La Fred: Europa Blouse

I pretty much had this write-up completed, then I heard that Fred Bloebaum, of La Fred patterns passed away this weekend.  I, along with the rest of the sewing community, mourn the loss of this talented and generous designer and educator.

She had sold off her fabric venture earlier in the year, and I read that she was battling cancer.  No idea what will happen to her patterns, if they will continue production, or follow the hard-to-find vintage route.

I found it a bit disconcerting that I was working on one of her patterns over the weekend, then heard this news.

OK, back to the sewing.  A couple of posts back, I made mention that I stitched up a muslin of the Europa blouse.  I’ve liked this pattern for a long time, and thought the sleeveless version would make a nice, non-knit top to wear during the Summer.  This being Cactusville, Summer continues far beyond the Labor Day holiday, so the style is still wearable.

At the right, is the final muslin.  This is a very close-fitting type of shirt, at least on me.  Still, it has good bones and the pattern itself has excellent instructions – especially for moving the bust point and making a full bust adjustment (FBA).

I did a couple of alterations:

  • adjust for forward shoulder (this is now routine with me)
  • took in the princess seams a under bust, and under shoulder blades for a bit more shaping.
  • lengthened the body.  This top is truly high-hip length, and I felt it would be a too short on me once hemmed.  I may lengthen in another 1/2 inch.

Then came the onerous task of copying my fitting changes to the pattern.  I wish there were a magic wand to do this part.  It’s just such a chore.

You can see the forward shoulder adjustment in the photo at left.  I had originally made it almost an inch, then got the bright idea (hey, I get them every now and then) to cut away the armhole seam allowance, and see if that changed the fit.

Yup!  It certainly did.  That let me reduce the forward shoulder adjustment to 1/2 inch.  I was relieved, as altering it a full inch, I think, would have created other wonkiness (that’s a technical term) down the line.

One more item of note – the facings are very deep on this pattern, nearly 3 inches for the sleeveless version.

Next up was cutting out the fashion fabric, which is a bright white cotton print with sparsely scattered red flowers.  Of course, it being a white fabric, I had some more decisions to make.  What’s that?  Yes, this was supposed to be quick and easy. It really was, until I waffled.

First, I cut out the facings from a quasi-skin toned cotton…but I didn’t like that they still showed through.  Guess it wasn’t close enough to my skin tone.  In the end, I lined the whole thing with a very light (almost voile) cotton.  That seemed to do the trick.

Last but not least, red buttons!