It is so nice to be making a blouse. Blouses and dresses are my favourite sewing.
I usually make a trial version of a new blouse pattern, rather than a toile, as although I am fairly used to the main adjustments I require in a blouse, there always seem to be pattern idiosyncracies that might ruin my best fabric, but that I will forgive in something less special.
This version is E, with drastically altered sleeves starting at version A, of Simplicity 2501. I truly fancied the tie neck version, but as I used left over fabric, did not have enough for anyting other than very plain. This colour is my take on the useful white blouse that looks terrific on other people.
The fabric is cotton sateen from Ewan Gardam Fabrics. I made one of my work wardrobe 2009 SWAP blouses from this, and it is very comfortable to wear, but a terrible fabric to iron (vigour and attention are required), so it is definitely not suitable for my travel wardrobe. I have a Japanese cotton print in mind for the travel version.
This pattern comes in multiple bust sizes, which is pure bliss as far as I am concerned. I made a D version, and broadened the sleeve by 3cm at mid bicep, as the paper pattern piece did not meet around my arm (unfortunately a common problem for me).I also cut the back peplum at a 15 degree angle from the fold to allow plenty of backside room, but this may not have been necessary. The peplum is quite roomy.
You can see here that I need to tweak the back neck and shoulder/arm fitting. I plan to lower the neck and extend the shoulder a little on the next version, and add a square shoulder adjustment to stop it climbing up the sides of my neck.
I had horrid trouble with the sleeve due to the shoulder issues. The shortened sleeve stuck out over the bicep. To disguise this, I pleated the offending fabric, and added a loose cuff to hold it there.
I am pleased with the outcome. It reminds me of a puffed sleeve without the poofiness and juvenile appearance that would not do me any favours. It will also be easier to iron.
I am quite happy with this blouse as is, I can wear it to the shop, to work, or with jeans and think I will find it very useful. I am also pleased with how little fitting is required for me.