Last week, Gail wrote a blog post in which she described a direct correlation between how quickly she photographs a project and how much she likes it. With this project that I completed a few weeks ago, the opposite seems to be true: every time it’s clean, I wear it out without taking pics, so the write-up has been a long time coming.
When Tilly announced the release of the Mathilde Blouse, I joined the scads of sewists that were fired up to construct this stylish design. Tucks! Full, gathered sleeves! A button placket! Down the back! Full sentences. Can’t make.
But the blouse, I could make. I purchased and printed the pdf pattern within days of it being released. The pattern sizing only extends to a 40″ bust, so the first thing I had to do was some substantial grading/altering. I’ll detail that stuff below for any who are interested. Next, I muslined the bodice pieces, eliminating the yoke/tucks/buttons. I knew that I would want the front neckline a little lower, so I dropped it by about 1½” at center front. That was the only design change I made. I was surprised how great the muslin fit considering the major sizing changes I had made. The only post-muslin alteration I needed was to the length/angle of the bust darts.
I am mad about this fabric, in the love way not the angry way. I bought it locally at The Common Thread, and it’s a 100% cotton voile. I’m not sure why, but it seems some voiles are much softer and silkier than others, and this is one of the good ones. It feels much more luxurious than cotton, in the way that Liberty lawn does, though maybe not quite that awesome. :) Whatever, it was also a third of the price! Here’s the info from the selvedge:
Fun fact about this fabric. On Monday, my husband and I watched the premiere episode of Bates Motel on A&E. (Don’t worry, I hate spoilers so there’ll be none of that here.) In one of the scenes, the Norma Bates character was wearing a skirt that I thought might have been this same fabric. It was a dimly lit and fast-moving scene so I never could be sure, but it drove me to distraction so I tried to find a still shot of it the next day. Couldn’t find one. But, I discovered that I could stream the episode, so with some effort, I finally captured a screenshot where it was visible. (If you watched the show, you’ll know this was a particularly un-fun task. It was not a scene I cared to revisit! Surely that’s not a spoiler… You knew that a show about the Bates Motel wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies, right??) So check it:
Here are my pattern alteration notes, in the order in which I made them:
- Graded pattern up to size 8, which would correspond to a 44″ bust. 44″ has little to do with my particular bust, except that it always gives me the best fit at my shoulders and upper chest.
- Added width at the side seams using the seam method, 1″ at the top to 2″ at the hem.
- Did a 2″ FBA.
- Spread out the gathers at the sleeve cap a bit more to account for my wider upper arm; the narrow space they covered initially looked out of proportion on me.
- As I noted above, I lowered the neckline at center front 1½”.
- Oh yeah, almost forgot — I added an eighth button on the placket at the back. I supposed I had added a little length due to the grading, but really it’s just that I had eight buttons and wanted to use them all. The buttons are coconut, purchased at Super Textiles in Dallas. This store has gazimillions of buttons, plus fabric and zippers and lots of other stuff, but go when it’s cool out because it’s not air conditioned!
Anyway, in case it’s not clear by now, I love this pattern, love the results, anticipate making it lots more times. Thanks Tilly — can’t wait to see what you release in the future! And, though it’s been said many times already, thanks for the stroke of brilliance that was the check-boxes-at-each-step. I loved that touch, and may have gotten a little creative with my sense of accomplishment…
ETA: I just realized that I had failed to include a full pic of the back of the blouse, with the great button placket! Here it is: