Monday, 31 March 2014

Fitted blouse finished

Well, in my earlier post I said that I was going to use the red polycotton for my blouse, using it as a wearable muslin if it came out well. My first muslin didn't work - I had lowered bust apex fullness too much and this interfered with waist position and shaping and all of the markings. I had great difficulty trying to re-draw the apex to shoulder princess line. It looked very bizarre. When I tried this muslin on for size, I discovered that I had made the bust apex too low. I scrapped the muslin and re-did the front with an apex level only a little lower than in pattern. I learned, too, the importance of a decent bra! I hadn't really previously realised just how much difference there was from one bra to another. I threw out the bra that made me so low!

I was able to take this second muslin to my sewing class and my tutor pinned the back darts deeper and longer, with the apex properly over my waist. I transferred this to my pattern to reproduce in the final fabric.

In the meantime, I decided I wanted to buy new fabric as I felt that it was too much for me to try to match the polka dots on my fabric as well as deal with fit issues and new sewing techniques. I decided on a raspberry pink cotton polyester - largely because of the glorious colour. Unfortunately, I have not been impressed by the quality of this fabric. Another lesson learned (again!) - it takes the same amount of work to sew up good fabric as it does poor - so concentrate on getting decent fabric. In the sewing shop, they said the fabric was suitable for the pattern - but in retrospect, it really wasn't. For a start, it was rather too thick, I think.

I went ahead and cut out my pattern, without any particular issues and started making up the blouse. Unfortunately, my sewing class was cancelled so I couldn't ask my tutor to check the fit or advise me how to put in the set-in sleeves and advise how to get the back darts to lie correctly. I was on my own!

My end result:




It isn't too bad but needs some tweaks - I'll take it to class on Thursday coming for advice. The biggest issue is the back darts which are pulling - I think my tutor had said I might need to cut into them but I was too afraid to do so and wasn't sure how it would help. Once I have that extra advice, too late of course for the Pattern Review Fitted Blouse competition which I have entered with the blouse as it stands, I will be well on the way to making another with a better fit. And better fabric!!

ETA - See PR Review and entry here - sorry, I thought side bar was supposed to show this up but it hasn't.

My mother was ill in hospital and we travelled to visit her (half a day's drive), stay there for a couple of days  and then bring her back to our house for recuperation. She came back with us on Thursday past. Yesterday was Mother's Day in the UK. My mother, who is feeling much better now, commented that with only a slightly thicker fabric, my blouse would make a great jacket. I do have some light/medium weight pale blue denim which I think would look great. My mother thinks my blouse is fabulous - bless her, she has visual problems so can't see the faults. While I was visiting her, I had to go on an errand to Glasgow, where I visited a great fabric store and  bought my next blouse fabric - one a linen look pure cotton pink fabric and the other a blue cotton chambray type material.

8 comments:

  1. I believe you do cut into back darts (into the curved area). I'm aftraid I refuse to do that with an unlined garment, but then those sorts of garments are usually casual, and I'll compromise with a bit of dart pucker. I think you did a good job - there is a lot to learn when you are a new sewer - including not taking the advice of a shop assistant. It takes years to work out what will work- and always a new learning experience (I refuse to call them mistakes) around the corner. And yes, different bras, different bust - you learn that with wedding dresses. Different heel heights can change back curves, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes, I'm finding that shop assistant advice is not great. In one local-ish fabric store they're 'not allowed' to offer advice - maybe that's better, I don't know. The fabric store in Glasgow had a very helpful assistant. I don't have the knowledge but need to trust my instincts more, I think. I've bought 'Fabric for Fashion. The Swatch Book' and hope that will help. I don't wear dramatically different heels from time to time - they're mainly low, but can see the difference of course in leg length of trousers. Didn't realise the impact on back curve, though, mind you it's logical when it's pointed out!
      I'm taking both the fitted blouse and my 'little white dress' to class tomorrow and will focus on fit modifications. However, my problem with the white dress is that I cannot get completely rid of where the fabric was folded (old fabric, purchased recently) - I've steamed and pressed but fear making the self-design flat. My husband bought me a fantastic steam iron with huge quantities of steam - separate reservoir(my other just doesn't cut the mustard steam-wise) but even that didn't help. I won't wear the dress so wonder how best to deal with 'wadders' - take out the zip and recycle fabric to textile bank - after making sure I've used to the best of my ability as a muslin to transfer fit changes to pattern?
      I'm taking it much easier this month - no PR competitions! They don't appeal this month. I've also had 2 monthly Sewing Buddy challenges so far and neither have fitted into my plan but have taken up time - I think I'll give this month's a miss. I've decided to really concentrate on getting a sloper sorted. Don't know if I'll manage a garment. I'll post on MAGAM later in month once I have an idea of how long the sloper will take.
      I hope I have years ahead of me!!!

      Delete
    2. I'm sure you will Anne. Yes, competitions are fun, but only if you want to do them and they fit in with plans. Some of the sewers are quite competitive I've found - and if that is what works for them, that's fine. I would rather, like you, a learning process that can be lifelong. As for wadders, we all have them - sometimes lines don't steam out - that's when ingenuity can work - sometimes a line of braid sewn across can work wonders. I made myself a lovely wrap blouse out of pin tucked cotton voile - and then found a flaw! I nearly cried, but I decided a better course of action was to buy a little strip of guipure lace that could be sewn over the offending area. The flaw hasn't quite become obvious yet, but one day it will - and then the lace will be out :). Good luck with your plans - every garment is quite challenging, in it's own way.

      Delete
    3. After my class on Thursday, I made some recommended alterations - particularly to the back dart and I'll post a picture of the alteration - the back is much improved. My tutor knows I wanted to learn how to do things properly and also suggested taking out and re-inserting the sleeves a the gathering wasn't completely even. I did the gathering stitches at 1/2 and 3/8" thinking that would stop gathering stitches being caught up. Tutor advised doing at 5/8" despite that as gathering would be better. So I took out sleeve and gathering rows and redid the whole thing. The fabric still lets it down!

      Delete
    4. After my class on Thursday, I made some recommended alterations - particularly to the back dart and I'll post a picture of the alteration - the back is much improved. My tutor knows I wanted to learn how to do things properly and also suggested taking out and re-inserting the sleeves a the gathering wasn't completely even. I did the gathering stitches at 1/2 and 3/8" thinking that would stop gathering stitches being caught up. Tutor advised doing at 5/8" despite that as gathering would be better. So I took out sleeve and gathering rows and redid the whole thing. The fabric still lets it down!

      Delete
  2. Hi Anne, I enjoy your blog and seeing your makes so I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. Please dont feel obliged to accept it but details are here if you are interested?
    http://dawn-whitham-holloway.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-liebster-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that post went in the wrong place! Thank you, Dawn. I have put up a separate post. I enjoy your blog. Best wishes Anne

      Delete
  3. Wow, thank you. I have replied in a separate post following requirements! I enjoy your blog.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

I love my Nettie bodysuit!

I'm pretty late to the game with the Nettie bodysuit by Closet Case Patterns - a pattern I seem to have had for ever! However, I finall...