Monday, 21 May 2012

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.

Florence x

44 comments:

  1. Fashionistas be damned Peter Pan looks wonderful on your blouse. I'm thoroughly impressed with your design skills and your ability to laugh i the face of tragedy. No, you are right it's just a blouse sleeve, you have your priorities straight...good on you. You never fail to inspire me.

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  2. I think it's a fabulous alteration to the Peter Pan collar and is set off perfectly by the white piping! And I'm with you on the hormonal thing (only mine seems to fluctuate between not great and really bad for the past 3yrs as a result of pregnancy). Apparently it's very common in the mid-30s.....think I'd rather be uncommon! Sx

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    1. It's vile, isn't it - pregnancy's odd the way it changes things - my hair has been wavy ever since my second pregnancy.

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  3. Oh, those fashionistas and their silly rules! Your collar (along with the whole blouse) looks lovely. That piping is frighteningly neat. Not seeing any fitting problems in the photo, but could you make little side-splits at the hem, maybe? And you've just made me glad not to have an overlocker - I don't think my nerves could withstand a machine that slices as it sews!

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    1. I think that's a good idea, Nina...I now just need to summon the will!

      The way you phrased that suddenly made me think how wonderfully multi-purpose it could be and I had visions of using the overlocker to slice cucumber and other vegetables...

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  4. You know I love pin tucks and Peter Pan collars, so when you add in piping and adorable fabric, I think it looks pretty fantastic! Seems entirely wearable to me. Nice recovery from your overlocker disaster!

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    1. Thank you so much, Christine! I'm so pleased you like it. x

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  5. The collar looks great! So nice to be rewarded for breaking the rules once in a while!!!

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  6. Fantastic! I wish I could make clothes as well as this. Love love love it.

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  7. Love the idea of curving the placket! Whatever rules say it's very nice. I'd like to throw in an idea: what about making the collar straight instead of curved?

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    1. I'd thought of a nehru (sp?!) style collar...but fear I may be guilty of wanting to cram every feature I like into one top!

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  8. That's very pretty, I would love to have a pattern like that.

    Fiona

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    1. Well that's lovely to know - thank you, Fiona :)

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  9. This is really very pretty, love the collar with the white edge. Perfect fabric choice, very sweet print.. x

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    1. Tiny prints are so nice to work with and wear, aren't they? Much less over-powering.

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  10. It's gorgeous! You look fantastic. Definitely a collar - I'm a HUGE fan of this collar....I love the piping, and especially that it doesn't meet - surely that is for school uniforms? I think a small gather under the yoke would be lovely on you - you're tiny, I'd be worried I was risking looking pregnant and tend to add width to the sides. How about a bit more of a scoop to the bottom?
    I flinched reading about the overlocker episode - I've done that.... it's truly awful and it tends to happen to me just a I'm finishing... and the hormonal skin thing... oh yes, me too.

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    1. Off to investigate the school dresses later - I think these have a definite fold out beneath the collar, don't they? I think although I have a small frame, I'm also so short that I too don't manage to avoid the pregnancy look with the wrong cut either...if only!

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  11. It is absolutely lovely! As my nearly-five-year-old told me the other day, "rules were meant to be broken."

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    1. Oh goodness - what had your nearly five year old done?

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  12. I think this is adorable-- I love this blouse! I JUST had a serger incident like the one you described, but I sliced into the bodice of my dress while finishing the seams. It's the worst!

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    1. The bodice of a dress is possibly even more upsetting - you poor thing. x

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  13. This blouse is wonderful. Great piping. Love that curved dicky front. Myself, I would lower the front neckline just one centimetre, but that is just my idea of line and composition. If you were worried about the grip at the hip then you could open the side seams just maybe three centimetres there, but it looks fine to me as it is.
    Skin - not your fault. You may have a slight allergy or picked up a slight bacterial infection that settled in exposed skin. Or it might be delayed stress reaction from the quilt show.

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    1. The quilt show? I'm trying to remember the trauma of it that could have caused this...the mind boggles! Thank you so much for your ideas - I'm thinking...

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  14. This is stunning and I love how the collar sits open. I might have to copy this one... stay tuned! :)

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  15. It's beautiful Florence - I love the piping around the collar and the fit is so elegant. x

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  16. I cannot claim to be a fashionista of any sort (I'm far too busy dancing to the beat of my own - very obnoxiously punk - drum beat!) but I think an open Peter Pan collar is a WIN!! I love this sort of relaxed tunic. Clever girl. *envy*

    (and my sympathies on the skin troubles. I'm fast approaching forty and my always-beautiful-even-in-adolescence skin has gone bonkers. And my not inconsiderable boobage has grown, too. Harumph.)

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    1. I love hearing specifically what beat that is - it sounds good! So pleased you like and that it crosses several beats in its appeal.

      Yes, mine was fine as a teenager too. Poor you - it's rotten, isn't it.

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  17. Love this blouse , pintucks , collar , piping & all .
    The blue is perfect .

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  18. It is a truly stunning blouse in its simplicity... and I would hazard a guess that the fashionistas are perhaps re-writing the said Peter Pan Collar rules as we speak... 8-)

    DON'T change anything on it!

    Well done!

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  19. I am all for Peter pan collars- both open and closed. Thank goodness you had enough fabric for an extra sleeve. Loving the tuck details

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  20. While nowhere near as nice as your top, I'm also posting soon about a project with a peter pan collar, pintucks, and a small blue and white print. It makes me happy to think I have anything in common with you :) (except the hormonal breakouts. I would love it if I could say I have no idea what you're talking about)

    I think your shirt is perfect. I would buy it retail, if that's anywhere near a compliment.

    ps: I've totally been there with the serger error. I think its a right of passage. I'm just hoping to avoid ever catching my fingers in it.

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  21. Very pretty top! Love the collar as is! If you need a tad more room at the bottom would you do side vents with more cute piping?

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  22. Oh no, you definitely did the right thing, the open Peter Pan collar looks gorgeous! I would never wear a closed Peter Pan collar, apart from the fact it is very unflattering, I also think they look old fashioned, but this one doesn't, it's fab.

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  23. just a thought- even though the shirt looks great. you could open the side seams just a few inches at the bottom. this would allow it to not be snug. i did this on a shirt the other day. loved how it turned out.

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  24. I know I'm late to the party but just to say: the top is fab, the collar looks great and I love the fabric.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x