Friday, March 14, 2014

Minerva Blogger Network: Bow Shirt


Pattern: Bow Shirt by Ralph Pink
Size: I'm not sure! Should be a UK12
Alterations: I used the sleeves of the Sureau dress by Deer and Doe
Fabric: cream chiffon with polka dots and black cotton poplin available on Minerva Crafts (unfortunately, the chiffon is sold out)

Guys, there's so much frustration behind these photos, you can't even imagine.

As I explained in my post for the Minerva Blogger Network, this blouse wasn't my March project, but my April project.
What happened to my March project, you ask? Well, it was supposed to be a mid-season boyfriend coat, made using the ever-so-popular Gérard coat by République du Chiffon, but I disliked the result so much that I ended up asking Vicki of Minerva Crafts if I could just not show it. I want to stress the fact that the pattern was absolutely fine (although extremely time consuming to tape together, trace and add seam allowance to), but it just doesn't look right on me. Also, the fabric looked terrible... I should have ordered swatches.

Anyway, back to the shirt... There's plenty of drama there as well.
First of all, of course I didn't make a muslin! Stupid me, trying a new pattern from a new designer, I almost slapped myself when I had all my fabric cut and I realized the armholes and sleeves were completely wrong for me. My solution, as written above, was to simply cut the sleeves of the Sureau dress and praying that would work. Thankfully, it did.

Second reason for drama: the fabrics I chose are too different in weight. That means the bow is too heavy and bulky and I had to tack it in place or it would flop around.

Finally, I'm not sure about this bow at all. The first time I tried the shirt on, I really hated how it looked; now I do a bit less, but I still think the proportions are not right for my body. The section in the middle is too large, and the body of the bow is maybe too small, and the result is that my bust looks... weird in this shirt.

A few more words on this pattern, since it seems like there aren't many reviews on Ralph Pink patterns around the web.
First of all, I really hated that the pattern is multi-size, but you can only print one size at the time. That means there's less taping to do and that you can skip tracing, but it's very inconvenient for someone like me, whose measurements never fall in just one size.
Another thing I hated is that the size guide is only available online; of course you can save it and print it or consult it offline, but I find it absurd that it's not included in the pattern.
And one last thing: the size is not marked on the pattern pieces! That's why I'm not exactly sure which size I even printed out. Silly me, I should have noted that down, but it's something I usually take for granted...

One more thing to note is that the seam allowance for these patterns is 1cm (3/8"); I don't have any strong feeling about this. It was just unfortunate in this case, because I didn't increase it before cutting my fabric and was unable to use french seams for the shirt, which would have looked better with the chiffon.
One big plus for this pattern are the instructions, though: detailed, fully and clearly illustrated, just great all over.
If I sum all these aspects to the price (9.99£ = 12€), which is not cheap for a pdf, I don't know if I'll try other pattern from this designer...
What's your experience with Ralph Pink patterns? Have you tried them? Do you want to?

In conclusion, lots of drama surrounded this shirt, which means I kinda hate it right know and am very torn on what to do with it: keep it as is and hopefully like it more when the drama dies down, or remove the bow and make it perfectly wearable (although a little dull)?
What should I do?


Modello: Camicia con fiocco di Ralph Pink
Taglia: Non sono sicura! Dovrebbe essere una UK12
Modifiche: Non ho utilizzato le maniche del modello ma quelle dell'abito Sureau di Deer and Doe
Tessuto: Chiffon color crema a pois e popeline di cotone nero, disponibili su Minerva Crafts (purtroppo, lo chiffon è esaurito)

Ragazze, non avete idea di quanta frustrazione si nasconde dietro queste innocenti foto...

Come ho spiegato nel mio post per il Minerva Blogger Network, questa camicetta doveva essere il mio progetto di aprile, e non di marzo.

Cos'è successo al progetto di marzo, chiedete? Beh, doveva essere una giacca di mezza stagione in stile boyfriend, fatta con il modello Gérard di République du Chiffon, ma è venuta così male, ma così male, che ho finito per chiedere a Vicki di Minerva Crafts se potessi evitare di mostrarlo. Giusto per essere chiara, il modello in sé non ha niente di male (se non che ci vuole una vita per assemblarlo, copiarlo ed aggiungere i margini di cucitura), ma non me lo vedevo proprio addosso. Inoltre, la stoffa era orrenda... avrei dovuto ordinarne un campione.

