Karlene the third – sewing a blouse finally worked out

Simone wearing the finished Karlene blouse and making a happy dance

Unbelievable but I got it done: The Karlene blouse is finished and fits. Ok… there may be some little details I don’t like but overall, for a garment made in my hated woven fabric, it is a success. But the victory was not bought easy, my sewing help elf and I had to fight hard to conquer the garments neckline.
A short recap, if you have not read part one and two of my sewing odyssey.

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The Karlene blouse is originally a wide untailored dress with raglan sleeves, a yoke and a gathered body from the Belgium sewing magazine Fibremood. I decided to make it in size M and to shorten the dress into a blouse as my fabric was not sufficient for a longer garment (and I am unsure if the fit of the dress would be flattering on my huge backside – by the way I am still unsure… what do you think? Would you wear such a wide dress with a belt, do you think this looks good on someone like me, who is very short and has a curvy backside?)

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All went well with the pattern and the blouse looked cute on a hanger, but when I tried it on, I was gifted a huge gaping neckline on front and back. No way could I wear the blouse like this.
You all were so helpful and posted a lot of useful tips on how to rescue this blouse. And as a well behaved and eager to learn #needlworkmonday participant I tried them all. Including tips, I got from my friends on Instagram and at home.

To be honest I did not try out the advices alone, but with a sewing teacher from the fabric shop where I started a sewing course (before Corona crisis). And I have to say, I have never met a more patient teacher than her.

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At first, we met in a cafe and I showed her the neckline accident and she immediately wanted me to peel of the inner interfacing. The instructions of Fibremood told me to reinforce both parts of the yoke with interfacing which I did. So, we sat with cake and coffee and ripped the yoke apart to peel of the interfacing, which worked surprisingly well. At home I redid the yoke and hoped to have found the culprit of the gaping neckline… but no, the gap was still there. Groan!!!!

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I told the sewing teacher of this fiasco and she invited me to come to her apartment to fight the neckline together. Two days later I arrived on a blazing hot day and we again unpicked the yoke. After the interfacing was not the culprit, we wanted to try out the other recommendations I got:
Inserting a dart into the front and/or back of the yoke
Recutting the yoke in a smaller size
Modifying the shoulder seam

To make it short – we tried them all and with every new alteration the neckline looked worse than before. With darts on front and back, the neckline sat so high up that I thought it would choke me. With only one dart the problem of the gaping would persist. With the smaller size the shoulder seams were much too high and the whole fit of the yoke was wrong and altering the shoulder seams exaggerated the problem. We were both sweating profoundly because of the heat and this stubborn blouse.

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After 4 hours of sewing, fitting and ripping we were back at the beginning. Our last idea was to recut the yoke from an old men’s shirt and then play with its form, for example to make the curve of the neckline bigger or the yoke height smaller. We cut out the original size M and I pulled it over my head and ….. IT FITTED!!!!!!!

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You can imagine our astonishment. This was the yoke I originally made and now it somehow miraculously fit. You, dear needleworkers already know the solution (do you?): it was the interfacing. At our first meeting I only had peeled of the inner interfacing, but I had left the outer one untouched. And our yoke made from a men’s shirt did not have any interfacing and sat perfectly on my shoulders, no gaping, no choking. Thankfully I had some scraps of the original fabric and so I could make the whole yoke in size M without any trace of interfacing again.
So, here I am after three weeks of mindless cutting and sewing. I finally have a fitting blouse.
But to be honest, I am not sure if I still like it… perhaps I should smoke it out with sage to get rid of bad sewing ghosts 😀

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Rest assured, my next sewing project will be made with stretch fabric ?????

Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara@shanibeer@marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on hive blog. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my hive blog

If this is not enough, you can find my post on Handmade on Tuesday and read even more about knitting and sewing, but beware most posts are in German.

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