Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing


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Jasmine blouse: Un-anchored by last minute decisions

Pattern: Jasmine by Colette Patterns

Skills acquired:

  • Understitching

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‘Cuz the shirt has anchors on it…get it!!  With this project, I finish up the last of the fabric I bought in Scotland back in 2014.  This was a nice white cotton with cute little pink anchors on it and I believe I even got it at a discount (although still not cheap).

The blouse came together so easily.  I highly recommend this pattern, especially if you are a beginner.  A dressy looking blouse with no buttons?  No zipper? Whaat?!  But yes, because it is cut on the bias, you can pull it right over your head like any other shirt.  With no button/buttonhole matching, it makes construction a snap.  And you don’t need snaps!

When I first started on this top, I had cut all the pieces for version 2.  Since the fabric had anchors on it, I thought having a sailor look would be really cute.  I even found some really nice navy blue fabric that I had leftover from another project that seemed to work perfectly for the collar.   I liked the sleeves on this version better too.   When I started to get ready to sew, I stared at the pieces for a long time.  I couldn’t decide if I really liked the navy ties after all and worried it would end up being something I didn’t want to wear that often.  I began to imagine it as a disaster, which may seem a bit much, but there is nothing more heartbreaking than making something you dislike with fabric you fell in love with.  The more I looked at the two drawings on the cover, the more I thought the other bow was more versatile and would look nice under a nice cardigan for the winter months ahead.  I decided to switch to the longer tie version, made with the same material instead of the contrast.  Luckily most of the other pieces are the same and I had just enough anchor fabric left to cut this new bow out. I did, however, keep the sleeves from the original version.  I still liked them better and now I had sort of a hybrid between the two versions, which is kind of cool.

Familiar Tiesimg_4087

The ties on this shirt are constructed the way most are – two pieces are sewn with right sides facing and then the whole thing is turned inside out.  This tie was nice in that there was a larger section that is not sewn together at this stage, which made turning it inside out pretty simple.  It then gets sewn to the outside of the neckline and a facing is sewn over to finish this seam.  There is some hand stitching to tack down the facing which is not my favorite thing, but it’s not so bad.  I finished the facing edge by using my serger…yes, I know is the easy way out but, whatever.

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#understitch

Also, I think I have finally figured out the proper way to understitch.  I never really got this concept before, so I was just stitching things down whatever way I wanted.  But with this blouse, I read through the tutorial on the Colette website here, and took the time to do it correctly.  The trick to know is that you are actually opening the seam to stitch the seam allowance  to the inside facing – no stitching should show on the outside.  The tutorial explains it better than I ever could.

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Using this edge-stitch foot helps to keep the stitching on the correct side when understitching the seam allowance, which is underneath, to the facing.

Ain’t No Thangimg_4170

 

img_4095This top also features a loop to be sewn onto the front and I do admit having it there does make the tying the bow a bit easier and neater.  That is if I am doing it correctly.  I didn’t see instructions so I improvised at putting the bow loops through.  Sewing that tiny loop together and then having to turn it right-side out was a real project!  Luckily I have this pretty cool tool, called “that purple thang.”  It helped me push some of the material through and it was also a huge help in getting the corners neater on the ends of my tie.

 

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The loop sewn into the center of the blouse.

Off the Cuff

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At first glance, the directions for the cuff seems a little complicated.  But following them step by step, it actually was quite simple.  It helps that the directions are extremely well written and the drawings perfectly illustrate the steps.  It started with drawing where you need to stitch with a fabric pencil as shown above.  Getting that notch can be difficult to achieve when the cuff is flipped over to finish, but my purple thang helped with this as well.

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Land Ho!

This blouse was a pretty big hit with the unveiling on Facebook, so I’m quite happy with the result.  I’m amazed I can pull a non-knit top over my head so easily.  I highly recommend this pattern as a first entry into blouse making or anyone that just wants a woven top that comes together quickly and looks professional.

With a cardigan…

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From the back…

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From the side, showing off this nice bow…

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Holiday Fun

I really love it when me-made clothes have some extra fun.  Here I am wearing my plaid Dahlia dress at my company Christmas party.  It was at historic Fenway Park in Boston, so I got to meet Wally, the Red Sox mascot.

 

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Happy and plaid: the Dahlia dress

Pattern: Dahlia from Colette PatternsIMG_2585

New Skills Acquired:

  • Machine blind hem stitch

When I look at some of my projects from last year…

You Like Plaid

 

 

 

 

 

I do!  It may be a mini-obsession.  I do have some non-plaid projects in the works, but for now….

This dress has been sitting as a draft in blog forever.  I wanted to share this on The Monthly Stitch and even bumped it up in my project queue because the July theme was all about plaid. I rushed through all the hot sticky weather to try to finish this dress in time to post on the site and then…the blind hem stitch on my machine wasn’t working.  On July 28th.

Yeah I know I could have just hemmed it by hand, but I really wanted to try out a new technique.  And that was more important than trying to force a project into a theme.  It’s all about my learnings as a sewist, right?  (Back me up on this one)  So in the corner this dress went while I worked on other stuff, involving other non-blind hems.  I decided to pick this back up when my machine was properly repaired.  Welp, at least I can also get that button-hole stitch fixed too.

Clash of the Tartans

I bought this fairly light-weight tartan fabric when I was on vacation in Scotland last summer.  I had a picture in my head of the type of dress I wanted to make from it – something simple but also stylish that would really show off the plaid design.  The Dahlia dress seemed perfect – Continue reading