Why I love this little corner of the internet…

My husband often mocks my ‘imaginary friends’ I’ve made through blogging, but he’s really missing the point of why this little, tiny corner of the internet is so fab ๐Ÿ™‚ When I posted about a recent make that came out far too small, I was genuinely amazed at how many people offered their reassurance and advice. And what great advice too! My previously unwearable make, see here, that I had resigned myself to packing away until next Spring to fret about, suddenly became easy to rescue. And here she is…

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The simple but revelational (to me), advice of removing the sleeves worked in lessening the ‘pull’ across my chest. I then neatened up the side seams, made some additional bias binding (not my favourite of tasks, but I can see I’ve improved a little), and attached accordingly. It’s now wearable, hurrah! Thank you Thimberlina (Thimberlina.wordpress.com) ๐Ÿ™‚ The idea of inserting a couple of lace panels along the side seams would have been my next step, totally in-keeping with the theme of the top (if tops have themes!?!) had this not fully worked, thank you Teri (farsewla.wordpress.com).

So my daft husband can laugh all he likes (what do men ever know anyway?), but I love being involved in such a supportive and inspiring community. Thank you to anyone who reads or leaves comments (and for the links to leggings patterns) They really are much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

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Incidentally, you may have noticed my new BFF. I’m naming her Betty, after both my unplanned pattern purchase last week, see here, and a discussion of a certain, famous tea and cake emporium with Amanda of aebgledhill.wordpress.com which I was conducting while putting her together at the weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love how ridiculously tiny her waist was before I adjusted her to my, ahem, more ‘realistic’ measurements. Sorry Betty, but if we’re going to be best friends you’d better get used to the cake…

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The Great British Sewing Bee Blouse with Collar

So, the stash-busting continues… It’s getting trickier, as mostly what I have left now is Summer-weight fabric, completely uninspiring as Winter finallyย makes an appearance here in the North West of England. A fabric which did catch my attention though was this beautiful, ‘flower bomb’ pattern left over from my circle skirt, see here. I’ve no idea how I managed to acquire so much of this fabric, I’ve already run up a matching top as you can see in my previous post.

I’d actually printed out The Great British Sewing Bee Blouse with Collar pattern about six months ago, after seeing a couple of nice examples on various blogs. I’m not really sure why I hadn’t used it before, but this fabric seemed the perfect match for it.

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I really liked this pattern ๐Ÿ™‚ It started with the construction of the collar, which was pretty straight forward. I struggled a bit with pressing the curved seams, I guess this is where a sewing ham would come in mighty handy (I did have one on my recent birthday list, but the relative in question couldn’t find one, so sent me money instead to source my own. I’ve looked locally, but couldn’t find one either. I guess I’ll resort to the internet. If anyone knows anywhere appropriate, let me know ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

This is only the second time I’ve used French Seams on a piece of clothing. I really enjoyed the process and liked the neatness it created, especially for a blouse, which you clearly wear closer to your skin. I can really see why so many bloggers choose to use this method every time. However, as this top was coming together, it started to look mighty small ๐Ÿ˜ฆ With this in mind, I omitted the turned up sleeve as they were looking far too slim as it was! By the time I came to completing the French seams up the sides, it was looking ridiculously small, fast becoming a bit of a thing for me, see here.

I figured I’d soldier on anyway, so completed the neckline. Luckily I’d saved some bias binding I’d run up for my previous top in this material and there was just enough, so this spurred me on to finish it regardless of the size issues. As I’d chosen to complete a collar in the same material (rather than use a contrasting fabric as demonstrated in the book), I thought it would be fun to use some lace to make a kind of double collar. It was a little fiddly to attach (including the interfacing, six layers of fabric in all), but I was pleased with how it turned out.

But sure enough, when it came to the trying it on, although I just about wriggled into it, it was far too small across the bust and upper arms, as you can probably see in the photo below…

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Rubbish, mirror-selfie sorry, but I was worried that if I’d attempted to make it downstairs and outside, I’d be in danger of ripping several seams on the way! I really like this top, and it would have been perfect with my favourite, linen Ginger in the Summer, so it’s a real shame! I cut out an English size 10, the given measurements came up quite small, but this should have been ok. Out of interest I looked back through my pattern off cuts and came across the test square. Mmmmm… ย this is where I should have looked more closely at an earlier stage. When I got my ruler out, it came out a good half inch smaller on each side, so at least I worked out the problem, and clearly a good lesson learnt. The clue was in the name really… Test square, doh!

For now I’m going to pack it away for the Winter, with a few other lighter items that somehow escaped my earlier wardrobe-switch. Come Spring, possibly I could undo the French seams up the sides (and arms) and re-do as ‘normal’ seams, which might give me a little extra room to play with…. Either that or find a smaller friend to hand it over to, ho hum!

 

Wearing my heart on my sleeve…

… or my love of sewing at any rate!

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I popped into our local HobbyCraft last weekend to pick up some back-to-school supplies for the monkeys and saw this fabric. I’ve never purchased fabric here before, and it certainly wasn’t cheap, but on a whim I bought it ๐Ÿ˜‰

After my last, excruciating make, this lovely, crisp bolt of fabric just wouldn’t let me walk on by.

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I wasn’t too sure what to make with it, but flicking through my patterns, I happened upon Colette’s Sencha. I’ve made this once before, see here and couldn’t quite remember why I hadn’t made another. Half way through I remembered, all the hand sewing, that’s why… I did consider ignoring the instructions and machine stitching the sleeves, but as I’d already sewn up the side seams, it was too late! I must remember to do them first next time.

This time around, I plumped for version 2, deciding to tackle those dastardly button holes. I had a trial run on a scrap piece of fabric and then went for it. Not sure what I was scared of really, if you have an automatic buttonhole foot the machine really does do all the work for you ๐Ÿ™‚ The only nerve-wracking bit was slicing through with my scissors. Sharon of Petiteandsewing suggested getting a buttonhole chisel (thank you), and I have one on my ‘birthday wish list’ for the end of next month, so fingers crossed! I’ve clearly positioned them a little too far in, but other than that I’m pretty pleased with them.

This print is a little busy for me, but I still couldn’t resist a little, lace trim. Seriously, I think it must be linked to my sweet tooth gene. I simply can’t resist, and it did match up really well…

I paired it with some dark, denim jeans in these photos which calms the print down a little. I’m not fully convinced it’s really me, but it was a pure pleasure to sew with, which I think I deserved after my last project. Maybe next time I’ll try it untucked. And now, I even match my header ๐Ÿ˜‰