Lost in the Midst of Work

I apologize I haven’t not left permanently! What has happened has put me busy on lots of things but not sewing. I haven’t finished an item since I wrote my last post on here.

After the last post I went on a vacation back to my home state of Kansas, which I enjoyed so much seeing my old friends and some family members that still reside there. When I got back to my home in Indiana I started on the re-doing of the upstairs to move my sewing upstairs to a now unused room. I am still working on the re-do though! Because my boss ended up needing surgery — a heart bypass surgery of 8 bypasses. Generally I only work 3 days per week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday; meaning I get plenty of time to do other odds and ends on Tuesday and Thursday — but with his bypass surgery he needed me full-time until he is back into the office. So with that I lost my home days that I usually sewed on — and the weekends well when you have a farm when you both work at regular jobs the farm work has to be done on the weekends.

So I will get back to sewing within a few more weeks, probably around the first part of September I will be back to part-time — which I am SOOO looking forward to! If I get time to sew I will be sure to share it here! I haven’t even bought fabric or patterns — I told myself nothing until I get organized in my new space !

Until we sew again!!

Butterick 6085 — Take 2

Wow I’m on a roll, not just on making blouses but also on re-making patterns. That has been something I’ve wanted for sometime now, to have patterns that I like enough to make again, and again — setting up my TNT patterns. It is funny though how one change on a pattern can affect whether I like the pattern or not, or if it fits correct. My first version of this pattern I posted on April 30th, 2012 — here.

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This is another fabric that the rest of my family didn’t care for — but as I told them it was a blouse for me — and I like the fabric! I love the colors! Last time I made the sleeveless version, this time I made the capped sleeve version shown on the pattern cover in white on the bottom. I adjusted the sleeves to increase them for my fuller biceps — but obviously not quite enough because when I tried on the shirt it still was slightly tight in the sleeves, I didn’t give them enough ease. Don’t worry I’ll still wear it, because that is how I roll, I don’t give up my ‘me-made’ clothes just because of something slight — it still fits better than RTW.

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I like that it has darts in the back giving some fitting without being so tight for my apple shaped waistline. There isn’t much to say about the pattern that I haven’t already talked about in the previous post. This pattern is easy to sew up, is a nice fit, and would just be easy to make up several of them! You can guess this fabric is cotton lawn again from Fashion Fabric Club.

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I wanted to add this close-up picture of my buttons — I just had to add these bight green buttons, adding a little more fun to those summer colors! I have a pair of bright green capris that will look nice with this shirt and make me feel like I am all about summer !!

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I wanted to share my bias treatment on the collar. Does anyone read Laura Mae at Lilacs & Lace? She wrote this item on ‘Hug & Snug‘, which got me reading more about how she treats her seams. Laura likes to bind many of her seams to keep them clean — I generally use my serger for my seams, on collars like this I would flip it under and top stitch. I decided this time to do it different! And I like it. I have to share — in honesty I have not been using my serger as much as I use to. There was a time I used my serger on all seams — but I find I have more control with the sewing machine — and there are times that the serger causes too much bulk on the seam. It is funny it is like stepping back to my old friend using the sewing machine more than the serger. So has anyone else changed their view on the use of a serger?

How about some other reviews of this pattern–

SewCreateLive has a blog post on Butterick 6085, actually her blog post is lengthy, allowing you to follow her along the entire steps of putting the pattern together. She starts with the cutting out process, clear to the end! Her blog post is awesome for someone new to sewing or at the beginning stages of sewing! Some items I don’t do the same, as many of us who sew branch into little items we like — I don’t like interfacing in blouses, I use broadcloth (I read about using it in a book), I would still serge seams in area especially with cottons — and I have taken to using dental floss for the gathering opposed to the double stitch line — but it is an excellent tutorial all the same — here it is

KnitRelief also has a blog post on Butterick 6085, her’s is brief as she mentions she is more about knitting then sewing — check out her blog

