Tag Archives: blouse

Simplicity 1664 — Bustier-Style Peplum Top

4 Jul

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I’m back with another completed item and a sewing pattern review for you!

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You may remember seeing this top for the first time during Me Made May (on days 17 and 25). It is Simplicity 1664, a Threads magazine-designed sportswear set pattern, which I must confess I bought solely for the shirt pattern.  But at $1.99 who can resist?

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I was pleasantly surprised by this pattern as it didn’t have excessive ease and the instructions were excellent.

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Did I mention I used a pink satin lining? 🙂

Apparently they were written by someone from Threads so they included details like edgestitching the facing to the lining, a feature I have never seen in a commercial pattern. As written, the pattern yields a very professionally finished, well-fitted top.

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The only change I made was to ease some twill tape along the top neckline seamline to prevent some gape-age that was occurring.  This method was a trick that I learned from Gretchen Hirsch’s Bombshell dress class on Craftsy.  I cut the tape 1″ shorter than the neckline on each side of center and eased it onto the seam allowance and then sewed it just outside the seam line to make the top of the shirt hug my body better.  This trick worked like a charm!

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I didn’t do a full bust adjustment on this pattern, I just graded from a 14 at the should and neck to a 16 at the full bust, back to a 14 at the waist.

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Top: Me Made!
Skirt: “Vintage” Studio M white linen sailor style (med school era)
Shoes: Michael Kors wedges
Sunglasses: Ray Bans
Jewelry: Kenneth Cole bangles, Premier necklace

On my next version (which may show up as a dress), I will cut a 16 through the shoulder and bust as the underarm area is a little snug and the bust fits great, and I will taper the waist in to a 12 as there is a bit too much ease there. I will also add 1/2″ in length at the front center tapering to 0 at the side to account for the full bust.

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On this version, I didn’t have the separating zipper that was called for, so I used a regular zipper and left a 1″ seam sewn at the bottom and did a lapped zipper application above that. Since the zipper is purple and my top is navy, I have plans to eventually replace the zipper with the appropriate type and color. I also botched the hook and eye at the top of the zip so I plan to correct that eventually, too.

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All in all, this is an awesome top pattern that I can’t recommend highly enough.  The directions are excellent and the results are very professional.

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And if you haven’t noticed yet, this top features a peplum — are you starting to wonder if that’s all I know how to make (case in point)?

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I hope this review has been helpful and inspiring, and for my USA readers, I included a little red, white, and blue for you in honor of our country’s birthday — Happy Independence Day!

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Me Made May ’13 — Part 3

1 Jun

Well folks, the month has finally drawn to a close and I have successfully completed my first Me Made May challenge.  I must say it was a great confidence builder to be able to wear self-stitched or altered items each day for 31 days straight.  I even managed to make it more than 2/3 of the month without repeating an item!  As you have seen from my photos, I have several new items that have yet to be given official blog posts, but I will do my best to get those documented in the upcoming weeks.  So without further ado, here are the last 12 days of my month’s wardrobe:

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2599 ruffle blouse
RTW: Nordstrom pencil skirt, Tessyla necklace, Cole Haan shoes

 

May 20 (Monday) — Today was a full day in the office.  Nothing exciting to report.

 

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Me Made: Refashioned David Kahn white jean capris
RTW: CAbi seahorse camisole and lacy jacket, turquoise necklace, nude patent flats

 

May 21 (Tuesday) — Another day at the office.  I hosted a CAbi party at my house the next night so my friend who sells the clothing brought her entire collection to my house a few days early so I could “test” things out.  I borrowed the cute seahorse cami and lacy jacket to wear to work this day with some refashioned white jean capris.  The capris are at least 5 years old and had a very flared hemline until I slimmed them down.  That was my first time to ever work with denim.  As long as no one looks up close at the seams and hems, I will be in good shape 🙂

 

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Me Made: In-House Patterns Belle Bow Blouse
RTW: Cookie Johnson straight leg white jeans, Kluster white coral necklace, Franco Sarto nude bow pumps (worn only for photo — being returned because they are too small)

 

May 22 (Wednesday) — My day off and my first repeated item.  I spent the morning dropping my car off to get serviced then met a new sewing buddy for some fitting help with a jacket project (Thanks, Nancy!  You are incredible!!!)  Nancy was so sweet and sent me away with an armload of awesome sewing goodies — patterns, fabric, notions — I feel so spoiled!

