A tale of fail

This tale has its origins last March, when while on vacation in Chile I picked up a couple of issues of Patrones Magazine, a Spanish sewing publication. Looking for a quick project, I finally cracked the magazine’s spine and decided this little number would make for a work appropriate blouse.

She looks so chic, no?

Part of the reason for making this blouse is that I thought it would take me a mere afternoon to complete. Think again. For starters, tracing the pattern was a royal pain. The pattern pieces for each issue come superimposed on each other on the same piece of paper and one must correctly trace the appropriate colour, as well as add all the seam allowances.  That took forever.

This is a maze!

Then came the nightmarish instructions. A whole paragraph’s worth with no diagrams whatsoever and the most general of guidelines.  Now, you may be thinking, “Duh, the instructions are in Spanish!”, but you may recall that Spanish is my first language so language barrier was not the issue.  By way of example, here’s a short translation:  “Sew cuffs at base of sleeves, according to R-S marks”.  Yes, but how exactly?

Boy, have I been spoiled for life by Colette patterns!

After several attempts at following the instructions, or lack thereof, I decided to simply ignore them and go on my instinct.  I’m happy to report that I successfully put the garment together over a few Saturday afternoons but this did not come without extensive picking apart of newly sewn seams and the uttering expletives worthy of a sailor’s mouth.  All that aside, the garment finally came together, only to reveal this horror:

I feel like a schoolmistress ... can you tell I'm not impressed?

As you can see, there is no shape whatsoever to this garment and the neckline is a bit odd.  The front gathers add volume in an area where I lack substance, making me feel huge. The worst part is the sleeves: worthy of Anne of Green Gables and her dreams for the puffiest of sleeves.  I feel like a school mistress circa 1890, or 1980, or both.

So what’s the moral of the story? Make a muslin! I should have those words tattooed on my forehead.

In fairness, while I can blame Patrones for the poor instructions, I can’t blame them for the pattern itself.  The pieces were well labelled and properly marked and an experienced sewist should have no problem piecing things together in no time flat. More importantly, I only have myself to blame for choosing such a poufy look when I know quite well I dress simply and I should stay away from baggy tops – waist definition is the way to go for my figure.

Check out the puffiness

While I’m disappointed with my first attempt at Patrones, I’m not giving up.  There are quite a few lovely looking garments in the magazine and one day I hope to make them without even looking at the instructions.  As for the wasted fabric, fear not; I have a plan to save it from the Goodwill pile.  Stay tuned…