Sunday, 23 August 2015
Sew Magazine, New Look K6107 Blouse
Project number two to feature fabric from the Abakhan trawl is another free pattern from Sew Magazine! I thought it was about time I made a blouse for work that wasn't a Lottie! Though this pattern is not without its similarities- a neckband/tie and gathered sleeves. The differences that attracted me however were the cute cuffs and button up front on the blouse.
I had my reservations about using such a sheer fabric. I've read about enough of other Blogger's disasters when using sheer fabric, so planned on being as accurate as possible when cutting out. I used lots of pins with my pattern which was great but did find the bottom layer of fabric did distort and in some cases ended up a rather different size to the top piece.
Also, besides being stretchy and slippery, it was also prone to fraying! I kept an eye on this though and opted for French Seams where possible- making sure raw edges were thoroughly encased! Size-wise, I cut a 12 but was a 10 for the bust so used a 2cm seam allowance for the side seams that I gradually graded out to a 1.5 at the waist and hips.
My favourite part of making the blouse was constructing the facing/button area at the front. Instead of buttonholes this pattern uses button loops like on my Crab Dress. So I'm finding I'm getting pretty good at loops! The loops are cut on the bias so they have stretch to go around the button. This is a good job otherwise my buttons would have been a squeeze too big! On the opposite side to the button loops there is an underlap which sits behind the buttons and hides any gaping between them. Never done an underlap before! I thought my debut turned out pretty neat.
Both sides of the opening are faced. I had a bit of a panic when starting the garment as I have never interfaced sheer fabric before! And I'm sure I remembered something off of this years Sewing Bee about not using standard facing for sheer fabrics. So I read up a little, and instead I cut an additional piece of that stretchy, slippery, fraying fabric and stitched it in as interfacing instead of using iron on. I've got to say- It worked out pretty well! Go me!
On my Lottie Blouses I've always seemed to have a bit of grief regarding getting the neckband to line up around the neck just quite how I want it to. This pattern being a little more detailed, I made extra effort to transfer all markings on the pattern on to the fabric. I was awash with tailors tacks! I get the feeling if I'd used friendlier fabric these tacks would have been absolutely life saving. In this instance though I would describe them as handy, but not perfect. Either way, they resulted in a swifter process of attaching neck band to blouse.
The worst bit about sewing on the neckband though was the dreaded 'Stitch in the Ditch' from the front of the band to catch the back. I absolutely hated doing this and I'm not totally happy about how it turned out. Next time I am definitely definitely doing it by hand! I think a sneaky slip stitch is much much neater.
After this it was time to make the sleeves. I've got to admit I thought I was on my way once I'd got this far. Firstly the cuffs had to be made, which was quite fun as not something I'd done before. A little gap has to be made in the bottom of the sleeve, the sleeve then gathered, then stitched to the cuff which is longer one one side when it meets the gap. Then button and button hole sewn to match up. Does that make sense? Well I wish someone had told me before I started that that was what was meant to happen. I ended up with one good cuff and one that somehow didn't reach around my arm properly (I'm putting it down to those gathers). So I repeated the process for the dodgy side and ended up with a pair of cuffs I was pretty pleased with.
The shoulders of the sleeves were also gathered- alarm bells going off slightly at this point thinking there was an awful lot of gathering going on... But I went with it anyway and stitched in my sleeves.
After putting on my buttons and trying on the blouse properly I realised I absolutely couldn't stand the sleeves! I think it must be something to do with the qualities of the fabric- as I have gathered sleeve-caps in the past and had no problems- but these just seemed to POOF out (one more than the other might I add) and it looked so terribly 80s that I knew I would never ever wear it. I took the worst sleeve out and realised that the whole thing looked a TON better without sleeves in at all. So I whipped up some bias binding and bound the arm holes instead. It's a shame I didn't get to use my cuffs though! At least I have learnt a new skill for next time and I'm much happier with my blouse.
There were a few sketchy moments, but I guess that's what this is all about :)
Currently listening to: Green Honeycreeper, Olivia Jean
Location: Weston Park, Sheffield