This is the Afternoon Blouse pattern by Jennifer Lauren Vintage, it’s a lovely short kimono sleeved pattern, definitely with a vintage vibe! I was really drawn to it when I saw it, the kimono sleeve seems to work on me so off I went to the Etsy shop! As with all the patterns I have tried I have to do an FBA, so this time I thought I would photograph exactly what I did, it may help someone who has the the same *ahem* issues as me. After now trying several patterns I am rapidly learning that I am an inverted triangle!! I need to start off with getting the shoulders and neck right and then work from there. If I follow my higher bust measurement, I am a size 16, most of my shop bought clothes are an 18, because of my full bust measurement. For this pattern I decided to go with the 18, (in actual fact I could have gone to the 16 for the neck and shoulder fitting, when will I learn!) an 18 is fine though because of the kimono shape, but on measuring the pieces I still needed an FBA, so this is how I did it…it’s a bit wordy, but hopefully it makes sense:
On a kimono sleeve pattern the sleeve shaping needs to be removed, to allow the adjustment to work without affecting the armhole:
At this point you need to mark on the pattern piece where the apex of the bust will be, I held the pattern piece up to my body, lined up the centre front (be aware there is a seam allowance on this pattern) with my centre front and lined up where the shoulder would fall. Once you have marked the apex , I have found that the resulting dart sits better if you mark a second point directly above the apex, the distance being the amount of your FBA, so if you need 1″ you would make a mark 1″ above your apex, this will be where you draw your lines from, this is because when you cut the pattern piece it moves down, so your dart will end up to low if you don’t make the second mark. From here you draw a line straight down to the hem and another diagonally into the armhole (mine was about 2/3 of the way down) and a line straight across to the side seam under the sleeve.
Cut up from the waist to the arm leaving a little bit at the end uncut to make a hinge:
Then cut from the side seam to the point where all the lines meet, again leaving a little hinge:
You can see now you have created a dart under the arm. The two parallel vertical pieces of pattern should be the distance apart of your measured FBA, so if you need 1″ you need to move the pieces so you get the right measurement. Once that is done you will see that the hem on the side part has dropped, you need to cut the piece with the centre front horizontally into two and move the lower part down to match the hem at the side:
Although this now looks longer than the back piece, the dart will make the side seam the same length as the back piece and the extra length at the centre front will drape over the bust.
Once this is done you need to fill the gaps!! I just use the same paper I print it on. When you get to the dart you need to make the right shape to create enough fabric for the fold in the dart. I just stick on an extra piece of paper (1), fold the dart edges together to mimic the dart being sewn (2) and trim off the excess, when you open it up it will make the shape for the dart (3).
Nearly done! All that is left is to reattach the sleeve piece, you will see that after the alteration of the main bodice piece, there is a slight gap between the sleeve and bodice, again a bit of paper stuck on does the job!
And there you have it, a new pattern piece with a dart incorporated for those of us who need it!
After the adjustment, once you’ve cut out your fabric, I would sew in the darts then follow all of Jenny’s instructions. This blouse was very easy to put together, the instructions are very clear, once I had my pieces cut out it took me an evening to sew. I wore it the next day to work. I will be making it again it’s a good wardrobe staple for the summer.
Would I change anything next time round? Yes… my face on photos… I don’t like having my photo taken!!