This is my finished version of the Ladies Blouse 1000 pattern. As you can see, the overall look is quite different without the embroidery, but I like it. I did make some significant changes to the pattern, which I describe below.
The most important thing I changed, which is not really a change, came about as I was trying to interpret how to fold the pleats in the blouse front. The lines on the pattern didn’t seem to be very clear as to which were fold lines and which were stitching lines. Then I cut out the pattern pieces for the front, back, and collar and matched them up.
As you can see, the collar fits perfectly over the neckline of the front and back, without any pleats folded. Ah hah!
This is important. You have to make the pleats in the fabric for the front, back, and sleeve before you lay out the pattern pieces and cut them out. The lines on the pattern pieces show the placement of the finished pleats. This is actually a lot easier than making the pleats after you’ve cut out the pieces, because you don’t have to worry about being accurate to the millimater.
This shows my blouse front laid out on the pleated fabric. I also extended the center front to place the closing in the front rather than the back, not having a proper lady’s maid to dress me.
Now for the checklist.
1. I am an advanced sewer. Most of my costumes are intended for community theater, so I make them to fit current sizes, and I like to include adjustments so sizes can be easily altered. This is mostly done with box pleats at the CB.
2. To adjust the sizing of this pattern, I extended the basque at the CB to fit the waist size I needed, and also added the same amount to the CB of the blouse. I made a small box pleat at the back neck to deal with the extra fabric there while still keeping my extra fabric at the waist. You can also adjust the waist size with the gathering in the blouse front. I also added extra fabric for box pleats at the waist, but you wouldn’t need these if you are making the blouse for one person.
I tried the sleeve cuffs as they were in the pattern, where they are not intended to come together over the pleat in the sleeve, but I didn’t like the way it looked, so I also extended the sleeve cuff patterns 1 inch in length.
I also made the belt a separate piece, not stitched to the blouse. This just seemed easier, especially if I needed to adjust the size later.
3. As you see, my blouse looks somewhat different from the pattern without the embroidery, but the basic design features are preserved.
4. The instructions need to indicate clearly that the pleats should be stitched before the pattern pieces are laid out. They also assume that the seamstress is familiar with the embroidery techniques needed.
5. I think this pattern is very easy to adjust for modern sizes and, with a few minor adjustments in the pattern and instructions, should prove very popular. The finished blouse is attractive and comfortable to wear.
6. The fabric was a lightweight cotton/polyester blend with a slightly crinkled finish. I used 3 yards of 60 inch wide fabric.
7. I changed the opening and button placket to the front instead of the back.
I lengthened the sleeve cuffs by 1 inch so they covered the whole sleeve area.
I made fitting extensions to the CB in the basque, blouse back, and belt patterns.
I extended all seam allowances to the standard 5/8 inch.
8. I think this pattern, with a few simple modifications, can be very successful.
Here are some more pictures of the blouse in progress.
This shows the CB box pleats I added to allow for adjustment to the fit.
This shows the finished blouse, with the belt open. The bottom of the button band on the blouse is closed with a snap, since the belt closes with a button, and I didn’t want the extra bulk of 2 buttons, one on top of the other.