The Muslin Diaries: Volume 4, The Taffy Blouse (or Pantone Shmantone)

I know you haven’t seen my final Pastille or Truffle dresses, but rest assured, they exist, and I do like the way they turned out, one far more than the other, but you will see all that in the future. I’m wearing the Pastille to my cousin’s wedding in May, so you will see that one bathed in the light of the Caribbean, and the Truffle is coming out for our premiere (my last one with the company!) in a scant week. So just sit tight, guys, it’s happening, in completely the reverse order, but hey, life is funny sometimes.

So this month over here at Sew Colette is the Taffy blouse. I have some thoughts and feelings about the Taffy blouse. And they are not glowing, though it pains me to say it. Let’s focus on the good first, shall we? This really is a great blouse to use to learn about seam finishing, specifically french seams. It’s a great project for a beginner, especially as an introduction to light floaty slippery fabrics. I would still consider myself a beginner (or maybe somewhere between beginner and intermediate?), after all, I’ve only been sewing for two years, and while I sew all the time, there is still a lot I’ve never done. And it’s nice to make something cut on the bias, I mean, it’s a bitch in terms of fabric efficiency (you never see bias cut stuff in 1940’s fashion, it’s the cut of excess, not rationing), but it’s a fun thing to do and a good skill to have, reading the grainline of a fabric. So all that’s to the good.

The bad? Well, I honestly just don’t think it’s that great of a shape for my body. I mean, it’s OKAY, it’s just nothing special. Enough chit-chat, let’s look to the evidence:

I think the look on my face says it all.It’s not bad, really, I’m not going to throw it away or start crying, but I just don’t think it’s GREAT. It’s funny, the recommended fabrics are light and floaty, but my favorite version is actually verypurpleperson’s gorgeous charmuse confection, a slightly thicker fabric seems to weigh down the silly sleeves (they ARE rather silly) and make them seem elegant, rather than fluffy.

A little back view for you.

So. Fluffy. Spoiler alert, I did not actually make the bias tape you are supposed to use to finish the neckline and the sleeves. By the time I got there, I just thought, screw it, I’m not in love with this, and I just edgestitched the sleeve hem and neckline and called it a design choice. WHO IS GOING TO CHALLENGE ME?

I laugh with glee over my evil anti-bias tape plans. How I laugh.

Yeah. So, I don’t think I will be making this thing again in a for-real for-real fabric. I just don’t think it’s flattering enough on me to necessitate a second version. It’s comfortable and I’m sure I will wear this, especially in Puerto Rico, but it’s just not my favorite thing ever. I’m sorry, guys, but I feel like I gave it a college try and feel comfortable saying I’ve done my Sew Colette duty for the month. Right?

Oh, and orange is not really my color. THANKS, Pantone colors, for being a JERK.

I always feel grumpy when I make something I don’t feel like is a real winner. Do you get that way? Oh, well, onwards and upwards.


Filed under Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing

25 responses to “The Muslin Diaries: Volume 4, The Taffy Blouse (or Pantone Shmantone)

  1. I think it is SO beautiful on you. I think you need to look at it again. The shape looks so gorgeous on you and the colour too. But I know that feeling, when you just don’t love something like you thought you would. Really it is VERY nice….

    • Oh, thank you! I mean, when I look at these photos I can see it’s not BAD, it’s just not really ME, I suppose. It has all the elements I like, but somehow the totality isn’t what I love. Sigh. Struggle.

  2. Lesley

    I agree, the colour (especially) and shape look really good on you.

  3. I beg to differ: I think both the color and the style look great on you! Do as Cirque Du Bebe says, and look again. Maybe with your turquoise Clovers. Aren’t all the young things doing bright-with-bright nowadays?

    But I do agree about getting grumpy wen something doesn’t work out. I do the exact same thing.

    • Oh, thank you very much, that’s so sweet. I like bright with bright, it’s true, but I don’t think orange is good for me, at least, no according to Color Me Beautiful!

      It’s hard not to be grumpy, you spend so much time on something and then it’s not the item of your dreams! Sigh.

  4. I’m afraid I had problems with this pattern too and made a fairly ridiculous-looking blouse. As you say,the sleeves are – wow. The basic shell is a nice bias cut shape, though. You’re right, it eats up fabric! The bias binding – jeez. I powered on through with this. Never, ever again.

    • Right? I mean, I liked your version, but I think the sleeves, which are the only interesting design element, make it just a bit insane. Maybe I would make a tank top cut on the bias and omit the sleeves, but I have to say, making and sewing tons of bias tape gives me a headache…

  5. teaweed

    The juxtaposition of your fair skin, dark hair, and the bright top is very becoming. But who cares how it looks in the 2nd person if it doesn’t please you?

    The flutter sleeves leave something to be desired, but I’m not sure why. The best looking flutter sleeves I’ve ever seen was worn by a woman with unusually large upper arms. Your arms are relatively slender, but I’ve seen slender body parts look wonderfully elegant in loose fabric, so maybe it’s that the sleeves end at midbust level making your shoulders appear disproportionately narrow?

