Monday, January 7, 2008

Patrones 252, #9 Sportmax Blouse

When Cidell loaned me her Patroneses (which always makes me think of a Patronus from Harry Potter), the first--and perhaps only, now I think about it--project she pointed out she was in love with was this blouse. I smiled and nodded and thought, OK, that's kind of weird.

But then the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Something about the drama of the sleeves was calling to me, and I traced it out.

I bought the pinstripe fabric from Kashi when I was in NYC for the Mermaid Parade in June (here's the other fabric I got on that trip--this is the third project from that haul, which isn't *too* bad). I didn't really have a specific project in mind, just knew I wanted shirtings because I never have any when I want them. In fact, though I have yards and yards and dozens and possibly hundreds of yards, I never have what I want when I want it. But my fabric buying habits are a story for another time. Anyway, I got the fabric home and decided it would be perfect for this pattern. So I let it age. For months. And then finally picked it up.

It worked up pretty quickly and easily, as quickly as a blouse does at any rate. Blouses are a huge timesuck for me. I don't know what it is. The collar? The placket? The buttonholes and buttons? It always takes double the amount of time to sew that I estimate, hours and hours more than it seems like it should. I don't know why that is, nor why I keep making them! This is the third one in the past few weeks.

I like to find the designer reference Patrones uses for its designs so I looked at Sportmax's Spring 2007 RTW show (in case you did not know, as I did not, Sportmax is Max Mara's bridge line, or RTW line, or something--I should really learn the definition of all the types of lines). Oddly, there doesn't seem to be one. For all the other Patrones projects I've done, it's been a direct copy of a runway look.I looked at the other shows and it didn't come from an earlier season. I found a blouse with a drop shoulder and full sleeves, but they aren't gathered at the hem, at left. And then there was a dress with full sleeves gathered at the bottom, but the shoulder was at true shoulder and they're longer than the sleeves on Patrones's blouse, right. A mystery.

What's slapdash about this project? Probably the buttonholes. I'll admit it, I kind of just didn't want to have to wind a new bobbin of the light blue, and I wanted to use up the dark blue. I genuinely did intend to have the color blending and the bright blue buttonholes on the reverse, but it was kind of born out of laziness.

So Patrones's instructions are not models of clarity. There's the minor problem that they're in Spanish, but my Spanish is OK and having worked with so many of them by now I know a lot of sewing vocabulary (though I can't pretend there aren't still words that mystify me and elude translation). Perhaps the kinder descriptions would be "zen and spare" rather than "short and useless." Below is a direct translation (or as direct as I can get). As you can see, it leaves a lot to the imagination:

Patrones 252 #9
Sportmax Blouse

Number of pattern pieces: 5 (from 15-19)

Fabric: 2 m of 1.4 wide fabric in striped cotton

17 Blouse front (cut two)
16 Blouse back (cut on fold)
15 and 15A Sleeve (cut two)
18 Cuff (cut two)
19 Collar (cut two on fold)

Sew front and back darts.

Sew shoulder seams.

Pass a double gather in the sleeve cap and sew into the armholes.

Sew sleeve and side in one continuous seam.

Pass a double gather at the ends of the sleeves.

Apply fusible interfacing in the middle of the cuffs on the wrong side, iron, fold right against right, sew the short end, turn, and sew to the end of the sleeves, tightening the gathers and forming a pleat at the middle of the cuffs. Turn cuffs.

Fold the front placket and secure with a backstitch.

Apply interfacing to the wrong side of one collar, iron, and unite the two collars right against right. Sew the upper edge to mark A. Trim the seam allowance a little, turn and sew one layer to the neckline to mark A. Turn the layer opposite. [It’s not noted but assume here you hand stitch the other layer in place on the inside.]

Make hems, sew buttonholes, sew buttons.


julia said...

I think the thing I have about blouses and the twice-as-long phenom is that everything has to be done twice - two sleeves, two cuffs, to front edges. I don't know why it's more pronounced than with dresses, or why it's always such a surprise (I have two arms), but it is.

Yours looks wonderful! Not all deitys could pull this look off, but you do it with panache! Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

There's a MERMAID parade!!! I need to look into that. Great blouse too!

Isabelle said...

This is utterly fabulous! Love how you paired it with fitted jeans.