SEWN: Not such a picnic (Class Picnic Blouse)

Saturday, 31 March 2012

So I thankfully, I must say, just finished this project. I very rarely (if ever) not enjoy sewing, and especially not when its an Oliver + S offering. But... this one got me down and I was sooooo glad to finish it!

Here M's new blouse, in a lovely vintage print cotton voile.

I had been really looking forward to this project. I had purchased the fabric when M wasn't even a year old and have been waiting for the perfect shirt/top/blouse pattern to come along. Enter the Oliver and S Class Picnic Blouse.

"So, the problem?" I hear you ask. Look I can't quite put my finger on it. The instructions are clear, there isn't anything at all technically difficult... I just kept making a mess of it.

The gathering stitch for the front and back panels left gaping needle holes (very visible to the naked eye) when I removed the stitches. And, yes, I do believe that I used the correct needle size. I just hope that they may shrink back a little when I wash the top next time. 

Next up - my front yoke where it is edge-stitched down is just... ick. I just couldn't get the stitching straight and I've edge-stitched a thousand times. I also managed to not draw the front yoke piece down far enough to cover the stitches from attaching the yoke facing. I could have gone back and fixed it (maybe), but I just got irritated. Not sure you can see it here...

You can kind of see it on the far left of the front yoke seam, but when I look closely myself I realise I'm being a bit hard on myself. Sigh... maybe it was just a mood thing.

I continued on and the thing just seamed (get it, get it) to take forever. I could tell that it was theoretically supposed to be a "quick make", but man this thing would not quit.

Then I got to sewing the deep (1.5 inch) hems on the sleeves. Have you ever tried to sew sleeve hems on teeny, tiny clothes? I have and I've never had so much trouble. I could not orient the very deep hem for sewing so that I didn't catch the other side. Mind you I persevered amongst much swearing and got it done.

Then I worked out my problem... sewing at night! My mind seems to switch off as night falls, always has, but when you are a busy woman you sew when you can, and when I can is at night. I looked at it again in the lovely light of day today and saw my error immediately. It was so stupid as to be... stupid.

But in the end I couldn't wait to see the back of this project.

I also feel vaguely cheated. I have to say firstly that I love Oliver and S patterns. They are beautifully designed garments for little people with excellent instructions and generally quite full of beautiful details. This one though is just... a... blouse. Almost a peasant-type blouse. It's just kind of... blah. And those gorgeous details I've come to know and love from O+S seem absent. M has a new top, but it doesn't feel very special. 

To add insult to injury M bugged me throughout its construction to try it on, try it on, but when I actually finished it she refused to let it near her. Spooky... maybe it really does have bad vibes.

BUT I am excited to share my next project with you - a complete success in my humble opinion. I'll be back soon to share.

New York, New York...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Oh my, I love New York. Well I love the idea of NY, haven't actually been there, but plan on it one day!

But what I do know and love is Tessuti's New York Cape!!! For all you Tessuti followers out there, the New York Cape pattern has just been re-released. Right in time for the coming southern hemisphere winter! And guess what landed in my post box today??


My very own copy, hot off the presses. The joy, the excitement! And it comes all tied up with ribbon like a lovely gift just for me.

And a personal card from Colette...

I had been hoping and praying this pattern would be re-released this year since I missed out on both sold-out print runs from last winter. I happened to send an e-mail to Tessuti early this week and caught them just as they had loaded it to their website and the lovely Colette sent me the link. Purchased yesterday, received today. Now that's service. So I suggest you get in quick, if last year's demand is anything to go by. Now be warned, this is by no means a cheap purchase at $35 (AUD), and my little fingers did hover just above the "purchase" button for quite a bit longer than normal, but I just couldn't resist.

You can see Julia Bobbin's version here and Tessuti's here. There are others out there to see, but these are two of my faves. Sigh. Now to find a fabric and get started... this sewing obsession hobby is going to send me broke.

I have another completed project to share too, I just want to re-photograph it. Check out this vintage Simplicity 7381 pattern. I really love the late 1960's and 1970's shapes. They work really well on my body shape and they are so comfortable to wear.

In particular I love this view...

... and recently made it in a gorgeous colourful, lightweight cotton sateen. Those of you following my projects will know of my obsession love of sateen. I really don't mean to gravitate to it constantly but I do love its drape, body and hand feel.

All will be revealed... here's a sneak peak of the fabric

SEWN: My Colette Sorbetto

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I've wondered a few times over making a Colette Sorbetto top. It is such a reviewed, made and talked about item of clothing in sewing and crafting blogland I wondered if it hadn't just been "done like a dinner".

But... I found myself checking out images on a Google search and started to get inspired. I also had a lovely 1.3m piece of cotton lawn that was begging to be made up. In all honesty it has been waiting, partially prepped, for its originally planned incarnation as a Lisette Market Blouse. I literally had that pattern prepped and ready to go and upon laying it out on the fabric I realised that my fabric was so not square and no matter what I did to try to resolve it, I could not for the life of me line up the pattern square when folded. It drove me to tears/madness It had me a little riled up and I eventually gave up. And whilst I am really attracted to the Market Blouse in theory I was a little concerned about its reality for me. I rarely wear short sleeves... I have these weird skinny/muscly arms and they just look like little sticks when hanging outside short sleeves. And I NEVER wear button down shirts (even if the Market Blouse involves a faux button placket thingy and doesn't actually open at the front). I love them on other people, just not me.

So the Sorbetto it was. And it's a free download, woot, woot, sa-weet! Thanks Colette Patterns, you rock. Did I mention it's FREE???

And here she is!

My lovely Sorbetto
I love this fabric, and for some reason I got the pattern to square for this simple top. Hard to make out the detail in this shot, but it's a lovely orange colour with a navy print. The print include little Japanese characters and shapes reminiscent of petals. It kind of has an edgy feel that I was really attracted to.

I really love it with my favourite pair of jeans of all time. I will note that it is designed quite short and the length pictured is after adding about 1.5 inches extra to the bottom of the pattern and doing a very tiny hem (I didn't have enough fabric for adding anything more). I am not particularly tall, perhaps just over average at 5'6"/167cm, but with a proportionately long body. I will make it again, but next time add a good 3 inches in total to the length.

And I happen to have the perfect beads to go with it, when I feel like accessorising.

A lovely back view
It fits quite nicely, and I made no alterations (other than length) to the size 2. The only other thing I'd like to try and change next time is the size of the armhole. A few reviewers have noted it's a snug fit under the arm and I tend to agree. It does make me feel a bit cramped in that area which is a shame as it's such a light and breezy feel to the rest of the garment.

I also did French seams for the first time ever and I'm hooked! They make for such a neat professional finish.

There are directions associated with the pattern for making your own bias tape, so that you have matching bindings. But given my recent sew-jo issues I really needed a quick win, so I cheated and bought what turned out to be a perfectly matching ready made bias-binding. It meant I didn't have to spend hours making up the binding. But ick... why can't you buy anything but poly cotton bias binding. It's so scratchy and seems such a shame to add to a garment made out of this lovely cotton.

But in the end I really love this top. I see myself making this in a block colour next time so that the pleat at the front "pops" a bit more. And maybe some bows or buttons. Stay tuned!
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