Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Clearing the decks before SWAP

The title is what I am pretending to do, but really I have been procrastinating. The princess dress was a sort of necessary procrastination, thank you for all the lovely comments - I think there are a lot of inner 4 year old girls out there!
This is the blouse of shame I made for the 2008 SWAP. It is a blouse of shame because in spite of it co-ordinating with 4 bottoms and one jacket, I have never worn it other than for a photograph.

It is not that I dislike it, because there are some things I really like about it, and I kept pulling it out of the wardrobe to try on, but after thinking about it for a while, I decided it was just not fit for purpose - it was not suitable for work, too low and wide in the neck, and it was a bit stiff for wearing as a casual day top, and not dressy enough for a going out top. When I first made it I envisioned it as a work top with a wide collar, and unpicked the neckfacing several times to attempt this, without success. It took me 2 hours to unpick the facing yet again, and refashion to this.

The facing is thrown out, it was too stiff. I also unpicked the shoulder seams and took aroud a centimetre from the neck edge of the back shoulders, tapering to nothing by the sleeve, in order to improve the fit at the back neck.
Then I bound the edge with a bias strip of batiste, which I just happened to have in the same shade as the cotton lycra blouse fabric, and added a huge folded over bias ruffle, which I had lettuce hemmed with my overlocker. I fiddled a bit with the ruffle before I was happy with the drape, and now I think I should have gathered the ruffle a little more. Depsite this quibbling, I am much happier with the blouse and have already worn it twice, once to my daughters' year 7 information night, and once out to dinner at a friend's house. This one I am happy about, although I do notice that I am fatter than I was when I modeled this earlier in the year :(.
The next deck clearing was fabric salvage. I made this for my niece, and to practice my slanted feather stitch on smocking, using the stitch in ditch foot, and to play with the under used embroidery stitches on my machine. The fabric is from a top I made that does not suit me at all.

The last attempt was very frustrating and bruised my mojo. In the depths of my fabric chest, I unearthed this creature. It is a newlook blouse I made about a year ago. I made 3 at the time, the two others have collars, and are just about worn out work tops. This one was a disaster because I could not make the sleeves ease in, and when fiddling with the facing, I somehow managed to cut a small hole in the centre back of the outer fabric between the shoulder blades.It also fits horribly around the neck - as do the collared blouses, but it is not so noticeable on these.
In a salvage attempt I cut off the neckline, and the sleeves, thinking, button front sleeveless top. The fabric was rather pricey cotton from Ewan Gardams, so I thought it worth saving.
I made some rather jazzy piping from a batik, and tried to make it work around the neck. I failed, the neckline looked OK, but the rest of the blouse looked like a paper bag. Sometimes you should just cut it up into bias strips and put the scraps in the bin, so I did.

Now I have no excuse for not starting my SWAP tommorrow.
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Carol said...

I've been doing something similar. I've cut out my SWAP jacket, but just can't seem to get the juices flowing the way I need to. I've been doing lots of repairs and hemming and finishing and even some ruthless tossing out. I think the way to start is maybe do something easy, so I think I will start with a skirt and leave the jacket till later ... good luck with whatever you start on!!

MareeAlison said...

Karen - I really like the changes you've made to your blouse. It's very pretty. However, I really loved the original blouse and thought it looked great too but in a more tailored way of course. In the end though you have to be happy with it to wear it. Both versions were/are flattering. Oh, and I think the ruffles are gathered just about right. :-)

Vicki said...

That was a good save on the white blouse. It looks lovely. I think the ruffle really compliments the pintucks and buttons.

Anonymous said...

You amaze me, Karen: you´ve always got such good ideas! The blouse I think looks much much better now - in comparison the older version is just boring. Except I would have never thought it boring without the refashioning! I´m glad you like this now. Well done!