LaDonna’s Darling Birthday (Bloomsbury Blouse Pattern Hack)

I know it seems like I’m ALWAYS with my sew sisters, but we really only get together every 1 or 2 months. It’s a very coordinated effort. This time we celebrated LaDonna’s birthday and BOY, WAS IT DARLING!! This lady not only has an eye for fashion, she also creates a whole experience!

In order to set the ambience, she did provide some parameters for her guests as far as fashion and color scheme. This gave me the opportunity to use a pale pink stretch lace from my fabric hoard…(uh I mean stash). I’m pretty sure it was from Supreme Novelty Fabrics when it a brick and mortar on West Fulton in Chicago (so those who are familiar know I’ve had this lace for some years). It also gave me the chance to experiment with using stretch fabric for the Bloomsbury Blouse pattern…(wait for it)…as a DRESS!👀

Here’s what I did. The pattern is for woven fabric, so I outlined two sizes smaller than my regular size on the pattern. (I made the blouse in a woven fabric earlier this year). Sizing down 2 sizes was a good place to start to account for negative ease (a property of knit/ stretch fabrics). It’s the standard that it does not work the opposite way by enlarging a pattern designed for knits to work for woven fabric. I do not have the technical knowledge to explain why but this ain’t that type of blog 🤣🤣. What you will get is a story behind what I made, a brief overview and maaaybe a brief tutorial🤷🏾‍♀️

I extended the front and back bodice pieces 18”. Since my hip measurement is a size larger than my waist for the pattern, I graded the pattern by sticking a pin at the stitching line at the shoulder inseam in order to pivot the pattern. By pivoting, I still keep the same shape while being able to account for the gradual size increase. For more detail on the pivoting technique, check out this video. Nancy Zieman was the truth! I have a few of her books in my collection.

For the front bodice, I omitted the darts since I used stretch fabric. The major alteration involved the back yoke and bodice back. The bodice back originally had a button closure, leaving the yoke open and closing with a button at the back collar. To change to a back zipper closure, I marked the buttonholes (because they are center back) and added 5/8” seam allowance. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a notch right there! The notch is originally the second fold for the self facing for the buttons. The the 5/8” seam allowance is already included on the back yoke.

So I finished the dress…only two hours into the party 🤪 I really need to do better and not work down to the wire like I tend to do. I did wind up taking it in for a more snug fit at a later time. I’m looking forward to wearing it again!

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