Sunday, January 31, 2010

A sheer adventure

This blue blouse is a ‘first draft’ of Burda pattern ... Unlike a muslin, which is for working out pattern tweaks and is never intended to be worn outside the fitting room, when I make a first draft I use nice but inexpensive material, in the hope of ending up with a wearable garment, but prepared to bin it if it’s a disaster.
The fabric is a remnant of cornflower blue ‘soufflé georgette’ that I bought on sale at Cleggs specifically for this project. I decided to do a first draft for a few reasons. My old machine doesn’t like lightweight fabrics, so I haven’t really worked in sheers or light fabrics before, and the pattern calls for silk or cotton batiste, which I understand to be quite fine. Also I was not convinced that this shape was going to be flattering on me. Third, I am still figuring out my Burda size. According to my measurements I fall between sizes 46 and 48. In Burda world that puts me into the ‘plus’ size range; however, since I am smaller on top than on bottom, with a little tweaking I think I can make some of the size 46 tops work for me. This top, and my brown kit cardigan jacket, are both size 46, and are both loose and unstructured, which I think is why they work. For this one, I added about 1.5 cm at the entre fold front and back, resulting I suppose ion an additional 6 cm all around, as font and back were cut on the fold. (it was unclear from the instructions if I was supposed to add width here, but I could tell from the tissue fit that it would be too snug without it).
The pattern is quite simple and went together fairly easily. I trialled a few flashy finishing stitches on the cabbage, but given how light the fabric is, they didn’t really take, and rather than spend sewing time faffing about with tension and whatnot, I mostly stuck with straight and zig-zag stitches. I zig-zagged the seams to prevent fraying, then pressed them to the back as much as possible. The straight stitching caused a gathering effect, most noticeable on the shoulder/top of arms seams. I am not sure if that is supposed to happen, or typically happens, but the effect is quite nice.
I left it too late to research how to mitre the neck band, and consequently had applied it incorrectly,. The finish is no as neat as it could have been, but is probably only noticeable to me (and now to my readers).

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