This was also the night of the CAbi party that I hosted for my friend Catherine.  For the party I made peach margaritas, fresh guacamole, and strawberry cupcakes with strawberry swiss buttercream; I picked up a party platter of fajita fixings from a local Mexican restaurant to round out the menu.  Yum!  We had a great time having a girls’ night in. Photographed here with Jennifer, one of my best friends since first grade.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2648 as a peplum top
RTW: LOFT denim jacket, vintage (college-era) black maxi skirt, turquoise necklace, Cole Haan purse, Cole Haan black peep toe low heel pumps

 

May 23 (Thursday) — A full day at the office at usual but in the evening my 5-year-old niece graduated from her pre-K school.  I cannot believe she will be a kindergartener next year!  The black skirt you see me wearing here is at least 12 years old.  I bought it when I was in college and have hung on to it since, knowing that it would come back in style again.  Unfortunately the elastic in the waistband has dried out so I will have to replace it before I can wear it again or I will risk wardrobe malfunction. I am posing here with the niece of honor and my mom.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Jalie 2921 scarf neck tee with ties wrapped to back (so glad I figured this out!)
RTW: Cookie Johnson white straight leg jeans, Etsy necklace, nude Nine West low heel pumps

 

May 24 (Friday) — TGIF and I’m not on call!  Plus this is the weekend I get to spend sewing nonstop at the Sandra Betzina workshop at All About Sewing.  In this photo I am working on McCall’s 6559 which you will see more of later in the week.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 1664 top (will blog soon!) and McCall’s 6654 skirt
RTW: Silpada necklace and Cole Haan tan peep toe heels

 

May 25 (Saturday) — The Sandra Betzina trunk show took place this day.  She went through the samples of all her patterns and discussed different techniques for altering and modifying each pattern.  Although most of Sandra’s patterns don’t appeal to me right off the cover (I don’t think I am in her age demographic), changing fabric and/or features can definitely make them more attractive (see my project from last year’s workshop here).  After the trunk show, we each sat down with Sandra and our chosen pattern (Vogue 1291 for me) to select our size and make any fitting adjustments to our flat pattern. We then all went home to cut out our fabric.

Except a few of us didn’t go straight home — my sewing bestie, Dianne (far left), invited Sandra, me and Joni (far right) over for dinner at her beautiful new home, spouses included.  I was asked to bring a cocktail, so I made a double batch of the Strawberry Riesling Slushies that Annie recently featured on her blog (if you couldn’t tell from the empty glasses and pitcher, the drink was a hit — not too sweet but very refreshing!). Mr. Homemaker and I had a wonderful time — our dinner companions were lively and entertaining and our hostess prepared an excellent meal for us to feast on.  Thanks again, Dianne!

 

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Me Made: Trina Turk knit tank altered to open up an extra buttonhole
RTW: Citizens skinny jeans, red Franco Sarto patent flats

May 26 (Sunday) — Our first full day of sewing with Sandra and my first day to wear something that involved only a minimum of sewing skill on my part.  None of my attire is me-made but this top only had two functioning buttonholes when I bought it.  On a less busty person I don’t think that would have been an issue but for me that made the shirt gape like crazy and revealed more than I liked.  So I got out my handy seam ripper and tore this shirt a new one — a new buttonhole that is 🙂

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Me Made: Golden Renfrew
RTW: Cookie Johnson white straight leg jeans, Kluster red coral necklace, nude patent flats

May 27 (Monday/Memorial Day) — This was our second full day of sewing.  I finished almost all of the construction of my shirt on Sunday so I just had to hem it and stitch down the neck band when I got to the store on Monday morning.  After that I made a few more flat pattern alterations to my knit maxi dress (McCall’s 6559) based on a knee-length muslin and cut out my fashion fabric.  Before we finished up for the day I had my shoulder seams sewn, the neckline finished with my new favorite method, and my side seams sewn.  All I had left was to bind the arm holes and hem it.

This photograph is a group shot of some of the ladies at the workshop.  We all had a great time and got tons of sewing accomplished!  Sandra is a great teacher and I always learn lots from her and the other students who all have more experience than me.  I am already looking forward to when she returns to our area next year.

