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Disappointing pattern

Consuelo | Posted in Patterns on

I’ve been looking for a simple blouse pattern, one that I can do over and over and suits my casual lifestyle.  I got excited about Loes Hinse Casablanca Blouse #5207.  It looked drapy, simple, elegant, deep V neck, set in sleeve… just what I was looking for. 

After adding a dart to accomodate my “boobyness”, I put it together and while it turned out fine, I found the following aspects of it disappoiting:  there was no interfacing expected in the whole thing, not a lick of it- I added it; the plackett facing was tiny which I realized as I sewed the too-big-for-the-facing buttonholes;  the V neck was no where near as deep as in the picture; and the neck finish was so poor, I ended up binding it with bias tape.  This beutifully simple blouse turned into a three day ordeal!

What I had missed in evaluating the pattern was looking at each pattern piece carefully to identify details I do or don’t like.  I also missed the little note in the directions that said it was meant to be constructed with a 5 thread serger exclsively.  I am not used to reading the instructions at all unless there is something tricky about the pattern and this time it came back to bite me.

Has anyone out there used Hinse’s patterns?  What are your impressions?


  1. rekha | | #1

    looked drapy ...there was no interfacing expected in the whole thing

    Isn't that the whole point about drapey material; using interfacing would make it stiffer as I know well from experience

  2. jjgg | | #2

    I haven't used any of her patterns, but looking at the picture, I don't really see where you would put any interfacing except perhaps in the front placket. and that is always your option. The instructions that come with a pattern are not the end all, you need to use your judgment and decide how you want to construct it. There is one review on Patternreview.com about it, and she didn't seem to have any trouble with it.Also, this is why it is so important to make a muslin mock up of the pattern. You don't ruin good fabric, you get to see if there are any construction issues that you want to change and you get to make fitting changes such as lowering the V neck.How did you go about adding a bust dart? If you are well endowed, then you should figure that the V neck will sit higher on you, the woman in the picture seems to be quite flat chested allowing the V to dip lower.About interfacing, even for the front placket with the buttonholes, you could use something very soft and drapey. If you are stuck on using commercial "interfacing's" I would use fusi knit. That is still very soft and drapey. You could self interface it with the fashion fabric, or use some chiffon or georgette.

    1. Consuelo | | #3

      I'm sorry, was I speaking greek?  I didn't ruin any fabric, there is no need for muslins for simple patterns, and I did add interfacing.  I do have a finished garment that I can wear but what should have been a day's work took three.

      As far as the bust dart, I use a standard method of slash and spread from the Singer fitting book.  Needless to say, I do this with ever pattern and it usually doesn't alter where the neckline falls at all, that's the whole point of the alteration.


      1. GailAnn | | #6

        Sometimes the "easy" patterns turn into the biggest projects (or pains in the ____).

        When our girls were little and I was sewing a LOT, I decided to make dotted swiss sailor dresses for my daughter and niece, one red, one blue.  It was among the first of the easy Butterick patterns.  They did turn out cute and we had Easter pictures taken in them, but they were a much more ambitious project than I had expected.


        1. Consuelo | | #7

          Isn't that the truth, Gail.


      2. jjgg | | #8

        I'm sorry you got bent out of shape by my response. But the point of making a muslin is that you can see what the pattern sews up as and make any design changes you want at that point. Unless I've made the pattern before and know I want it the way it is I always make a muslin. Saves much grief and disappointment. Then, I keep the muslin pieces and use them as my pattern for future projects.If you refuse to do muslins, then you should hold the paper pattern up to you to see jsut where the neckline hits.

  3. MaryinColorado | | #4

    Why not send this evaluation along to her website?  I think it's listed on the pattern.  Sometimes the pattern makers/graders alter a pattern and ruin it.  I don't know if that is the case here or not.  I have used her patterns without a problem.  Mary

    1. Consuelo | | #5

      Good idea, Mary. I'll do that.  Thanks.