Ma comunque, torniamo alla camicetta. C'è un bel po' di dramma anche qui.
Prima di tutto, non ho fatto una prova! Che cretina, con un modello nuovo di un designer mai provato! Mi sarei presa a schiaffi quando mi sono accorta che giromanica e maniche erano completamente sbagliate per me, dopo aver ormai tagliato la stoffa! La mia soluzione, come scritto all'inizio del post, è stata di tagliare le maniche del (santo) abito Sureau di Deer and Doe e pregare che funzionasse... e così è stato, per fortuna!

Seconda fonte di drammi: i tessuti utilizzati hanno pesi troppo diversi. Il che signica che il fiocco è troppo spesso e pesante e l'ho dovuto fermare con dei punti a mano perchè stesse al suo posto.

Infine, questo fiocco non mi convince affatto. La prima volta che ho provato la camicetta, non mi è piaciuto proprio per niente. Adesso lo odio un po' meno, ma penso comunque che le proporzioni siano sbagliate per il mio corpo. La parte in mezzo è troppo larga e le "orecchie" del fiocco sono troppo piccole per dare un effetto armonico con il mio petto.

Vorrei spendere ancora qualche parola su questo modello, visto che le recensioni di modelli Ralph Pink sembrano inesistenti sulla rete.
Innanzitutto, ho veramente detestato il fatto che il modello fosse multitaglia, ma che si potesse stampare solo una taglia per volta. Ovviamente, questo significa meno fogli da incollare e che i pezzi non hanno bisogno di essere tracciati, ma è un sistema scomodissimo per chi come me non corrisponde a una taglia sola.
Un'altra cosa che non mi è piaciuta, è che la guida alle taglie è disponibile solo online. Ovviamente la si può salvare e stampare o consultare offline, ma trovo assurdo che non sia inclusa nel modello.
E in ultimo: la taglia non è marcata sui pezzi del modello! Per questo motivo non sono sicurissima della taglia che ho stampato. Ovviamente sono stata sciocca a non annotarmelo da qualche parte, ma sinceramente è un'informazione che dò per scontata.

Un'altra cosa da notare è che i margini di cucitura per questi modelli sono di 1cm. Questa cosa non mi piace o dispiace particolarmente, anche se in questo caso mi è andata male, perchè non ho aggiunto margine prima di tagliare la stoffa e non ho potuto fare le cuciture all'inglese che sarebbero andate meglio con lo chiffon.
Una grossa nota di merito per questo modello va data alle istruzioni: chiare, complete, ben illustrate... Soddisfacenti sotto tutti i punti di vista.
Sommando tutti questi aspetti ed aggiungendo il prezzo del modello (9.99£ = 12€), non esattamente economico per un pdf, la mia voglia di provare altri modelli di questo designer non è alle stelle.
Che esperienza avete voi con Ralph Pink? Avete provato i suoi modelli? Li vorreste provare?

In conclusione, questa camicia è circondata da un sacco di drammi, il che mi rende difficile apprezzarla, ora come ora. Sono molto indecisa sul da farsi: la lascio così, sperando che mi piaccia una volta che la mia frustrazione sia passata, o rimuovo il fiocco, rendendola perfettamente portabile (ma un po' noiosa)?
Cosa dovrei fare?

48 comments:

  1. I like the chiffon fabric you chose and the contrasting poplin. It's a shame for the weight difference. I would remove the front bow altogether. I find it's one of those details that looks nice on paper or even on your unworn shirt, but doesn't look right when worn on a real body. I find it's the bow placement right on the bust and the size that make it look weird. But it's not all lost! It's a nice shirt otherwise.

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  2. I like the bow, even though it seems to sit in a strange place... Maybe if the bow would sit higher it would work?
    The fabrics are really nice! It's unfortunate when a make doesn't look as planned in the end...

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  3. I love this shirt on you! I know it's probable a little different for you style wise but I think it would actually slot in with your adorkable wardrobe quite well. I think the proportions of the bow are actually really good for you. My first glance of the photo and I liked it. Ususally, that first glance is the one that tells us if there's anything weird about the proportions because then we look again to try to figure it out.

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  4. I bought a load of them in a massive sale he had before he put up his prices, think most were in the £2 region. I haven't actually tried them yet but I have noted things like the sizing being missing, etc. The online sizing wasn't actually working at the point I purchased either! I do like the shirt on you though :)

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  5. i really love this shirt! that bow is too cute, i might steal you the idea, and make a similar shirt for me.. also, i think you should give it a bit of time, wait for all the frustration to evaporate, and then i believe you'll like it too!

