Answers to your Sew-Along Questions!

Lots of questions came up about the Pendrell Sew-Along yesterday! I’m going to answer them in today’s post. Feel free to ask more questions if yours is still unanswered!

Is there a lining in the Pendrell Blouse?

No, there’s not a lining in the blouse pattern. But that doesn’t meant you can’t use sheer fabrics! You may want to underline the blouse if you are planning to use sheer fabrics, like silk chiffon or very light colours. Can I ask, are a lot of people considering sheer fabrics and underlining? Let me know and I’ll see what I can build into the sew-along. I do have a pretty silk chiffon print that would be great to demonstrate with!

Is the blouse easy to slip on?

Yes! It’s easy to slip on, even without any closures. However, it all depends on your head, and probably your hair too! I wear the size 4, and it fits over my head no problem. The neck doesn’t get too much smaller as the sizes go down but if you’re concerned about the neck opening, we can drop the neckline and enlarge the binding piece to match. I’d suggest measuring off the neck opening on the pattern tissue for your size, make a loop with the tape measure and poke your head through, to see if you want to increase the neckline!

Will you cover the FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) in the Sew-Along?

For sure! However, my bust is less than full, so this type of pattern adjustment is uncharted territory for me. I can definitely put together a demonstration though! If anyone is pro at doing a FBA, I’d welcome a guest post! Or jump in with what’s worked well for you, when I post about how to make the Full Bust Adjustment.

A couple of helpful FBA links, in the meantime: Patty from The Snug Bug did a great rundown of a FBA using the Lady Grey Coat. This coat has princess seams, so it’s similar in shape to the Pendrell Blouse. Alana, another great explainer of the FBA, shows the adjustment on a basic bodice. It gives you a visual of how it all works.

And check out Gertie’s fantastic round-up of bust adjustment links here. All of your bust questions answered in one place!

What about adjusting the pattern for different body types?

In addition to the FBA, I plan to cover how to narrow the hip measurement, and how to turn it into a dress. Is there anything else you’d like to see? Let me know and I’ll do my best to fit it in!

Will there be a Flickr group for photos?

Yes! Here’s the Sewaholic Patterns Flickr Group link. The group has already been started, so come join us! (This is an old screenshot of the Flickr group. We’re up to 29 members already, with a few fabric selections posted too!)

Will we make a muslin?

That’s a great question! I’ve had a couple of people ask me this one already. So I’m going to put it back to you guys – do you want to make muslins? Normally I wouldn’t, for a blouse, especially if you are the exact measurements or very close. If you plan to make a lot of adjustments, or if your fabric is especially fancy or pricey, then I’d suggest using a cheaper, lightweight and drapey fabric for a test run before cutting your expensive fabric. What do you guys think?

Any more questions? Ask away! Don’t be shy, there are no silly questions when it comes to sewing. Better to ask and know the answer. Have a great day, everyone!

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25 Responses to Answers to your Sew-Along Questions!

  1. Amanda January 6, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    That’s so nice of you to consider all these things during the sew-along. It’s great to see someone truly love what they do!

    Do you draft for an A or B cup for your patterns? Just curious to know if I’ll have to do an adjustment. I might make a muslin in that case. Thanks!

  2. Jenna January 6, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    I think I will make a muslin before I cut into my prettiest fabric. :) . I’ll probably need to do an FBA & possibly a sloping shoulder adjustment, which I’ve never done before. I have FFRP, so I know how (theoretically), but I’ve never actually put it to use.

  3. Jane January 6, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Hi Tasia, just one quick question. Is it easier to adjust a hip measurement or a bust measurement? My bust and waist are both in the same measurement column but my hips are quite narrow in comparison – I’m hoping the hip adjustment will just be a case of amending side seams! Thanks. x

  4. ms. modiste January 6, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Thanks so much for all the info, and it’s so great that you’re going to cover so much territory.

    Personally, I’m going to do both a tissue fit and a muslin. I know that’s probably overkill, but it’s been so long since I’ve done any fitting, and I bought rather expensive fabric! (That, and I anticipate an FBA, possibly narrowing the hips and perhaps dropping the neckline… I’m not a pear at all!)

  5. ms. modiste January 6, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    ps – a very minor question – is there going to be a sewalong blog badge? :D

  6. Lois January 6, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’m going to do a muslin (out of broadcloth in case it turns out ok). The reason I’m doing it is that I’m going to change the sleeves a little. I wear an undergarment that comes slightly over where a sleeveless blouse would go. I’m concerned that even view A would show them. So I need to make some adjustment. Any suggestions? I’ve thought of leaving the ruffle where it is & just adding a sleeve. But I don’t know how that would look.

