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.


  1. Oh Dear!

    That happened to me with the Music Box pattern.
    The easiest scissor rating and both times I sewed it,I mucked it up!
    Night time sewing is deadly.

    I think it is lovely and that fabric is very sweet.

  2. Wow, I could have written almost the same words about the dress I just finished! Had made the pattern once before and it was very fiddly but it turned out o.k. Had to make a second one to match for my sisters other niece and everything that could go wrong , did. Could not get things to line up , could not even get a darn seam straight. It just went from bad to worse, almost threw it out the window ,lol. Well I finally got it done , calling it the 20 hour dress project{should have taken maybe 3] The pattern although cute is going to remain in my least favorites. So I know how you feel and yes some was done at nite too and that I learned can be a bad thing ! Your fabric is beautiful and it does look lovely!


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