Sunday, 24 May 2015

Piping on the Pink Blouse and the White Shirt Project

I managed to get back to a bit of sewing today.
Firstly,  I had to alter the bust darts. They were pointing too low, and were a bit short. The dart points weren't sufficiently tapered. I've never altered darts that were already sewn before. I took apart  the side seams and picked apart the sewn darts and pressed out the creases. I carefully drew in a line from the middle of the existing dart ends to but 5 cms short of my marked bust point. DH marked them for me on the actual blouse. The new dart is slightly higher but considerably longer. That may be a mistake - I was thinking to perhaps lengthen by 1 - 2 cms. I really don't want to alter again,  so they are staying this time.
The pins mark my bust apex - the tape measure is lined below that
When I sewed the side seams together again (and of course because the dart angle was different,  the shaping for the dart at the side seams was no longer correct), I took the opportunity to narrow the side seam to give me a bit more hip room. I still felt they were rather neat (ie on the tight side).
At this stage,  I hadn't cut out my interfacing,  so I decided to have some practice putting on the piping. I tried to buy a piping foot for my machine but the one I got isn't the right size. I carefully attached the (pre-made; washed) piping to the right side of both blouse fronts.  At the sharp points,  I needed to round.
Another mistake - although it's okay to pipe all the way down the button side of the front, it's not necessary - and I now realise I don't have enough piping. I'll need to try to buy some more - hopefully the fabric store is open tomorrow (it's a bank holiday here and it's often closed on these Mondays). If I unpick the piping I added but didn't need to, I still don't think I'll have enough. Might be borderline.

I've now cut out all the interfacing required and fused to pieces. The collar is the next step. I've only tried a collar once before,  for this same blouse and it wasn't spectacularly successful. I've read some instructions on how to achieve a collar but I've decided I need to follow the instructions given in the pattern. I know some people talk about a markedly smaller seam allowance being better,  but my tutor didn't feel this so my SAs will stay at 1.5cm.
I also intend to insert piping in the collar seam. This means that there is no advantage to marginally reducing the outside centre curve of the collar. The collar as cut had markedly pointed tips  - I can't bend piping at this acute angle, so I will make as tight a curve as possible. Of course, I'll have to match the two sides;  more difficult.

Lots of snipping necessary in the corners to let piping turn. I haven't tried next stage as yet1

That's the shadow of my wine glass at the top of the photo.
I just used my phone as I had lots of problems again with computer today
It's a pity I have to spend some sewing time tomorrow trying to buy extra piping.
On Friday there, I went to buy the buttons for my blouse. On the way to this fabric store by a slightly different tie to our usual because of another errand, I realised we were passing close to the Shipley Art Gallery so we decided to call in. It's an interesting place. I knew there were two current exhibitions in addition to their permanent exhibits; The White Shirt Project and The Knitted Garden. The latter was interesting but I was really fascinated by the shirts produced by the first year BA (Hons) students at Northumbria University. Such rich imaginations!
I took some photos but I'm not sure about copyright etc so I won't show the more detailed pictures of shirts and patterns or the shirts on models. Apparently the shirts are shown on rotation, presumably because the room isn't huge and the shirts have to be displayed to their advantage.

Modern shirts in front of an ancient statue
Loads of inspiration, though. Lots were based on Japanese designs;  not my cup of tea but fabulous nevertheless. There were a couple I'd wear and a couple for DH, too.
In the meantime, I'll get back to working on my pink blouse - just having a break for dinner and,  I admit it,  a couple of glasses of wine. I hope I can still sew straight! Newcastle United managed to avoid relegation today! That's good for Newcastle as a whole.


  1. What a lot of learning headaches in your pink shirt project - I do hope you can get the piping, as it will be no fun undoing that lot. As regards the darts and doing/undoing again - sometimes it gets to the point (pardon the unintended pun) where you do call it a day with realigning darts. Hope the next stage goes well.

    1. Thanks, Sarah Liz. I'm going to see if I can get the piping; fingers crossed! Last night I carried on trying to make up the collar and basically failed. I'm going to try to buy a foot for my old machine which will let me in closer - the zipper foot I have doesn't let me and there doesn't appear to be a narrower one available for my main machine.

  2. Moving darts can be a royal pain. I have only done it successfully a couple of times. I do have to say that after seeing all the interesting white shirts I would pick up the pieces that has been frustrating me with new vigor. Thanks for sharing -- I think that exhibit would be fascinating.

    1. Thank you. I'm not completely happy with where the darts are but they're staying where they are! It seems logical and doable in my pattern cutting class but much harder in real life. I do feel inspired by the exhibition. In the room where I have my pattern cutting class, I see the work of the day students on the mannequins - fabulous! I have nearly finished my blouse - just buttons and buttonholes to go!!


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