I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I frequently have a precise idea in mind of what I want to sew, but I cannot find the right pattern. I usually end up hacking a similar pattern to get what I want. But what if there was a book that can teach you how to personalise your blouse? Without starting completely from scratch? This is the premise of “Ma blouse sur mésure” by Atelier Scammit. My sister kindly gifted me this book for Christmas and as soon as I came back I started working on it.
Atelier Scammit is a brand that I particularly like, it was the first french brand that I discovered online! I watched all the sew along on their Youtube channel, both of patterns I had and had not, simply because I enjoyed learning new techniques and finish. The premise of this book is to teach you how to adapt two blouse-block to your morphology, and guide you to edit the pattern block. For this reason the book comes with only two patterns, one for a blouse without darts, and one with, and by following three steps you should be able to get your dream blouse.
First step: Making a blouse that fits me
The first step is to make the blouse that fits you. It is recommended to make the first toile with some calico fabric, sewing with long stitches and without finishing the seams. The objective is to identify fitting issues and correct them before step 2. I followed the instructions and decided to start with the blouse without darts, size 40, following the book size chart, here is the result.
The fit was pretty good actually, the bust, waist and hip line was spot on. The only issue was that I was feeling my shoulders as if they were compressed, and the movements were not fluid, but restricted. I knew I needed to adjust the shoulder fit and give more space at the level of the chest line (ligne de carrure, the second line from the top).
Back to my drawings then! I personally really like to make pattern adjustments and draw on tracing paper, so I actually really enjoyed the process. The book guides you step by step in this phase: for each fitting issue there are clear drawings and the relative pattern edits. In my case I had to increase the shoulder line and the chest line, by simply translating horizontally the pattern by 1/4″ (I chose this amount) and redraft the pattern as shown below. The blue line was the original line, while the red one is my edited reference. With this edit, the sleeve head is the same as the original, and the waist and hip line is also kept unchanged.
Second step: making a blouse that I like
Having addressed the fitting issues I started drawing the pattern for the blouse I had in mind. I wanted a buttoned blouse, with V neckline, puffy sleevehead, 7/8 length with a wrist band. I choose to finish the neckline with a bias binding invisible from the outside. All these options are described in the book, not only different necklines and sleeves, but also different finishes and how to actually make them, with step by step instructions.
Third step: sewing!
This is the final step! As I mentioned above, the book gives step by step instructions for different finishes. The only thing that requires a little bit of time is figuring out the sewing order. For this I highly recommend to follow Atelier Scammit on Youtube. For example for my blouse, I followed the Zoe tutorial, changing only the sleeve steps. I really enjoyed the sewing process, and the finished level of my blouse. I don’t think I’ve ever made a blouse that looks as good inside and outside: the side seams are with french seams, and I’m particularly proud of my bias binding, an old silk tie that belonged to my grandpa. And voilà my blouse!
Now, it’s not my usual color 🙂 I choose I bright fuschia pink, quite shiny. I got this fabric last summer in Italy, for something like $3/meter. It’s a viscose blend, which is a little bit of a pain to sew, but I quite like it matched either with denim or light color pants.
This first blouse is a success, and that why I’m planning to use my block for several versions. I already make a second one, which couldn’t be more different! It’s a pajama top, in a gingham brushed cotton. I used the same block, but drafted a sort of boat neckline, finished with bias binding. I cropped it by 3 1/2″ and choose to have a slightly more boxy fit, by reducing the side seam allowance down to 3/8″, instead of 5/8″.
Do I recommend this book? Yes, if you speak french and if you like to draw and imagine your own pattern but with some detailed guidance. No, if you prefer to sew a pattern as is out of the package.