Making up this pattern was a total breeze. Start to finish, it took me about four hours - including cutting on my fancy new rotary mat! There are two horizontal darts, one on each side of the bodice front, as well as gathering on both edges of the sleeves. Honestly, the most laborious part was spacing out and sewing on the buttons, as there aren't pattern markings for them. It's up to you to decide how many buttons you want and where to place them. Being my slightly OCD-self, I spent a ridiculous amount of time with my ruler, making sure they lined up perfectly. It turned out well, though! I love how the buttons look, even if they are only a faux-closure.
I also added a bit of my own difficulty to the pattern. I've recently come to the realization that I hate fusible interfacing. It's bulky and itchy, tends to come off in the wash, and is too heavy for a light blouse like this. To that end, I replaced the interfaced pieces (all the black trim) with linings. The finish was neater, plus there's no pesky steaming! Being a rogue sewist paid off!
As far as fit alterations go, I didn't make any this time around. I tissue fitted the blouse to myself and decided that any adjustments would be small enough to make on the fly. I was right - kind of. The blouse fits, but not quite how I imagined it. It's a bit on the short and boxy side for my tastes. Because there aren't any closures, it does need to be a bit boxy, so you can pull it over your head. However, when it's not tucked in, it completely loses my waist, while not being long enough to belt. Since I plan on changing the faux-button placket to a real closure next time, I'm also going to nip in the waist and add a bit of length to the bodice pieces. That should fix the major fit issues, while also addressing my compulsive desire for proper closures!
Overall, this is a fantastic pattern. There aren't many blouse patterns that I love among the Big Four pattern companies - they tend to skew toward an older audience, in my opinion. Simplicity 2215, like the other Lisette patterns, is a very ready-to-wear design. My sister mentioned that this is a top she could easily imagine inside of J. Crew or Ann Taylor Loft - cute and classic, but still youthful. I completely agree with her...which is why those cotton lawns are going to be put to work soon!
Things I Changed:
- Opted out of interfacing. Instead, I cut an extra pattern piece (for the neckbands, arm bands, and neck placket) and used it like a lining. I stitched an outside seam with the two wrong sides together, then turned it to the inside, pressed, and treated them as one piece. It gives the fabric more structure, but has none of the discomfort of interfacing.
- Didn't 1/4 turn under the trim pieces, due to the new lining pieces I added. This made for a much cleaner finish than the shirt would as instructed.
- Add 3 inches of length to the bodice.
- Add 1 inch to the armband length, they're just a hair too snug for my liking.
- Turn the placket from decorative to usable. Now that I've sewn this shirt up once, I have a good idea of how to make the buttons usable, instead of just for show. It shouldn't be that difficult, just a few pattern alterations to the neckline and placket. If I'm successful, I'll detail how it's done!
- This really is an easy pattern - quick and painless to both cut out and sew! The only thing I found truly tricky was the fit itself. The armbands seem to run a bit small for both me and other sewists, so give yourself a little wiggle room, if you don't plan to make a muslin.
- White Stretch Cotton Swiss Dot Voile - Gorgeous Fabrics ($14/yard now, $10/yard when I bought it on sale)
- Black Cotton Swiss Dot - Hancock Fabrics ($6.99/yard)