Friday, 29 May 2015

Finished Blouse New Look 6407; more computer issues arghhh!

I finally managed to finish my blouse! New Look 6407. I've posted about it previously.

In my last post, I had successfully managed to attach piping to BOTH front edges, so running out of piping in the process.
I’d had a bit of difficulty attaching the piping.
First, I had to change my machine needle to a microtex needle as I was running into problems with stitch quality and tangling and I reckoned this was due to sewing through two layers of cotton and two layers of piping, plus, eventually, some of the cord too. Fortunately, this seemed to solve the problem
I used preformed piping and the stitching to hold the piping together was so close to the cord that I couldn’t cover this using my narrow zipper foot when sewing the front and facing together. I ordered a foot for my machine, thinking this would help, but it didn’t as the groove was much too large, really for upholstery piping not this fine garment mini piping, so the piping wasn’t held in place properly. Eventually, in desperation, I decided to use my edgestitch foot, using the stitching I made using the zipper foot as a guide and moving the needle over further. This worked well. This problem wouldn’t have arisen with self made piping which I had originally planned to use.

I managed to attach the piping around the collar seam, curving the original fairly sharp points to the collar to make the process easier. I assembled the collar as per instructions on the pattern sheet and it looked pretty good, I thought. I didn’t do any understitching (and didn’t cut undercollar smaller) because I used piping.

Apparently, I should have attached the collar to the blouse neckline before I started placing piping on front edges (though these were easier to do and I had wanted practice) and I found I had attached too long a section to the front, so had to remove it. No problem, though. However, I had huge problems attaching the collar and getting it to look neat and even. I had that collar in and out on a few occasions and eventually gave up as I was afraid I’d stretch everything out of shape. The collar is not perfect, the main issue being on the inside. I’m sure there must be a better way to construct a collar! I didn’t have access to my tutor for advice as this is mid-term holiday week (and I missed the week before because of my golfing duties in the Lake District and a funeral I attended). I will do another blouse in class to see if I am advised on a better way to finish professionally. Meantime, though, I am entering this blouse in PR’s beginners’ contest. At least everyone can be assured that it was all my own work!

After the collar was attached to the best of my ability, the facings had to be attached. This was no problem now that I had worked out how to deal with the piping. Part of my issue with the finish in the blouse, however, is these facings, which, it seems to me, are used to cover less than tidy work! I’m really not keen on them. I did do the topstitching required by the pattern instructions at 1 inch from the edge. I chose to use matching rather than contrasting thread as I thought the deep pink would be too much.

Because my collar ends were now curved rather than pointy, I also curved the cuffs and bottom of blouse front.
We had a bank holiday weekend last weekend and the fabric shop where I bought my piping was closed on Bank Holiday Monday. Luckily, it was open on Tuesday and still had the same piping available. I bought a further 2 metres, though really I didn’t need that much - then I thought I had bought sufficient firts time, so better to be safe than sorry!
I washed the new piping and was then able to carry on.

I decided to insert the piping between the cuff and the sleeve, rather than around the cuff.

The cuff was already  constructed by this time - I didn’t topstitch the edges as per pattern instructions because I was using piping and didn’t want everything to be too busy, but in retrospect wonder whether I should have done so. I had to sew the sleeve seams together before I could add the cuffs - this made it slightly more difficult to insert the piping but I was becoming an expert piping inserter by now!
Now, I had to insert the sleeves into the armholes - set in sleeves. I have had a demonstration of this and have done it before and managed without too much of a problem. My sleeve width had been increased because of my large biceps and during muslin fitting, I had to add an additional allowance to the back of the sleeve cap, but I was still using the original armhole. This meant, unfortunately, that the marks I had tried to transfer so carefully weren’t in the correct places. I think I managed to do a reasonable job, though.
Nearly finished!
The last time I did buttonholes, I had problems because of uneven thickness across the area where the buttonhole foot had to sit and I was very concerned that this would be the case here - I had 5 layers at the piping side, including interfacing,  and only 3 at the other. I did some practice on spare fabric made up the same way with piping etc. I managed to make the buttonholes. I did mark out carefully beforehand. I wasn’t able to use the buttonhole guide from the pattern as I had altered the length of the front band, and the buttons I eventually chose were a little bigger than recommended. I made up my own buttonhole band, using 1 extra button, 6 instead of 5, and will be able to use this again. I feel that buttonholes are one of the least professional arts of the blouse - I must find a better way to deal with them. Perhaps one of those chisel cutters would help?
So, I finished the blouse last night.

