Hot spots

I made this cute blouse using a Pitt Trading remnant. I’ll use this pattern for some silk fabrics sitting in my stash.

The long story:
It’s no secret that I love remnants and the challenge they bring.
It’s also no secret that Pitt Trading has lots of remnants from local designers throughout the year and my stash has a few of their remnants waiting to jump into my sewing queue.
Enter Winter and Vogue 8906. When I first started sewing tops for work, the easiest thing to whip up is a knit top that is cosy for Winter. They become wardrobe staples as they’re quick to make and need minimal fit.

While knit tops are fast to make, I wear them like crazy and these tops constantly need replacing.

This year I’ve been working with silk fabrics and I’m becoming more confident with silks. I adore how silks feel in any weather. They’re also easy fabrics to manipulate.

Silks also come in lots of styles but they come in an array of gorgeous colours that suit me. I recently bought some yummy silks fromSelective Fine Fabrics in Brisbane that I desperately want to use.
Vogue 8906 seems like a great pattern for blouse-weight silks. Drapey fabrics work best for this blouse. I read a few reviews and I realised it would be very sensible to test out View A in a remnant.


This ‘white on blue’ spotty poly remnant looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Go on. Make my day.’ So I did.

I cut out the 12 and did a forward shoulder adjustment but I kept the top length as is. Packed up the pieces and moved on to other projects.
Two months down the track I made time to sew this blouse up. The seam allowances and hems are overlocked and there’s no pattern matching.

The pattern neckline too high for me so I recut the neckline down by 3cm and it just sits nicely without it choking me. That’s what a test version is for – tweaking the pattern before you work on the ‘good’ fabric.

Now I can confidently use this adjusted pattern again.
But my mind has now wandered to thinking how this top would look as a dress.
Stay tuned for an update on how the dress version turns out. 

Shirt or blouse?

When is a blouse not a shirt? Uhm. I’m not too sure but I can say this shirt/blouse got me through PR’s Sewing Bee for Round 1.
Can you see the stress on my face? I avoid contests where possible.

This fabric from White Tree Fabrics UK, was originally earmarked for a wrap blouse, until Round 1 was announced. So I put the brakes on that project and grabbed McCalls 5433 and decided on making View A with all the sleeve bells and whistles of Views B/D.

I was really, really lucky MyHung Parramatta had matching buttons.
What was my challenge?
  •   Picking the style for this fabric
  •   Using the fabric to highlight its print
  •   Not this shirt look like a PJ shirt
  •   Making it fit me again
  •   Picking the seam finishes because this shirt is going to be inspected inside and out!

I’ve been working with Liberty prints lately so I cut out each body pieces separately and tried to match the print lines. They run diagonally.

Top Left clockwise: buttons on cuff; collar on shirt; two part collar; cutting front bodice

However there’s a button tab so I decided to cut this piece a wee bit longer to accommodate matching or not matching the print. My plan was to place the shirt buttons on the flowers of the print.


So technically, this is a shirt.  But I still can’t tell you when a blouse is not a shirt.
An inside view
The inside of the back.

The seams are French seams. I machine felled the sleeve seam allowances to the shirt.

The collar, collar band, button tabs, cuffs and sleeve band are interfaced.
This progress shot showed me I was on the right pattern placement track.

Fit adjustments

Roll shoulder on the shoulder seams and sleeve curve. I left the sleeve length long so I can roll it up to bracelet length when I need to.
This already had a centre back seam to accommodate my sway back.


To make sure I could size this up at the hips, I cut a 12 at the hips.

A back view shot for fit.

Long story short, once I finished this shirt and took the photos I wore the shirt the next day at work. Well I felt it was too loose at the front, I before work I sewed the front dart in by 1cm and it fit a whole lot better but there were no ripples.

So I tried to smile but ‘sheesh’, this is stressful.

The ladies at work love my shirt. The roll up sleeves were just what I needed to work at my desk and I did not dirty my sleeves. I hate cleaning cuffs on business shirts and I don’t intend on ruining this shirt simply because I love wearing it.

Sue and Yoshimi got through to Round 2 with over 40 others who burnt the candle at both ends to get through. There were 116 of us who were judged in Round 1.

Peppy eyelet

I just couldn’t get on with my current projects until I gave this pattern another go. Peplums are everywhere and I have a summer holiday coming up in June so I made this top again in a white/purple eyelet from My Hung Fabrics to wear during the day with shorts or skinny jeans.

The adjustments this time were
– reduce the bust darts and centre back darts by 1.5cm
– add 1.5cm at centre seams on peplum, so the flounce is untounched
– drop the neckline and fix gaposis
– redraw the base of the cap sleeve.

And the neckline is now a v-neck.
Here’s the redrawn sleeve pattern. I took more off the sleeve length at the base on the sleeve, using a french curve. The peplum is still 2″ shorter than the pattern.

There’s a row of purple piping on the edge of the cap sleeve. The sleeves are lined. Bias binding is used to finish the neck edge, hem, zipper seams and sleeve edges. I’ll be wearing this as you would a basic white top.

I have visions of using this pattern for a casual jacket but for now, I have to get back to my planned project commitments in between cleaning the house. I know – both situations are sad:)

School teachers always tell you to sit up straight.

 

Enjoying a few rays before more cleaning.

PS: I’m ignoring the fact that ‘winter is coming‘. Can you tell I’ve been watching Game of Thrones recently? Love it.

The Great British Sewing Bee episode 4.
Congratulations to the finalists. You lucky sewers in the UK can put your hand up to be part of series 2.

Fitted blouse contest on PR

PR is running a fitted blouse contest that I’m managing from 1 – 31 March.

Contest Theme: Cut, sew, model and review a fitted blouse to showcase fitting skills.”

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538

So while there are some key elements your blouse needs to meet to qualify for this contest, if you already have a fitted blouse pattern in your stash that needs tweaking, consider making it in March.

Here’s a link to the fitting workshop I attended last year to get this blouse fitted right.

Pattern magic collar on Butterick 5538

As this contest runs from March 1 – 31, there’s more time to sew up your blouse than you would have had in February.

McCalls 5433 after tweaking it for size

There are 5 weekends in March to get your fitted blouse made.

Butterick 5328

These are a few of my fitted blouses that I prepared earlier. Does that sound cheesy enough?



Butterick 4985



Butterick 4985
Butterick 5328
One of the contest criteria is to provide a photo with you wearing the blouse to showcase your fitting skills, so my pictures showing the blouse on a dressmakers dummy would not qualify. As a manager I don’t qualify either but I do enjoy helping others sewers share their knowledge and extend their skills.

Convinced yet to sew a fitted blouse?