I will try to get a couple more posts up — this concludes my blouse sewing parade but I have some items I made for that darling husband of mine, plus have a few more shirts to sew up for him — but on top of painting, moving the sewing room — I am also getting ready to go on my first summer vacation for the year. I’ll be heading to Kansas City where I hang with old friends for a week and hit my old haunts — like some super great KC Bar-B-Que !! So make sure to check back if I have a few days of absence —

Vogue 8689 — Take 2

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Another repeat blouse! I blogged about my first version of Vogue 8689 on May 16th — here. I like the first version of the blouse, I like the fit, I like my fabric too — but the colors don’t go with anything I have to wear to the office. I decided to make it again in colors that would go with pants for the office. This time I opted for a 100% cotton shirting fabric, it has black pin stripes against the white, then a larger textured off-white stripe. I felt the colors would go great with some black pants.

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I decided to help me with the ‘not wanting to match stripes’ issue that I would put some items on the bias, like the button plackets and the yokes; so you will notice on the front the button placket and the front yokes are on the bias. The back yoke in this pattern is cut, not placed on the fold as many patterns, which actually lends itself to doing the bias cut of the yoke. It kind of gives a chevron effect, but hey I got past the ‘matchy stripe thing’.

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Maybe I’m hypercritical about my own makings but as much as the shirt fits I don’t like the fabric much — but it is my own fault, a fault of pairing the pattern and the fabric. The fabric is awesome don’t get me wrong, but fabric is a little heavy for a summer shirt — so having the heavier fabric in a short sleeved shirt just isn’t a good pairing. I think the shirt would still work in the Fall and Spring, can top it with a cardigan if need be —- which need just might be!

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Look at the last picture — do you see this rip? I wore this shirt one time, got home from work and my darling husband wanted some help outside — should I have changed? I guess so, because it didn’t take long to turn the wrong way coming by some fencing and catching my shirt. I not sure there is a good way to fix this tear, it will take some mending that will show in the long run — which leaves me saying — if I wear it again it will be with a cardigan so you don’t see the fix on this rip.

I enjoyed sharing a couple other reviews from blogs on my last post — so I searched with Google to see if anyone else had blogged about this pattern and this is what I found —

ILove2Sew — wrote a blog post about the pattern here

StitchedUp — wrote a blog post about the pattern here

Sharing others posts is me finding other sewing blogs — I heart sewing blogs!

McCalls 6702

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The next top on my agenda was trying my hand at this newer pattern McCalls 6702. Ironically I decided to try one of the ‘mullet’ style tops, at least that is what I’ve seen them called online via the sewing blogs, but my 13 year old daughter said the kids call them high/low tops. I didn’t pick the pattern for the high/low hemline but for the peasant top look which appeared comfortable and cool for the summer. I choose a very loose weave cotton gauze fabric I fell in love with at Fashion Fabric Club.

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I decided on view A the sleeveless version for a cool summer top, but I wasn’t impressed with the open style on the back. I couldn’t believe that McCalls gave us an option for a full closed back on all the other styles except the sleeveless version. So I winged it, using the full back on the yoke for the open back, giving it something more appropriate for my age and for the office.

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This pattern is rated as ‘easy’ by McCall but the pattern directions really leave lots to be desired! I don’t consider myself a beginner in the sewing world as I’ve been sewing since I was 13 years old, and at 51 years old that is quite a few years under my belt. I can almost always wing through directions, have even put together a few Burda patterns, and Jalie that have less directions then most of the big 4. — But that being said, I read and re-read, and re-read the directions for the placket on this top, I followed their short sighted, extremely lacking directions. I am not extremely happy about how the placket turned out, and IF I made the top again I would go through other patterns to review other directions on doing a placket of this sort. I can’t imagine how a beginner would deal with these lacking directions.

