Inspired by a designer blouse, I wanted to make Butterick 6487 with a couple of potentially complicated alterations. I wanted to move the zipper from back to left shoulder. A zipper on the left shoulder is easier for me to do than one in back. My plan included long ties at the neck that could be tied many different ways, including at the back of the neck and draping down the back. So moving the zipper to the left shoulder keeps it out of the way.
The other potentially troublesome alteration was an FBA. Following the advice from the helpful members of Sewing Pattern Review Forum, I added side darts.
If I was doing just one alteration or the other, in a moderate or cheap fabric, I’d just dive in and do it. But, I planned to use a piece of silk crepe de chine from Fabric Mart. It was a pricier fabric, and no more was available.
So for this make I used some floral rayon challis from my stash, leftovers from a different project. To dress it up a bit I decided to cover the collar and cuffs with scraps of black lace. I skipped the ties on the sample top.
The FBA went smoothly, and inserting an invisible zipper in the left shoulder seam was surprisingly easy. In fact, everything went together smoothly, until it came time to apply the cuffs to the sleeves. And then I realize I omitted the vent in the sleeve, and the cuff is huge. It flops over my hand. Adding a vent at this stage is trickier than installing a vent while the sleeve is still flat. A vent is a lot of extra steps; cutting the facing or binding, interfacing the opening, installing the vent itself, then the cuff. I’m not sure how easy it will be to put a buttonhole in lace covered fabric.
Throwing caution to the wind I decide to make faux cuffs, permanently sewn closed, just big enough for my hand to slip through. I’ll use the same technique used to attach a ribbed cuff to a knit sleeve, by gathering the end of the sleeve, slipping the sleeve inside the cuff, lining up raw edges and notches, serging the cuff to the sleeve and finally flipping the cuff down.
I start by pinning the cuffs to the proper size, with a red pin holding the inside lap, a blue pin marking the outside overlap, and a white pin matching the button position. I’m not going to do a buttonhole, I’ll just sew the button to all layers of cuff.
Lace band inserted into the sleeve
I start with the sleeves right side out. I mark the notch on the outside/backside of the sleeve with a blue pin. I turned the cuff inside out, slipped it over the sleeve, and lined up the blue pins. I adjusted the gathers evenly around the cuff, and sewed it to the sleeve.
Amazingly, it worked! Then, I closed the cuff and sewed on a permanent decorative button.
Next I attached the sleeves to the bodice, and tried it on. That’s when I discovered Big Mistake Number Two.
The sleeve was way too short and a little weird. What went wrong?? Well, me, of course, I used the WRONG pattern piece!!
I wasn’t giving up on this top! I picked a spot about 4″ about the cuff, and cut the cuff off the sleeve. I used the very last bit of black lace scraps to make wide bands that I inserted into the sleeve. The band extended the sleeve enough so that it fits comfortably. And because I used the same lace on the cuffs and collar it actually looks intentional!
Invisible zip in left shoulder. The zipper tails are not sewn down yet
In spite of the mistakes, the odd corrections, and the fact that the lace and fabric are scraps from other projects this blouse came out nice.
<b>Pattern Description: </b>
Misses blouse with gather detail mock neck, cuff or ruffle sleeve, and optional contrast yoke
<b>Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?</b>
Yes, in spite of all my errors, it does look like the pattern envelope!
<b>Were the instructions easy to follow?</b>
Yes, the instructions were clear and correct
<b>What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?</b>
I like the gathering at the mock neck. I did not like the zipper in the back seam
Floral rayon challis and black lace. Both are scraps from previous projects
<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
FBA by adding side darts. Moved the zipper from the back to the left shoulder. The cuffs are mock cuffs, due to my mistake. I added a wide lace band on the lower part of the sleeve, again to correct my mistake
<b>Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?</b>
Yes, I would sew this again. As a matter of fact, this particular blouse is actually a test make for another blouse from this pattern