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Me Made: Vogue 1291 butterfly sleeve top
RTW (not shown): Elie Tahari pencil skirt, Cole Haan coral wedges

 

May 28 (Tuesday) — Back to the real world.  Here’s my version of Sandra’s pattern, Vogue 1291.  Although this photo was taken during the workshop when I tried on my completed top (notice the mismatched necklace), I actually wore it to work the next day with a cobalt blue pencil skirt and my coral Cole Haan peep toe wedges but I just couldn’t get a flattering photo that I could bring myself to post for all the world to (potentially) see.  Sorry 😦

 

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Me Made: Sewaholic Cambie as a peplum blouse
RTW: Cookie Johnson denim capris, Tessyla necklace, Cole Haan wedges

 

May 29 (Wednesday) — My day off but this was a pretty busy one with running errands.  I started out with stopping by the hospital to check on my grandfather after he had surgery (he did great), then I had a dentist appointment, dermatologist appointment, grabbed a quick lunch, packed up some of my sewing stuff, headed to a friend’s house for a sewing playdate for a few hours working on tracing off and making flat pattern adjustments to the Colette Chantilly pattern, ran to the grocery store, then came home and cooked dinner for my husband.  I actually scored a “This is one of the best things you’ve ever cooked” from Mr. Homemaker so the recipe will be making an appearance here in the future.  Be on the lookout.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 2599 ruffle blouse, Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt
RTW: Tessyla necklace, old belt, Via Spiga blue suede pumps

 

May 30 (Thursday) — Back to the office.  Two me-made pieces this day.  I added a belt over the Hollyburn skirt and I really like the look.

 

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Me Made: McCall’s 6559 maxi dress in a drapey knit from Elliott Berman (from my NYC trip)
RTW: Old belt

May 31 (Friday) — Yay!  I made it!! This is my most recently finished project — I started it during the Sandra Betzina workshop and finished it up the Thursday evening after so I could wear it before the month ran out. I will dedicate an entire post to this pattern, but can I just tell you that I LOVE it!  It is so easy and once you figure out your fitting tweaks and the sizing, it is such a flattering and comfy dress. I am going to make up more versions in both the long and short varieties.

And can I just apologize for the awful photo? After 30 days of remembering to take daily outfit photos, I hopped into bed last night and remembered I hadn’t taken my photo for the day.  Well, I wasn’t going to mess up on the last day of the challenge so I jumped out of bed, threw my dress and belt back on and tossed my iPhone to my husband and made him snap some photos of me in my bare face and bare feet. While I was at work, I paired the dress with my denim jacket and some white leather d’Orsay pumps.  After work, I nixed the jacket and changed into some white flip-flops for a casual business dinner.  I also paired the dress with a multistranded Silpada necklace (seen on May 25).

Reflecting on the month, I feel like I have grown in my sewing skills, especially in fitting.  I finished several new items during the month — 7 total — and overall they each fit really well and I don’t have any major construction complaints.  I do need to bite the bullet and start working on fitting myself for pants and shorts.  All in good time, I guess.

Well, guys, thanks for following along.  I have several pattern reviews to bring you as well as some recipes for desserts, drinks, and main dishes.  Stay tuned!

 

Me Made May ’13 — Part 2

20 May

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Well, the month of May is almost 2/3 of the way done and I’m proud to report that I am holding strong on my Me Made pledge.  I have even managed not to repeat any items so far!  I will likely have to repeat something this week, though, as I am running out of items and I can’t sew fast enough to keep up (but don’t think I haven’t been trying!).  So without further ado, here’s May 10-19:

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Me Made: Sandra Betzina Vogue 1045 blouse
RTW: Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Cole Haan purse, New York and Co. necklace, red patent flats

 

May 10 (Friday) — We joined some friends and attended our local annual Rotary Steak Cookoff.  While the location was moved this year because of threatening weather, the grills were still going strong and we enjoyed tasting lots of different steaks.  In this photo, I am posing with my friend Catherine in front of one of the team’s displays.  It was too funny not to have a photo-op!

 

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Me Made: Renfrew #1
RTW: Kluster necklace, Citizens jeans, coral Cole Haan wedges

 

May 11 (Saturday) — Since this was the first weekend my husband and I have had to ourselves in a while, we drove to Pensacola, Florida (just across the state line) and had lunch at a cute little burger joint downtown called the Tin Cow.  They also had delicious milkshakes and I can’t pass up a milkshake.  After our lunch, we went to Joe Patti’s to pick up fresh sea scallops for Mothers’ Day dinner, to Four Winds market for steaks, and then met up with Matt’s dad and sister for dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

 

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Me Made: Simplicity 1808 shorts
RTW: New shoes T-shirt from Nordstrom

 

May 12 (Sunday/Mothers’ Day) — For the majority of the day, Mr. Homemaker and I piddled around the house doing chores and preparing food for dinner guests.  That evening my parents, sister, nieces, future brother-in-law, and friends Leslie and Danny came over for surf and turf.  Matt grilled the steaks and I prepared the scallops from Ad Hoc at Home that I have posted before as well as a Caesar salad and baked potatoes.  My sister brought bread, dessert, and sweet tea.  It was great to spend time with my family and friends.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Simplicity 2648
RTW: LOFT jacket, Nordstrom belt, Cole Haan wedges, The Limited necklace

 

May 13 (Monday) — Back to work this day and wearing a pre-blog Simplicity 2648 in a ponteroma knit.  This dress is a little big now but it’s okay when covered with a belt and jacket.