I also would say check the finished measurements on this top! I generally make an 18 or 20 in the Big 4, but this one had enough ease that I went with a ‘large’ — and it fits fine! A couple of other items that you can take point with on my top — Check on the bottom of the top, what do you think of my little ruffle? I added a strip of fabric on the bottom of the front of the top because for this fluffy older woman that front was a little short on me. Of course though I am at an age and size that I don’t dare want my tummy showing, no muffin top for me! I also dropped the the mullet or high/low hemline on this top. I couldn’t see how the hem was going to come out with a nice clean hem, but bigger yet was I simply did not like the look on me! That longer back hemline just gave my tush more emphasis than I wanted. The last item I changed was to add two buttons along with buttonholes on the front placket of the shirt. That placket opened way-way low, so without the buttons it would require wearing a t-shirt or another top under it — which I didn’t want because it was suppose to be a cool summer top.

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I had to show a picture of the inside of the top, it is just a small picture, but you can see the backside of the fabric has a different pattern, with just a royal blue and white checkered pattern. I also wanted to show that I used a bias binding on all the seams of this shirt, not so much because of the pattern but because of the fabric. The fabric was such a loose weave I was aware of how it was going to ravel, therefore decided that all the seam needed to be cared for; I could have used the serger, but felt that bias taping all the seams would look cleaner.

I thought I’d share a couple of other blogs here — when I searched for McCalls 6702 I found 2 other blogs (ones I hadn’t read before) that had made and shared their experience with this pattern — and I was happy to read another blogger that also complained about the directions for this pattern.

So Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat writes about this pattern on her blog — here

And it is written about at Ruby’s World — here

Enjoy !!

McCalls 6124 – Repeat !

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Yes it is a repeat of a previous top – blouse I posted about! You might remember the previous post here on May 16, 2013 — I’ve included a picture of the pattern envelope too — as a reminder and for those that didn’t see the previous version.

This version isn’t much different, except for I decided to do a shorter view than the previous version. The other difference is the type of fabric I used, the previous version was a cotton lawn while this is a cotton poplin (basically a cotton with a little bit of lycra) purchased from Fashion Fabric Club.

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My family didn’t care for this fabric, the colors, the stripes, but I like the colors, and again would go with my brown dress pants or my brown denim capris. It is strange how changing the fabric changes the fit on an item. I like this blouse, but it fits slightly tighter than the same shirt made in the cotton lawn. My only reasoning to the fitting difference is the poplin is a slightly heavier fabric, a tighter weave, which causes the tighter fit — but at least it has that lycra in it so the tighter fit is corrected with the stretch of the lycra. I think the other problem though with this top is the poplin (cotton-lycra) is heavier, and therefore not quite a cool to wear in the summer months – but the extra weight of the fabric will add warmth in the fall or spring paired with a brown sweater/wrap I have. Overall though this pattern is easy to make, all the seams slide together very well, and is definitely on my TNT list.

I want to apologize for most of my pictures. Most of them have a mess behind them of my scrap fabric I save, which needs to be put away, and I am presently sewing in a small corner of our entry room area — hence that repainting and moving upstairs! And I think most of my pictures would look better if I was in the item — but I hate getting my picture taken these days. In the last 5 years or so I have put on 60-70 lbs going from a RTW size 6 to a 16. I’m not happy about it right now, my husband still tells me I’m beautiful (awwweee he is so sweet), much of the weight gain is from several items, blood pressure pills, I am now on 4 of them, I have gotten some horrible osteoarthritis that somedays makes walking unbearable — and on top of all that I quit smoking trying to make my health better — but does the weight gain change the stop smoking issue? I will try to also get a tripod so I can set my camera on a timer, as I have a hard time finding anyone to take pictures for me. But — I enjoy anyone that stops into the blog — who enjoys the reads! Hope my info helps someone!

