It’s Wadder Wednesday again, where I admit defeat at the hands of fashion and fabric, and attempt to cleanse my impure sewing karma through public mockery.
Weird, Low-Cut Puffy Blouse, that’s about all the fanfare you’re getting.
This project is at least 3 years in the making. In a moment of fabric/pattern indecision, I recently dug up this UFO. After putting it down twice already, I’m kind of surprised I actually finished it this time.
This is Vogue 2946, an Oscar de la Renta design. I fell so hard for this pattern when it came out. At the time, I knew it was probably beyond my skill set. But that gorgeous model, the collarbones, the styling… it spoke to me.
I cut it from a white woven that was in the stash. Not the best fabric, because it’s kind of heavy (despite being semi-sheer) and I probably wouldn’t cut it out of this now. At the time, I wasn’t wiling to buy new fabric because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. So this was a bit of a fence-sitting muslin. If it worked, great; if not, there was no investment.
I mean, look at the technical drawing.
This is pretty risky. It’s boxy, crazy low-cut, has double-layered flounces and ginormous pirate sleeves. This is the female version of the Seinfeld puffy shirt.
So I cut it out and put away for over a year because I got distracted from sewing by… who even knows. A book? Dating my husband? Mindless internetting? Then I pulled it out once in 2014 and hemmed two of the flounces, and that was enough to put me off for another year and a half.
Seriously, there are 4 very large circular flounces that each need a very narrow hem. It’s nuts! I didn’t do a very narrow hem as recommended, just a standard narrow hem. (One of my coworkers enthusiastically suggested that I need a rolled hem foot and that it would change my life. I am inclined to agree.) So that’s a bit, um… fudged.
For the front gathered portion, I didn’t add trim as suggested. Again, this is me being unwilling to commit resources to this Quixote-esque project. Instead, I just embellished with a scallop stitch (and got to use my twin needle successfully for the first time! Yay!).
I like the way that particular detail came out — clearly a little flourish, but without adding bulk or weight.
I chickened out on the sleeves. I almost didn’t add them at all. It would’ve been so easy to go sleeveless and bind the armholes, but my husband suggested I go for it, and I chose (for once) to go with his opinion. I pulled out (for the millionth time) V8593’s sleeve and cut it out, adding an extra half-inch or so all the way around to account for the switch from knit to woven fabric. Check out the difference in size between a normal sleeve and this monstrosity!
Somewhat surprisingly, this haphazard method totally worked. I was able to set the sleeves in with no adjustments. Sometimes you get lucky!
I lost steam towards the end. It’s just not a really wearable project. The neckline is super low. Like, crazy low and wide. I also hate the neck binding instructions. You’re supposed to just fold over and slipstitch to the inside, but I didn’t have enough width to cover the seam allowance. Perhaps in a lighter weight fabric, this wouldn’t have been an issue, but my seams were bulky as hell and not having it.
As it is, it’s fussy and unattractive. My solution was to just bind the raw seam allowance on the inside and not fold the binding over at all.
After I did that, it just wanted to flip out, so a bunch of hand-tacking all the way around was necessary. Fortunately, this fabric hides stitches extremely well. (I also machine-stitched the seam allowances down in areas where they would be covered by the flounces. It didn’t really help that much.)
I feel like this blouse could be beautiful in photos, but in reality, it’s a hot mess. (Perhaps, as Nina Garcia would say, “editorial.”) I have no idea where I could wear this and not feel out of place or uncomfortable. Or like I’m going to flash everyone as soon as I lean over the tiniest bit. I’m not entirely sorry I spent my time on it, but I kind of hate the end result because it’s so close to being something special and wonderful, but the gaping neckline just makes me cringe.
Also a problem: it’s too damn wide.
Like, the only item this works with is a high-waisted pencil skirt.
The only problem is that it’s not drafted to be a tuck-in-able length, and the bulk from the tucked-in portion of the flounces is not flattering. Trousers? Nope, too wide. Skinny dress pants? Nope, too wide, weird proportions. Ripped-up jeans and super-high heels? Maybe if you’re cooler and more committed than I am.
As it is, this soon-to-be-official wadder is pretty much only appropriate for tilting at windmills. Attempt at your own risk.