Sunday, 5 April 2020

Liberty Wilder Blouse: Meh

Right. So what do we think about this blouse then? As much as I wish I did, I just don't think I like it. Both the colour and fit aren't right for me. Which is super annoying because I adore both the fabric and the pattern. On other people. 


Perhaps the most annoying thing is that I've had this fabric in my stash and have been mulling over what to make with this it for YEARS. Literal years. Not continuously of course, but regularly. I even included it in my #2019makenine sewing plans, although I didn't get round to using it until early 2020. It's some gorgeous Liberty tana lawn, the print is called Jonathan, that I bought from the stand at the GBSB live event two or three years ago. I've seen a few projects on the internet where people have used it the other way up, but to me it looks likes ruffles and I prefer it this way. 

It almost goes without saying, but this fabric was a dream to work with, and feels amazing against the skin. The issue I appear to have with it is that it is orange. I'm a big fan of wearing rust, and I thought that I could pull off wearing it's purer, less muted cousin, however it would appear that I cannot. Oh, and did you see the pattern matching I pulled off along the centre front seam (see above, if you can!). Mic drop!


As I mentioned before, I internally debated my pattern choice for this fabric for an embarrassingly long time. For quite a while, I thought a pattern that actually included ruffles would be fun to make in this ruffle-y print. However, in the end I fell down on the blouse version of the insanely popular Wilder Gown pattern by Friday Pattern Co.. I'm not really a dress wearer, and certainly not a gown wearer, but I've really liked all the other blouse versions I've seen on Instagram, so I decided to give it a whirl. 

I felt confident to go ahead without making a toile, basing my sizing choices on the finished garment measurements (I blended between sizes, as per usual). The only change I made to the pattern design was to alter the sleeve: I straightened the otherwise tapered shape and added elastic to the hems to make them a little poufy. A decision I do not regret. The construction was straightforward and fun. I omitted the topstitching down either side from the centre front seam because I was trying to disguise it as far as possible (did you see my pattern matching, BTW?!), and I finished a few of the seam allowances together (closed seams) rather than separate and pressed open (open seams) because I thought the finish would be neater.  


As I previously said, I don't think this colour looks good on me, but I'm not convinced that that's the only issue here. Something doesn't feel right around the neck/shoulder area. Perhaps it's related to volume: maybe there's not enough fullness for the gathering at the neck to be fully effective and subsequently it feels slightly wrong. I'd be interested to compare these pattern pieces to the True Bias Roscoe pattern to see how differently the volume in those patterns is handled.  

Of course, things would never have got this far if I'd just made a freaking toile of the damn pattern. I could have then sized up or something, or opted for a different pattern for this fabric altogether. But to be honest, I still would have made something orange that wouldn't have suited me, even if the fit was better, so all in all I feel like I saved some time. If you know me IRL and would like to own this blouse after the pandemic (oh yeah, that whole GLOBAL PANDEMIC thing I'm just blogging through), then give me a buzz! 


Claire Cooper said...

I think the pattern looks quite cool, I'm not really a fan of this style, but the fit looks ok. I like the orange too, in fact I love orange, but it doesn't like me. I just can't wear it near my face at all, so leave it for accents only. I think rust is much more forgiving. It has those deeper red tones that allow it to be worn by a wider range of skin tones. I bet this top would look awesome on you in a turquoise or teal blue

MultiVroon said...

Couldn't you just cut the neck off, make a wider rounded neck and finish it with a small biais strip around the pleats, and with a simple tie at each end? Keep the buttoned opening.

All that fabric at your neck hurts my eyes. I would like to think the color could suit you with a bit more skin showing and a simpler, softer form.

Lynn said...

I almost cringe at suggesting this on that expensive fabric, but you could overdye it to tone it down. Use a weak solution of brown dye and leave it for just a few mintes to deepen the orange to something closer to a preferred rust color. And I quite like the suggestion above to remove the ruffle and bind the neck instead.

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

Hi Zoe, LOVE this fabric and agree it's riffing a flounce. I always find with colours that are a bit off for my skin tone, a lipstick that is bang on for me can really help.
Now I know you love the sleeves but when I look at it I think it would benefit from a capped sleeve (because of the raglan) so there was less of it. I love what you did with them and perhaps in a different fabric, with more fullness so it had the blowing in the wind sort of billowiness it would be different? With a capped sleeve it has more of a contained elegance. Less art teacher (I am SO INTO THE ART TEACHER VIBE) and more "famous actress at home in casual wear but also a minimum of $3k's worth of kit" vibe. (that did not roll off the tongue)
Just a thought. 10/10 for amazing pattern matching, dang but those small scale prints can really show up if they don't line up and it's impossible to even see the seam!

Summer Flies said...

Hi. I don't comment often, but I love the colour on you . I think you look great in this colour. I think it looks terrific but if you aren't loving it maybe you may need to keep the neckline open and consider what Mrs C says to make it a shorter sleeve. I don't like fabric to the neck, and long sleeves together, I think it overwhelms one. I love it and hope you wear your really lovely top.

Lodi said...

It's a beautiful blouse. I'd love to see it with the tie open, which is how I always wear my Roscoe. (Some have stitched the neck tie to the front edges to keep them in place.) With the front open and a cardi I think you might begin to embrace it! (I think it's lovely.)

Susan Snow said...

It is a nice colour on you, I think you need a nice orange-y lipstick with it. Maybe pair it with white/cream or pale yellow slacks for spring/summer? Don't give up on it, it is lovely, try pairing it with different separates. Lovely job you did here.

Caz.P. said...

I like the colour and print but its a bit "Little House on the Prairie"(yes, I know Wilder") Loose the frill round the neck and have a thinner neck tie. Don't waste your lovely material.It does look nice but I couldnt have all that material round my neck. love looking at all your makes.

M-C said...

Before you commit to giving it away, how about trying a couple things? First, I just didn't understand why people liked this pattern so much,till I saw someone wearing it with the neck open. That's very different!

Then I used to have a terrible time finding any orange in the US,and so would buy everything I found, which often turned out to be fast-food fluorescent. But you know what? Tea dyeing is a piece of cake. Fluorescent orange + light tea = soft pumpkin I love. + strong tea = light rust. Just make a really strong tea, darker than you would drink, put in the already soaked wet shirt (for even color), heat it or not as you feel it, leave it in till it's a bit darker than you want (it gets lighter when it dries), wash and wear. That's the nontoxic kid-friendly version, but you can of course use regular fiber-reactive dye. My point is you cannot go wrong mixing any shade of Orange with any shade of brown.

Voila, perfect yummy soft shirt as you envisioned.

nestki said...

I respect your feelings regarding this blouse. You are the one wearing it so you know how it feels. However! I think it looks very good on you. Have you looked at your photos as a stranger would, with no preconceived notions of what looks good on you? I think that there’s a place in one’s wardrobe for a slightly more formal blouse like this, especially one so well made using such beautiful fabric.

Zoe said...

Thank you all SO MUCH for weighing in with your thoughts, suggestions and tips. I'm going to try wearing it a few times as it is to see if I can fall in love with it, and if not, I'll have a think about which suggestion to try.

Thanks again, you all are , clearly , the best!


JustGail said...

I think I agree with M-C - try wearing it with the neck open. As is, it seems like the neckline is a bit too high. I can't speak to the tea dying, but if you prefer rust over orange, what do you have to lose? And you did do a great job on the pattern matching!

badmomgoodmom said...

Kudos for the great pattern matching at CF. Bummer about the color. Would over-dyeing it help?


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