Simplicity 2892

Wow — so for those of us in the United States another Memorial Weekend has passed, most of us have ushered in another Summer ! I am always slow at my usher though, so our pool isn’t open yet, hopefully that will happen this weekend. Although my sewing will continue it might slow down in the next few months as home projects will come into play! Since my middle daughter moved out with the twin grandsons that means my upstairs is completely vacant. I have decided to clean it up, fresh paint both rooms, and setup 1) a guest room (mostly for the grandkids to come spend the night with grandma & grandpa) and 2) a sewing room ! I had one before my middle daughter moved home, on the main level of the house, but my youngest (13 years old) daughter moved into that room and doesn’t want to give it back now. I actually prefer her down on the main level, we see her bright happy face more often! So upstairs is where I’ll take my sewing, and I’m thinking about decorating for both rooms. I’ll keep you updated on the home items as they go — but lets get on to the sewing !!

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As the title of this blog post states I made Simplicity 2892, view D, which is also the view they made in the picture, which I want to point out when I discuss the couple of problems with the top.

Now I actually choose this top to make more because of the fabric then anything — I fell in love with this fabric, yadda yadda yes it is cotton lawn from Fashion Fabric Club, but it is so pretty, reminds me of an ocean. So I looked for a pattern that I thought would show off how pretty the fabric was — and on that note I think I succeeded. What do you think? Do you like the fabric?

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Now to talk about the pattern — as usual the Big 4 has a considerable amount ease, so based on the finished size measurements I made a Large. The directions were quite simple, it was easy to put together — although there is lots of gathering so be prepared — try the dental floss approach! I did not put on the ruffle though — so I should warn about that! First some how I missed the directions about it, then when I realized that I could step back with a little seam ripping to correct it, I decided to skip the ruffle. I decided the ruffle didn’t add to the top in the way I wanted, I liked the gathers, so I opted to drop the ruffle.

So I only have one real problem with the top — and anyone that has been reading about my parade of shirts can guess about the problem area — yep the armhole :big laugh here: I started looking at that picture on the pattern envelope I realized their top has the exact same issue mine does! Look at those armholes, they are so high, so tight, they over compensated with this armhole — I get one extreme or the other. In the end I really, really like this top, the armhole though is so high that it actually fold when I wear it into my armpit area, I will have to take the armhole down several inches, and also enlarge it slightly. Other than the armhole the shirt is cool, comfortable, great for an Indiana hot humid day — and it pairs with my dark brown linen capris very nicely!

Simplicity 2365

Of course it is another shirt!

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I made view B, the middle row, left. I made the typical size 18 for me lately. I didn’t make any alterations except adding to the sleeve to cover the biceps. Again it is made in a Cotton Lawn purchased from Fashion Fabric Club. I picked the fabric because I thought it would look good with my cream/tan colored capris, on top of it being a Lawn.

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Not only did I get this top finished but wore it the next day to work, so I can discuss the sewing items I would change along with the plus and minuses of the wearing side of the top.

First up — the sewing items I would change. Item one, the slit for the neckline is a tad low, if anyone is going to make it I would suggest double checking the length of the opening against what is comfortable. I personally will raise it the next time probably 2 inches. The second item I would change is the way in-which the collar is done. Simplicity has you fold under one side of the collar stand up 1/2 inch, then has you sew the other side at the typical 5/8 inch; you are then to put the folded side down into the inside of the collar area, top-stitching to sew the inside collar closed and down. BUT with only 1/2 inch folded down the collar folds down past the stitching line, this leaves the collar not lining up correctly with the stop stitching. If I make it again I will do the typical 5/8 inch all the way around, which I believe would have everything line up better. The third item I would change is the arm band around the bottom of the sleeve. Simplicity has you cut the band piece, then you cut the interfacing the same size as the band piece (I use broadcloth as my interfacing); but then you fold the band with interfacing in half applying the folded in half pieces to the sleeve. The folded piece with interfacing across the entire piece causes the band to be stiffer than the rest of the top, making the band stand away for the rest of the sleeve to much for my liking. I believe only interfacing half of the band would be plenty.

