Sunday, 28 November 2010

Simplicity 3789 blouse -Khaliah Ali Collection with ranting

Thank you for the commiseration and encouragement re the Patrones failure. I threw away the traced pattern and toile in a fit of pique, so I may require considerable enthusiasm before attempting it again.
Today I have finished my "easy" Simplicity pattern. I made this up in a purple floral print, cotton, to co-ordinate with my purple skirt. I am very grateful for all the more adventurous suggestions for colour co-ordination, but my fabric stash is surprisingly limited in these colours, considering the size of it! I have exciting purchasing plans in the pipeline.

I bought this pattern as my last choice in a "buy 3 for $21 sale" at my local fabric shop, which is what passes for a pattern bargain in Australia.


My thought, when selecting this pattern was useful work blouse.
I think this is what I have. It would be quite reasonable to suppose, that having achieved the planned outcome with this pattern, I would be a happy seamstress. Unfortunately, today the only seamstress in this house is very grumpy. Be warned. Read on at your own risk.
I have made many Simplicity patterns in the past. I know how to alter them to make them fit me, knowledge that has been acquired painfully and expensively, through the production of many wadders. This pattern did not fit like a Simplicity pattern.
I should have read the 13 reviews at pattern review before trying this pattern. These are mixed. There are a few give away raves "Usually I make a lot of alterations but this one fit straight out of the envelope" and several give away dismal failures "far too big" " shoulders very wide" "did not finish the shirt".
The Kahliah Ali pattern seems to use a different draft that is loose, very loose, and has enormously wide shoulders, extra large, boobies with considerable separation, and is very long in the body. This is probably the perfectly fitting blouse for Kahliah Alia, if she is the lady in the pattern photograph, without a peg at the back of the blouse, but why doesn't the pattern envelope say that the draft is different?
According to the pattern envelope measurements, I should make a size 12 in Simplicity patterns, using my high bust and hip measurement. The finished measurements for size 12 D in this pattern would give me 7 inches of ease at the bust. I prefer a more fitted blouse, as IMO 7 inches of ease in an allegedly semi-fitted style garment increases apparent fatness.
My extensive wadder experience has taught me to make a size 10 in Simplicity patterns, with a full bust adjustment.
This blouse has separate bodice pieces for different cup sizes, which was the deciding factor in my purchase. This would suggest a size 12 D for me (continuing to use my high bust measurement- otherwise a 16D, using full bust measurement, which would be quite ridiculously large). According to my previous experience I made a size 10D. It was a very poor fit.
I took 5cm from the front princess lines at bust level and above, 3 cm from each shoulder line, and took the waist in by 5cm. I also made the blouse to my high hip level, which required removal of 10 cm from the length.


(I also made 5 small pleats instead of 3 big ones next to the button placket, and fiddled around with the horizontal stitching across the pleats, but this has nothing to do with the fitting)


There are some pleasing things about this blouse. It was very quick to make. The dressmaker collar has a surprisingly pleasant shape, and overall, this is a Useful blouse. It even looks O.K. with the purple skirt. There are several pattern styling options, I may even use it again, but I remain grumpy about this pattern. Boo to Simplicity from me.


KID, MD said...

Your end result is very pretty and goes well with your skirt, but it sounds like it was struggle to get there! How annoying!! I know the Khaliah Ali line is plus sized mainly - I wonder if that is why the block is different. You'd think they would reflect that in the size chart, but that doesn't seem to be the Big 4s way, does it?

Faye Lewis said...

That certainly is a very pretty "useful" top.

Carolyn said...

Well, it looks lovely! But sounds like an awfully frustrating experience for you...! The pintucks on the front are so pretty, I really like this touch.

BetsyV said...

It was well worth your perseverance in this case, Karen. The blouse looks very nice on you, and I can see how it would be a very useful pattern!

RuthieK said...

A lovely fabric, and the little pintuck details are a cute twist. I made some Khalia Ali patterns when I was plus size with not very good results either. Works really well with the purple skirt, so now you have two whole outfits!

a little sewing on the side said...

oh I am glad you are grumpy! I am sick with a sore throat today so I am grumpy, too and it's nice to connect with other grumps!

Having said that, I adore your little pleats /pintucks. And it proves that spending a little time to experiment with an embellishment will yield better results. I think yours look much nicer than the pattern envelope.

Mary said...

Wonderful pintucks, and a nice print for your blouse. Yes, I agree with you about the sizing on these patterns. I have used a few, and then moved on. But, cute blouse.

shams said...

Does it reflect badly on my character that I came faster to this post, given the ("and rant") title? :)

I have never used these patterns, but I know they are designed for the plus sized body, and Kalilah's name is supposed to be enough to tip you off, just as "Marcy Tilton" should tip you off that the fit might be more "mature." Maybe they don't want to insult the plus sized consumer by indicating the vanity sizing right on the envelope? :)

At least you made a very cute top and it fits you well. Very cute!

Ann Brodsky said...

Your blouse is absolutely lovely, and your fit is amazing considering the trouble you had with the pattern. I tried this pattern years ago, and gave up because the size I cut was way too big also.

Mary Nanna said...

It looks great and is a great match with your skirt. Sounds like you really had to work hard to get there though.

My sister was mocking me last night for sewing from pattern magazines and not using the big 4. "What, are they too mainstream for you, too guaranteed to be successful, not enough risk and kook for ya?" See she was WRONG about that.

sewing spots said...

Ah. Thanks very much for sharing your experience w/ this pattern! I have it and was thinking about digging it out to make a blouse since I am desparate need of them. I think I'll look for a different pattern now.

I love the way your blouse turned out though! Looks great on you!

Handmade said...

We can all understand your frustrations. Your blouse is pretty and will be useful. They don't understand how a little more info can help us!

Sharon said...

You have created a very pretty blouse,and I really like the pintucks. I agree with Shams comments about the pattern drafting as I have had fitting problems with the Marcy Tilton patterns.

Alison said...

I find it a little bizarre that Simplicity have decided to design a plus sized pattern & grade it down to a size 6! Maybe that's the problem? Who knows. But I love the finished top!

Gail said...

Isn't Khaliah Ali a plus size pattern maker? You've made a very pretty blouse, so your struggles paid off in the end. Interestingly a friend from the Australian Sewing Guild was making the same blouse in a pretty floral print on the weekend.

velosewer said...

Love the blouse and the detailing. I suppose you've just proven that you have great fitting skills. The strange sizing just causes grumpiness.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Love your pin tuck detail and absolutely sympathize with the sizing/fitting issues in the Big 4! It gets really old to have to reinvent the wheel with every project.

Debbie Cook said...

The KA line is mostly plus-sized, but I made this pattern (as plus sized) and had trouble with it too so I'm voting for bad drafting all around because it can't be us, right? ;-) I haven't tossed the pattern yet, because I'm still hypnotized by the photos. lol

Your blouse turned out nice, in spite of Simplicity. Love the tucks!

yolanda said...

In spite of your being grumpy, I very much enjoyed your rant. I have this pattern and have made the same view as you did,only without the pintucks. I'm petite though, and already knew I'd have to take in the length at the waist so what's another inch. Besides that, it was nice for me not to have to lower the bust for once...except that I did anyway:(.
I should have read your review first.

I LOVE how you changed the pintucks. They're lovely that way.
I also love how it fits you in the waist and hip area. (Mine is very straight and kind of sack-like.)
Good job!