New York 1263: Part I

Pix later when I charge my camera.

I must be the only woman in the Western world who doesn't own a white blouse.  Not one.  I have one white T-shirt, but no white blouses.  This is actually getting to be a wardrobe problem.  I've got a couple of patterns earmarked for Plain White Blouse-dom, and this is one of them (circa 1955?):

The top view, with the massive pockets and dramatic collar.

I learned during the last project-on-hold, Simplicity 4727, that muslins are worth the time, so I got out a length of cotton-polyester that I probably bought to make a new petticoat or something (I don't remember), spent way too much time measuring and re-measuring myself, the pattern, and a sample blouse, and finally dove in and started cutting.

The sample blouse is a pink Western cap-sleeve that I like but that has fitting issues: The back is too narrow (I'm a bit barrel-chested), the set-in cap sleeves are not very comfortable (my shoulders are narrow but they're square, too, and the angle apparently doesn't match that of the cap sleeves on the blouse), and it's too short.  Actually, after spending yesterday trying it on, I've decided to Goodwill it because it really is pretty bloody uncomfortable, even if it's cute.

I added two inches across the back and took in two inches from the bust before I even got the fabric out, because I knew these would be problem areas.  

I'm not entirely competent at measuring, it seems, but the muslin was at least closer to fitting than was the sample blouse.  The back is just about right and the bust is about as roomy as I'd ever want it.  It's fine for a nice-casual blouse, but I might want something a little trimmer later.  That will take a more drastic re-draft, though.  I love the collar--it's dramatic without being cumbersome.  It stands up (intentionally) in the back, which looked awkward at first but will be fine once I have the facing actually sewn into place (my muslin didn't).  I'm really impressed with how well the collar arrangement, which is cut in one with the blouse front so that you actually sew it together and then attach it to the bodice back neck after you've sewn bodice front to back, is drafted.  It  went together perfectly.

This is going to be perfect for the pink chambray skirt.  Even in badly-sewn, cotton-poly-nightmare, muslin form, Mom just about dropped the phone when she saw me try it on.

So far I've:
1) Added width to the back above the waist.  Darted the back at the shoulder to make up for it.
2) Taken two inches in at the bust.
3) Divided the large waist tucks so there will be two tucks per quarter instead of one.  I love the tucks but I think making two smaller ones will distribute the blousiness better.
4) Left waist tucks free at the bottom to make room for my big hips.
5) Improvised a pocket.  This piece was missing.  No big deal since the pocket placement was marked on the bodice front.
6) Added 1/2-inch length all around.
7) I'll use four buttons instead of three on the front to keep the bottom closed more securely.
8) Lowered and rotated the bust dart a whole lot.