The Patent Blouse has become a favourite top for me after the first set of samples were very wearable. Previous post here
It has become such a favourite that I managed to wear out my first red
sample very quickly. Unfortunately rayon is not made to last and very
soon the surface of the knit was a little shabby with pilling. I have
promised myself that the next red patent blouse will be made in merino.
Following the first sample Teresa made this stripe, button through
sample, adding a front opening on the CF seam. A great idea that works
so well with the stripe. However I think I would need vertical stripes
and maybe a little longer for my figure. That's what happens when the
scrap of fabric has an influence on the final sample. It's a beautiful
stripe that I have been saving for just this kind of job.
Having worn my first red sample so often, I have decided on some
alterations to the pattern to bring it into better shape. The mayor
issue for me was the extra fabric that drapes in the lower back of the
top. And I think a little waist shaping in the back would also improve
To remove the extra fabric in the back length pin (3.5cm) horizontally
across the back and get a clean line. Then pin in waist darts (3.5cm)
across the diagonal seam, both sides, in the back.
Transferring the alterations to the pattern is set out below. A dart
shapes the hipline of the top, reducing the back waist along the
diagonal seam. The back length is reduced, along the same seam, by
folding the pattern, keeping the CB fold on a straight line. The idea
here is to make sure that these alterations have the same effect on the
length of the diagonal seam. In this case the seam length was reduced
by 3.5cm between the armhole notch and the Centre Back V seam.
Mark the alterations on your pattern and check the the change in the seam length is the same for both parts of the pattern.
Fold out the reduction and re-draw the curves on your pattern.
I like to extend the top for the hip band allowance rather than have a
separate sew-on band. Make a clean copy of your pattern onto pattern
card and add the front fold-back seam and the extra length that would
have been your hip band. I have added 12cm as I like my tops to be a
And voila! the promised red merino Patent Blouse with alterations.
For my next sample I would like to extend the length of the top to cover
my seat, almost tunic length. This would be great with leggins and
boots. I have also wondered how this top might be made into a dress
pattern. Does anyone have any design variations on the Patent Blouse
that would make a great dress? If so I would love to hear from you.
Leave your suggestions and questions in the comments section below.