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  6. i think i would take the bow off. it would be a shame to waste the cute fabric. maybe wait a bit and see if you like it more once the pain of the construction goes away!

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  7. I think I'd take the bow off too, because the shirt looks really lovely. The bow just seems to be sitting in a weird spot and too big or something?

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  8. The fabric is lovely, and the sleeves look OK, but the bow is too large in my opinion. But the most obvious thing is the button on the bow that is too low - it should be centered. Right now it creates a gap and makes the construction assymetrical, as if the bow was falling apart.

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  9. Hi! I also like the bow but wonder how it would look moved just a touch higher. Lovely!

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  10. I think if you moved the bow one inch higher it would look much more flattering. But otherwise the shirt looks really good, the fabric is lovely and I don't think it would look dull if you removed the bow!

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  11. To be honest, I'm not loving the look of the bow. Maybe it's the weight of the bow that's kind of pulling the shirt forward, but it's not as flattering as it could be. But I love the fabric of the body and I bet you would wear this blouse a lot, actually, if you removed the bow. If that's too boring, maybe you could add a little bow to the back à la the Bleuet dress?

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  12. Well... I think I would remove the bow. It looks cute on you, don't get me wrong, but I think the top would be really wonderful without it! The fabric is lovely is really lovely!

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  13. Since you asked, I would not keep the bow. The shirt itself is nice though.

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  14. If you asked me, I’d say remove the bow, yes. My honest opinion: The bow looks tacky and just wrong. The rest of the shirt is really lovely, however, and it would be a pity if you didn’t end up with a wearable result!

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  15. i really like the idea of the bow, but it seems a bit droopy and not super flattering... i'd take it off! i really love the polka dot chiffon and the black contrast though. hope you figure out a solution!

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  16. I'm sorry to hear the Gerard coat didn't work out for you. You've chosen really beautiful fabric for this shirt, which helps a lot. But I'm not sure a bow across the boobs is ever good look, to be honest. It's not terrible, though. I'd leave it a while and see how you feel about it after some time. And these thoughts on the Ralph Pink patterns are really useful.

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  17. To be honest I'm not a fan of the bow at all; it looks a bit odd (because of the size, the different fabric, and the fact that it's on either side of a button placket). BUT, I do really like the shape of the blouse underneath; I've been looking for one with a similar shape. But no nesting is a pain in the butt

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  18. So sorry to have two busts in a row. I know how disappointing that can be. I'm sure most sewists do!! Honestly, I'd ditch the bow. I don't think it's very flattering and it makes the blouse too cutting edge to fit with your usual style. But I think the blouse would be lovely if you removed it!

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  19. It's such a shame about the bow. I love the shirt, I love the bow, but it's in such a weird place on the pattern. Upper bust or waist would be beautiful but this just seems weird placement to me. I do love the shirt though so maybe do remove the bow. Can you jazz up the black with some trim, or studs or something to add interest?

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  20. Please, remove the bow! It looks like you've got Ariel's shell bra stuck over your shirt =S

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  21. The blouse itself is gorgeous. The now isn't proportionate to your body though like you said. I'm sorry you have two in a row :/

    That STINKS about not including vital info with the pattern. Also, I appreciate not having to tape a dozen sizes but goodness. Most of us appreciate nested sizing because grading is then EASY peasy.

    Alright, time to break out an old faithful and sew a guaranteed hit! :)

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  22. Like you, I love the design but think that the middle section of the bow itself should be narrower. In my personal opinion, I think that with a solid all over, the bow would look more 'integrated' in the design than with different colors/fabric. Thank you so much for reviewing this; indeed, there aren't many reviews of Ralph Pink patterns on the web. Anyhow, you made me curious about those patterns.

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  23. Fsession, a company that sells affordable clothing for women has announced the launch of their website: Designer Index. This boutique is a great source for trendy and fashionable clothing to cater every need. Fsession not only gives wide range of clothing and accessories but also supports convenience delivery service for customers from over the world.

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  24. I love this blouse fabric...{LOVE} but I too would remove the bow & its bits. I think the black collar & placket would look amazing & simple chic without the bow. Sorry you had such a hard time with the coat.

