Playing with patterns

David gave me a gift today: a full afternoon to play in the studio with no obligations.  I decided to take Myrna’s suggestion and play around with my favorite of the blouse patterns: Burda 10-2009-105.

The first thing I did was just to cut it up.  I pinned up the hem, sliced off the sleeves, cut a rounded V into the front and widened the neckline by 1/8″.

I think the result is not bad.  I like the fit and feel of this better than the New Look blouse and it has a similar feel to what I was going for.  But I wanted to try a few more variations.  What if I added a little fullness and gathering to the sleeves, converted the front dart and back pleat to gathers, added a standing collar?  I’m not going to show you the result because I’m too tired to take a picture but I think the answer is: not an improvement.  Parly because the result falls a little too far on the feminine side for me, and partly because (as I now remember) i have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to manipulating patterns.  I tried to rotate the front dart to the shoulder but it turns out that the Burda dart is very clever and hides a sizable horizontal dart inside:

That’s why the fit of the blouse is so lovely and I have no idea how to keep that shape and maintain the length of the hem and side.  (Does anyone have any ideas?)  For now, I’m leaning towards making the cropped version of the blouse shown above (as well as the original version) but I’d still like to figure out how to rotate that dart to the shoulder.  Mostly because I would love to be able to draft this:

(Image from Modcloth.com)

Regardless of the result it was a fun and energizing afternoon.  Though I missed my boys sorely by the end of it.