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Blouse with woven strips of fabric – part 2

muslin front muslin back

Sorry to show you again such boring fabric. Sometimes I think I’m only publishing posts with muslins ;). They serve a purpose though and I like to document what I do in my blog too. Muslins can be the first part of a real garment but also be part of my progress in drafting patterns and (of course) a muslin can help decide it’s no use to continue on a project because the style does not work for me.

Not so for this blouse, I like this so far.

My interpretation of the front waist pleats is sewing the dart partially. I’m not sure yet how to proceed with the back. The original has a waist seam in the back that continues to halfway the front. My guess is that the wide back is gathered to the waist. I’m not so sure I would like it that way on me and consider leaving out the pleat center back and use partially stitched darts as in the front. Any thoughts on this?

imagemuslin on me

Analyzing the fit and design I need more curve the front placket . I like the opening at the neckline of the original and drafted it almost wide enough, but forgetting the width of the placket extensions. The neckline is fine and does not need any changes. The shoulder needs to be half a centimeter wider. It’s a lesson in checking and re-checking, as somehow I’ve lost that half a centimeter compared to my sloper.

   muslin on me

The right sleeve was the first I made and it does not have ease. Too tight and feels uncomfortable.

muslin on me

I widened it and it now has a bit of ease. Feels comfortable but the fit is not as I want it to be. Í will try to set it in differently and see whether that helps.

muslin on me muslin on me 

The main body was drafted based on the sloper made in Suzy Furrer’s Craftsy class. The sleeves are a combination of the Danckaerts method of drafting and then adapting for shirt sleeve as described in the book by Helen Joseph Armstrong. In her book she makes a distinction between patterns for dresses and for blouses/shirts. Can you have too much information? Perhaps it would be better to stick to one method. Alas, it does not work for me that way. I have taken real life classes, I’m watching Suzy Furrer’s classes and also reading the books. Hopefully not too much information to digest. 

Perhaps I will try Suzy Furrer’s draft for sleeves after all for this blouse. My main concern is the lack of height of the sleeve cap in her way of drafting. The shirt style has a lower cap and is wider. Why do I realize something like that after doing it in a more complicated way? And that is a rhetorical question.


  1. Just went back a couple of posts where you have photos of the front of the inspiration piece. It looks to me that the front darts are sew fully and there is a separate tuck coming from the back/side. And you are right the back is gathered (plus the tuck). Quite complicated. Really the best bit is the weaving of the stripes which you have done nicely. Good luck with the sleeves. Sometimes I think we can have too much information and we do become overwhelmed. At least in my case.

  2. I am enjoying seeing/reading your progression with this blouse!

  3. I enjoy seeing your muslins and I am sorry that I don't always get the chance to comment. I really like the way the front is coming together and would leave the back plain, the fullness just doesn't seem to your style.

  4. Looking good!

    When I finally get to drafting sleeves, I know that it is going to take a big chunk of my life to get it right. I have trouble with all sleeves that come with patterns, so drafting will be something else again. In the meantime...I will watch your progress!

  5. It looks like the original shirt has extended shoulders. If you use the Danckaerts sleeve, you need to adjust it for extended shoulders. I'll try to explain it in Dutch. Het verschil in schouderbreedte (schouderbreedte in dit patroon en de schouderbreedte die je gebruikt voor het basispatroon, de gemeten schouderbreedte) moet van de kop van de mouw worden afgehaald. Dus bijv 3 cm bredere schouders zorgen ervoor dat de kop 3 cm lager wordt. De mouwkop wordt daardoor platter en zit mooier in het armsgat.

    Good luck with the shirt, I am looking forward to the end result!


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