After years of ogling, I finally pulled the trigger on Butterick B6217, an adorable Patterns by Gertie blouse. I don’t really do blouses much, despite the odd flirtation. I actually think the last blouse I made was a Burdastyle JJ way back in the mists of time.
The fabric is a rayon twill, and while it is just as soft and fiddly as any rayon, it’s really quite glorious. I love the slightly heavier drape of it.
I was really unsure about the size. The pattern is described as “loose fitting”—not at all what the desired look is, IMO—and the amount of ease is correspondingly huge. On the other hand, I’m a bit bigger than I used to be which is requiring some reassessment about what measurements I should actually look for. But I found a post from someone on Instagram who said their measurements put them in a 14 and they made an 8.
I was a little leery looking at the finished measurements of the 8, so I decided to trace the pattern and muslin, which I almost never do with shop projects. The last time I tried to use an 8 because a pattern was oversized was a total disaster. In the 8 I wasn’t sure I would need my usual length changes, so I made only two alterations: curving in the back seam and squaring the shoulders slightly.
The results weren’t terrible and I probably will finish off that shirt, but it did seem just a little snug all around. So I went back to the size 10. I felt a lot more at home there, and took about 1/2″ of length out at the waist. I kinda wish I’d added it back on at the hem—the overall length is a wee bit short unless you’re tucking it in or wearing it over something high-waisted.
Anyway. The result was pretty good size-wise, I think. Just a tiny bit of taking in here and there. Keep in mind that’s going down two full sizes, given my measurements these days. The back does seem to hang up a bit, so maybe a bit of tweaking there is in order. On the other hand, I don’t have to look at it.
I used a featherweight knit interfacing for the facings, which was a great idea except that then I went and stabilized the main fabric of the neckline with a heavier knit interfacing for absolutely zero stretch, while the facing had a small amount of stretch, which is a recipe for gaping facing. Not bad, but not perfect.
The buttonholes, on the other hand, are perfect. I made them on my modern machine, which does pretty decent buttonholes on fabric like this, and a bit of wash-away stabilizer behind the fabric for insurance and everything was peachy keen.
I do like the pattern a lot—it’s adorable. The bias cut front ties are as much fun as they look. I dealt with the tulip sleeves by the simple method of lining up the underarm seam and sewing up from there, although I did make a bit of effort to make sure the crossover top lined up on both sides. There’s a marking you’re supposed to match but of course I forgot to mark it.
Whether it’ll become a wardrobe staple is another question, but I’m glad I gave it a try. I’d kinda like to make one with a matching skirt, for a summery-dress effect. We’ll see where I land when it stops being -30C for more than a few days.