    Looking at the body of the blouse, I like how it fits and wish something could be done. The neckline isn’t really right for removing the sleeves and making a tank. Drafting a new sleeve is a gamble and I agree that you’ve given Colette Taffy a fair trial. I’m grumpy on your behalf. It sucks to work on a project and end up with something that’s just promising enough to tease, but ultimately underwhelming.

    Some blogs mention wadders but don’t show, which I understand, but thanks for sharing this blouse. Your work is inspirational for me. This post gives me things to think about. I appreciate opportunities to learn that don’t involve me unpicking or losing my temper.

    • Oh, thank you! But sadly my skin is more olive toned then it appears in these photos (thank you, photo editing) and I think I look rather sallow in real life. And thank you, I don’t really adore my arms so that’s nice to hear they aren’t as big as I fear.

      I might re-draft the neckline and make another version in a slightly heavier fabric. That might work.

      I always try to show my failures, though I must admit, there are some that I just can’t bear to look upon. But seeing other people’s mistakes and muslins always helps me, so I’m so glad I could help you too! It’s just nice to see how other people do things.

  6. Oh, I actually think it looks good on you! Including the color πŸ™‚

    I will admit that I don’t care for the sleeves, but that’s not a personal thing – I just don’t like them in general (except the ones pictured in the book are pretty cute, ahh). The actual body of the blouse looks really great on you. Cut the sleeves off & bare arms! C’mon, you can do it! I have FAITH in you!

    • Yeah, I just don’t like these sleeves, I thought I would, but I don’t. But thank you! I might just hack em off, or make another version with no sleeves. It would be a nice shell…

  7. I think this colour looks good on you, but the sleeves not so much! I think its because they are so voluminous and make you look larger than you are. I think Lladybird has the right idea, chop the sleeves off and call it good!

  8. Oooh…I also hate orange. I just set up my spool rack the other day and was arranging it in rainbow order, only to discover I have no orange thread…

    Anyway, I, too, felt iffy about the sleeves on the Taffy. And while I like the idea of bias-cut, the frugal side of me always wants to wail when I see how inefficient it looks after cutting out the pieces.

    I’ve been having a month full of blah sewing, so I’m with you on the grumps! You have my sincerest grump-sympathy. Grumpathy. Whatever.

    • I want to like orange! I just wish it liked meeeeeee.

      I think bias cut is unbearably comfortable, and it generally does look flattering, but I can only do it with cheap fabric, honestly, this fabric cost me two dollars and I STILL felt bad about it.

      Thank you for the grumpathy. It is grumpreciated.

  9. Candy

    Echoing all the above comments that this looks great on you and the colour is great with your hair. I totally agree though that if you aren’t happy with something then you can’t really be convinced.
    If you feel the need to do a giveaway for this top I’m sure you would have lots of takers!

    I’m the same as you, If I get to the end of a project and I’m not 100% happy with it I’ll botch the finishing and just call it a day

    • Hahaha, well, maybe I will make ANOTHER one to giveaway. I do like giving things away….

      Yeah, I just can’t give my all when I see the future and I know it isn’t good.

  10. Oh, girl, that’s just the coffee talking. I love this color, but it doesn’t love me. The first thing I thought was that it totally loves you. In fact, I think the blouse is flattering overall. Yeah, the sleeves are crazy (I think bias binding would weigh them down a bit, make ’em less fluffy), but not in a bad way. I’m glad you left of the tie, though. I’ll be doing the same. I totally get what you’re feeling though (see my most recent dress), but I think you look fantastic in this πŸ™‚

    I love the “meh” tag!

    • Thank you, Lavender, you are so sweet. I think bias binding in a different fabric might have helped, but this fabric is so lightweight I can’t see it weighing anything down. I love your most recent dress, by the way!

  11. I like this color on you, too! I’m not a huge fan of this blouse in general (maybe it’s just a little too old for us or something?). Well, I’d say your “wow” to “meh” ratio is in pretty good shape– you look amazing in pretty much everything you make!

  12. dixiediy

    I know you don’t love it but I think it looks really good on you. And I the orange looks really nice with your chestnut hair. I love flutter sleeves because they’re not so hot in the summer when a normal sleeve will just suction cup itself to your flesh. Also, I have larger arms so flutter sleeves are never tight. Maybe adding a heavier bias binding would keep them from flying all around.

    • Oh, see, no one has ever called my hair chestnut, that’s so nice of you! It’s true that a flutter sleeve is a friend in the summer, but you have to balance the flutter with some gravitas, I believe.

  13. Amanda

    Okay, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks that pattern is a little crazy-town. I have seen a few versions that look almost-okay, and this is one of them. I just really don’t get the sleeves. Love Colette Patterns, but this is not their best…

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