makes this pattern one of the true jewels in the CLD line. I’m glad I gave the jacket a try. It’s a great unstructured jacket that you can add all sorts of details to. In fact, I wore it when I was doing my Eileen Fisher snoop shopping and got invited to a trunk show. Usually salesladies ignore me, so I guess it made me look worthy of attention!
Happy spring, one and all!