Friday, February 22, 2013

Halo On My Hips

Sewing with a cold is an interesting adventure although much better than lying around feeling miserable and sorry for yourself. It preferable - LOL - to do it standing up or sitting at the machine. I'm less miserable. Slowly productive. It's an improvement. Right now, I have no voice. Some people think that's a good thing - VBG.




Overall, I'm quite happy with the way this Butterick 5678 blouse turned out. If you're like me, there are always some things you'd do differently next time. I think that's just normal BUT... there are also some things that worked out wonderfully. I narrowed the shoulders 3/4" and it's much more flattering. If I'd been feeling better, I'd have put the plaid on the diagonal for a softer look only I didn't have the energy to deal with matching plaids across the center front along a stretchy bias line. This worked. My son says it's cool and I can go out in public but it looks cowboy. Cowboy ? ? ?




Here's the back. It was only when I uploaded this picture that I thought perhaps I should have ruched that back plaid piece. A possibility for another time.

If you could have a fairy sewmother resolve one of your fitting issues, which would you choose? For me, it's the back of the armhole. The look is improved with the narrow back adjustment but it's not quite exactly what I want yet and there is still too much fabric sitting at the back of the armhole. I had a new idea for resolving the problem last night that I'll try next time.




The grey button band and collar calm the piece down significantly. I don't think it would have worked as well otherwise. Why do I sew a collar with a collar stand when I never button a shirt up? Interesting thought. What do you do?




Here's how I get the collar band neat and even side to side. I use a pencil or piece of chalk to mark the 5/8" line on the fused collar stand and then follow the line around the corner when I'm stitching the two sections together.  You can also use a template.




A lot of people think that I'm transferring my pressing techniques from quilting to fashion sewing. Not so. Proper pressing was something I picked up in high school when I was learning to sew and I'm naturally inclined to efficiency and organization so right away I began to press seam allowances in opposite directions to eliminate bulk and make matching the seams easier. My book Press For Success was written to transfer that technique from fashion sewing to quilting. Butting seams is like magic.




The pink in the floral is a blue based fuchsia that would be nearly impossible to match in a purchased button so I covered these with the fabric. The pink is shaded in the flowers so the buttons are somewhat shaded as well and it works and I like it.




The selvage of the grey fabric was gorgeous. I really wanted to use it somewhere in the blouse so first I tried it along the button band but thought it looked too frilly and then...




... I stitched it around the hemline and it looked like a halo on my hips so I...




... cut it off (because it was serged and top stitched and cutting was easier) and fused a strip of FusiKnit around the hem and then serged and turned up the hem. Since I rarely wear blouses, I am...




... finding the excess ease around the hips a little disconcerting. It looks flippy and ready for take-off. WHAT is a normal blouse look? Is this normal? Something to get over?

I asked lots of questions today. I hope you'll answer them and keep me company. As soon as I'm feeling better, I'll write about Over-Dressed. It's such a good book. I highly recommend it and want to talk about how it impacted me. I just need my brain to reconnect with the rest of my body first. Hopefully over the weekend. For now, this is a great blouse pattern. One worth sewing.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - improving health

34 comments:

  1. Hope you feel better soon, Myrna. I find that when I wear something that I don't usually wear (ie blouse vs knit top) it takes awhile to get used to the different silhouette and movement. Your blouse looks like a fun piece to wear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment on the blouse and the well wishes. I'm about to put on make-up and that's a sign of improvement.

      Isn't it interesting that at our age we are still learning new "how to wear" things? Fun. I know I'll be checking out blouses on women to see what I think of differing amounts of ease.

      Delete
  2. Okay I have no answer to your questions being a blouse novice myself, but I did want to tell you how much I like this blouse. So much so that I went back to Butterick and checked out the line details. I've added this pattern to my wish list for the next pattern sale. This would make a great topper with a cami over a straight skirt in the summer, even a tank style dress so thanks for turning me onto the pattern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great pattern and comes with the different cup sizes which is really nice and it's drafted very well especially through the sleeve cap which often ruins an otherwise great draft. You'll look fabulous in it.

