Blouse: Tom & Linda Platt for Vogue Patterns V1629 (2020)
Pants: Anne Klein for Vogue Patterns V1064 (2008)
Geometric print blue Tana cotton lawn from Liberty of London, London. Telio “Downtown” rayon/nylon/spandex suiting from (now defunct) Fabric Depot, Portland, OR.
I admire Tom & Linda Platt’s designs for their simple elegance. This blouse is deceptive – it is like one of those 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles that looks like it will be easy to put together. Until it isn’t.
My regular pattern alterations were very tricky with this pattern which has 2-piece raglan sleeves and an asymmetrical neckline. First off, I needed a high round back alteration, which affects the top of the sleeve as well as the back pattern piece. Next, I needed a forward shoulder alteration which also affected the sleeve pieces. Moving to the front, I needed a full bust adjustment; instead of creating a side dart, I migrated the dart into the gathers at the neckline. Because my bust is so asymmetrical (3 cup size difference from left to right), I also had to true the center front seam because the full bust adjustment made the pattern longer on the left side.
I fit and sewed Anne Klein pants almost 10 years ago at my first Palmer/Pletsch pants class. Since I had chosen the pattern for the jacket size, the largest pant in the pattern was size 14; I usually start with a size 16. I added to the side seams and dropped the seat. They are still a good fit, though 10 years ago, they fit a bit better than they do today!
Construction Notes: Telio’s Downtown weave was the perfect fabric for office-ready bottom weight material. It was a rayon/poly/spandex blend with minimal stretch, but great drape and recovery. In addition, the fabric is a dream to sew. I’m terribly disappointed that it is no longer available, as it was a favorite pants fabric of mine.
This is my second time working with cotton lawn in the past year. (My previous project was a lawn shirt for my son.) Cotton lawn is much trickier to sew than I expected from plain woven cotton fabric. Cotton lawn is a very lightweight fabric, so I used fine sewing machine needles (size 9 and 10). Even these made large holes in the fabric when I removed stitches. Marking was tricky, too. Tracing paper marks soaked through to the right side of the material and my basting left holes. Even ironing was tricky: with steam, the fabric always looks slightly wrinkled. That said, cotton lawn gathers beautifully and button loops turn perfectly. For all its drawbacks, cotton lawn is deliciously cool to wear – perfect for the cloudy mornings and warm afternoons of me-made May!