Friday, 5 July 2013

A brace of beautiful blouses

Pattern: New Look 6808

Size: 12

Fabric: Version 1 - Fruit print from Minerva Crafts

Another pattern that has been hanging around for ages and I'm so glad I finally made one! I don't have a lot of luck with tops. You may not realise this, as I'm sneaky and don't blog my failures! I've tried a Banksia, a Mathilde, a Lydia and none of them have worked. The Banksia was sickeningly twee, Mathilde didn't suit my body shape, Lydia was just god awful (see below!). Whilst a good stack of jersey tees is always good, it's nice to have some more special tops too.

Version 1 (I expect it's the first of many) is some super-cute fruit print. Big Minx and I can't decide if they're apples or strawberries so have settled on a hybrid middle ground fruit - appleberry or strapple. I used up some spare bits for the contrast collar and the bow. For some bizarre reason I chose a 12 even though I'm pretty much always a 14 in sewing patterns. It fit fine unless I wanted to sit or breathe so I ended up removing the front vertical darts and this made it just right. The darts do add beautiful shaping, but the sides are curved enough that it still has a nice, feminine, outline. I did a lapped zip which was a bit tricksy, but provides a nice finish.

The pattern was easy to follow, except for I couldn't work out what they wanted me to do after the collar was attached to the body. It looked like the edges were just left raw but that would have been rather messy so I added some bias binding. As my fabric is a bit see-through, I used French seams for a neat finish and they work well, except for being a little bulky at the sleeve seam so I may rethink that for next time. I'm working on a button-back option because the six options provided with the pattern just weren't quite enough for me. ;-)

The second top is, believe it or not, a Salme Lydia blouse. This is what it's supposed to look like.

It nearly ended up burning in a bin somewhere. I won't rant on for too long about how awful this pattern is, but in a nutshell the instructions are really scant and even as someone who kind of knows what they're doing now, I struggled. I eventually deciphered the bit about creating the pleats but when I'd finished I discovered they pulled the shoulders in so it bunched up weirdly. So those hours of ironing were basically a waste! I actually feel bitter I spent money on the pattern as it's lazily produced. I loved the fabric so much (voile! the holy grail of fabrics!) that I couldn't bear to waste it, so I unpicked the pleats and have turned it in to the most boring of all tops! Almost a perfect square with arms.  Hopefully it looks casual chic and the fun fabric carries it! You decide.

I must give a shout-out to my wonderful photographer, Caroline. She doesn't usually do portrait photography so I'm very lucky to have been able to persuade her on a shoot. On a gloomy early evening as well! She's a saint and the shoot was so much fun. Apologies to the local council for standing in their flowerbeds, but I promise we were very careful.

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