Hi Friends! Welcome to the end of my Mini SWAP.
The last piece is the Prudence blouse by Hot Patterns, made in cream rayon.
The pattern: I reached deep into my pattern archives and pulled out the Prudence Blouse by Hot Patterns, a long hoarded item; it was issued in 2005 and of course I bought it right away. There’s something so James Bond about the name – Prudence Blouse. Maybe Miss Moneypenny might wear it? According to information on the envelope, it was inspired by a Stella McCartney blouse. So we’ve gone all UK with this one. It’s not available anymore on the Hot Patterns website. Smock-like tops were a huge trend in 2005.
Fabric: I reached even deeper into the fabric stash to pull out a favorite piece. This fabric is a bowl of cream (I remember Johnny Carson saying that to lovely ladies who were guests on The Tonight Show). But really, as far as I remember it’s 100% delicious rayon jacquard.
Making Prudence: I’ve used Hot Patterns a few times before this one, and still wear them. But I have not purchased any for a long time; their stuff was au courant back in the early to mid aughts, and they took off like wildfire. While they’re not as “hot” now, I remembered the cracks in these “smokin’” patterns; the instructions are minimal and assume the sewer’s skills and knowledge to be very high. Well, good, but what about the smokin’ hot beginner seamstresses? To be fair, the owner/designer Trudy Hanson, has a YouTube channel which details a lot of techniques if you’re willing to search the channel.
Here are some of my “margin notes” on the Prudence Blouse:
- I read reviews on PatternReview.com (it’s a good habit I’ve developed). I found three, and none of them seemed too enthusiastic about it, which should have been a red flag for me; they were very helpful though, and confirmed some of my reservations. I went ahead anyway.
- Made a mockup of the yoke/bodice assembly with scrap fabric just to be sure it worked per instructions. It worked. A hit-myeslf-on-the-head moment: it’s the “burrito technique”, ya’ll. Right?
- Here’s a tip for controlling the pleats; surgical, removable tape. Works very well when the fabric is fluid and the pleats need to be held in place.
- There were sleeve issues a couple of the reviewers had, but I did not find it to be a problem. They found the sleeves too tight, but I found the sleeves draped fine.
- My issue occured where the front neckline meets the front yoke. The under-stitching on the lined yoke should have been done after attaching the pleated piece, or skipped. Maybe I should have inserted the ties too low. The designer left it up to the seamstress to decide the tie locations – higher or lower. Anyway, the point in question is too bulky; see the arrows in the picture below.
Generally, I’m not sure about the blouse. I wore it and can’t decide if it’s a total fail or not. Pattern envelope illustrations though, are the most devious seducers. Also, Miss Moneypenny would not wear this in 2017.
So, the Mini SWAP is complete. One of these days, I will take pictures with me in the SWAP items so you can judge. Please judge harshly.
What kind of mini SWAP should I pull next? Keep sewing, my friends!