Now the fit — Overall I am pleased with the fit, but I can critique it slightly — because I do sew I can change up the fit for the next time — love those custom made clothes! First item to change up, is the length, but not overall lengthening the top. This top has decent length but because I have a full tummy it is causing the front of the top to seem shorter, to fix this I will do a split horizontally with a pivot to the side seam, giving myself an extra inch with the pivot in the center area of the top, where I need it most. The second item I may fix or may leave alone, depends how I feel when I make it again :) — the shoulder length is too long by about 1-1/2 inches, which causes the sleeve to be dropped, off the shoulder. So if I make it again, I could do a fold out of the amount needed to help it fit slightly better in the shoulder & arms.

Overall though I like the top, it was comfortable to wear at work — I might look at the longer sleeve version for winter / fall wear!

Butterick 5504

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So I decided to take a break from tops and blouses to give my try at some capris that I need so desperately. I looked around, read a few reviews, and found several people liked Connie Crawford’s pattern put out by Butterick as 5504. This is what Butterick says about the pattern: MISSES’/WOMEN’S SHORTS AND CAPRI PANTS: Loose-fitting, no-zip shorts A or capri pants B have front pockets, topstitched seams, waistline casing and drawstring, stitched hems. The drawstring waistband along with the stylish front pocket and front seam help to create a relaxed, classic fit. This easy to sew pattern is designed to mix and match with your favorite spring blouse or t-shirt.

I have some lightweight denim I picked up at a Yahoo Coop years ago that I knew would be perfect for a muslin, and if they worked out they would be a good addition to my wardrobe. Based on the size chart (not the finished size this time, but the actual chart — after all Miss Crawford says this ‘ready to wear sizing’ on her pattern envelope — I cut the pattern for a size X-Large. As I placed the pattern onto the fabric I guessed I was going to have problems — because the back crotch curve was a very straight up/down J. I should explain that I’m a very rounded tushy girl with the hole baby-got-back thing therefore pants always have this bad gap in the top or waistband area if that isn’t the problem then the second problem is there isn’t enough fabric to cover the butt. Oh there are times the problem is too much fabric up front — if there is enough for the backside :P So that J back crotch curve looked like a problem in the making, I knew when I’d made pants that came close to fitting right the back crotch curve had the arm of the J slanting to the right, giving it a rounded checkmark look. I read once that the checkmark is actually like a dart, putting the upper part of the crotch on the bias, giving me the pull in I needed. I moved forward anyway even with my doubts — although I should have listened to that nagging voice —

I sewed the pattern up, used the tips she gave about adding an inch to the top — and guess what — it doesn’t fit! It is a heap of fabric sitting next to my desk now as I try to decide what direction to head next. I love the actual look of the pattern, I like the pockets, and would like these to be created in a size that fits me :( So here are the problems with the fit though — the front is too big by a size or so, the back is too small and is not tall enough to get much past my tush. So even with the added fabric at the waist the back wasn’t long enough — and the front was way too long. I pulled out a pair of RTW capris that fit wonderfully — I compared them, yep they had that checkmark back crotch.

So I guess I can say out of the package this pattern did not work for me — I will try again altering the crotch to that of my RTW pair. When I was thinner, much thinner, I found that Burda had a better crotch shape for me, but that I needed a size smaller on the front side then on the back side. So I will think it out, try this pair with alterations, compare to some Burda too. I will update when I get another pair put together!

Simplicity 2255

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This round is Simplicity 2255, view D, except I added the ruffles on the button placket from view c. This is what Simplicity says about the pattern: Misses’ tunic or shirt with sleeve variations Easy to Sew pattern. I should add that it has bust darts, a sew-on button placket, and a collar stand. I made a size 18, straightened out the side seams to increase just a tad for waist ease. I have to share — over the last couple of years I have read people that use dental floss with a zig-zag stitch for gather but I had never tried it — that is until this shirt. So let me tell you — I can’t believe I waited this long to try that :D I love it! I hated doing the double line of stitches, at times would use the pins and do an ease in opposed to the double stitches — but running those stitches over a line of dental floss is a breeze, moves that along very fast.

