Refine My Line: Claudine’s cranberry silk blouse pt.3

Yay! I’m so excited. One of our RML contestants followed up with the suggestions made for her product. She made up a new sample (it’s for sale!) so you can see the striking difference between the two.


I realize the lighting differences throw it off a bit along with the new background but a careful examination of the two shows dramatic improvements.

gathers cup bust I’m excited about the improvement in the gathers; the ones on the new blouse are more controlled and shaped. I think raising them made a world of difference. To get an idea of what I mean by controlled gathers, check out the 3/4 view at right. The gathers are adjacent to and cupping the breast -this is a much more flattering look. Also see that curved side dart; isn’t it cool?

Here are the changes she said made based on our suggestions (links at close) -some of the suggestions were not posted out here but in her thread on the forum.

  • Interface the hems.
  • Interface the shoulder seams to reinforce them.
  • Move the gathers up.
  • Widen the hem to 2″. Soft press it during construction.
  • Sew the front seam differently to take out the bump at the neckline where the 2 pieces meet

Another big difference is in pressing the hems. She was reluctant to press them because she wanted a softer look rather than a crisp hard line -with which I agreed but hardly anyone else did- but I showed her a way to have the best of both worlds, namely soft pressing with no hard lines. Oh and I regret having to keep mum on some of that in public (for now) but I’m seeing more of my content repackaged on various websites with no attribution -and some of them are angling for book deals. The one I saw today was a doozy, all this advanced stuff but she didn’t know how to draft a lining right. Accordingly, I’m glad I never posted how to do that. But anyway…

Claudine had intended to make the facings slightly smaller than the shell but it didn’t work out for her. Luckily for us, she posted an excellent photo showing where and how she’d made the adjustment so we were able to post a better way to repair the facing.

Again I’d like to thank Claudine for her excellent work and diligence and all of you for your excellent suggestions. If you’re interested in participating in a review with resultant suggestions for your work, just shoot me an email.

I think I will give Claudine a prize of some kind. She’s our only contestant thus far to implement suggestions and follow up with a new sample. I will ask her what she wants and let you know what she said later.

Refine My Line: Claudine’s cranberry silk blouse pt.2
Refine My Line: Claudine’s cranberry silk blouse

Get New Posts by Email


  1. Kristin says:

    What a fantastic improvement. When I saw the original blouse, I felt the bodice hem was a little bit floppy. Now it lies perfectly! I love all of the changes that Claudine has implemented. Great work.

  2. sdBev says:

    I’m really so sad to hear that people are plagerizing your work. I think you have wonderful ideas and always create a link back to you when I’ve used one.

  3. Christine says:

    Wow! You guys are awesome! When I first looked at the blouse, I liked it and had a hard time imagining how to improve it, but the new sample even makes the dress form look like it has better posture and is quite a bit younger :). I’m amazed.

  4. Quincunx says:

    Hurrah for the new photography as well–the mannequin isn’t fighting the blouse any more! No more misleading pointy hems! Now I am questioning my feedback on pt. 1, was the side dart sewn higher in the ‘after’ photo, or was the blouse in the ‘before’ photo just hanging too far forward on the mannequin’s shoulders and making the dart look too low, as I missed the cue of the shoulder seam’s points being visible?

  5. H. says:

    Wonderful to see the two side by side- I can see much better what the results are from the changes suggested- this is a great way to illustrate these ideas. All the best to you Claudine!

  6. Barbara Pontius says:

    The blouse is beautiful! It’s amazing to see how the series of small changes can have such a huge effect. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. marilyn says:

    I agree, it’s 100% better. But I’m wondering about the curved bust dart. I was taught you backed the end of the dart away from the bust apex 1″ – 1 1/2″. As it is, it looks like an arrow pointing at the nipple. What is the consensus of opinion?

  8. Elizabeth Kloian says:

    I agree, Claudine. The blouse looks really polished. Thank you for being such a sport. Seeing the process, and your choice of changes, is really helpful. I really like the curved dart!


    Speaking of dart…darts are a big subject, no? Some books say take the waist dart up to the dart point if the wearer is chesty, stop 1″ shy, 1/2″ shy or more if less so. Side darts: shorten to here, to there. It seems like there is a paper on this subject, somewhere. Like you (you of the universe, not YOU you) take one curvy figure, and one less curvy figure and go through and show how the fit varies depending on length and placement of darts. I mean paper pattern on one side and a picture of a muslin of the same dart on the other. Same figure, different darts.

    Do you know, has anyone done this?

    Group effort?

  9. Doris W. in TN says:

    I am amazed over the change, just from moving the gathers up higher. It actually ‘lifts’ the entire total effect of the blouse, and makes the mannequin look slimmer, more shapely, and youthful. New hem looks great, too.

  10. Amy says:

    This is off topic, but I used to be a little disappointed that you decided to stop posting sewing technique on your public blog, but I see many more examples of sewing plagarism now that it has been brought to my attention. I’ve even seen some sewing related blogs that ask readers questions about how they do things, and then repackage their reader comments as hints, tips or tutorials without attribution, or even reference to the original post that resulted in their new fund of knowledge.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.