I'm meh on this one. I've worn it and received a lot of compliments. I just don't feel it looks that good on me. The style is just not right for my frame. I think it looks better on me belted. Wearing it unbelted just isn't very flattering. The fit can probably be tweaked more but I think in the end the actual style was not meant for me. I have a long skinny neck which I thought would look good with the frame of the collar. It does nothing, IMO. But I don't think it is the collar line so much as all those darts sloping down from the neck and over my arms, bust and neck. With a good sized bust that age has lowered a tad (wishful thinking!) all those darts pointing down and clinging to my narrow sloping shoulders just don't work. I added shoulder pads which helped some but still didn't make it work. There is plenty of room in the bustline but it would be improved with a button. Not sure I would like that and at this point it's move on time. I did get what I wanted, a soft sweatery, not fitted, garment that is slouchy enough to make a good throw on for a cold day. I even think I will wear this to work today as we hunker down for another storm. But this pattern? Not for me! Here's my actual review:
This is Vogue 1385, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit design. It took some effort to get this design to come close to fitting. It is shown as a silk type blouse and some that I have seen on the web, like Sham's, are fabulous. But her shoulders are the exact opposite of mine and it looks great on her. Her shoulder line is straight across and the jacket hangs beautifully. I did shorten the darts a tad and "petited" the pattern as well as I always do and that made the muslin a lot better. The sleeves on the pattern have tucks and a good amount of volume. I knew that would not be flattering in this heavier fabric and chose a longer length with a slit in the cuff area. Not sure that is very flattering either but it is comfortable. This is a great design, IMO, just not for me.
I used a 100% wool that I felted by washing and drying on hot twice. It took the two spins in the machines to get it to felt to the point where it would not ravel. It became soft and sweatery, what I wanted. I painted the fabric with a "twig" stencil on the upper bodice and sleeve edges using Lumiere metallic fabric paint. The project was pretty thrilling through the painting part. I love to paint/dye fabric and really should do more. It makes me happy. Once dry, the "twigs" of paint had deliberatel sort of random topstitching applied with the triple stitch and rayon thread. Notice: the thread on the shoulder topstitching matches perfectly but the camera makes it look nearly white. It's not. I love the color of this, like a deep periwinkle, that blue purple combo. The sleeve picture below is the true color of the jacket.
First there was the fit! It took a couple of muslins to get that down. I made the mistake of following Betzina's instruction to buy "her" patterns by the bust which put me in a letter size equivalent to a size twelve. Well, that sure didn't work. After a lot of frustration, I did my usual Big Four adjustments starting with the smallest, Size A, pattern, much better. But this design is not an easy one to adjust, raglan sleeves, all those collar darts, etc.
Seams were stitched twice and then topstitched on the outside with regular sewing thread. I ran a band of the wool around all the outer edges and then triple zigzagged it with the rayon turquoise thread. This technique had worked for me before and I think it worked well here. There is no facing to this garment so the collar reaches a bit higher, which I thought would be better for my long neck. The lack of facing adds to the sweatery feel I wanted. Since I didn't do the facing which is stitched into the neck ruffles, it was a fairly uncomplicated process.
This is a lovely pattern on the right body. My narrow shoulders, long neck, and and those downward darts were just not compatible. I think in a lighter blouseweight fabric I might have stood a chance. The weight of the wool I think was just too much to get this to hang properly on me. At least that's this afternoon's thought. I won't be making this again. I congratulate those, and there are many, who were able to make this design work for themselves. It's a lovely design. I am not sorry I went to the effort, paint and all, and I do have a pretty toss on for chilly afternoons at home and work but I just can't get excited about the finished project. Maybe it's just all the deep snow and sixteen below temps I am seeing on the thermometer right now. Cabin fever?
Oh, my bag is nearly done and that is making me happy!