I started making this blouse about 5 months ago. How can it have taken so long?

In truth, it hasn’t taken 5 months of effort. I kept starting and stopping and starting and stopping again.

I chose the pattern because it is a bit different to others available at this skill level. I liked the look of it and wanted to make it. I had some fantastic cotton lawn which I purchased at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year so I was ready to go!

Instruction booklet

I read the instructions and it all seemed to make sense. Until I tried to start. I realised that this pattern uses techniques that were unfamiliar to me, and this made me feel intimidated and unable to get on. There was a good deal of procrastination. Fundamentally, this pattern calls for precision. I tend to take a “that’ ll do” approach, so I was worried that I would just mess it up. I resolved to follow the instructions precisely.

Finally, over the last month I suddenly felt able to tackle shoulder and sleeve pleats. (I have no idea why!). There are sew along videos which I definitely needed and which helped enormously.

Shoulder and sleeve pleats

It was my first attempt at making cuffs. The cuffs went fine, but could I make a button hole? Not a chance! I used scraps to try the automatic button hole function on my sewing machine – it just chewed up thread. I tried a manual method I found online – it didn’t work. In the end… I cheated. Luckily my hands are pretty small and I can get them in and out of the cuffs without needing to unfasten them, so I sewed the cuffs down with the buttons.

Cheatin’!

You might conclude that this has been a terrible make, but no. I like the top and this is the only time I have ever made something to instruction and had it actually fit.

The fashion industry doesn’t make clothes for boobs. Odd, really, given that the biggest market seems to have them. This is true of sewing patterns as well. Generally I end up making things too big and putting darts in to try and get some semblance of fit. Not with Experimental Space. Why is it different?

Josie blouse

If you have boobs beyond a C cup and a small back, it’s not as simple as just measuring the overbust and choosing a bigger size garment to match this measurement for any of these reasons:

1. You end up swamped overall

2. You end up with loads of spare fabric billowing out the back (and sometimes still straining at the front.)

3. The garment slips around at the shoulders. Maybe the seam ends up down your arm. If it’s a sleeveless top the straps are too far apart and won’t stay up.

Experimental Space is different. To get your size you measure the high bust – basically the circumference above your bust. What? Why? Because this way the garment will fit your back and shoulders. Honestly it is genius. The pattern pieces are shaped to allow for the fact that a woman is going to wear the finished article. This shouldn’t be revolutionary but it is.

If you are tired of making stupid adjustments to your garment making give Experimental Space a look. You need to have faith and follow the process as described… It works! Experimentalspace.com.

Oh, and if you know a fool-proof method for making buttonholes, I would love you to share it with me, please!

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