Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Simplicity 2614: Now With Rick Rack!

This newish pattern from Simplicity seems to be picking up steam and gaining in popularity, judging by the mounting number of reviews on Pattern Review and elsewhere. I was attracted to it for three reasons. First, it's part of Simplicity's A, B, C, D cup collection, with separate bodice pattern pieces for each cup size. I will buy almost any pattern from this collection as soon as it hits the pattern drawer. Second, you have to love a pullover blouse pattern intended for woven fabrics with no closures. Third, I find the design very feminine and reminiscent of vintage patterns.

My first version was made from a strange wonder fabric found last year at Hancock's. If memory serves me correctly, this synthetic, washable, non-wrinkling fabric was $1.98 per yard. I have already worn out a different blouse from this same fabric. It suited the present blouse very well, since there is a subtle grid design to it that nicely accents the bias cut of the lower front panel and the back.

I didn't need to do much adjusting to the pattern. I cut a 10 in the shoulder and neck area, tapering to a 12 below the waist, and using the D cup bodice. My innovation for this version: bias binding at the neck rather than a facing, which would surely show through the white fabric. The idea can't be faulted, but my execution was rather lame. I used purchased white bias binding, but then allowed it to show at the top edge. It looks okay, but next time I must figure out how to handle the vee portion whilst also wrapping the entire binding to the wrong side.

The drapey quality of this fabric allowed the back to hang acceptably with no sway back adjustment. As you will see in the next version, a quilting cotton behaves much differently, even with the advantage of subtle darts.

Version two's innovation is ric-rac. Long have I aspired to incorporate rick rack into a project, yet even as my small stash of the trim has grown, I have delayed. I find applying the rick rack rather tricky. I would ideally like to see just the points extending from the seamline, perfectly consistent in width, with the edge of the fabric just touching the inner curve of the wave. Now that I have used it, I see another issue: the rick rack makes the seam into which it is applied stiffer. No doubt about that.

I've found this blouse easy to wear (works well with skirts in addition to jeans) and to launder. I have other aspirations for this pattern: try out the banded short sleeve, use a knit, lengthen to dress or tunic length. If making a longer version in a woven, a wide fabric will be required, to accommodate the bias cut. Or perhaps the back could be cut in two pieces, with an upper portion that matches the empire line in the front.

Despite the long darts on either side of the back piece, still some wrinkling in this quilting cotton at the swayback area. Perhaps a bit more width at the bottom hem just on the back?

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