I first made the Style Arc Brenda blouse a few years ago. On Saturday I decided that I wanted a plain white sleeveless blouse to go with some of my summer skirts, so I decided to make up this pattern again. (I finished the armholes with self bias strips.)
I’m wearing it in the photos below with my Style Arc Candice skirt.
The fabric I used is a lightweight linen from Fabric Mart:
I interfaced the front plackets with Pro-Sheer Elegance, and the collar/collar band with Pro-Crisp Light. Both interfacings are from Fashion Sewing Supply. The buttons are from Cleaner’s Supply.
Fitting gets its own heading for this pattern, because it was pretty involved ;).
In addition to the original alterations listed below I took a 1″ tuck between shoulder and bust to remove some gaping. I also lowered the bust dart 1/2″, though due to my 1″ tuck I think that I should lower it a little bit more for next time. Next time I will also do a 3/8″ forward shoulder adjustment and lower the armholes 3/8″.
Here are my fitting notes for my original Brenda blouse, which I had made from a silk crepe de chine:
This blouse was an exercise in fitting. I very carefully measured the pattern and made a muslin of this blouse because I heard lots of people say that it ran small, especially through the waist.
My fitting adjustments were:
- 3/8″ broad back adjustment
- 3/8″ rounded back alteration
- Added 3/4″ width to the sleeves
- Lengthened the body 1″ just above the waist
- Removed 3/4″ width from the upper chest
- Lengthened the sleeves 1/2″
- Added 2″ width to the hips at the hemline
Those are normal-for-me Style Arc fitting alterations. I did not need to add any extra to the bust, despite the close fit. The gathers in the front add a surprising amount of room, though if you are above a B/C cup you should consider doing a FBA.
There were a few more issues to fix that mostly fell under the “sometimes but not always necessary for fitted Style Arc blouses” category:
Added an additional 1″ width to the back only at the hip (it was pulling across my butt and causing it to ride up in the back).
Added 1/2″ width to the front only across the waist. I expected to have to do this because while my waist is a size 8 I need more width in the front than the back. (My ribcage is slightly flared in the front and I have a very lean back.) I didn’t bother taking it out at the back because 1/2″ of extra ease is a small amount for a pattern that uses lightweight fabrics.
Added an additional 1″ to the front from just below the waist to just below the high hip. I didn’t bother taking out the amount I added from the back because when it comes to a lightweight fabric like this a little bit of extra ease is a good thing.
I found I had weird diagonal pull lines in the back from just below the shoulder blade to the waist. I almost considered posting a photo and asking for feedback. But that’s taking the easy way out and doesn’t help me enhance my problem-solving skills, so I persisted. After looking at it for a bit I decided the problem was that the back was too shaped at the sides and not shaped enough at the dart. So I basically straightened out the back side seam curve, and took out the width I added to the side seam by increasing the size of the back darts.
Rotated the front dart to be 1/2″ closer to the center front. My bust is slightly closer-set than most patterns draft for so this is a common adjustment when I make something with vertical darts in the front.
I also added a 1″ dart to the back shoulder, a normal-for-me Style Arc alteration when I’m making something with a very fitted woven bodice. (I have prominent shoulder blades and this prevents gaping at the back armhole.) To facilitate this I moved the shoulder seam back 1.25″ so it would be in the normal shoulder position and not set forward as designed.