OK – it's settled. I am going to dish more about the projects I made from Weekend Sewing. I figure a good place to start is the beginning. And the beginning for me was the Summer Blouse.
As I mentioned to Heather, this was the project that got me itching to sew. I looked around the sewing room for some suitable fabric and really didn't have much to choose from. I tend to buy small amounts of quilting fabrics – a yard or less generally. The ones I did have more yardage of were busy, colorful prints that I didn't think I would wear as a shirt. Then, peeking out of a pile of wool, I saw a corner of this pink and white check shirting that I had bought at Mood in New York over two years ago. I pulled it out and was happy to see I had 2.5 yards. The choice was made. For the facing, I used the only Liberty lawn I had in my stash. I had cut into it for my string x quilt and had a little less than a half a yard, but it too was enough.
I chose to sew a size Medium as I know from knitting sweaters that my bust measurement is 38". I was a bit hesitant, but cut into the good stuff anyhow. I really hate making muslins. I know you are supposed to, but I just don't bother. No worries, though. This fits great in the bust. Perfect, actually. I am a C cup and there was no bust adjustment needed. Bonus.
Sewing the facing for the placket is pretty easy. Heather's directions are really clear and I found it simple enough. The little band on the inside of the neck is bias strips and pretty easy to do, also. I just made sure with both of these steps to take my time and really read the directions all the way through. It worked. The only thing I did differently here was that my little button loop is just folded in on itself, not a turned tube like Heather describes. Easier for me without the proper tube-turning tool.
Setting the sleeves was easy. Heather explains it well and I had done that before so I was pretty confident that it would work out. Once I got the sleeves in, I tried the blouse on and found that it was a bit billowy for me. I am narrowest in the ribcage with curves (read: big on top and on bottom) and the bell shape didn't flatter me much. I set my machine on the basting stitch and took in the sides. I sewed straight down from the dart to the bottom – the seam ended up being about an inch at bottom end. I tried it on and it was good so I re-did it with a normal stitch length and then cut the seams accordingly.
The length was a bit on the short side for me. I am long in the torso and I normally add length, but kind of spaced on that part. So, necessity being the mother of invention and all, I cut some bias strips out of the facing fabric and sewed them to the bottom of the blouse to make up some of that length. It worked well, but next time I would just add length to the actual pattern pieces.
After having the blouse on and off a bunch of times while fitting it, the slip stitch I did to close up the deep v of the placket started coming loose. I knew this was going to drive me crazy so I took the blouse back to the machine and used a smallish zig zag stitch and sewed right over the seam line. It looks good and hasn't budged a bit. I then sewed on the small, green vintage button. I don't ever button the blouse though – next time I would probably skip the button loop and button.
Questions? Fire away. I will answer any questions in the comments so everyone can benefit. Back tomorrow with the everyday tote.