…a Simplicity Blouse!
Hello lovely readers! Hope everyone’s keeping busy at home and no-one’s gone stir crazy yet! I’ve been keeping busy adding wools to the website for you all to order, so that’s keeping me occupied! I also found out yesterday that I’m going to be starting my new job as a children’s nurse at our local hospital in the next couple of weeks! Don’t you worry though, I’ll still be posting your weekly fix of Chloé Makes! Got to do something on my days off haven’t I?!
Today’s make is a bit of a longer one, just like my coat, as I’ve ventured into making something from a more complex pattern again. This time it’s Simplicity 8602, a gorgeous top with frill sleeves. Meaning I would have to work on gathering and using an interfacing, two things I haven’t done before, but I was up for the challenge.
I made this over 3 days, but the bulk of it was made on the second day, so someone with a bit more experience could probably whip this up in a day or so, but I reckon I could have made it over a weekend. The pattern was easy to follow and really customisable!
So, to begin with, I worked out what piece I would need for my bust size, there are 4 different front panel pieces to give more customisable sizing. You just need to measure your bust and the top part of your bust (it’s explained better in the instructions, I promise!), you then work out the difference between them and it tells you which piece to use, simple!
I cut out all the pieces according to the top I’d be making and the size of fabric I had, making sure to stick to the pattern. I used a lovely striped denim chambray we have on the roll in the shop and online, so obviously wanted to keep the lines going the same way! As usual I had help from my trusty assistant!
I didn’t take too many pictures of the process, as it’s pretty self-explanatory, but something I learnt how to do was definitely photo worthy. One of the first steps was to add the darts in to the front panel, again, something I hadn’t done before. So, to ensure I went in a straight line, I added some tacks along from point to point. I also noticed a great tip on the pattern instructions that said not to back-stitch at the point but to keep the thread long. Then to tie the ends together to give a sharp point that doesn’t bubble, and it turned out quite well!
After sewing the back panels together and to the front at the shoulder seams it was time to create the facing layer, and with that, to use the interfacing. Now, I did a practice piece first on a scrap bit of material to figure out which was the right side of the fusible interfacing (note to self: it’s the bit with glue bobbles on). It worked great and I went on to iron the garment pieces. At this point, the interfacing wasn’t sticking to the material and instead just sticking to the iron in that annoying static-y way. In confusion, I called Sarah (to the rescue) who was just as confused as I was, the iron was on the hottest it could go, why wasn’t it working?! She suggested to just tack it together and carry on, so that’s what I did.
I went on to sew the pieces together and at this point, realised that the extension lead I had been using wasn’t working, I must have blown the fuse with the iron! So when I was trying to fuse the pieces together, turns out I’d been using an off iron! Doh! It all made sense! So with a new extension lead, usually used for power tools, I finally used the iron to fuse it all together!
Carrying on with sewing the pieces was a lot more uneventful and I finally had the neck fusing sewn together and attached to the front and back pieces. This is probably what took me the longest as I wanted to make sure I got it right, but for a first attempt, I think it went pretty well.
Slight side note, I was working outside for these longest days of sewing and it was quite nice to be able to sit in the sun and sew rather than being stuck inside! Welcome to my outdoor office! This is eventually going to be turned into a conservatory rather than a lockable outdoor area for cats and is where I am going to be sewing most of the time!
Continuing on, I’d added the elastic for the loop in a previous step and next attached the button, I’d been given a nice choice by the sheer amount of buttons we have in the shop and went for this bobble button with a small gold trim and I think it goes quite nicely with the blue and white.
Moving on to the sleeves, more specifically, the sleeve ruffles. Gathering is something else I hadn’t done before and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do with a long stitch on the machine and little pulls here and there!
Adding the ruffles to the sleeves was made a lot easier by the long stitches put along the top of the sleeve by the shoulder join and I made quick work of this. Finally adding a small hem around the bottom and I was done! I immediately went upstairs to put an outfit together and show my mum and dad, who’d been eagerly following my progress! This inspired an impromptu photoshoot with my dad being photographer and me attempting to direct whilst modelling…we somehow managed to come up with a decent shot! I’ve paired it with some simple black leggings, white sandals, sunglasses and some statement earrings to finish it all off, and it’s definitely an outfit I’m going to wear again!
Let me know what you think in the comments, stay safe, stay at home, and keep sending us your quarantine makes, it might make the spotlight summary at the end of the week!