Monday, 12 January 2015

The accidental blouse

It was a kind of accident that this fabric became a blouse but there you go, that sometimes happens, doesn't it? I'd bought the fabric and then met my friend for some wine. She said it should definitely be a blouse, not a top. There does seem to be a difference there somewhere!

Funnily enough I'd been thinking of making a blouse as a future project, and had found just the right pattern, Simplicity 1279. I even found I'd bought just the right amount of fabric (to include the usual lengthenings). It was destiny, then!

This is a very good pattern to work with. I feel there were enough extra details to make me feel I was going to produce a good quality garment at the end of it. There are also options for different cup sizes. I added my usual 2" to the length of the body, I always look and see what height and where the waist hits. Even so, it has turned out quite long but I'm aware that this could be because I'm used to RTW blouses being a little on the short side for me.

I haven't sewn a blouse for years so it was good to get back into it but it did take much longer than simply running up a top! I'd forgotten that work goes into making the collar, front button/buttonhole bands and cuff openings. Here's a cuff close-up from 'cuff-cam' (just joking about that last bit,

There was also the small matter of sewing 9 buttonholes! And sewing on the 9 buttons by hand but now that I've read my sewing machine manual (!) I've learnt that I could have machine sewn them on. On Saturday I went to the Mighty David Drummond and bought a button sewing foot which should make it easier, and quicker, to sew buttons. You live and learn!

Anyway, back to the blouse, I sewed the version which has a grand-dad collar as I think this suits me and I wanted to start with an easier version of a collar, although I have sewn full collars in the past. Here's a view of the back-


The close-up photos give you a better idea of the flowers...and there are a lot of them! Again I'd say the fabric design is a bit retro-70s, which I like. This isn't a vintage pattern so I can't use it as part of my Vintage Pattern Sewing Pledge. I'm still playing catch-up with things I've sewn over the festive break. I think this is the last thing I sewed over the holidays but I finished another garment yesterday so will need to blog about that too!

The strange photo on the right is of the left front, showing the
collar and some of the numerous buttons I sewed on by hand. The hem is curved and wasn't a problem to sew. Which is a bit strange because I was expecting it to be! I tried various sizes and colours of buttons but  very plain white ones were by far the best. Anything coloured just didn't stand out enough and got lost in the flowers.

As for the fit, I just need to tighten the right cuff as it falls down onto my hand. Not an experience I usually have with my long arms! The left cuff is held in place by my watch strap.

The only other issue I have is perhaps the shoulders are too wide for me (another surprise!) as they're off my shoulders by about 1cm or slightly more. Looking at the pattern envelope, the shoulder seams should sit on the shoulders.

There's also a small wrinkle at the base of my neck, where the collar joins the yoke. The collar circumference is a good fit, but I never button it up in normal wearing anyway. It could be due to muscles from swimming which are making the yoke curve upwards rather than lie flat. What do you think? Any ideas what's going on here? Photos of this black background fabric in the wintery, stormy poor light are not good at getting any sort of detail.

Anyway, I'd recommend this pattern and I certainly will make it again. I've made a blouse that fits. Hurray!!!

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