Project MyWay #9–DVF Knock-off Blouse

I featured this blouse in my post, Spring Wardrobe ’08 part 6 , it’s part of a Diane von Furstenberg outfit I found on Bloomingdale’s site:

  On the Bloomie’s site it says that this top is made with silk chiffon an has a dolman sleeve (aka:  batwing sleeve). I wanted a casual top and when I found this cotton lawn Hoffman Print at Fabric Direct.com, I knew I would love it. The dolman sleeve seemed like a good idea, but I couldn’t find a pattern with the right sleeve, so I re-designed McCall’s 5663, it was easy to do! (I know this pattern looks ugly, but it has the right silhouette and a neckline that was easy to re-design.)

Step 1:  I lined-up the front pattern piece and the sleeve pattern piece at the large circle on the shoulder seam (I have an old book about designing with the flat pattern method, published in the early 70’s, it shows how to make basic designs from a sloper. The book instructed me to angle the sleeve so it tilted up from the shoulder seam).

Step 2:  I drew a dolman sleeve, easing into the shoulder seam and underarm seam. I slashed and spread the front pattern piece twice to add more ease around the neckline, the pattern already has some ease at the center front:

Step 3:  I laid the back pattern piece over the front pattern piece, matching side seams and drew the new sleeve onto the back pattern piece:

Step 4:  I filled in the v-neckline on the front and the back neckline beacuse the pattern included a set-in facing that created the neckline shape that I didn’t use. I made the neckline extra “small” (even smaller than my altered pattern, as I was cutting) so I could try it on and adjust it until I liked the way it looked. Here is a picture of my final front pattern piece:

Step 5:  I basted together the shoulder seams and side seams. I cut the shoulder seam with too much of a flare at the sleeve, so I cut the flare off (this is a picture of the shoulder/sleeve seam at the hem of the sleeve:

Step 6:  I slashed the center front 3″ from the top edge to create an opening like the original DVF blouse. I gattered the neckline and tried on the blouse to determine where I wanted the gathering. Then I measured the front from the shoulder seam to the center front so I would know how long my bias strip should be:

Step 7: I made a little facing for the slash alongt the center front. I finished the neckline with a bias strip cut 1 1/4″ wide and the length of the neckline plus the tie ends. I trimmed away the seam allowances of the neck edge and sewed the bias strip to it in a 1/4″ seam, stretching the band slighly so it curved with the neckline. To form the tie ends, I sewed the ends, right sides together in a 1/4″ seam:

Step 8:  After turning the tie ends to the right side (a tedious task made a little easier by using a very long upholstry needle), I folded the neck band to the inside, folding in the raw edge and slip stitched it into place. My band looks perfect from the right side because my original 1/4″ neckline seam was perfect. That is the critical step because as you fold the bias strip over the seam, it makes a nice stable edge on which to turn. You can fudge a little on the inside, as you turn the edge under and slip stitch; bias strips by their nature are always a little less than perfect.

Step 9:  I pressed the sleeve hem to the inside 1/4″ and stitched it in a 1″ deep hem. I hemmed the bottom edged by turning in 1/4″ on the bottom edge and then turning it again as I stitched from the wrong side, using the side of my presser foot as a 1/4′ guide. I made notches at the side seams in case I want to wear the blouse untucked. I don’t think I will, I’ll need the definition of a tucked-in  waist because otherwise, the fullness of the blouse will make me look too poofy.

Ta-ta for now!