Saturday, 17 November 2012

Paisley Power

Fall project number 2! The "chic soft blouse", aka McCall's 6512. Yes, that phrase is straight from the pattern instructions.

After Anouk, I wanted to take the pressure off. This blouse took some time to cut, but was a breeze to sew (I triple checked my measurements, and tissue fit the pattern, for maximum fun, minimum headaches) And this fabric was a steal at the 3-for-1 sale at Fabricland. Win-win-win.

And the fabulousness was on! The loose fit of the blouse and surprisingly nice drape of this polyester fabric are a match. And speaking of match...

I went all out and mirrored the fronts and sleeves, and centred the pattern on the back. The pattern uses one piece for the back yoke and sleeve, so had to add a seam centre back to accommodate the one way design of the fabric. 

The back shirt tail is longer than the front, something I haven't been drawn to in the past, but I think it works well in this case. It really adds to the relaxed style, and I couldn't be more pleased with the end result. 

The sleeves are a computer friendly wrist length, just a bit shorter than a full long sleeve. The fabric is a bit busy to show off the neat yoke/sleeve construction, which drew me to the pattern, but it's there. Originally I thought I'd be making the short sleeve version, but once I found this fabric, the long sleeve was the way to go.

Instead of my usual shortening above the waist, I added about 1/2" total to either side seam below the waist. And after a fruitless hunt for buttons, I decided to use snaps down the centre front, and buttons just at the cuff. When I had the front placket attached and was playing around with button placement, I thought "ooh, a hidden button placket would be great!" But I really didn't feel like unpicking, so snaps it was! Something to keep in mind if I make this one up again.

This one reminds me of a yearbook photo, the casual yet super posed look. Where are my prop school books?

I'm feeling pretty good about my fall sewing - how are your plans progressing?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Anouk Makes an Appearance

Well, here we are, fall has truly arrived. And with fall, comes fall sewing! After a summer of sewing whatever took my fancy, I've made a bit more of a plan for the next few months. So, without further ado, here we go.

Anouk from Victory Patterns! I bought the pattern a few months ago, and picked up the fabric on a whim on a brief trip to New York. This is the most expensive garment I have made in some time, and I had high hopes, let me tell you.

I had a tricky time deciding on the contrasting fabrics for the yoke and centre front detail, but I settled on the safe navy for the yoke, and a daring chartreuse for the front. The body is a printed silk chiffon.

And then I lost my marbles and made a size too small.

Here's a nice shot of the back - you can see the pulling near the armholes, and how the sleeve is really snug against my skin. I'm glad I used a double layer of chiffon for the body, it saves me from having to wear a camisole underneath - there is just no room!

But I managed to salvage the blouse by releasing the tucks at the bust and in the back (a shame, I had done a really nice job!) and cheating the button placement at the yoke outwards. There is still a bit of pulling just above the bust, but  it is wearable! I don't think I have ever done this to myself before. I did cut a cotton muslin of the yoke, but just didn't clue in that silk does not give until the whole darn thing was cut out. And I used all 3 yards of my 45" chiffon, or I would have re-cut either the front, or the sleeves, or possibly both! Aside from my sizing mishap, the only other thing I would have done differently would be to interface the centre front. I could do without that bubbling.

I bound the inside of the armhole with self bias to hide the seam allowance and keep the sleeve cap clean and tidy from the outside. The seams in the body and sleeves are french seams, and I finished the two layers separately. 

Here's a shot of the inside:
Indoor shot after dark. Trust me, I did not use such vibrant thread!

This pattern did go together very well, I have to give it up to Kristiann, the sleeves went in like a dream, they have the perfect amount of ease for the armhole. I'd give my stamp of approval for that alone! The instructions are clear, and the style is a winner. In all, I am fairly happy with this blouse. The snug fit just means I'll need to be careful about what I'm doing in it - bowling is out, but dinner and a movie is in.

Til next time!