I recently joined the Monthly stitch a blog where loads of sewers can post there makes. Each month there is a new category and sewers should make something that fits in with that category. This is a great way to focus all those ideas for new sewing projects and decide which one to make first based on what fits best into the category! This month the theme is Check it out!
I don’t own many checked items of clothing not because I don’t like checks but just that I have never really seen anything recently in the shops that I love. In fact I think the only thing I do own is a top in a tartan-like print and I love it so I thought this challenge would be a great opportunity to add some more checked fabrics to my wardrobe. Since I began sewing I have bought very few ready-to-wear garments and have begun to notice that a lot of my clothes are beginning to look quite tired.
In a couple of months time I will be starting an internship and will need some smarter clothes so its about time I started boosting the smarter end of my wardrobe and so I decided to combine the these two ideas of smart clothes and checked fabric and kill 2 birds with one stone by making a gingham blouse!
I wasn’t too sure that gingham was a good choice to begin with as it always reminds me of school dresses and I really wanted to avoid looking like I had bought my blouse from the back-to-school section of the supermarket when I start the internship in September! However, I spotted this particular gingham in black and decided that it was too nice to pass up – and also there are not many school dresses in black are there?
I used the Fashion with fabrics book again and loved the pattern hack for a sheer sleeveless blouse. Although I don’t feel quite comfortable sewing with sheer fabric yet, and I wanted to use my gingham, so I decided to give it a try! I think it worked out quite well, the only thing that i think would have worked better with a sheer fabric would be the gathering at the shoulder as this is a bit to rigid and so kind of puffs out a bit rather than falling nicely. However, this is a minor detail and still looks fine.
I cut out a size 8 from pattern as this was the closest to my measurements. I could probably have done with a little smaller everywhere except the bust but I made a toile from some cheap cotton I had lying around and it didn’t seem too bad.
Gathering at shoulder on my toile
Perhaps the way the gathering was falling on the toile should have been a bit of a give-away that cotton was not the perfect fabric for this make.
The sewing went fairly smoothly and the body of the blouse made up really quickly (French seams and all!) Next step was to tackle all the new to me parts.
First the bias binding for the arm holes. This seemed to go really well and without too many issues.
Arm holes finished with bias binding
Next, the collar. This is where it got more tricky. I fused the interfacing to the top collar piece. Sewed this to the bottom collar piece and then turned them the right way an and topstitched around the edge. So far, so good. Next, I had to attach the collar to the body of the blouse. To my horror the collar piece was about 2 inches longer than the neckline of the blouse. Not to be phased by this I thought I would simply cut a section out from the centre back of the collar and stitch it together again. Simple! What could possibly go wrong? Well, in my haste to put my genius to work I went and stitched it back together again wonky – so now the collar has a step at the back of it. Lucky for me I have long hair so nobody will ever see my mistake!
Step in the back of the collar
The final new-to-me step was to create buttonholes and attach the buttons. Not to be tricked into making another mistake I practiced first! Here is my first attempt at a buttonhole ever:
My first ever buttonhole!
Not to bad, even if I do say myself!
Next on went the buttons, no problems there.
And ta-dah! My blouse was complete! For something that had so many steps in it that I would have to try for the first time I am really pleased with how it turned out, even the collar with its none-matching abck seam looks fine from the front.
Pattern: Sleeveless Sheer blouse hack from The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric
Fabric: Mini check gingham cotton poplin
Notions: Black Gütermann thread, lightweight iron-on interfacing, Red Wooden Round Buttons (1.5cm)
I think it will become a wardrobe staple. I am really pleased I went for red buttons as I think they make it more fun. Black buttons would have just made it an ordinary everyday blouse, not one that is special to me! It is also, the first step towards my new work-wear wardrobe for when I start my internship in September!