      Delete
  3. Get Well Soon! Colds, esp in winter, are misery. I just love the back of your blouse! That nice surprising strip of plaid is a brilliant inspiration. I don't know what "cowboy" means. . . I've never seen a cowboy wear such a great looking garment.
    Brava on a cute and fun-looking blouse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I love how solutions to problems can turn into elements you really enjoy and include in future projects. I have no idea what cowboy means to my son either. I'm guessing it's the plaid but then again he wears a purple plaid shirt all the time and doesn't think it's cowboy. Hmm... I'll ask him again. Last time he said it just does.

      Delete
  4. It turned out great! I too especially like the back with that strip of plaid.

    As for your son's assessment, it's not spangly enough to be cowboy in the sense of rodeo or show wear (have you SEEN some of those outfits? wowzers!), and no working cowboy or -girl would have pink buttons. Mystery.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I have seen some of those outfits. I even know a lady who sews them. Lots of glitzy. Pink buttons for pageants maybe?

      I managed to run this morning without a coughing fit and I cleaned up the kitchen, had a bath, put on real clothes instead of sweets, and am about to put on make-up and do my hair. Things are looking up.

      Delete
    2. Not cowboy or rodeo queen. I know, I am the sewer of them. I do like the blouse though as it has some nice elements. How it fits in real life is personal I think. It might get some use to getting to.

      Enjoy wearing this blouse. You did a great job on it. I do like your interpretation of colour blocking.

      Delete
    3. Yes, I was thinking of your work with rodeo pageants. I asked my other son today if he thought it was cowboy and he said definitely and that it was the floral/plaid combination that made it so. Urban cowboy perhaps ? ? ? Who knows.

      Delete
  5. I am so sorry you have been gifted with the nasty bug. I know, been there. But the blouse! Well holy cow (reference to the cowboy comment) it is really cute. I think it turned out great. Your are totally correct about the pressing, it makes the garment no matter what it is. Lovely. Feel better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - I'm glad you like the blouse. It was REALLY fun to sew. I enjoyed mixing things up and stretching just a bit. Now to see if I feel comfortable wearing it. If not, I'll be thinking about how to transfer some of the elements in a toned down and wearable way, possibly with textures.

      Delete
  6. I think the collar band is one of the things that make a shirt or blouse. I generally give preference to a pattern that includes one. And a well made collar band and collar elevate a shirt from home made to custom made.

    I need a fitting fairy for the crotch seam in pants. That is where my weight fluctuations really hamper the process.

    Your blouse is looking great. Right now peplums are on trend so a bit of flippy-ness works right into that. My personal preference is a closer fit and I would probably take a bit out at the seams.

    Hope you are feeling better so you can enjoy the weekend.

    Lois K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that a collar band is more professional. Do you actually button it up? Do you put a button and button hole on the band? I left that off although there was minimal bulk with this one so I could include it and a smaller pink button.

      Ah yes... crotch seams. I'm getting better with that based on the information about high-low in Pants For Real People. Excellent book. I find that needing to scoop doesn't change with weight fluctuations. It may change though with the running.

      I'll think of the flippy as a peplum. I prefer closer fitting garments as well especially on the hips as that's my heaviest area.

      Delete
    2. I would most likely put a buttonhole and button on a shirt collar, but only if I knew I could make a good looking buttonhole. Usually I will turn the shirt over and stitch the buttonhole so that the inside of the collar band is on top - so the nicer side of the buttonhole is visible when the collar is open. I don't often (maybe never) button it - thus the need for a good looking buttonhole.

      On a blouse it depends on the style. I also would omit the top buttonhole and button with the way you have arranged the buttons. I think your blouse has a lovely line down the center front, highlighted by the slightly unusual arrangement of the buttons.

      Lois K

      Delete
    3. Since I never button, I've been debating making the button hole on the collar band before sewing it on while the pieces are still flat with no bulk. It would only go through one layer but that most likely wouldn't be noticeable and/or I could make two unopened button holes.

      Delete
    4. I think two unopened button holes sewn while flat is a great idea. I may borrow it from you. ;) I have been considering making the buttonhole on the end of the waistband before sewing the seams so all that bulk is not yet formed. That may require some hand finishing, especially if I don't intend to top stitch the waistband. But I think it might be less aggravating than trying to put a buttonhole in between all those thick seams.

