It's always fun to set sewing challenges for my local Garment Guild. This month our challenge was to make something we found on CreativeBug -- many of our local library systems now have CreativeBug available to patrons, and I wanted our members to find out about all the goodness in this option!
I've already made the Shirt No. 1 from 100 Acts of Sewing, thanks to CreativeBug, and so this time I thought I'd try out the very popular Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company. I've always liked it, but worried that the close fit of the body was not for me. But onwards I went, and gave it a whirl anyhow.
As it turns out, I really love it :) I used a rayon knit from my stash; I love the print but have never been able to figure out what to do with it, as the lightweight nature of it and low stretch were always a problem to match up with a good pattern. So I gave it a go here. It is perfect!
I traced off the size L, but as I was measuring the pattern pieces on my fabric I realized that the waist and hip were going to be far too small for my liking. Instead of just cutting a wider line at the side seams, I swung the bottom away from the fold by one inch, giving more of a swing line to the silhouette. I did the same front and back and I am glad I did, otherwise I wouldn't have fit into this. So beware, other pear-shaped sewists -- make sure you grade out at the hip! If I make it again I may also add a bit at the bust, but I like the width and fit of the neckline & shoulder, so don't want to increase the sizing there.
I absolutely love the soft flowiness of the sleeve in this lightweight knit. It feels so great. I used regular 1/2" elastic in the sleeve cuffs, but happened to have some heavier, sturdier bra elastic in my stash that I used for the shoulder gathering. I think it worked just great -- nice and solid, it doesn't stretch out too much, and holds the gathers nicely. I did use the recommended 7" length at the shoulder, but in the sleeve ends I reduced the circumference to about 9.5" so that it fit snugly on my arm, and allows the fullness to sit well in the sleeve.
Otherwise this really was a quick sew; I cut it out one night and sewed it up the next day in a couple of hours. I am a slow sewist so like to have lots of time to work on things, even 'easy' projects. I didn't hem the bottom because I don't think my machine will give a nice result on this thin knit, even with a double needle. I don't have a walking foot or the ability to change the presser foot pressure, and this knit stretches as I sew; I had to stop and readjust it constantly for the seams. But I think it looks great, and I love the feel of it. I think it will go with a few different skirt shapes, and let me get a decent amount of wear out of it. I'm glad I finally tried it!