I recently realized I need more basic blouses and this Very Easy Vogue caught my eye. It features dolman sleeves and fisheye darts, front and back. I particularly liked the notch-less collar on View A and decided it would be a good opportunity to use the technique demonstrated on Louise Cutting's Insider Techniques, Volume One DVD (published by Threads), on how to modify the draft of a collar to eliminate bulk at the center front and to cut the collar as one piece.
Nancy Zieman, Sandra Betzina, and others also teach this technique, and it's a good one. (I've been told that Nancy Zieman was the first to teach it years ago.) In fact, Sigrid recently posted a tutorial on this technique called Cutting a Collar in One Piece. And here is a Power Sewing video that shows the technique. (Just hit the Play arrow to view.)
I made the top twice. First, I used a white cotton shirting from Michael's with blue threads, in various shades, running through it. I made this top with long sleeves, as shown in View B. The second version was made from a black cotton voile from Fabrix. This fabric has wonderful woven black dots and I bought all that was left, but it was only about one and a half yards and 56" wide. Through painstaking placement, I managed to squeeze a short sleeved version from the limited yardage.
Based on the finished measurement at the bust, I used a size 20 (the largest size) and added a bust dart. (On a more close-fitting pattern, this is my standard size.)
Here is a complete list of the changes I made:
- Changed the draft of the collar to use a single pattern piece for upper and lower collar.
- Added a bust dart.
- Omitted the fisheye darts on the back.
- Replaced the fisheye darts on the front with four short tucks.
- Added 1/4" to the side seam at the waist (for a 1" total increase).
- Removed fabric from the side seam at the hip. (Not sure how much.)
- Finished the side seam with slits (on the black top only).
- Drafted a back facing.
- On the white top, I topstitched most of the seams.
- On the black top, I used French seams for the shoulders and center back.
- Shortened both tops about 3". (I couldn't have squeezed out the black top if I hadn't.)
I did experience one problem when constructing the white top. The notch-less collar is designed so the top of the collar is narrower than the bottom. The bottom edge, which is wider, is sewn to the neck of the blouse. I accidentally made the collar upside-down, so I sewed the top of the collar (which is narrower) to the neck edge. This was very challenging to ease, as you can imagine, but I just thought that the pattern was poorly drafted. When the top was almost finished, I realized my error. Luckily, the poorly eased neck seam is hidden under the finished collar, and I didn't love the top (or the fabric) enough to rip it and out make a new collar, so I left it as-is. I made the collar correctly for the black version. If you look at both collars carefully, you can see that the angle of the collar on the white top is different than the angle on the black top, but I think it's quite wearable.
Here they are:
The first version, with the upside down collar, made from a slightly stiff, slightly crisp, white cotton fabric from Michaels.
On a hangar.
Collar closeup. You can see the reverse side of the fabric, with the threads running through it, just below the back facing.
Second version, with short sleeves, made from black cotton voile. I am wearing this with my cream linen/rayon/silk Trio pants.
On a hangar. The black cotton voile has more drape than the white shirting. Also, you can see the collar is right-side up.
Hem closeup. You can see the side slit right through the fabric. I may need to wear a tank under this one. :)