Blouse 303 from Manequim 625

It’s probably about time I showed you all some sewing. I have managed to drag myself away from the biggest party NZ has seen for a while to finally take more pics of my newest blouse. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and I’m going to put my hand up now and say I know these photos are really bad but I’ve taken them three times and just can’t seem to like them so I’m giving up and posting anyway :)

If it looks like these photos were taken on two different days it's because they were

The contrast is terrible, I know, plus I managed to get the sliding door in all of them, which I subsequently had to crop out so the composition is pretty awful too…the wind didn’t help either, I’d get myself all settled, push the remote button, wait for the beeps and then, wooosh! Gah, who’d of thought, wind? In Wellington?!

Because everyone likes to see an out-take...

I don’t know, for some reason I am hating the photos I take of myself lately, but I’ll get over it because I LOVE this blouse…so on to the details:

It is from Manequim 625 and is#303. I liked it as soon as this magazine arrived in my hot little hands and I chose to use this amazing silk crepe that I got from the  “Remnant Table of Endless Inspiration” at my last trip to Potters (sigh, I miss that shop!).

You might have noticed, although I haven’t mentioned it officially, I am doing a little bit of stash busting. The Esther cardi knit was from my stash and this blouse was the next one - (Belated) Birthday Dress and the following project are in this category as well.

I got this 149cm x 1.1m length for $10, a bargain yes, but I was scared to ruin it so I let it mature nicely in my stash and then I put my brave on and cut into it last month. If you are in Perth and have not been to Potter’s yet, then what are you doing? Go, go now, you will not be disappointed.

This is only the second silk item I have made, and my first in a crepe. I discovered quite quickly that working with this fabric was a lot of fun. It frayed right in front of my eyes, even while it was just sitting on the table it was merrily fraying itself away to nothing. But I loved the print so I was determined to make it work. To be honest I think it took me longer to work out how to place the pattern pieces to make the most of the print than it did to eventually sew it up. I used Photoshop to help me finally decide how to do it and I’ve started a post on that (along with the construction) that I’ll pop up in a day or two – it will be another of those epically nerdy posts so consider yourself forewarned ;)

Despite the fraying and the Photoshopping the construction went pretty smoothly, apart from the fact that I had to unpick the standing collar three times. It was completely my silly fault and in the end it turned out for the best because it meant it got a tad shorter and after my first try-on I was starting to feel a bit like HBO cat.

And here are a few more detailed shots.

Standing collar and front pleat detail

Sleeve detail

After cutting out my pieces I realised just how sheer my fabric was, this would mean I needed french seams, which was not really big deal. I’ve only ever done them once before (on my BurdaStyle Book blouse no less) and they worked out ok, plus Carolyn had just posted up a timely reminder tutorial which I had a skim over to refresh the memory. Here is a sleeve close-up inside out, you can see the French seams. I’m quite proud of how they turned out and my construction skills are definitely improving. I think the French seam also helps strengthen the seams and protects the interior of the silk during wear and washing.

Inside out detail

In other sewing related news:

Exciting: I have (99.9%) finished the (Belated) Birthday Dress and I am so happy with it! The hem got pressed today and I just have to decide whether to top-stitch it (as per the instructions) or get out the needle and thread and hand stitch it up, which I am terrible at…but the fabric weave/print will help hide my hand-sewing sins and whichever way I chose to go there will be photos next weekend.

Less exciting: The Gok coat is also complete, but I’m not sure if I like it. I will share pictures with you before I decide what to do with it. I think it can be saved, the question is: “Can I be bothered before Summer arrives…?”

Next in-line: I guess I should really try to finish the Forever Jeans…thread arrived from eBay last month – yes, that means I gave up on Spotlight and bought it of all places from England! But I guess that all depends on how soon my pattern splurge purchases from BMV arrives ;)

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