Oops! Apparently I've accidentally deleted all of my images. I'll see about fixing that soon.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brown Flowered Blouse

Most people who know me know I'm not prone to wearing floral prints. Ok, maybe no one has noticed, but it's true. There are very few things in my wardrobe that have flowers on them. I usually prefer a nice geometric print, but I saw this fabric on deep discount and it seemed perfect for another go at my new blouse pattern. 

And I actually remembered to take pictures this time. 

One of the goals I had developing this pattern was for it to be quick to put together. In fact, I wanted to see if I could do most of it on the serger and be able to whip out a shirt in an afternoon.  For a slow sewer like me that would be quite a feat.

For the small darts on the back (above) I dropped the cutter on the serger and just let the fabric pull up slightly inside the threads. with such a small dart I figured this would limit the amount of possible future fraying.

For the larger darts on the back (below) I used the cutter as usual. For each I started at the point of the dart and sewed toward the edge of the fabric.  The trailing threads near the point were tied into a knot and clipped.

Then I attached the bottom of the back to the top of the back and pressed all seams before pressing them flat.  I find this is especially helpful with serged seams to keep the seam looking professional.

Next I started on the front.  In order to minimize time (again, one of the goals of this project) instead of switching to the sewing machine to put the gathers in I simply put in a couple of lines of running stitches (one within the seam allowance and one outside of it) and pulled them to the correct length, securing with a backstitch.  Then I could just serge over it and remove the line of basting outside the sa.

I also serged the edge of the facing in preparation for attaching it to the front of the blouse. (just because interfacing is fusible doesn't mean I want to take chances with it.)

Here I've pinned the facing to the front of the blouse and you get your first real glimpse at the true colors of the fabric's pattern.

Not wanting to move my threads over and bring out the sewing machine I made the stitches for the front keyhole opening by hand. Some small backstitches worked just fine.

The keyhole was pressed, trimmed, flipped, and pressed flat. 

Next I attached the yoke.  In fact I remembered to take a bunch of pictures of how to do this, but there are so many I'll put them in the next post.  Note that at this point the front facing is only attached by the keyhole and shoulders; the neckline is completely open still.

I attached the sleeves (no set-in sleeves for me!) and instead of putting in lines of basting and gathering the fabric at the caps I simply made use of the differential feed on my serger and some liberal pinning.  It worked pretty well for a 'quick and dirty' shirt like this. I just had to remember to set it back to the correct setting for the inside curves.

I used the same technique to attach the bands to the sleeves.  I probably could have just attached the one edge and done a stitch-in-the-ditch, but I think this will be fine for a work shirt.

After I stitched the front and back together I tucked the long ends of the serger thread into the seam allowance and clipped off the leftover.

Next I added the shirring to the back.  Regular thread through the needle, tension set to zero, elastic thread hand wound gently around the bobbin, and a nice long stitch makes for an easy setup for elastic shirring.

Four rows evenly spaced pulls the waist in enough to keep the shirt feeling 'fitted' while giving me enough room to reach and move at work.

At this point it was finally time to switch to the regular sewing machine.

I stitched the tie band to the neckline and pressed it.  Then I stitched up the ends up to a few inches before the neckline. I could stitch it closer to the neckline but why make things harder on myself than need be? No need to wrestle with the project this close to the end.

I use a short stitch for the stitching across the end and the first 1" or so and then I lengthen my stitches to a normal length.

Instead of clipping my corners I trim my sa's down and press them into a nice squared-off shape before turning the tubes.

Then I stitch-in-the-ditch to attach the underside of the neckband/tie, topstitching the tie out past where my stitching ended before, which should make it fairly strong in an area that will get a bit of wear since it will be tied at that point.

The hem is just a simple rolled hem. And everything gets a final pressing at this point.

The front finished:



The front isn't actually shorter than the back, it just got caught on my pocket.

I've taken a bunch of clothes to donation lately so it's nice to have three new shirts in my wardrobe that can go through most of the seasons and work for both work and the rest of life.  I'll probably make several more of these before I start working on the next pattern I'm thinking of, but I think I'll use up some of the cotton I've set aside for shirts.  It's not that the polyester doesn't drape nicely, it's lovely, but sometimes a girl just wants a natural fiber next to her skin.

Hope your week has started off nicely!

1 comment:

  1. I am also a cotton fan, polyester and me do not really work together. I would be interested in a pattern for that,


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