Pattern Review: Advance 8612, Vintage Blouse
I have worked furiously the last two days on this super cute vintage blouse pattern. I consulted with sewing friends on the alterations needed. I made three muslins. I used all of my tracing paper; not a scrap is left. I humbly submit to you my pattern review…
Pattern Description: Junior and Misses’ Sports Separates, including Blouse, Shorts, and Capri Pants. I made the blouse. This pattern was generously loaned to me by my friend Kellie who made it in a gorgeous plaid seersucker. I have a similar fabric that I bought at the same store at this year’s Pattern Review Weekend in San Francisco which I hope to use on the next iteration of this pattern. Kellie’s review is here.
Pattern Sizing: This was a single size pattern envelope of sz 14. I used a 1 inch FBA, and a 3/4 inch prominent shoulder to fit this to my shape, as well as some other minor changes which I will discuss below.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Except for my lack of waist definition, yes. Kellie’s version looks exactly like the pattern envelope. Super cute!
Were the instructions easy to follow? For the most part, they were easy to follow if a little light on the detail. The collar instructions were a bit confusing. I had to muddle through that part. I would suggest you use different instructions if you have a good set for convertible collars.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved that it was sleeveless. Those release tucks are über cute. And it was just three pattern pieces, so pretty easy to cut and sew (after you get through the muslin process).
Did not like the collar instructions and that the collar was too large as drafted for the neckline.
Fabric used: A cotton floral that was in the stash. Unfortunately, I cannot, for the life of me, remember its provenance. Sorry! Cotton is such a lovely fabric to sew. It takes a press so beautifully. It is so enjoyable to sew with a fabric that has a nice hand, drape and is easy to sew.
Pattern changes or design changes made: Extensive changes! 3 muslins!
- At first I just made the changes that Kellie wrote in her review. Unfortunately, they didn’t work with my ample bust and lack of waist definition. So I went back to the drawing board and did a 1/2 inch FBA for the second muslin. For the third, I did a whole inch FBA.
- I still needed to add a little length to the front after the FBA, so I added a 1/2 inch at the hem.
- I petited the pattern by 1 inch between the bust and the waist, and then added back the inch beneath the waist and the hem on both the front and back pattern pieces.
- I jiggered the placement and how big the tucks were on the front and back. I just sewed and resewed them several times until I was pleased with their size and placement. I think I might move the front tucks down a smidge more on the next version and make them a little bigger for a bit more waist definition.
- I made a prominent shoulder blade alteration. Sherril pointed me in the direction of Cennetta’s picture of this alteration. My alteration came to about a 3/4 of an inch size difference.
- I scooped out the armscye on front and back because my arms were being strangled. And from the feel of wearing it today and the wrinkles in the pictures, it looks as if I could stand to scoop out more of the armscye. I think those armholes were made for martian bodies or someone who never eats.
- I also added a little room at the side seam on the back pattern piece only from the waist down. It looked like I needed more room on the back side as the side seam was pulling toward the back.
Any problems encountered during construction? Other than the multiple muslins? None until I accidentally almost serged off one of my facings. I was able to salvage the facing by adding more interfacing to the sliced edges like a bandaid and then zigzagging over the cut. Phew!
Any new techniques learned? Besides the prominent shoulder blade alteration, not really. I did use the following techniques/gadgets in the making of this blouse though:
- Pam’s finished edge facing/interfacing trick
- My narrow hem foot for the hem
- My vintage Singer Buttonholer for the buttonholes.
Any interesting design details in this pattern? As I mentioned before, the super cute tucks in front and back. They really make the blouse.
Which sewing machine(s) did you use for construction? I used my Singer Featherweight for the majority of the construction and the buttonholes (with the help of the vintage buttonholer). For the seam finishes, I used my Brother serger. To zigzag over my cut facing, I used the Viking Emerald 183 for about 1 minute.
Time to complete construction: I started the 3 muslin process on Tuesday and finished my wearable muslin this morning by adding the buttonholes and buttons. The wearable muslin was made in about 7.5 hours from cutting and interfacing to buttons and buttonholes.
Will you sew it again or recommend it to others? After working this hard on my fitting changes? You bet I will make this again. I love the top. I will keep fine tuning the fit and the details. I can’t wait to make it up in my plaid seersucker. I would definitely recommend this pattern if you can find it, but I strongly suggest that you muslin first before cutting into your good fabric. It’s an easy sew, but the fit is crucial to this pattern looking good. I also suggest you check the collar pattern piece against the neckline.
Conclusion: Great looking pattern. I don’t think it looks too vintage-y, but my mom thinks so. Definitely a summer staple for me going forward.
I hope to cut out my second version today! Happy sewing everyone!