 

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Me Made: Vogue 8032 top
RTW: Old white belt, Nordstrom pencil skirt, Nine West pumps

 

May 14 (Tuesday) — Sorry for the blurry nighttime iPhone photo.  This day was just business as usual with a full day in the office.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Margarita Tank Top
RTW: Citizens jeans, black flats, Kenneth Cole necklace, Ray Ban sunglasses

 

May 15 (Wednesday) — My day off was spent sewing a new top (see May 17), getting a hair cut, and seeing a house with my realtor.  This tank top was refashioned from one of my husband’s old T-shirts using the A La Mode Margarita Tank Top pattern.  I haven’t blogged this top but I think it is a nice little pattern for a tank.  Next time I make it, though, I will lengthen it a bit and lower the arm holes a tad as they are a bit constricting.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Jalie 2921
RTW: Kenneth Cole ponte pants; red patent flats; Kenneth Cole necklace

 

May 16 (Thursday) — Back to the office this day but nothing exciting to report.  This Jalie 2921 is unblogged and largely unworn because I don’t like the ties.  But when I pulled it out to wear it, I decided to try wrapping the ties around and knotting them in the back and I loved the effect it gave the top so I think this will be getting a lot more wear now.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged, brand new Simplicity 1664 top
RTW: LOFT capris, Kluster necklace, Donald Pliner red patent slides

 

May 17 (Friday) — TGIF and the weather was beautiful so my stepson and I put the top down on the convertible and drove to the local Marriott Grand Hotel to take pictures of my brand new Simplicity 1664 top.  Can I just tell you, I LOVE THIS TOP!  It fits true to the pattern sizing (must be because it is a “Threads” pattern and not standard Big 4).  I didn’t do a full bust adjustment, just graded one size up in the bust area.  It sewed up really easily and was completed in 2 evenings’ time.  I will give it a dedicated blog post soon.

 

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I offered Kris $5 if he could catch a mullet jumping in the background of one of my photos.  Well, I owe him $5 now — can you see the fish?

 

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My handsome stepson/photographer, Kristofer

 

 

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The grounds at the Hotel are beautiful.  Mr. Homemaker and I try to find a reason to have a weekend staycation there at least once or twice a year.

 

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Me Made: McCall’s 6654 skirt
RTW: Nordstrom chambray shirt, Silpada necklace, Frye shoes, old belt

 

May 18 (Saturday) — I have been on call this weekend so that keeps me close to home and pretty free of major plans.  On the up side, though, it allows lots of time for sewing and other crafty pursuits!  I whipped up this skirt to wear in the span of about an hour and that included time spent waffling about which size to cut and measuring the pattern pieces.  You can read more about my experience in my last post.

 

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Me Made: Unblogged Vogue 8887 halter top
RTW: Nanette Lepore skirt, Kluster necklace, Steinmart shoes

 

May 19 (Sunday) — This is also a new, unblogged top — Vogue 8887.  I sewed this halter up in a silk I got on sale from Sawyer Brook.  This pattern gave me fits and I am not 100% happy with the final product.  At least in this photo you can’t see all the things that drive me crazy.  I will try to get this one blogged soon, too.  My husband snapped this photo in the middle of our picturesque downtown.  Our city swaps out the flowers on all the street corners regularly but the May planting is always one of my favorites with the star-gazer lilies.  We even have flowers on top of our trash cans 🙂

Well, that’s all for now.  We’ll see how many more days I can hold out before I have to repeat something!  Thanks for reading 🙂

Perfect Shell — Simplicity 2599

2 Apr

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Here’s my most recently finished sewing project — and I actually just finished it this week!  This is Simplicity 2599, a great basic blouse pattern that includes sleeveless and short-sleeved versions as well as several different trim options.  It also features different pattern pieces for B, C, and D bust cups so you don’t have to do any adjustments for that department.  The blouse is quick and easy to put together once you work out any fitting issues.  And really, there can’t be too many fitting issues when there is just one main piece for the front and one main piece for the back 🙂

 

 

 

 

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As you can see, the neck in this version (E) features a cute ruffle which is created by gathering a single layer of bias cut fabric and attaching it to the neckline through the blouse and facing.  This technique is great because it keeps the facing from flipping out and because the facing adds an extra layer of sturdiness to anchor the ruffle.

