Button Back Blouse, It’s winning me around!

 

Although I was going to label this a sewing fail, I am being won over!  I made this Tilly and the Buttons button back blouse from an issue of love sewing over a year ago.  It is well finished with French seams, but I never wore it when it was newly finished.  Lets have a look at the details to find out why!

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I believe this is quite similar to the TATB Mathilde Blouse, just without the pin tucks if you want to be able to recreate it. It has a yoke seam, which I very carefully added piping into.

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So why have I not been wearing it?  I think it comes down to two things- personal style and fit.  Those puffed sleeves are cute, but don’t fit with my usual style because I can’t wear a cardigan.  In terms of fit, the key problem is at the back.

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I think I have a quite narrow upper back.  I often have to take in quite a bit at the centre back and by the time I realised there was a problem in this top the button placket was finished and it seemed too fiddly.  It also feels like the shoulder seam is slightly in the wrong place.  This may also be because I need a full bust adjustment, and this is pulling the back and shoulder seam out of place.

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So why, when I wore it out for these pictures did I start reconsidering my plans to take it to the charity shop.  I think it is a combination of the style being perfect for the current weather, and a great combination of fabric and pattern!  Some of the things that I didn’t like about the pattern, are actually what is making it so perfect.  The longer sleeves keep it breezy and cool, but mean that I don’t need a cardigan, even into the evening.  The fabric (sadly no longer available at Minerva Crafts) is a lovely cotton chambray and just a fantastic weight and drape.  The contrast piping and buttons lighten it up and the splash of coral is great for spring.

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Perhaps I will have to give this a second chance!

Wise up Wednesdays- Pinning and clipping

I keep two types of pins in my sewing kit.  Firstly, ordinary sharp pins, but I prefer mine to have glass heads so that I can’t melt them if I touch them with an iron.

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Secondly, I have some fine ballpoint pins which I keep to use on particularly delicate fabrics and on jersey.  They do have a habit of slipping out so I definitely have to handle things carefully once they are pinned with these.

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Finally, I have some quilting clips.  These are great for anytime that pins are not your friend.  Fabrics which might ladder or mark, waterproof fabrics or leather, net and fabrics that pins just fall back out of.  Even anything which is a bit thick and bulky for pins can be clipped easily.

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I keep my pins in little clippy boxes.  They need to be big enough to get your hands in and out easily.  Especially as I don’t like to stop sewing to remove my pins, I need to be able to find the pot while still watching the needle!

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My clips stay safe in a little drawstring bag.  These are so simple to make, and I always have plenty around to be used to wrap small presents or store odds and ends.  I use a tutorial by Pam at Threading my Way which is super simple to follow, and creates a neat finished pouch.  They are great for using up scraps or co-ordinating fat quarters!

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Camisoles galore!

A shorter post today for you.  I wanted to share a free pattern that I have got a lot of use out of in the last couple of months- the So Zo Vest.  You can tell that it is a good one because I have 4½ versions to share!

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4 of my 5 are made from old oversized t-shirts.  This pattern really doesn’t require much fabric- half a metre of most jerseys should be more than enough so it is also great for using up little bits from your stash.  The advantage of using a t-shirt is that you don’t even need to sew the bottom hem, just use the one which is already there.

Taken with Lumia Selfie

This might seem a seasonally inappropriate post, but I wear this sort of thing all year round- under another shirt or a dress in winter, and just with a cardigan in the summer.  I don’t think I will ever need to buy another.

Taken with Lumia Selfie

The instructions include the option to use flat elastic or fold over elastic.  All of mine are made with Fold over (foe) purchased from various Etsy and eBay sellers.  There are so many colours, patterns and options.

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Sparkly chevron fold over elastic

The ½ is for one which is not quite finished- it still needs straps but I ran out of elastic,

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Such a simple pattern, but so useful!  If you have never sewn with knits before this is a good option to try with very little waste or expense if it doesn’t turn out quite as planned, and a good opportunity to practice a few skills like applying the elastic.  I made my first 3 on a regular sewing machine with a triple zigzag stitch and the last two on my new overlocker.

I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you haven’t before.  Simple, free and minimal fabric requirements. What do you have to lose?