originally published Sept 9, 2011
.I starched the fabric 4 times with half strength starch. It just didn’t seem to be getting stiff in a hurry. I added about 1/2 cup to another sprayer and sprayed full strength on the fabric. I did that twice, once on each side and allowed the fabric to cool. Once cool it was sufficiently stiff to lay out and cut. As I was cutting lovely embroiderers kept dancing through my head. Finally I could not resist the call. I spent some time at the computer selecting designs and then altering colors. I didn’t quite want tone on tone, but I didn’t want something in-your-face either. The design I selected is approximately 4.5″ x 5.5″, has 4 colors and stitched out in 84 minutes. But I like the end result:
I’ve begun stitching the blouse together. I basted the pleats using water soluble thread and then folded and refolded until the upper edges lined up nicely with both the center front and the shoulder seam. Once I got that sorted, I basted the shoulders.
Then I pinned the fronts to the backs. WTF!!! The shoulder seams of the back were shorter than the front. My first thought was Burda scr@wed up. But I checked the pattern pieces and the shoulders of the pattern pieces fit together. I starched the fabric before cutting; so you can discount the iron stretching out the cut seams. I had starched and cut; found and altered the machine embroidery and marked ME placement the night before. The next day all my marks, the pleats, the notches, the embroidery placement had vanished. That’s a clear indication that high humidity was in effect. I’m guessing that the humidity was absorbed by the starch; the starch became flexible and the fibers relaxed at least along the bias edges allowing the front edges to grow. This meant I had to ease, using the thousand-pins method, the front shoulder to the back shoulder and then baste the 2 shoulders together. I did it this way to minimize those nasty little pleats, but alas there seem to be 2 on each shoulder. Well at least I was consistent. I serged the shoulders together and removed all basting—just as dinner was called. I flipped the blouse up onto Mimie for the night. Between all the starch and then the stabiliser for the embroidery, it looks pretty stiff.
I still have most of the construction left, but I’m pleased that the heavy starching seems to be warding off most fraying. I had just a tensy bit of fraying on one front shoulder (the front with embroidery).
I made another alteration this evening. I would not have known the blouse had a stand-up collar except that the pattern pieces listed what I thought was a facing as the stand up collar and indicate cut 2 on the fold. My decision was that since I originally thought the collar would be a facing, I was going with my original vision. Tomorrow I need to cut bias strips for armscye binding and neck binding. Fortunately I have commercial bias in my stash which matches nicely. I wouldn’t mind cutting my own bias except for 2 things. One of them is not the time. It takes only minutes to cut enough bias for these type of facings. No what I dislike is that
- a lot of fabric ends up being used as I whack cut across a square big enough to create a long enough strip. Yes, yes I know I can join bias strips, but I don’t like to and my continuous is continually uneven. When practical, I much prefer to use commercially prepared bias.
- Sometimes I have no choice but to cut small strips. I hate to join bias strips.
I have not selected buttons but I do have the front facings ready to apply. My plan is for a narrow, top stitched hem.