Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pendrell, you're swell

I just finished the Pendrell blouse from  It came together really fast: I traced off the pattern and started cutting on Saturday night, and had it complete by Monday evening.  I was eager to try it, because I have never before been able to cut a straight size -- usually I have to grade up one to two sizes (depending on era and design) between bust and hip.  Next time around I may take it in a little in the middle back via the princess seams, because I'm not going to wear it tucked in, and I want it to have a little more shape.  Otherwise it was pretty much spot on right out of the envelope.  When does that ever happen?

Sorry, photos on the dress form only for now.  It's so hard to coordinate availability, presentability, and daylight!   I plan to do lots of sewing over the break, and may just have a photography session at the end for whatever I complete.  

I had enough left of my bargain plaid fabric, and it was a decent choice for a wearable muslin for this pattern.  (A very wearable muslin, as it turns out!)  The material is a lightweight cotton blend of some kind.  I proved that there's definitely a touch of polyester in there when I got the iron too hot at one point and the frayed edges of the fabric in one place kind of fused together.   Oops ... but it was barely noticeable, thankfully.   Anyhow, it was easy to sew with and has an acceptable (if not super) drape, which this blouse needs for all those ruffly bits.  I at least attempted to match the plaid, and was mostly successful except on the left side seam ... oh well.  If you look at the plaid at the hem, you'll see I didn't *quite* get it straight, either.  This didn't need lining, so I did French seams for a nice finish on the inside.

Pretty on the inside.  As are we all, I suppose.

I made view two, the ruffly one, and followed the directions from start to finish, which is so very unlike me!   However, they were clear and concise, and I probably did a better job for actually using them.   The pattern is also well drafted.   My one point of confusion may be a mistake on my part -- I had "cut 2" written on the neck bias binding piece, yet you only need one.  However, I HATE folding up pattern tissue, so I can live without knowing whether I erred when tracing.   Probably I did.

This top fits nicely into a big honking gap in my wardrobe, so I think I'll be making several more variants.  (My layering tops are mostly those "wifebeater" style ribbed tanks.  Hey, they're cheap and come in lots of colors!)  Anyhow, I have some china silk that seems like it would be perfect for this!   I don't see all that many blouse patterns I like, that fit with the way I actually dress:  I don't wear bottoms that hit at my waist, or tuck in tops.  Ever.

Now I'm dreaming of the other Pendrells I could make!  It's fun to think of different ways you could tweak the design, and it even inspired me to dust off my drawing skills.  Er, well, tracing skills, anyhow -- I enlarged the line drawing from the back of the pattern to use as my starting point.  Apparently I like little bows on my shirts.   On the color-blocked one, I'm not sure I have a good arrangement of blocks, but you get the idea.

I have fabric picked out for v2, but haven't decided on the design details yet (though that hasn't prevented me from cutting it out already).  I'd like to get some velvet trim, if the fabric store is open tomorrow ... if it's not, I don't think this project wants to wait, so I'll make do with whatever's on hand.

Happy holidays, everyone!


  1. That is adorable! And that's awesome fabric!

    I've only ever made one fitted/semi-fitted pattern straight out of the envelope, and it was the Past Patterns Mill Girl Dress. Go figure. Like I'm going to wear THAT more than once a year, right? But it's a lovely pattern for an historical costume.

  2. This is truly lovely...great pattern and fabric choice. I love a cute little blouse ;o)

  3. Thanks, y'all! I really love this fabric too. I went back this afternoon to get some more, because it was only $2.50 per yard. I got the last 4 3/8 yards on the bolt! I think it would make a great shirtdress. Of course when in the clearance section it's impossible not to browse a little so, I came away with 4 yards each of two other clearance plaids.

  4. Andrea, it's gorgeous!! I love the plaid, it's really pretty with the ruffles on the bias. Thrilled to hear it fit you well right out of the envelope, too.
    Great job!!