Thursday, April 8, 2010

Blouse Blunders

Lately, for some reason, I have been obsessed with short sleeve blouses. I think because the weather is warming and I can comfortably wear them without freezing. Plus, I'm pretty tired of what's been in my closet and I'm not loving the full-priced spring tops in the stores so, I'm expanding my wardrobe with my sewing skills.

Simplicity Built By You Pattern #3835 caught my eye and seemed easy enough. Famous last words. I really have a fitting problem. I'm getting ahead of myself.

My focus is on the blouse in the middle, not the backwards looking tunic on the left, or the dress I may consider making in the future on the right. I liked this blouse because it seems so simple. The sleeves and neckline are gathered with elastic which I thought would add some interest.

I needed to go ahead and use up one of the fabrics in my stash that I recently purchased. It's a black and yellow floral hawaiian print. I am slightly obsessed with black and yellow clothing, much like my obsession with short sleeve blouses. I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Anyhoo. I had plans to wear this on my upcoming Florida trip, because I am not typically all about the Hawaiian prints but it would be apropos in Flo, no? Not surprisingly, this is one of those fabrics that, despite it's awesome colors, I was only lukewarm about by the time I got it home and had sewed (read: screwed up) projects with my other purchases.

Anyway.... once again, I decided to cut this in a 10. I even measured the darn pattern this time to be absolutely certain it would fit. Lesson learned the first time, right? Well, I got it sewed up and was about to deal with the elastic bands when I put it on and the darn thing wouldn't fit over my hips. Blast! The arms sort of fit but they didn't have any gathers yet.

Here's where the real trouble starts. By the time I finished the sleeves, the arms were too tight around my bulging biceps and I needed assistance getting the blouse off! I really wish I could get a perfect Ashley dress form. Having to constantly strip down to make sure your project fits while sewing is a pain! Defeated by the tight arms, I threw the blouse aside in disgust. When a string of obscenities is flying in the sewing room (read: dining room), John just starts shouting things out from the spare bedroom/Xbox lair such as, "It's ok. Everything can't go right all the time. I bet you can fix it." These things aren't really calming. I gave up for the day.

Refreshed and confident, I returned to my machine knowing I could make this blouse wearable. I cut vents by the hips so it would lay flat and I nixed the elastic in the sleeves. They don't need no stinking gathers! And what do you know? It fits! Again, I didn't feel like taking off my clothes to photograph me in it but here is my chair doing a fine job as a stand in model.

I don't know how much use I'll get out of it but I think it'll look nice in Florida, and perhaps I want to feel tropical at the office.

Lesson learned again for next time? Regardless of what the pattern measures, cut a 12.

A couple days ago I promised myself I would sew up every last bit of fabric in my stash before purchasing anything new. Some of them are more than 2 years old and I just haven't found the right pattern for them. Then, as fortune or misfortune -- you decide, would have it, this weekend starts one of Joann's big sales! What am I to do? I promised. But I am addicted to fabric. It's like a drug. A healthier and probably just as expensive habit ( Though, I don't know the going rate for actual drugs these days.) I'm working out a compromise with my conscience. I got a gift card to Joann's for my birthday and I feel like it might be okay to spend that. I do need some fabric for a time sensitive project so at least I'd be assured of sewing that up right away. Dilemma.....

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