I’m sorry not to have pictures on me, but I ran out of time. In all fairness, the blouse had to be soaked, washed, dried, and pressed before pics were possible. I heavily starched the fabric before even laying out the pattern. Heavy starch is a wonderful control method for these slippery, creeping crepe fabrics. (As I get older my grandmother, may she rest in peace, gets smarter.) My fabric is a synthetic fiber in a crepe weave; although I detect a hint of twill on the reverse side. It is both translucent and weighty producing a wonderfully body hugging drape. My buttons are old, very old but I can’t date them exactly. I know they were in my mom’s button box. They are something she would have admired greatly but never purchased or used for herself. She might have put such lovelies on clothes for her small girls, my sisters and I. But I doubt that she purchased these herself just simply because there are at least 15. One is missing it’s central jewel. I knew as soon as I saw these (over10 years ago) I would be making something for myself to coordinate with these buttons. It’s taken long, but I believe I’ve found the right garment.
I did try the blouse on for fit, even heavily starched and the embroidery poking funnily . The heavy starch and 3 layers of stabilizer for the embroidery made it difficult to see exactly how the garment would fit or feel on me. It tended to stand away from my body. I was tremendously pleased to see in these pics that the crepe clings closer to the dress form beneath. As expected, this is a slightly extended shoulder– a very good look for me the pear shaped, narrow shouldered woman. The V-neck is universally flattering and almost high enough. Just 1/2″ more inch would have been perfect for me. (Why does Burda insist upon drafting necklines for trollops?) The front yoke finished into an interesting raglin line. Raglins are questionable for us pear shapped; so I’m doubly anxious to photo the blouse on myself. The embroidery did interfer with how the pleats are laying. I suspect that I shall be pressing these into a predetermined drape. The unembroidered side, however, did lay nearly exactly as Burda depicted.
Although the front hem seems to swing forward a bit, that’s not what I’m really looking at here. I thought I had a major faux pas. You know how the experts reccommend choosing the darker thread when the choice is between two closely but not exactly matching colors? I followed the experts advice and used the darker thread. I was uneasy when I checked the first armscye. I was displeased when I finished the second but continued to use the darker thread across the back neck for the sake of continuity. I had a HomeDec teacher (with an excellent command of color) who reccommended if you made a mistake, repeat it twice more and make it look deliberate. I’ve found this to be invaluable and extremely accurate advice. But when I got ready to make the buttonholes, I could not tolerate the darker thread any more. I switched to the exact matching thread which was my Maxi-Lock Serger Thread. I prefer not to use serger thread at the sewing machine. I have used it in the bobbin for machine embroidery. But by-and-large I feel strongly that serger thread was manufactured for the serger and that’s the only place it should be used. My buttonholes and blind-hem turned out extremely well; completely obliterating my misgivings about serger thread and blowing all my thread theories out of the water.
Of course, that’s partly because of my darling Ruby HViking sewing machine. I was trememdously pleased with her stitching numerous times. She recommened the 2mm stitch length and oval buttonholes. Both of which are perfect for this fabric. I was especially pleased at the bias tape application. I cut the bias about 1/2″ shorter than the finished length of the armscyes and again 1/2″ shorter than the back neck. I open up the bias on one side (I’m using prefolded commercial bias) and stitched on the fold with the bias edge lined up with the garment edge. My garment is on the bottom where Ruby’s feed dogs can grab and push it forward, slightly easing the garment to the shorter bias tape. I did not press (a complete antithesis for me) but turned the bias tape to the inside; lined it up even with the side edge and rolled just a scant amount less than 1mm of garment fabric to the inside. Then I stitched along the folded edge of the bias tape (again the garment fabric is down next to the feed dogs). Ruby eased the garment to the bias tape and made perfect straight stitches on both sides.
Let me repeat that, Ruby made perfect straight stitches on both the upper side and the bobbin side of the stitching. This was an extreme point of contention with Bernina over the 1530-1630 series up to the Aurora’s. Bernina kept insisting that the stitch is perfect when the top thread is straight but the bobbin thread wobbles. Bernina so insisted, even when people could bring in generations of Berninas that would stitch perfectly straight on both bottom and top. I know Bernina lost a number of customers over that. I myself felt insulted. It was one of the reasons when I went shopping for Ruby that I said “I’m not married to Bernina. Here’s what I need.”
But back to the faux pas. DH took one look at the blouse on the hanger and said “that’s pretty”. I said “It’s even better on me or Mimie” and my darling DH responded “Oh I’m sure that’s true.”. (He is a keeper.) What’s happening here is that I’m old school. I think the color should match, or if it doesn’t match it should accent. But in today’s sewing environment matching threads and fabric, for the home sewist, is darn near impossible. Sure the clothing manufacturers can order dyed to match thread in the millions, billions, zillions of yards. But those of us at home who only need 300 yards/meters are stuck selecting from the colors offered. And the colors offered are the colors the companies, which cater to home sewists, can sell the most I. E. we use lots of white. All the thread companies sell white in lots of varieties and yardage. Not too many of us sew with flourescent green and those who do, don’t sew flourescent green often. Ergo, the thread companies offer a very small selection of flourescent green in few yardages. We, the sewists, compromise. We choose the best match. To us of old school, it looks “Becky Home Ecky”. But here’s the thing. A very small portion of the population sews. That includes those that used to sew and those who never knew how to sew. OK those who used to sew will see my stitching and may think “Becky Home Ecky”. But the rest, about 93% of the population will see my stitching and think, “Hey a new designer technique.”.
AND the point is??? When DH said “That’s pretty” instead of “why is the thread a different color” I decided, maybe it isn’t a major faux pas after all.
The acid test of a patter is “Will you make this again.” Well maybe. First, I need to take and analyze pic of this blouse on me. I’ve got most of the alterations done. I do need to raise the center front neckline. I would like, but it may not be necessary, to have more shaping in the side seams. The armscye is too low for the sleeveless blouse. I’ll probably be wearing a camisole with this first garment anyway, so it’s not such a big deal now. But I will need to raise the armscye if, I want to make it sleeveless in the future. Burda includes a long sleeve dress version. I probably won’t make the dress. A long sleeve blouse is a real possibility. Beyond that I can see dumping the pleats; adding ease to the front and gathering or tucking to the front yoke sem. IF, that is, if the pics on me show thisis a good raglin for me. If it is, I could also see making a square neckline, a U neckline and maybe playing with different sleeve lengths. So it has possibilities. I can’t say for sure until I see the final pics.
–Apologies Blogger will not let me check spelling. I’m having to depend upon my spelling and error checking.