Peter Pan and pintucks blouse
A while ago I informally consulted various fashionistas and the unanimous answer to the question I posed to them was that Peter Pan collars should always meet in the middle and shouldn't be applied to a design where the neckline is intended to be worn open. This presented something of a problem for me: I don't like patterns right next to my face with no neck showing as it all feels too busy, but I was desperate for a Peter Pan collar on a floaty, floral blouse. So I decided to respectfully ignore the advice I'd solicited and throw pattern drafting caution to the wind.
I drew a gentle curve to the central placket as it goes upward, to stop the collar from falling together at the neck. I love wearing pintucks (you might remember my pintuck blouse from last summer), so added some in here.
Several toiles later and I felt optimistic that an open Peter Pan collar had a case for being legalised, but I'd really love to know what you think? Does it work or should the collar be omitted?
I feel inexplicably compelled to share with you that this is a 'best side' sort of photo as my skin is currently a retched hormonal mess, which seems bitterly unfair when I am so many years away from being a teenager...I think it should be an either or situation - but unfortunately things don't seem to heed to the rules of fairness in my head on these matters. Soooo, back to stitching! I used a very narrow self-made piping from plain white voile on the collar edge to give it a little bit of definition.
I am utterly in love with this fabric. It's an incredibly fine cotton voile and I adore the china blue print, which is so easy to wear with jeans and everything else in my wardrobe, as so much of it is blue. I'd usually share a link, but unfortunately I bought this fabric locally and haven't seen it anywhere on the internet.
I think despite the numerous muslins, I still cut into my proper fabric too early. I made some changes to the width of body of the top on the final version, transferred them to my pattern and then cut it. However, I think I've shaved a little too much off and it now lacks the flow over the bottom and hips that I'd hoped it would have. It looks fine on my mannequin...but she doesnt' actually seem to have a bottom and hips for the fabric to catch on!
I'm unsure whether to add the width to sides, or whether to draft in a small gather beneath the yoke to add some hip-accommodating volume. The blouse isn't perfect, but it's entirely wearable, but I shall still be revisiting both the pattern and the fabric to attempt something closer to what's in my head. I was really happy with the way it came together though - I usually bind necklines, but in this case I drafted a front facing and an inner back yoke and constructed it in the same way that you would a man's shirt.
People who follow me on Twitter will know that the making of this blouse didn't run smoothly. I tend to first sew the seams on my machine and then lockstitch and trim the seam allowance on my overlocker. As I fed through the seam allowance of the sleeve, unbeknownst to me a sneaky bit of sleeve was hiding. My overlocker sliced straight through it's lovely almost-finished sleeveness. I felt such a disbelief that rather than a torrent of swear words falling unbidden from my mouth, I started laughing. It was the laughter of one truly shocked and horrified. Perhaps Rochester's Bertha had a similar sewing disaster and wasn't mad at all, for I'm sure I was momentarily rendered just like her. But clearly I have a quicker bounce-back rate than poor Bertha, for I abandoned my sewing, went and made a birthday cake for a friend and by the time my husband arrived back home with children and birthday friend in tow I was doing my best impression of someone in possession of her sanity. I later unpicked the sleeve while we chatted, which made the trauma of my actions less painful and thankfully just enough fabric was left for a new sleeve to be cut.