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So do you like the fabric of this shirt? I am like a broken record — it is Cotton Lawn, yes again from Fashion Fabric Club. I like the colors, I have a pair of capris that will work great with this fabric — I’m hoping to work out some fit issues for some capris.

The shirt went together pretty straight forward, I didn’t find anything out of sorts in the directions. The fit I’m not sure of yet, I tried it on briefly but haven’t worn it for an extended period of time for the entire fit critique of it. One thing I noticed about the fit was the armholes and shoulders; it felt as if the shoulders were a little too long, and the armhole slightly too deep — but I’m not sure if part is because of the sleeve selection I used. I will add an edit to this page after I wear the shirt for the day to discuss more about the fit or any alterations I would make in future versions.

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Okay I wore this top in-between the time I wrote this and the time it posted, I like the top on but it does have a few issues. The item that bothered me the most is the armholes, I guess I have issues about armholes. This top like others that aren’t made specifically for sleevelesss are cut wrong. Even though this has a capped style sleeve the sleeve lends itself to sleeveless style. With a sleeveless style the shoulder length should be shorter than a sleeved style, and the armhole itself should be up higher and in tighter then a sleeved armhole. Therefore this top has problem when it is using same armhole for both sleeved and sleeveless styles — so to make this top in the style I have the shoulder length needs to be shortened, armhole shortened, and darted in slightly. The second thing that bothers me about the shirt is the neck, the collar on the neck just isn’t right. They have curved the placket, so the collar sits back but it sits too high too. All day the darn collar portion of the neck kept hitting me under the chin area, I realized that the collar needs to sit lower on the neckline. — so although I will wear this shirt I don’t think it will make the TNT patterns.

McCalls 6035

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This is what McCall’s says about the pattern: MISSES’ SHIRTS: Shirts have princess seams and button closure; shirt A has collar band and short sleeves with cuffs; shirts B, C, D have collar, collar band and below elbow length sleeves; shirt B has sleeves with cuffs; shirt C has sleeves with turn back cuffs with tabs; shirt D has sleeves with drawstrings; separate pattern pieces provided for A/B, C, D cup sizes.

I made View A, which is the black/white checkered shirt on the cover — I made a size 18 (again based on finished garment measurements), I also used a cup size C. I made an alteration to slightly increase the size of the sleeve — the bicep again — and adjusted the sleeve band. The top is made from — can you guess? 022YES a Cotton Lawn from Fashion Fabric Club! I just love the lightweight crispness of cotton lawn, especially in the stifling heat of summer! I absolutely loved this blue and white striped lawn too! it was so incredibly soft, softer than the other lawns I had purchased, not sure what caused the softness, unless it was strictly the weave of the fabric. I loved this fabric so much so it must of been part of Murphy’s Law that the top wouldn’t work! boo hoo hoo

There was nothing exciting about the pattern itself, I can’t remember anything about the directions that made it good or bad. The shirt went together without a problem, but the fit is the problem. The major fit problem is the sleeves, they are slightly too tight, but the band around the bottom is way too tight. I can get the top on but the movement is restricted by the tightness. I was disappointed that the waist / tummy area was also too tight, not button pulling tight but lack of ease tight.

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The sleeves came out so pretty! It saddens me that this top will end up at the Goodwill, but hopefully will find a home with someone that likes it. So what do you do with items that don’t fit after you’ve made them? Do you take them apart and make alterations? Do you give it away? I simply hate picking stitches, so often times will simply donate mine.

I’m not sure if I want to keep this pattern or trash it. I only pay $1 for most of my patterns, trying to catch them on sale, so that allows me to cut them, or trash them when they don’t work — without feeling in guilt. I really feel that I have so many blouse patterns now, several that are working in fit, that I’m not sure I want to work the fit issues with this one. I’ve saved the pattern to think it over —