Hey There. If you're visiting today because you're thinking about buying the Riviera Acqualina pattern (it's currently on sale) or already bought it but haven't sewn it up yet, I'm here to tell you to learn from my mistakes and watch this brilliant video before you make your blouse. I like how mine turned out, but in order to make it work I had to take a number of ad hoc measures - all down to choosing the wrong fabric. You have to choose a fabric that is identical on both sides, and to be fair, it does state that on the package envelope - albeit amid a somewhat dense block of text. Totally my mistake, but it wouldn't hurt to have that part in boldface or repeated that vital bit of info somewhere else. Just sayin.
This is my wearable muslin. I plan to make another in a sheer fabric, worn with a camisole, for a dressy holiday top. I cut a size 20 and while I like the way it fits in the back and shoulders, there is way too much volume in the center fold. It looks and feels like I'm smuggling a bag of oranges in there. I think, though, this is partly down to the opaque fabric, busy print, and extra layer of fabric sewn onto one side of the front so that the wrong side of the fabric wouldn't show when I twisted the front.
My inspiration came from Helen in Showtime's The Affair. Have you seen it? It's like a juicy soap/murder mystery - with really great acting and fun plot twists. I'm totally hooked. The show uses a Rashomon story telling device, so Helen's wardrobe changes slightly depending on whose point of view it is, but in general her style is easy, loose and wearable, definitely not trying too hard, but also the clothes always look very expensive. Helen is someone with hippie ideals (maybe a holdover from college), but she's also rich and can afford to wear well-made clothes. They're usually in solid colors, with an unusual, often asymmetrical, detail. Here's a little montage to give you an idea.
You get the idea, right? Totally real-person clothes but on the luxe side. My construction notes:
- To compensate for not using two-sided fabric, I had to Frankenstein a few large pieces together to make the fabric double sided. Fortunately, my print is very busy, so it's hard to notice.
- I didn't bother with any kind of print matching for this and just noticed that I cut the back the wrong way.
- The fabric has an excellent drape for this pattern. I think it's a rayon voile but can't be sure as it was purchased at Fabric Outlet.
- I didn't make the placket/cuffs because I didn't have enough fabric, but I wasn't planning on wearing it as a long sleeve top anyway. I thought the busy pattern would be too much and wanted to give the eye a rest with a three quarter sleeve, which is, in my opinion, a universally flattering sleeve length. I made sleeve holder thingies instead (Does anyone know what those are called?) and sewed buttons on. Note: the sleeve is tapered, so next time I will cut the sleeve wider at the end so that it rolls up easily.
- Sleeves are sewn in flat - Yay!
- The video explains how to do FBAs, SBAs, and adjusting length, but I made this in a size 20 as is. The next one will not have as much volume in the fold. You can also add a hidden button to ensure that it doesn't gape open, though I don't plan on wearing it without a cami underneath.
- For my sheer version, I plan to do a clean finish yoke, french seams for the sleeves, and organza for the collar interfacing instead of fusible.