Saturday, 31 May 2008

Simplicity 9461 blouse #2

The second version of the Simplicity 9461 blouse went together well, although the increased curve at the side seams appears to have made very little difference to the overall shape of the blouse.
After a brief start from my Mum, I taught myself to sew, mostly by reading pattern instructions, and trial and error, so I have missed out on some techniques that "everyone knows". In an attempt to improve this situation, I have been reading sewing books, and in my current source - The Readers' Digest Complete Guide to Sewing, the collars are sewn a little differently from how I usually do them. I do not pivot at the corner seam, having read elsewhere (years ago, so I cannot remember the source) that crossing the seams makes the corner stronger. In the Reader's Digest book, the seam does not pivot at the corner, but takes one or more stitches across the corner, depending on the weight of the fabric. The reason given, is a more neat point at the outside. This sounds reasonable, but I did not want to pivot, so I crossed the corner with another row of stitches.
I think the corner does look better than in the previous shirt - same pattern, same type of fabric, so I have learnt something today!
. The other techniques I have used for this blouse that are not in the instructions are due mainly to the fine, semi-transluscent nature of batiste fabric. I have trimmed all seams,including those contained within another seam, with pinking shears. This means the line of the seam allowance is less obvious from the outside, not being straight. I have done the same trimming to the interfacing, for the same reason. I did this on both the pink and rice colour blouses.
The design differences in this blouse relate to embellishment. As you can see, I have pintucked 5 tucks on either side of the centre front. (In both blouses I increased the overlap distance by 1.5cm, as I found the original overlap to be too narrow). As this number of pintucks does not take up very much fabric, I did this after cutting out the blouse, and have absorbed the small decrease in fabric width within the seam allowance. I also pintucked 3 tucks down the centre of each sleeve. I have a pintuck foot, but did not find it terrific on this fabric. I have previously used it numerous times on 100% cotton batiste and lawn with no trouble, and also on a mid weight woven stretch cotton. On the imperial batiste, for some reason the pintuck did not care to remain in the groove, and there is a bit of wandering. I did do this last night when I was a bit tired, so that could be part of the problem
The embroidery on this blouse was completed after cutting out and before construction so that there would be no knots on the inside. I have used 3 strands of DMC stranded cotton for the bullion rose buds, and 2 strands of green for the fly stitch calyx, stem stitch stem and detached chain stitch leaves. I was careful with the back, with all knots finishing in the bulk of the buds so that the knots and tails would not be visible through the outer fabric.
I have fastened the blouse with snaps just behind the buds on the centre placket, with the top snap just above the top bud so that it is not covered with the turn back of the facing. I would have preferred white or clear snaps, but silver was what I had, so there is a tiny amount of show through at the top snap.

Today I also made a tank/vest from the same wardrobe pattern to complete a 4 part mini wardrobe for the May patternreview contest. I will write up reviews tonight, and hope to post about this, and the other garments in the Travel SWAP tomorrow.
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Keely said...

Thanks for that tip (no pun intended,lol) about the collar points. I'll have to dig my Readers Digest book out. The blouse is very pretty. Do I take it that you did all the embroidery by hand? Very impressive.

Vicki said...

Lovely blouses. You do beautiful detailed work.

Alexandra said...

Lovely, absolutely lovely! The embroidery adds just the right touch.

Your corner sewing technique is very similar to what Cynthia Guffey teaches. It works great.

Cennetta said...

Thanks for the tips. These will come in handy the next time I make blouses.