  7. Kate January 6, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Thanks for all the information! The fabric I think I’m going to use is a cotton lawn described as slightly sheer. So, I also picked up some white cotton batiste with the intention of underlining.

    I have never done a muslin before but I was thinking of trying it out on this since it seems like it will manageable, and I think I’m likely to need a size larger in the bust than I do in the waist and hips.

    Looking forward to the sew-along!

  8. Fay V January 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Tasia,

    I would love to do a muslin and work on fit a little more if it’s possible – I can’t wait to sew along : )

  9. Helen January 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I intend to do a muslin – there’s four sizes difference between my bust and my hips! I also intend to shorten it (I don’t wear tops tucked in), and I’m short waisted and perky, so there will probably be modifications to the princess line. But maybe I’ll get lucky and not have to change much :)

    Also, what cup is the pattern sized for?

  10. Lauren January 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi Tasia,

    Thanks a million for all the brilliant work you are doing for the sew-along. It’s fantastic!

    I’m grateful you’ll be covering sizing issues. I’m often left confused on what to do, and sometimes feel annoyed that I just can’t go straight ahead and cut out a pattern.

    Good tip for attempting the blouse in a cheaper, pretty fabric. I’m off to buy something pretty, which leads me to one more question to add to your ever growing list. I’ve never sewed stretch knit before, i would love to but don’t know what to do. Can you do a run down on how to sew knits for people who don’t have an overlocker.

    Thanks again Tasia!


  11. Krysta January 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    I snagged a really pretty cotton voile that is white with red polka dots just for this blouse! It is slightly sheer, but I was just planning on wearing a white tank underneath if necessary. I’m leaning towards view B because OMG RUFFLES, I’m just trying to decide if that would be overkill.

    I love that I fit perfectly on one size (10), and between that and the fact that I won’t be making any adjustments, I wasn’t planning on making a muslin.

    Hey Tasia, do you think it would work to replace the bias binding with pretty contrasting ribbon? And if so what sort of ribbon would you suggest?

    My fianc√© ordered the pattern for me a few days ago, I’m hoping it makes it here soon! I’m crazy excited.

  12. jadestar January 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    I was thinking of you while I was out shopping recently, and your idea making clothes for the pear shaped figure. I was wondering if you intend to design any sleepwear, nighties in particular. There are some lovely ones inthe shops, but the majority of them are bias cut. Now bias for me (a pear with what they call ‘junk in the trunk’) is a definite no no. Thought this might be something to think about. :)

  13. Misty January 6, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    This all sounds great Tasia! I’ll probably shorten my blouse since I can’t stand to wear my blouses tucked in. I know you mentioned that was a simple adjustment in one of your previous posts, but I would find it helpful if you could include it with all the other adjustments you plan to cover.

  14. Krysta January 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Hm. I just took another look at my fabric and it is a bit more sheer than i had remembered. Might have to consider underlining after all.

  15. Tasia January 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    Hi everyone! The blouse is designed for a B cup, sorry I forgot to mention it above when discussing the FBA.
    @Jane: Jane, you’re right! it’s much easier to adjust the hips than the bust, and you are correct in that it’s just adding or reducing the sideseams and princess seams. I’ll show you!
    @ms. modiste: Yes! There is going to be a sew-along blog badge. My sister’s putting together a few options, I’ll post them as soon as they’re ready!

    @Lois: Hm, that’s an interesting question! I’m not sure if I understand correctly, it sounds like you’re looking for more coverage around the armhole and possibly shoulder? In that case, perhaps lengthening the ruffles would give you the extra coverage? Simply cut down the ‘fold line’ and spread the two halves of the pattern piece by the amount you want to add. The same theory works for the pleated sleeve, slash along the fold line and spread it by the amount you want to lengthen it by. Remember then, your new sleeve won’t line up with the original notches. Does that help? It sounds like you’re making a major change, in which case I’d definitely make a muslin to be sure you like it!

    @Lauren: Hi Lauren! For sewing this blouse in knit fabric, I
    pretended my knit fabric was a woven and treated it exactly the same.
    Here’s a link on sewing knits without a serger:
    I will cover edge finishes for if you don’t have a serger as well. I hope that helps!

