But on to the blouse! I bought this chambray two years ago I think? I made this dress from it, wore it once or twice because I was on vacation and had nothing else to wear, and put it away - it was WAY too big, and even though I'd made a muslin, I apparently didn't know what I was looking for in that muslin and felt like I was wearing a maid's uniform or something. I had plans to just take it in, but those changed. It's currently sitting on a shelf in my office half-sewn and altered like nobody's business.
All that to say, I had a big chunk of fabric left over that I really liked and wanted to make something with but wasn't sure what. When the Laurel pattern came out, I decided I really wanted to enter the contest and came up with all sorts of ideas. I decided to actually use fabric that I already owned though (stashbusting!) and made the blouse version in the longest length I could with the fabric I had.
Since the chambray has very little drape but a lot of body, it works decently as a shift. I think I'd choose something with more drape next time because my hips are a size up from my waist and that extra width kind of stands away from my body more than I'd like. This fabric also frays like crazy, so I went ahead and put bias binding on all the seams except the armscye seams, but I think I need to do some extra finishing on those, too. The bias binding came from a vintage pillowcase I thrifted a while back; I love the little bit of pretty floral that I get to see on the inside of the shirt. This is probably the best-detailed garment I've made.
Since it's such a simple shape and straightforward to sew, I didn't rush myself through like I tend to do on certain parts. I set in the sleeves by hand, because I was having trouble getting the chambray to ease in correctly by machine. I had altered the shoulder seams after cutting everything out so they didn't fit together the way they should have anyways.
I also added this detachable Peter Pan collar that I made from a vintage handkerchief. It was in good shape except on the edges, where there was some significant fraying. I made a template and cut the collar from the handkerchief and silk organza, then sewed them together with a little French seam. I've worn it once, and it flips up while I'm walking because I just pinned it into the shoulder seams. It's not really my style anyways, I wasn't sure if Peter Pan collars were "me" and I've decided they're not.
Fabric: Indigo chambray (cotton/poly blend) from the Lisette Spring 2011 fabric collection
Pattern Changes: Made it a little longer (as long as my fabric allowed, which was only a couple of inches). Took in the center back, more so at the top tapering off around the middle. Let out the shoulder seam at an angle - 5/8" at neckline to only about 1/4" at armscye. Rough SBA by cutting out top half smaller size than usual and grading out at waist and hips.
New &/or Improved Techniques: Bias binding inside seams. I didn't do a double-fold, the sheeting is so tightly woven that the bias isn't going to fray any time soon. I just folded it over the seams and stitched a zig-zag down either the center or overlapping the tape's edge. Drafted a Peter Pan collar.
What I Like: The overall look and comfort of this top. It doesn't feel huge, but it's roomy enough that I could eat a big dinner in it!
What I'd Change: Not much. I'd love to make it again in a different fabric, play around with the pattern, etc. I'll make sure to cut out the correctly fitted pattern pieces next time, I didn't make a muslin for this so I altered as I went. The neckline is a little higher than I'd like.Side note: I missed the deadline by about 30 minutes for the contest - boo to my bad time management! But I stashbusted AND got a cute top, so that's good enough. And there were a ton of gorgeous entries in there!
|It pulls a little around the armscyes|
|The back (and my photobomber)|
|You can see how the back fit isn't great below the waist|
|Played around with belting it, but the chambray gets deep wrinkles instead of gathering nicely at the belt-line|