Friday, September 03, 2010

How Simplicity 3835 lost 1K

This blouse was a long time coming. Last February [2009], I think, I read on Film in the Fridge that a shop in Wisconsin, maybe?, still had some Flea Market Fancy for sale. I didn't stumble upon this fabric line until it was too late to do anything but admire other people's projects with it, so I put in a call and spoke to a very nice woman who told me which fabrics she had left, promised she would mail me my yardage, and then asked me to please, please send a check back to the return address since she wouldn't know how much the total bill would come to until she brought it to the post office. Talk about customer service [and trust]!

So anyways. It seemed like an awful lot of trouble to go through for some fabric if I was just going to waste it on a so-so project, so the fabric lingered in my stash forever. Finally, when I cut out that second S3835 blouse, I said, screw it, let's just cut two, at least the fabric won't be collecting dust!

It took 16 months for me to make the first cut, and another 16 hours to realize, bad idea. Ugh. Go me. Anyways, after much thought, I decided I could probably salvage the pattern pieces with Simplicity 2614 [love this version here! Oh, that red/orange plaid totally gets under my skin] if I cut everything on the grain and cut the back piece out of my remaining fabric. Which worked, and I now have the barest scraps remaining of this delightful fabric. Boo, poor planning, but yeay, thinking on my feet. Ish.

Blouse #5: Gathering Posies.

For a blouse made out of quilting cotton, it's pretty good, actually. I had to insert a zipper in the side since I didn't cut the back and waist on the bias, and I hacked a bunch off the bottom because it was causing the blouse to hang funny. The vintage buttons are gifted from my evil twin.

Other people mentioned that the bust line seemed a bit high, so I sewed the bust/front waist seam at 3/8" seam allowance instead of 5/8", effectively lowering it 1/4" total, which I think helps just the right amount.

For the facing I used a red polka dotted quilting cotton, and following this advice [which may not be intended for v-necked facings, but whatever], I reinforced the point with a small square of organza and some fray check. Internet, how I love thee for facilitating the collective sharing of sewing wisdom - I doubt this crafting revival would look the same without you, oh purported invention of Al Gore's! And fellow bloggers, how I doubly love thee for posting tutorials, tips, lessons learned, and helpful shortcuts!

The major thing is that it needs a serious sway back adjustment. Again, maybe it's because I cut the back piece on the grain instead, and I also pinched out 1" at the waistline even though the pattern makes no mention of petite adjustment possibilities [that's right, Simplicity! I'm taking matters into my own hands!]

Also, as you can see here, I put in 2 rows of pintucks because I didn't decide to do my waist petite adjustment until after I sewed the bust/front waist pieces together and finished the seams, after which I was too lazy to unpick everything and recut the waist piece. 2 rows of 1/4" pintucks = 1" fabric taken up! *Continues to pat self on back.* It kind of looks like a design element instead of a last-minute improvisation, if I say so myself.

Finally, those sleeve caps looked pretty ridiculous, plus I look horrible in cap sleeves, so I added 1" to the bottom of the sleeve and lowered the sleeve height by cutting it out at the smallest sleeve cap at the top [which was also the shortest], and then blending away the difference at the edges. I think it worked reasonably well, though I could probably stand to get rid of some width. Also, in retrospect since I'm using a zipper to get in and out of this, I don't think there's any reason I couldn't cut the waist panel down by a size or two to make it more fitted.

With this blouse, I'm skulking in my final summer "essential" for the sew-along well past the due date. There's really nothing "essential" about any of the blouses I sewed this summer, except that I wanted to start learning how to make blouses and they seemed like as gentle a starting point as any. Plus all 3 will layer well from spring to fall, which, in my book, counts as essential to building a versatile, fun, yet reasonably minimal-like* wardrobe.

*of course, any wardrobe that takes up as much room as mine does really cannot be considered minimal. I make liberal use of the word like.


Callipygian said...

I'm impressed with the sleeves especially, they look great.

Sigrid said...

Sometimes it's too easy to find fault with a new project, having just lived through all the construction problems. I say this looks about perfect, especially for quilting fabric.

Antoinette said...

So so so cute! You did great. It looks just perfect on you! I've always loved this fabric line, too. Now I will have to check out the Simplicity pattern you used.

Zonnah said...

It is beautiful! That necklace goes really well with the shirt :)