Thursday, January 20, 2011

New blouse and no thread issues

I sanded down the throat plate, held my breath and started sewing. It worked! I made a complete blouse without the thread breaking once. I feel a little embarrassed, having ranted so long about it being the needle hitting the bobbin case. I even heard back from Singer, who wrote that they thought it might be a timing issue. But that was after I finished the blouse, so I'm off to the races, I suppose.
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I've had this pattern for a little while but never made it. It's cute. I rummaged through my stash and hauled out this white stuff that I had bought at Darrell's years ago. It is a weave but it feels a little like a knit (it is textured), and it has a fine silver thread that you can glimpse occasionally. It also ravels quite a bit and is one of those fabrics for which you keep your lint brush always at the ready on the ironing board.
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I think it might have been a remnant because it was only through clever cutting that I managed to get short sleeves out of the piece I had.
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I decided on French seams for the shoulders and side seams, to keep the ravelly ends in. Around the armholes, I trimmed one side (the shirt side) and folded the sleeve-side-seam allowance over to contain the ravelly bits and then sewed that down with a zigzag stitch. Yes, it would be easier if I had a serger! But I don't.
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The front bands are sewn across the bottom, right sides together, to make a nice square finish. But instead of hand sewing the band to the wrong or inside, I sewed it first by machine, wrong side to right side, then I sewed the square bottom, right sides together, THEN I folded it over to the RIGHT side of the blouse (the outside) and sewed it by machine with a topstitch.
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It's a bit faster that way -- no hand sewing -- and it gives it a professional or maybe commercial look. Anyway, I like it and since I learned to do this with all the jean jacket bands I have sewed, I now do it with all the other bands I sew.
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I also used the same technique on the bands that hem the slightly puffy sleeves.
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Here is the puffy part of the short sleeve being sewn to the band and you can see how much the fabric ravels. The green thread is there to gather up the puffy part.
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I have yet to go get buttons. This is a single button I have in my button box. It has no mates -- too bad because it is just like what I think would go best with this blouse. The silver thread makes the blouse sparkle a tiny bit but silver buttons would be way over the top. This one is a clear plastic button with a flower motif embossed on it and so it "sparkles" just a little bit. Plus, it is a bit bigger around than most of the shirt buttons I normally use and I think that would suit this fabric, since it is textured and not sleek.
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Here is the blouse, awaiting my trip to the button store. Cute!

18 comments:

Branka said...

Beautiful blouse, well done!

Bethany said...

That really is beautiful!!
I'm jealous of your clothes-making skills (I'm terrible at it :(

Debbie Cook said...

Beautiful! I love that fabric too.

Sandy said...

The blouse is beautiful!

I remembered your post about sharp-edged throat plates when I was trying to make button holes with a gadget. The gagdet is great and includes a plate in case your feed dogs don't go down (mine don't). The thread broke on the test button hole and I looked at the plate. Sure enough, jagged edges! Sanded them down and 50 button holes later no problems!

JuliaR said...

Thanks all!
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practise, practise, practise!
So glad that I could help someone else with broken thread issues.

Right now, I've been upstairs pawing through my stash and looking at patterns. I'm thinking about a piece of striped polyester for another blouse. But I have so much stuff!

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

Love your blouse. It looks so pretty and fresh.

Mary Beth said...

Gorgeous combo of pattern, fabric, and neat construction. Very beautiful!

sewistafashionista said...

Boy, that is some ravely stuff. I saw it going over the throat plate in your one picture. The fabric is lovely, and your blouse came out perfect.

Audrey said...

Neat fabric, though it looks like it might have been a pain to sew. It made up into a beautiful blouse

JuliaR said...

Thanks again! It was surprisingly NOT that hard to sew with, even with the ravellies. It wasn't slippery which saved me from a lot of misery. I have been looking at some patterns from the 80s and I loved them so, but they are dated. Except for this one Vogue shirt pattern which I may use for the next one... we shall see.

gwensews said...

That's a totally cute blouse! I love the textured fabric.

Mae Create said...

The blouse is beautiful and I agree with the clear buttons. Good info about the throat plate. Thank you.

Kobra said...

Cute blouse :) I like the fabric a lot! Greetings from Norway! -Kristi

JuliaR said...

Thanks all! I made the buttonholes last night and will be sewing the buttons on today. I'll try to remember to post a photo of that, so you can see which buttons I got.

Barb said...

Beautiful job....thanks for the idea on using a zipper foot to top stitch close to a seam never thought of that!

JanSews said...

Very good job. Fabric looks very fine. That is a good tip about folding facings out instead of hand sewing inside. I've used it, also if you sew the collar and/or collar stand the reverse of what most instruction sheets tell you it saves that hand stitching and is finished off like most commercially made blouses and shirts.

JanSews said...

Very good job. Fabric looks very fine. That is a good tip about folding facings out instead of hand sewing inside. I've used it, also if you sew the collar and/or collar stand the reverse of what most instruction sheets tell you it saves that hand stitching and is finished off like most commercially made blouses and shirts.

Terri said...

Love that pattern. I have it sitting here and have not used it yet. Am now inspired to try it.