The quest for the perfect blouse!

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September 25, 2009 by Janna Roznos

McCalls M5138

McCalls M5138

Lately, my sewing has been tailored garments, most specifically wool jackets and coats.  However, now I am  turning to blouses and T-shirts (knits).  So to begin this quest, I started with McCall’s M5138.  Many sewers have already blogged about his pattern and there are several good reviews on Pattern Review (PR) about it- but how about one more!

What I Like: It is a great fitting blouse. Once I got it to fit.  Had to move the bust dart so it actually pointed to my bust apex and not some  other region on my body.  Also had to shorten the bust dart and shorted the front fish eye darts.  The shoulders fit well.  The armscye actually falls on my body in the right place. There is ample room in the sleeve cap for movement, but not so much that I had trouble easing it into the armhole when sewing.  

 The length of the blouse is good in the sleeve and the body and the collar rolls well.  I did cut the under collar on the bias, which helps get a nice roll on the upper collar.   When I wear one of these blouses (so-far I have made two) I have been complemented and gotten, “You made this!”  Always nice to hear.

What I didn’t like: Ugh! Multiply sized patterns are great, but I fall between two sizes: my bust/high bust falls in the AA (6-8-10-12) and my hips fall in EE (14-16-18-20).  So rather than just enlarging the pattern, I purchased two patterns and just combined the two at the waist area.  A little bit more expensive (with buying two patterns) but it saves a lot of time in drafting a larger hip size.  I know how to do pattern drafting, but I just want to draft enough changes to get the pattern to fit me beause,  I want to sew.

The first blouse I used a stretch woven.  Here it is on my dress form.  HONEST! It looks better on me!

Stretch woven McCalls 5138

Stretch woven McCalls 5138


Here is the second blouse I made from this pattern.  This is a oxford-type cloth – no stretch.  Both these fabrics I picked up from Jo-Anns.  I do have some better fabric to work with (that I purchased at the ASG Conference) but I wanted to refine the pattern (and my sewing skills) before I move on to those fabrics- besides, it never hurts to have some fabric ‘aging’ in the stash!

M5138 - oxford cloth


Well, this doesn’t look so great on the dress form, but it does look nice on me.  I really didn’t like this fabric. It frayed really nicely and is a little thin, but it was inexpensive at Jo-Anns so I don’t have much invested in either of these blouses.

As to the buttons for both blouses – they came from my button stash. 

 So tomorrow I will be teaching my ASG Neighborhood Group.  We are making this blouse.  The other participants are just getting started with fitting their pattern.  Should be an interesting sewing adventure.  Have a great weekend!


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