Hi Curvy Sewists!
After reading Michelle’s blog posts on the Blank Slate Marigold shirt/dress, I went to the Blank Slate Patterns website to look around and ordered this new shirt pattern, the Novelista shirt. It has 2 views, a plain shirt with all of the shirt details I love and the version with the back cross-over. So, some very interesting details! Plus, it has a princess seamed front and back that goes up into the shoulder. Always a helpful thing for those who need to alter! Blank Slate Patterns is a new to me pattern company.
For this particular, newly-released pattern she has gone to an expanded size range. Bonus! And the price was right at $11.95. In Canada, Vogue patterns almost never go on sale and I can buy them on BMV for $3-4, but it costs $14 to ship, so no savings there!
Size range: XXS-3X, bust sizes 31-53 inches!
The Novelista pattern comes in PDF download only format. I had no problems taping the pattern together. However, FYI, read the instructions! You do not cut off the light grey outline on the paper. Match up the cute little circles. You can print just the view you want to make.
There are detailed instructions with pictures. My only comment is that she used a print fabric in the instructions making some detail difficult to see! Otherwise, good instructions! And there are 1/2″ seam allowances included! There is a FBA tutorial for princess seams in the pattern instructions. I did my regular 3/4″ FBA according to her directions.
This pattern has a double yoke, so the inside of the shirt looks beautiful. There are great instructions for an easy ” burrito” method of inserting the yoke so that all of the yoke seams are enclosed. Worked very well.
My measurements: 45-41-48. D cup bra. I chose the XL size after a bit of debate with myself over whether to choose XL or 1X. I am always better off to choose a smaller size for the shoulder and alter.
Alterations: On a wing and a prayer, I made no other alterations and made the decision to go with a remnant of textured silk in my stash. It was not quite enough fabric, so I found the dress I had made 3 years ago in this fabric that never been worn. I cut the sleeves and plackets from the dress! LOL!
I basted it together and this is what I got:
Wow! Right out of the box! I needed to grade out to the 1X for my hips, but the neckline, bust and shoulders look pretty damn good, don’t you think? Even the shoulder seam! It seems to hit at the ball of my shoulder joint. I am aware that might change a bit after it has the sleeve in place, but a really good start!
I am pretty sure that some of the strange angle at the bottom front is a grain line issue. I must have cut the front slightly off grain- they wanted to angle off on their own! In order to fix this, I used this shirt I found via Pinterest as inspiration and a guide. I picked a point on the front, and, using a straight ruler, I chose a pleasing angle, ending where the seam line was on the bottom of the shirt. I cut 2″ strips of fabric on grain, used them as facings to try to stabilize the bias, sewed them on and stitched instead of hemming. It was a mistake and ended up being a design choice!
The upper back looks pretty damn good, too. Again, the pulling across the but is because I needed to grade out for my hips. But I have 6 seams to let out a bit to make this wearable! The back pulls up slightly due to my rounded upper back, so I will let out a bit of the seam allowance at the yoke to compensate on this one.
Yippee! I am excited about sewing again!
Next one up: a long-sleeved madras print Novelista shirt. I also want to make a knee length shirt to go over slim jeans and t-shirts. I think I may make another one in cream to get closer to my Pinterest inspiration! Many ideas.
Love, love, love this pattern! Did I mention that this is a great pattern? You can trust her body measurements and it is very true to size.
Size range: 5/5. Great sizing inclusive of all sized women.
Instructions: 5/5. There are great instructions and sew-along style pictures explaining every step.
Construction process: 5/5. Few markings, but it all fits together perfectly.
Final fit: 5/5. The next time I will do a 5/8″ forward shoulder alteration as per this Louise Cutting method. I also need a beefy arm adjustment. I will grade out to a 1X for my hips. But these are pretty standard alterations for me! The fact that with so few alterations I got a perfectly wearable garment is freaking awesome!
Overall rating : 5/5. Awesome shirt pattern! Plus a nice alternative for those who are interested in the crossover back details. There is nothing about this pattern that I dislike!