    @Krysta: Totally agree, LOVE the ruffles! It won’t be overkill. Check out my sister’s Pendrell blouse in red and white dots here:
    I wouldn’t replace the bias binding with ribbon. The reason is that the binding needs to form nice curves, and ribbon will make straight lines well but won’t bend around the curves. You’ll have a really hard time trying to curve the ribbon trim around the neckline and it will likely pucker! So I wouldn’t recommend ribbon. If you want a fun contrast, or a solid colour, cut the bias binding pieces out of a contrast fabric. You’ll get the look of ribbon but it will still bend and curve. I hope that helps!

    @jadestar: Great idea! I read this comment earlier in the day and have been thinking about the possibilites since.. In my ideal world, I’d create a full wardrobe of patterns for us pears – everything from dresses to coats and yes, to nightwear! Thanks for the awesome suggestion, it’s definitely in my grand scheme at some point!

    @Misty: Absolutely! I’ll cover how to shorten the blouse as well.

    @Krysta: No problem, I’ll put together a tutorial on underlining as well.

    Wow! This is going to be intense, but a lot of fun. Looking forward to getting started! And if I miss something as we go, just give me a gentle reminder :)

  16. Cassandra January 7, 2011 at 12:15 am #

    Princess seams are awesome if you’re very busty and can give you a perfectly fitting blouse. When I was struggling to master adjustments for a full bust I cheated and wrapped myself (in my favourite bra) in cling/plastic wrap and then drew some lines where I though my side seam should sit (great if you have a side seam sew into a well fitted bra – use it as a guide) and a line from mid shoulder down across my nipple and vertically down to my waist.

    Cut along the lines and you’ll end up with a perfect curve for the side bodice piece (that follows the contours of your bust) that you can transfer to your pattern.

    Cheat method of doing a custom FBA for first timers *wink*

  17. ms. modiste January 7, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    @Cassandra – that’s brilliant!

  18. Alicia van Zyl January 8, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    Hi Tasia,

    With regards to your “to muslin or not to muslin” question;

    I have never made a muslin and would really like to learn, however, every tutorial I’ve ever read on muslin’s have been done on pretty intimidating patterns to begin with. I think it is rather a silly thing to make a muslin for a shirt like this, but it would be a great way to learn how to make a muslin properly and I, for one, would really love to add this skill to my bag of tricks.

    Although, seeing as you have so many other demands from eager beaver seamstresses all over the world, I think I am not alone when saying, don’t stretch yourself too thin on this sew along on our behalf. Maybe you could do a simple muslin tutorial in another post at another time.

    And after all that, I have to add that this is probably the first time ever that I am looking forward to a Monday! I can’t wait to make my Pendrell blouse!

    Thanks for all of your amazing posts!

    Alicia (All the way from Sunny South Africa)

  19. auzzi January 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    I was wondering about the FBA and cup sizes… what does it mean when you say that the pattern is drafted for a B cup? Do the larger pattern sizes account for increases in cup size? When is a FBA necessary? Sorry for all of the questions… I am trying to figure out if I will need to do an FBA (My bust measurement is the exact same as the pattern’s size 12, but I am a cup size DD) or if I can get away without doing one! I am worried because my hip measurement is quite a bit smaller (size 4) and am wondering whether or not a FBA will affect the hip measurement of the blouse. Thank you for taking the time to answer all of our pesky sewing questions, I’m really looking forward to this sew-along!

  20. Rachel January 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    I’m making mine out of a chiffon fabric, but don’t plan to underline it (i plan to layer it), but i’d appreciate any tips you have on seam finishes for transparent fabrics.

    Also if you have any tips on matching plaids i’d appreciate them (eg which bits to worry about matching and which bits are never going to match etc)

  21. Caryn January 8, 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    I have to disagree with Alicia with all due respect. I don’t think it is silly to make a muslin on this pattern. Muslins serve many purposes of which fit is just one. It gets one familiar with the pattern and stirs up the strategy juices. It is good to get the mistakes over with on a muslin rather than your fashion fabric.

    I actually like polyester. Perhaps because I don’t sweat much, and I am fortunate that when I sweat I don’t smell bad. I don’t smell nice or anything, it is just neutral. I just don’t have the stinky gene I guess. The fabric is in a retro seventies geometric.

  22. Jessica January 10, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    I’m underlining! If you are able, I’d LOVE it if you covered it.

    P.S. Got my pattern yesterday. Awesome!

  23. Karina January 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    I love everything you do, can you PLEASE add a tutorial on how to add lining to a dress. I tried to do it on my dress and it turn own horrible.


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