Monday, September 19, 2016

Megan Nielsen Dove Blouse

I was very excited to get an email a while back about being a pattern tester for a Megan Nielsen pattern. I have admired her patterns for a long time. The pattern I was sent was the Dove blouse. I really like this pattern, and I keep thinking of new variations of it that I could make.

It was a little bright out when I was taking these! Haha
I chose this rayon challis (no longer available) from to use for my first version of this top. I wanted to just make the pattern as-is to get a good feel for it. I tend to alter patterns (and recipes) the first time I use them, but I wanted to give this a fair shot at simply being itself. My initial impression was that this was a very versatile pattern that could be altered in a number of ways, but it's very wearable in its original incarnation, too. It's been a great casual-but-not-too-casual shirt. I work part-time, have a toddler, and like to look a little put together but in an easy, quick way. This fits my wardrobe needs perfectly.

The flared and bell sleeves are not my style, but the rest of the blouse definitely is. My biggest issue with this was my fabric choice; I've never sewn with challis before. I definitely stretched out that V neckline. I also had some issues with the hem, mainly due to my decision to just start sewing without going out to buy matching thread (I know) and then the fact that I misread the seam allowance and made the whole shirt shorter than intended. I need to re-sew the hem before it falls out completely. I didn't have any issues with the pattern pieces fitting together correctly or even any fit issues. Overall, it's a top that I really like. It's very comfortable and the style is easy to wear. I'm planning to make another one in a linen that I have, I just need to verify that I have enough of it first! It may end up being sleeveless, and/or colorblocked.

What I learned: The pattern itself was straightforward and fitting-wise, this was the easiest pattern I've sewn. I did learn a lot about using lightweight, easily stretched out fabrics. Stay-stitching was useless for me here; I can never get the tension quite right on my machine and I couldn't get it low enough to stop the fabric from gathering while trying to sew a line of stitches across a single layer of fabric. And as mentioned, I ended up stretching the neckline out. My project after this one was also rayon, although it was more of a gauze (post to come soon!), and I was able to keep it from having the same issues I had here by using fusible interfacing on the areas that I would have otherwise staystitched. In the future I might also try using a wash-away stabilizer, the type used for embroidery, on any areas that need extra stabilizing while sewing that I don't want to risk changing the drape of, like a center front seam. Oh, and just buy the matching thread! I do like the clean look of no visible topstitching, but my hemming job does not meet the qualifications for something that will last more than a few wears and washes.

Oh the waves on that neckline...

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