      1. MaryinColorado | | #9

        Your welcome.  With the big pattern company's patterns, I just use the cutout and rarely read the instructions either.  With the independant designers, I do always read through all thier instructions, they often have suggestions or techniques that work out well for me.  Sometimes, it helps to go to thier website to see if they have a "gallery" of thier patterns made up in different fabrics or embellishments.  This gives me a better vision of changes I may wish to make, etc.  Mary

  4. solosmocker | | #10

    I second the importance of muslins no matter how simple the pattern. No pattern fits anyone perfectly and unless you are willing to do a muslin, You will always be challenged with fit. It took me about 35 years to learn this basic tenet of sewing. After all, the problem wasn't with me, it had to be the pattern! (wink)! Well, I soon learned that it would be in my best interests, and a big time saver, if I did a muslin for anything new that I tried. Now, a muslin does not have to be some horrendous ugly piece of muslin or cotton. It should be a fabric similar to the "ideal" and in a best case, something wearable. That way your efforts don't go unrewarded and you can at least get some use out of it. I now make muslins for every new pattern I try. It is soooooo worth the effort. One thing that I do is make my muslins out of PatternEase, which you can find at the interfacing counter. It is a sewable interfacing type of fabric that once adjusted, can be used for the new pattern. However, with knits, I try to find a less expensive knit to work out the fit on. Hope this helps. solo

    Edited 11/15/2007 6:58 pm ET by solosmocker

  5. sewelegant | | #11

    I enjoyed reading about your experience with the Casablanca blouse.  I love the look of Loes Hinse and especially that blouse!  In fact I have the pattern, but have not gotten around to making anything yet and here is my tale:  I have a sister who lives in Carmel, CA and when I visited her I just had to go see Loes Hinse's shop.  Everything was just as wonderful as I could have wanted ... she even had the fabric for sale.  I got carried away and purchased several patterns, but after arriving back home and reflecting on how tiny MS Hinse is and how cute everything is in a size 2 (I'm exaggerating, but not much) and how beautiful and expensive the fabric she uses is, I am very reluctant to go ahead and adapt the pattern to my measurements and my JoAnn fabric!  It just wouldn't be the same.  As for the unstructured style of sewing she uses I think it is the nice fabric she uses that stands on its own, but even seeing how the sewing was on the garments in the store I remember thinking a few things would look even better if they had been sewn up more conventionally.  Do you like your blouse?  Would you recommend making it like you did?

    If you haven't seen this web site yet you might enjoy looking at the fabric she uses.  Be sure to look at the S magazine sites.


    1. Consuelo | | #12

      Your comments are interesting.  A fine fabric can sure make a plain pattern sing!  and a size 2... well, I won't go ther lest I just my envy! :-)

      Yes, I do like the blouse and I would make it again with the modifications I added (interfacing in the front a bias bindng around the neck) plus, I would widen the front facing by about 3/4" and drop the V-neck by about 1 1/2 ". 



    2. jjgg | | #13

      Sewelegant,Have you ordered any fabric from this website? they don't list fiber content on 90% of the fabrics. There are some very pretty boucle fabrics, but with a price tag of only $10.00/yd I wonder if they are all acrylic! I get annoyed with fabric sites that don't list the fiber. I wouldn't waste my time on acrylic fabrics (yes they are soft, but really junky fabric).
      Oh well, just thought I'd voice my complaint. I feel SOOOO much better now!

      1. sewelegant | | #16

        I hadn't noticed the fiber content detail (wasn't planning on purchasing any), but had to go back to the web site and look and have decided:  maybe they don't know either!  Because they do mention it on lots of items.  I vaguely remember LH saying she tries to buy fabric that performs well and stays nice after washing or dry cleaning.

        My sister purchased a brown sweater knit top and matching pants and says they are a favorite cruise packing item.  Of course, she always dry cleans them, but they still look as good as new, three years later.

    3. Teaf5 | | #14

      Thanks, sewelegant, for this information!  I had no idea Lois Hinse was so nearby; I'm thinking daytrip now....

  6. Teaf5 | | #15

    I haven't used that pattern, but I can tell from the photos that the shoulders would be way too big for most women and that it would cover a full bust without darts but not be particularly flattering unless made in the thinnest, most drapey fabric.

    I don't always make a muslin, but I do check any new pattern against a favorite one to check the neckline depth, shoulder fit, and bust fit.  On this pattern, the correct shoulder and neckline would make all the difference.

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