Between some of the steps, I decided to draft out my contest entry and PR review. I used Google Drive on my PC - this was late on Wednesday night. On Thursday, I went to access this on my tablet, as I realised I’d forgotten to say I had changed the shape of the collar - and it wasn’t there! To cut a long and sad story short, my PC was extremely ill. I could switch it on but it wouldn’t do anything and I had no access to the Internet - obviously this must have started the night before as my Google doc wasn’t on Drive. With lots of help from DH, I managed to access important documents on the hard drive and save them to a USB stick; although I do back up to an external drive, it looked as though this wasn't up-to-date. DH disabled the faulty Internet connection (we still don’t know what the problem is). I wasn’t able to go back to a restore point as this didn’t work. After he disabled the Internet connection, I found the programs on the PC worked better and faster than they had done for ages. Now I don’t know whether some of the problems I had previously with uploading to blogger were due to this rather than other issues.
Recently, I bought a new laptop and a new copy of Microsoft Office to go on it. Today, DH took photos of me in my blouse, between heavy rain and hail showers, and I decided it would be best to use the laptop rather than my tablet to write this blog post and re-do my PR review and entry notes. To cut another long story short, it seems that my copy of Office may not be genuine as Microsoft did not recognise the product key. I have contacted the company I bought it from for a refund or correction and meantime used Google Drive Docs on my laptop.

Then, I couldn't pick up the photos DH put onto our shared drive on our network - still can't - don't know why. So I've had them passed to me on a USB stick. I hadn't used one of those for ages and then had to use 2 on different computers in one day!
Anyway, I rather like the blouse and think I’m likely to wear it!




  1. Evening Anne - wonderful result....stop putting your sewing down......if I get my blouses even half as good as this I'll be happy....I see nothing wrong with the collar at all....gosh the piping is super....we can't see the inside, nor will anyone else unless you take it off and show it to them! The front band and the buttons are just great...and yes, more buttons are always gaps. The whole garment is just is so flattering both to your figure and to your complexion...wear it with pride.
    My one contribution to sewing today was to turn the collar on DH gardening shirt....yep, that will keep him happy....and then took up the sleeves of a jacket for myself by 2" and hand sewed the lining back in place....wanted to get that done before the light faded as I was sewing with black thread....the lining is black with cerise polka dots and the jacket is cerise and I did not make it!
    You must have been cold out modelling it the blouse's a wonder you got long enough as there were upteen showers here although I did get clothes dried ironed and away.
    The weather at the golf is as poor as Rory's round joy for him in missing the cut.
    Enjoy wearing the blouse, I'm sure you will get many a comment on it.

    1. Thank you! You can't see my wet feet in the photo. Though it's a much nicer night tonight - I'm hopeful for decent weather for my golf match tomorrow. Even Rory's poor scores would be excellent for me. I haven't been watching any of the golf - I might get a chance over the weekend.
      Doing those repair and alteration tasks is extremely important. DH is still waiting for a few I'm afraid. The jacket sounds lovely.

  2. It looks very good Anne, even with all the headaches of taking collars on and off, redoing piping and so on. As far as untidiness inside the facing - that is what a facing is for - I often suffer from half way through syndrome, looking at all the loose ends and untidy bits - but things always come together at the end. I like the little buttons...Enjoy wearing it.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments - and it's good to hear that reassurance.

  3. Gosh - that was a palaver. I love the look of the piping which somehow makes the pink look more vibrant. What it is hard work. Overall its a really great blouse which you should be so proud of.

    1. Thank you. The sunshine also helped the pink look vibrant, even though it was between major showers. I won't get lost in a crowd wearing this colour! I have another plan in the pipeline using piping, this time black self made contrasting with cobalt. I'm not sure whether to include cord or not at this stage - I'll need to make a few samples.

  4. I love the piping. It makes it look so sophisticated! Lovely blouse Anne!

    1. Thank you. I wasn't sure about the colour. I'll do piping again, though - already have a plan in mind.


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