Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let's Tear Heather Ross a New One...

because her Summer Blouse has gorilla arms. there i said it.

i have this navy tunic top with embroidery that i bought several years ago from abercrombie. i'm a bit ashamed to admit that, but i love the top so much and the fit is perfect and it's comfortable and navy and... i've been wanting to make another in a similar style. i ended up getting some free little folks voile from fabric.com due to a mailing error. the print is not one i'd ever choose for myself but it's the perfect weight for a tunic. i thought that the Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing would fit the bill but i knew thanks to the interwebs that it would need a lot of tweaking. hence using the day-glo fabric to try it out.
Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing
I traced a size S. then i used trusty Simplicity 2599 as my sloper. i compared the Ross pattern and it was wider and shorter than the simplicity top. and the sleeves were absurdly long. i reshaped the body from the underarm to the hem to fit the simplicity pattern. i also widened the neckline to make it more boatneck-y. i used a sleeve pattern from another simplicity just to check the length. i also took in the middle portion of the sleeves by 2 inches to give it a more pronounced bell shape.
Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing
and it's not quite perfect. instead of the button, i used a long strip of bias tape for ties. next time i'd make the tape thinner than called for in the pattern. the neckline is also now a little too wide and too shallow. i need to add a bit back to the shoulder and make the front neckline deeper. i love the way the placket is inserted, but i hate that you have to slip stitch half of it closed. next time i will just make the placket closer to where the opening actually needs to be.

not perfect yet, but pretty close. it's a bit 70s groovy for me in this fabric, but i do like the top a lot. i have a bunch of handkerchief linen that i want to use for at least one more. maybe i'll try my hand at more crocheted lace to jazz it up.

and while i'm on the subject of heather ross, have we all gotten our torches and pitchforks at the ready? i would say a lot more but orata pretty much says it all. personally i don't give 2 shits if heather ross wants to draw little white girls with ponies. i'd probably be more offended if she kowtowed to the masses and suddenly started depicting experiences that she knows nothing about. and what kind of hand-wringing should i be doing over sherbet pips? those dogs are clearly white. won't someone please think of the dogs? but seriously though. in my very quick and lazy browsing, a lot of fabric that depicts people looks ethnically ambiguous to me. that tends to happen when you reduce facial elements in order to up the cuteness quotient. so are we really seeing whitey everywhere on our quilting cotton? or is that just what we're trying to see in order to prove a point?

i am more offended at the assertion that whimsy or cuteness is equated with whiteness. Cuteness knows no cultural or ethnic bounds. Cuteness is.


  1. I love the top. Honestly, it looks so loose in the book that I really hadn't considered making it. Your modifications make it look lovely, though. And yes, even though the print isn't a favorite, it really works for the shape.

    I agree with your statement that cuteness is.

  2. I just did a book review after reading one about there only being 6 errors out of all the patterns in the Weekend Sewing book. Something about if you did your homework, all the errors really are not that big of a deal. Ok. It is really pretty to look at, but that's where it stops. I made the Everything Tote. I use it, occassionally, but I'd change so much of it if I made it again, it would no longer be the "Everything Tote," it would be the "Badass Jen Tote." Everytime I hear of the horrors of one's experience making something from tis book, I always refer them to the Weekend Sewing Flickr group, happy6 has an in depth compilation of the errata.

  3. I dig the print. I'm with you though on the neckline. I'd say I'd futz with it some more, but necklines are my achilles heel. I suck at them.
    Oh and those Pip dogs are soooo purebred. What the hell? What about underprivileged mutts?

  4. I had heard of the Heather Ross controversy, but I hadn't read it, so thanks for the links. I used to read Ashley's Doggedknits blog, so I'm a bit disappointed that it started with her. Wow. I guess I should feel offended and write Heather Ross angry letters because I never liked horses or played with them as a girl, so *why hasn't she made a fabric that depicts my childhood interests*. Sheesh. Maybe if those people start boycotting her, her fabric will be more available, and I can buy more of it. Mwa-ha-ha.

  5. haha at this point is it even the same top? I have the book and haven't sewn anything I wanted because of all the errors. actually I did sew the dop kit and that was a mess, the fabric reqs were wrong.

    and can I say how sick of sherbet pips I am?!

  6. It seems that the fabric.com mess-up was good in your favor. This is such a cute print and a great color. I've seen these voiles and liked them, but really hadn't thought about what they could be made into. Even though you used it for a test garment, it came out adorable and perfect for spring!



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