I bought this Cotton and Steel rayon last August and have been patiently waiting for the right project. I knew it would be a sleeveless top but couldn’t pinpoint which top until I saw a sleeveless Mila Shirt by Itch to Stitch. Boom! The lightbulb came on and the vision was illuminated! I love Itch to Stitch patterns. I’ve tested for Kennis and it’s very apparent that she’s a talented pattern maker. I loved her Bonn Shirt and I’ve made two of them (so far) and so I was excited to try the Mila Shirt as well. I knew I’d love it and I was right.
I sewed up a Size 4, B cup with pattern measurements of (35, 29.5, 36). My measurements are 35, 28, 38) so I simply graded out to a Size 6 for the hip.
However, this is a pretty “bare bones” Mila shirt. I’m an honest sewing blogger and so I’ll let you know how I “clipped the corners” on this pattern!
I, obviously, omitted the sleeves and the collar. Boy, what a difference that makes to your workload! While I love the marathon construction of a fitted, tailored shirt it was sort of nice not having to do the setting of the sleeve, the sleeve pleats, the continuous lap for the sleeve slit, the sleeve cuffs, the sleeve tabs, the buttonholes for the sleeves tabs and cuffs, and sewing the buttons on for the sleeve tabs and cuffs. I’m actually fairly exhausted in just typing all that, let alone constructing it all. Instead I just bound the sleeves, left off the collar, and my bare arms are fist pumping about those decisions.
Another modification I made was the placket technique. The pattern piece for the partial placket was the single piece type that you fold over onto each other. I have had terrible, oblong, crooked, nasty-looking luck with this approach in the past and so I used a combination of IndieSew’s partial placket tutorial and my trusty Hey June Cheyenne pattern to get me through it. (This is not to say that Kennis’s approach doesn’t work, because I assure it does, it’s just not my preferred method). Plus, the anxiety was building because I’d cut a big long line down the center of my precious Cotton and Steel rayon….I wanted to use the method that I knew. Using the two slightly different methods, I was able to coax out a pretty nice looking placket! I’m surprised that my placket turned out so well with the rayon that I was using because my collar was a complete disaster.
I didn’t use rayon for the collar. Yep, the placket and collar are different substrates. This rayon was completely unwilling to comply for the construction of the collar, even under the submission of 212 degree steam. After the induction of blind rage and a few spells of inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth I gave up. I really gave it a fair shake, but it just couldn’t help but look terrible. I drove to my local shop and picked up some very compliant black voile. Constructing the collar was SO much easier with the voile and I’m so much happier with how the collar looks.
So, those are the shortcuts I took on the path to completing this Mila. I did, however, make sure that I pattern-matched my sides and the back yoke pieces. I also did French seams on the sides as I had a little extra ease that I could take out.
I added an extra 2″ to the length when I was cutting the pieces only to remove 1.5″ from the final length. So that was time well spent…..but that’s all part of the process (and consequences) when you don’t make a muslin. You’re probably thinking by now what a reckless and impulsive seamstress I must be as by skipping muslins and cutting down the middle of my rayon bodice pieces.
To sum up, this is a great pattern that I would recommend. Even though I didn’t do all of the steps, I read through them and it all was well-thought out. If I had done the construction, it would’ve been easy and seamless (so to speak), as are all of Kennis’s highly professional patterns.
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