Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blouse It Out

Well, well, well. It’s nice to see you again, sewing machine. Been awhile. I hope you’re not mad at me for being absent. I just haven’t been feeling all that creative lately. I’ve also been in a slump where my projects always seem home sewn to me. I see them hanging in my closet and think, “People will definitely know this is not store bought, and not in a good way.” That has deterred me from sewing for the past few months.
Since I was recently gifted lots of fabric, I decided it was just the kick in the pants I needed. I scoured my stash of patterns, most of which I’ve not sewn yet. Looking for a blouse of sorts, I settled on Simplicity 2725 from the Project Runway series.

 I have made the dress in  before which you can read about here.
A week or so before I wanted to wear it, I set to work cutting out my pattern pieces. Even though I’m typically a medium, or size 10 in a top, I cut this in a generous 12. Nothing worse than thinking you’ve measured properly, cutting and sewing an entire garment just to find out it doesn’t fit. Perhaps I’ve learned my lesson one too many times on that? Time will tell.

This is a fabric type I’ve never used before. It was a bit troublesome but by the end of the project we were smooth sailing. I had grand plans for embellishment around the collar but ran out of time. I wanted to debut my top at a family dinner. The embellishment involved hand sewing. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat, at all! In the end, I decided to keep it simple. The pattern gives other options at the neckline for pleats or a jabot. No time for that either!

The sleeves are my favorite part. Admittedly, I did take them in a bit so they weren’t too flouncy but the body of the blouse I left pretty much the same. You are supposed to install a 20 inch zipper down the back. Who wants a blouse with a super long zipper? And more importantly, who has time to put in a 20 inch zipper when you’re staring down a deadline? Concerned that the zipper might pucker the fabric, I settled on a simple hook and eye closure. Worked like a charm!

The main thing that slowed me down on the project was that I used French seams. With French seams, you sew wrong sides together first on each seam and then you fold it back, right sides together, and stitch again. This hides the seam allowance and makes it look a lot more professional for those of us who don’t have sergers. I LOVE the look of French seams but they are a pain in the rear. You are essentially sewing your entire garment twice. The seams were especially painful when I sewed both sleeves to the bodice incorrectly. Twice. Making a different mistake each time. That was super fun.
Oh, also the time that my darts were totally uneven making one boob look like it was 3 inches higher than the other one and both were pointy. WHEEEE!!! Nothing like a lopsided lady to impress. Darts are my least favorite feature of any project. I have never sewed one and met a pleasant outcome. I saved myself a lot of heartache and just unpicked those stitches very carefully. It didn’t need them anyway. Thankfully.
What do you think? It’s sheer enough that I wear a tank top underneath but you can’t even really tell it’s there.
I’ve decided it’s better to wear this tucked in, even though it’s tunic length. Even belted, it adds a bit of unflattering width in the hips.  Luckily, I like it tucked and bloused. Oh man. The use of the word bloused there just took me screaming back to every dressing room I ever visited with my mom and her saying, “Just blouse it out a bit.” What a look!
I’m so glad I pulled this pattern out once again. It came together relatively well, especially if I hadn’t made those mistakes. I probably could have finished this in about two sessions if I skipped the French seams too. However, because of those seams, that no one will ever see but me, people will think I bought it at a high end boutique, right?

Maybe my sewing mojo has returned? Quick to find another project before it leaves me again!

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