      Lois K

      Delete
    5. Borrow away. I'm all for whatever makes things easier and less bulky. YEAH.

      Delete
  7. I think your ability to make such different patterns 'play nicely together' is brilliant. As Lori said it takes time to get 'your eye' used to a new silhoutte. Looking forward to next installment with fitting. Sheila

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm going to research narrow shoulder adjustments and see where that leads. I'm finding that the more I learn about fitting, the fewer adjustments I need because I'm finding the few that really matter and letting go of all the tricks I was going through to get what I thought I needed. I'm so thankful for Pati Palmer's Fit For Real People and Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit. I use those books darn near daily. I'll post what I discover.

      Delete
  8. The blouse is so pretty! I especially like the combination of fabrics and the buttons. The extra ease at the hips is needed in wovens so that you can sit down. Also,the fashion now tends to be looser

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think it's the pink that makes it especially cheerful.

      I wonder if preferences for ease are similar to preferences for our style. I've always been more comfortable in clothes that are smooth fitting than in ones with excess ease. That said, sitting down is a good thing. LOL - I'll sit down first and then analyze if there's anything that should be pinned out. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Delete
  9. What a fun garment you've made! I love the fabric combination, and the placement of the plaid is spot-on. The only part I don't care for is the buttons, but this is just a matter of personal taste. I would have used black, rather than bringing the pink into that part of the blouse. But it's not a big deal. This is a really cute blouse and I hope you enjoy wearing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pink buttons are definitely personal taste but here's something to try just to see what happens. Cover the pink up with small dots of black and look at how your eye moves differently. As is, the row of pink buttons is the focal point and holds the eye. With black buttons, the eye keeps popping back and forth from the pink on one side to the pink on the other side of the blouse and - in terms of dressing - takes attention away from the person wearing the garment whereas the row of pink buttons leads the eye up toward the face and focuses less attention on how loud the floral print is.

      Delete
  10. A winner in my books - and you must have some unusual cowboys over your way if this is 'cowboy-looking'. This combo of fabrics is very stylish and upmarket indeed - you had a great vision from the start. Personally, I prefer the checks as they are, I do think on the diagonal would be another feature to take away from the current look.
    I am a collar band person - but also not a button-up wearer. It does give a more finished look to a shirt, and the extra time is well worth it. And I usually do pop a button and button hole when the fabric is fine to medium weight.
    Around the hip area I do like my shirts to follow the shape of my poor old body, heading downwards in an elongated way - if I do ever decide to tuck them in, then less to tuck is preferred.
    My hat is off to you, whipping this shirt up, focusing on the finer fitting details, and all with a bug in your system....J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL - or I get to be an unusual cowboy ! ! !

      I debated the button hole and button on the collar band and may still add a small covered one just for the finished look. How nice to be stylish and up market. Thank you.

      I was out briefly for lunch with a friend and saw only one woman wearing a blouse. Now that I'm looking, I'll find out how popular they are... or aren't. Might need to wander around the mall and check it out.

      Apparently that one trip did me in. I'm now exhausted and heading back to the couch while I dream up my next project because having something to work on did make it easier.

      Delete
  11. I think the blouse is lovely and that the fit is probably just as it should be--after all a blouse is meant to be a bit, well, blouse-y, yes? -- not as strict as a shirt. I like the stand sans bttonhole in a blouse (again, as opposed to a shirt). The idea of the pink buttons as a little path to the face brought a smile-- Elle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting thought - do I prefer a blouse or a shirt fit? I know with pants I prefer a trouser style to a jeans one. Hmm... something else to ponder. Thanks.

      A pink path - fun!

      Delete
  12. You did a super job of print blocking, not easily achieved. It's a super looking blouse.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I SO love this blouse! What a fabulous way to mix prints!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I appreciate your enthusiasm. Thank you.

      Delete
  14. I like your choice of prints and details -- unexpected but they work! I hope you feel better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      I'm feeling quite a bit better today. Not perfect yet but definitely much improved.

      Delete

Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.