DuBarry 5637 (1943) Part II: Blouse

Listening: Slaid Cleaves, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

I needed a project with a low bar for success.

DuBarry 5637--I love DuBarry patterns--is a casual slacks/shorts and "jacket" pattern from 1943:

I do want to make the pants someday, but for now, the plan is to make the "jacket" as a blouse.  As it is, it has a very wide button overlap in the front, and is only held by three buttons.  I'll reduce the overlap (mostly by not including the 1/4 inch I'm supposed to add when I grade the pattern up two sizes) and close it with more buttons.

This is an easy pattern that goes together really quickly.  I am a notoriously distracted and un-diligent seamstress but I got the paper pattern graded (mostly; I haven't made a clean copy yet since I'm still in the fitting phase), a very rough test muslin made, and started an actual blouse/wearable muslin this weekend.  

As usual, the sleeves are giving me fits.  I know that patterns in general are notorious for including too much ease in the sleeves, but . . . come on.

You'll notice that the pattern illustration shows a smoothly-fit sleeve without gathering or darts.  Right.  I started by simply not grading the sleeve pattern up when I graded the rest of the pattern.  There was still about two and a half inches of "ease".  Sorry, but that much extra fabric is way beyond "ease".  If you can't ease it into place and end up with reasonably smooth results, you've overshot "ease" territory and landed squarely into "gathered cap" land, and your illustration should reflect that.

I even measured the sleeve versus armscye and it's clear that I'm completely incompetent at this exercise: I do it every time and I'm always off by miles.

This time, I resorted to carving out the armscye and then lowering the sleeve cap and narrowing it slightly at the back (in addition to leaving the sleeve pattern piece two sizes too small).  It worked:

. . . but there has to be a better way.  This is much too hit or miss and, while I freely admit that I don't grasp sleeve geometry that well yet, I know that there must be only so much you can lower a sleeve cap or narrow a sleeve before you can't move your arm, and I don't want to make all my armscyes casual-Friday large.

Of course, once I did this I decided that the version I was making this time needed some perky gathered sleeve caps.  Oh, well; I have several versions of this planned and two of them need smooth sleeve caps.

The sleeve bands and collar will have white rick-rack trim.  I wasn't going to do this and then it just insisted.