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  25. I actually think this looks amazing on you! I love the print you chose, and even though you have a bigger bosom like myself, it doesn't make them look too big! I think you did a great job :)

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  26. I don't mind it at all :) I think clothes with shapes we're unused to can be totally weird to start with simply because we're not used to them. I hear you about getting your fabric and your patterns mismatched though - getting the right weight and drape is something I always struggle with. The blouse certainly looks great from the back, too! I've bought two Ralph Pink patterns... I mean, they look so glamorous. I've yet to sew them up though. There really doesn't seem to be much info on them on the web - so thanks for adding your opinion!

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  27. I like the shape,love the fabric,not such a fan of the bow.Thinking about it,since I am the proud owner of a full bust I would probably move the bow to just below the bustline.

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  28. I think that the result in pictures is actually pretty adorable on you, but I can see how you got more than a bit frustrated. I am so sorry your Gerard didn't work out! I am sure having the right fabric for that one is key.

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  29. Thanks so much for the Emery giveaway. I'm hearing such great things about the book I might not be able to resist getting it!

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing your frustration! I'm always happy about posts like this one. Because honestly sometimes this is the way it goes. BUT it will get better again:)

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  31. I actually like the shirt with the bow exactly where it is. In a different fabric weight it would've looked better, but it's not that bad now. Maybe you just need a little more time to get used to it, being that it's just so different to what you usually wear.

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  32. love the look of this book. hope it has information on coat construction as I'd like to build confidence with this.

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  33. Thanks for being so honest about the pattern, I've read many blogs where people just love and adore everything they make/review and I wonder if they really mean it. As soon as I saw your shirt I thought 'Oh no, that bow looks awful' but I thought you were going to say you ended up loving it. I'm so glad you didn't. I respect you for your honesty.


    The shirt is worth saving though, without the bow. That bow is a big NO, NO.

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  34. This book sounds really intresting.

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  35. I would love to master "actually following the instructions". This book looks to me to be a great way to actually getting to know how to construct my own clothes properly and with pictures! Not the wonky diagrams you get almost every pattern but actual photo's ! Just mastering to finish reading and thén start working on it would be brilliant.*

    *And if that doesn't qualify: I would like to master how adjust patterns and find out how to get things to fit. And a way of hemming things that is hopefully hassle-free and fairly quick (since it took me 12 hours on my last dress...)

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  36. I love gathering, it's so fun! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  37. I'd love to win! Emery is calling my name!

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  38. I think the shirt looks great! The fabric is cute with the little dots and I like the contrast with the black. I'm normally I big lover of bows, but like other commenters, I think the bow is weirdly placed on this pattern. It might look better moved either above or below the bustline. (FYI, I don't think it's a question of body type either- I think it would look weird on anyone!). Anyway, you did a great job despite all of the sewing challenges!

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  39. Better invisible zippers and darts are next on my list of things to work on.

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  40. I think the shirt design is cute! I love your pick of the chiffon and black accent - too bad about the weight difference. I've tried Ralph Pink patterns before and had a lot of the same frustrations you did. I think the designs are cute, but the user experience leaves a few things to be desired!

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  41. i've been eyeing this pattern for a while, and am actually so glad you made it! Now I can learn from your experiece, haha! My thoughts: the bow looks cute on the technical drawing, and even on the hanger, but the placement, right across your boobs, is just Wrong! Too bad, because the fabric is soooo lovely!
    Honestly, i dont think the shirt will be boring if you remove the bow. the fabric is lovely and the contrasting collar and buttonband remain as cute as they are now. '
    Thanks for your honest review, appreciate it!

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  42. great giveaway! I've seen so many lovely versions of this dress!
    I would like to learn to make a notched collar with lapel. Probably my next project, so I'd better find me some good explanation! ;)

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  43. I would love to master zippers!

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  44. I realy need to learn how to sew zippers, and that Emery dress is just amazing .

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  45. I've been dying to comment on this post since last week. What an amazing and unique silhouette. Is it any surprise I'm in love with the polka dot?

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  46. Keep the bow! Break a few style rules with this shirt. Your whole look is balanced.

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  47. I agree with you that the middle of the bow is too large. Maybe you can cut it in half on both sides and reattach? Doing that might balance out the ribbon "wing" better without you actually having to alter the whole thing. That said, I think it will always look a little awkward in real life (outside of photoshop filtered, posed photos, I mean.) It's a lot of bulk to put right across your bust. But if you can get over that, it's a very trendy looking style.

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