 

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In this photo you can see what the shirt looks like untucked.  Please excuse the wrinkles since I had it tucked into my skirt all day.  I had to tweak the pattern to achieve the waist definition you see here.  When I first sewed up the shirt, it was a complete box.  I ended up grading the waist down two sizes from the size that I sewed in the bust and hips.  This makes it a little hard to get on over my head since I also omitted the button opening at the neck but it is possible.

 

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From the back view you can see that I did an awesome swayback adjustment — well, pretend like you can :).  It is wrinkly from being tucked in but before I made my swayback adjustment, the back of this shirt pooled like crazy.  Now it glides over my junk-trunk much more gracefully.  For finishing, the seams are all French seams and the armholes are finished with self-bias binding.

 

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And just to show you one of my favorite flowers and why this is my favorite time of the year.  Azaleas make me so happy.  These are some of the small azalea bushes outside my office.  When I left work yesterday afternoon, they were so full of blooms and the sunshine was so pretty, I just had to snap a picture for you.  Unfortunately azaleas grow really slowly so it will be many years before these bushes reach the massive size of the plants that I so admire in our surrounding neighborhoods, but at least my little babies make up for it in quality!

 

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And one last shot to show you the outtakes from my first attempt at self-photography.  Apparently 10 seconds isn’t as long as I thought it was.  Or we can pretend I was doing exercises in my skirt and heels.  In front of the camera.  I’m still amazed that I even figured out how to turn on the timer on my camera without having to consult the manual…

 

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Jacket–Loft
Blouse–Made by Me!
Skirt–Halogen from Nordstrom
Shoes–Cole Haan
Necklace–Tessyla on Etsy

 

Belle Bow Blouse — In House Patterns

26 Jan

Don’t forget to enter my One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!  The giveaway will end Thursday, January 31 at midnight CST.  Click here to enter a comment on the giveaway post and be entered to win a free Craftsy class of your choice!!!

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In my office at work.

This is a finished object that has been hanging in my closet for quite a few months now (since the summer).  Sorry it has taken me so long to get some decent pictures of it.  This blouse is the Belle Bow Blouse by In House Patterns, an indie pattern company that was new to me until I came across their downloadable offerings on Pattern Review.  The blouse features a neck tie, button front, waist tucks in front and back for shaping, and gathers at the shoulder yoke with sleeveless dropped shoulders.

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I must say I am very impressed with In House Patterns so far.  This pattern was very well-drafted, the instructions are excellent and create a very clean, professional finish, and the seam allowances are already reduced to keep you from having to trim everything.  To top it all off, these patterns are drafted for a D-cup so I didn’t have to spend time doing a full bust adjustment (FBA).

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I can tell you from personal experience that the top fits very true to the size chart without excess ease.  I was one size bigger in the hips than the waist and bust but I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal so I didn’t grade up.  Mistake — I ended up having to let my tucks out a little bit to accommodate my hips.  Next time I will know to go ahead and grade out at the side seams.

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I made the shirt from a cheap polyester that I picked up at the Vogue Fabrics booth at the Sewing Expo in Atlanta last year.  It took right at 1.5 yards.  It gets staticky like crazy.  I used tricot fusible for the button placket.  I used the buttons I picked up in England for the closures.

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Shirt: Made by Me!
Cardigan: Talbots
Jeans: AG
Shoes: Via Spiga
Necklace: Kluster on Etsy

When I wore it to work this week, I layered my favorite ivory cardigan over it.  This shirt also looks great tucked into a pencil skirt.  The pattern includes a collared version without the tie and I am thinking about making that one up next…

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I love how it just skims the hips.  The tucks are so easy to sew and are also great for alterations when you ignore the size chart 🙂

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A view of the inside.

As far as the finishes called for, the facing edges are serged.  The front bodice/yoke seam is clean finished so no exposed edges show.  The back yoke seam is finished with the serger.  The side seam edges call for a serged finish.  The sleeves and bottom have a narrow machine hem.

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Front yoke seam — inside view.

All in all, I can’t recommend this pattern enough.  If you haven’t seen In House Patterns before, go check them out.  And if you’re concerned because you aren’t a D bust cup, Alexandra has a lot of great information on her website about how to alter her patterns for larger and smaller sizes.  I am looking forward to new patterns from this great designer!

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