Back to the Donna Blouse–New Developments

I had time in the evenings this past week to do further work on The Donna Blouse. The weather has not been quite as cold as last month and I’ve kept my heaters on for longer periods of time during the evening. I decided to put aside the previous version of the blouse made up in red cotton broadcloth. Although the fabric is a beautiful color it turns out to be too thick for a blouse with a waistline yoke. As I became better acquainted with this weight of broadcloth I realized it would work better for summer skirts or a dressmaker’s suit.

I had on hand some lightweight cotton blend shirting that I had ordered that has a very pretty print. I decided to cut the pattern out again. This time the sewing went so quickly and so easily that I knew at last I was getting my touch back thanks to the selection of the right fabric.

I also constructed the rolled collar differently, using a neckline facing this time. The results are so beautiful and so easy that this is now my favorite way to sew a collar in.

It’s my hope that in showing how the process of drafting your own patterns, and then following through to the construction of the garment, will heighten awareness of the evolution of the style. This is in all sense of the words an evolutionary process. It’s not always a smooth process but the results are very satisfying if you’re up to the challenges.

What you’re seeing here is what happens in the workrooms of any designer, although their methods and processes are faster and utilize more machine sewing. Samples that arrive from off-shore producers are often evaluated and re-evaluated several times as the designer, patternmaker and manufacturing facilities work out the details. It can take two or three versions of a sample before the roll of a collar or width of a cuff and length of a blouse are finalized.

In the next series of postings I’ve detailed how to create the neckline facing for a roll collar along with instructions for providing a pretty finishing touch.

I’m very excited about these new developments. I’ve ordered 3 yards of black Linaire which matches the black dye lot of the new fabric for the Donna Blouse. I plan to make another half circle skirt from it that will have a softer drape than the cotton denim one. It’s a good contrast and exercise to make a favorite garment in different weights of suitable fabrics. The experience brings to life the properties of each fabric.

Please refer to these postings for details of the process from start to finish:

Roll Collar with Neckline Facing, Part 1: The pattern

Roll Collar with Neckline Facing, Part 2: Preparing the collar and sewing the facing

Roll Collar with Neckline Facing, Part 3: Finger Pressing the seams open and stay stitching by hand

Roll Collar with Neckline Facing, Parts 4 and 5: Finishing and Steam pressing the facing