Thursday, 26 September 2013

In Which I Am More Proud Of The Inside

also, In Which I Go Shopping For A Bin And Leave With Fabric.

So there I was, casually strolling around Dunelm Mill, looking to get a new bin for our kitchen, when I suddenly found myself in their haberdashery - how'd that happen! I know Dunelm Mill is a good place to get thread and needles and zips and the like, and I know they do curtain fabrics, but I'd never even thought about looking for dress making fabric there.

So of course I was thrown off guard by a rack of pretty poplins, and of course, in my weakened and confused state, I ended up buying two metres of a lovely yellow floral pattern! And it's only natural that I picked up a pack of buttons to go with it. I never did get that bin though.

This was another last minute addition to my holiday sewing schedule, and since I already had the Violet pattern from Colette I decided to make another. I figured the stark difference between the poplin and the chiffon in my first Violet would make them look distinct enough from each other, and not simply the same blouse twice. Then, of course, half way through making it, I decided to leave the sleeves off this version!

What can I say - we were in the middle of a rare, and unbearable, British heatwave and my brain was melting out my ears!

I just barely got all of the pieces cut out of the fabric. I cut the sleeves too because it wasn't until later I decided to go without. This fabric seemed very narrow, but at the time, I didn't think to check just how wide it was. Usually I can get a blouse out of 2 metres with some to spare, but not this time! It was a tight fit!

The poplin was obviously easier to work with than the chiffon, and didn't need a lining, so I had a slightly easier, smoother sewing experience this time. This was also my very first time using seam binding! I know, I'm like a savage! Usually, if a seam can't be frenched, which is my go to finish, I just whip out the trusty pinking shears. I'm a lazy sewist. Or at least I was. Because with this blouse, something clicked and I realised how satisfying it is to have a beautiful finish inside garments too! I used white cotton bias binding that I had lying around to finish the inside. Look!

It's so lovely and neat! Not a stray thread or fraying seam in sight! To say I'm proud of this is an understatement. When people complement me on this top, it's all I can do to stop myself ripping open the buttons and saying 'But look at the inside!'

I used the same white binding on the arm holes. At some point in the sewing, I thought, wouldn't it be lovely to have a sleeveless button up blouse, so I simply didn't add them. I used the instructions from the Hawthorn dress pattern for binding the arm holes, as it was something I'd never done before. It isn't the most perfect job, as there are a few puckers, but for a first attempt I think it went okay.

If had planned a sleeveless version ahead, I would have made the arm holes slightly smaller, as they gape a bit at the back. That's the only adjustment I'd make, though, as the shoulder length was pretty spot on out of the envelope.

This photo got turned randomly and I can't figure out how to rotate it back :( But you can see the print better here
The buttons aren't anything overly special. They have a nice concentric circle pattern and are cream, so don't overpower the blouse at all. I think my collar is a little bit off centre, but I don't mind. The blouse got a fair amount of wear this summer, and it goes with practically all of my handmade skirts which was an unexpected bonus! Teamed with a thick cardigan for autumn, I'm still wearing it and it is one of my favourite makes.

So how much did this impromptu make cost me?

Pattern: stash
Fabric: 2m at £5.99 p/m - £11.98
Thread, binding, interfacing: stash
Buttons: £3.00

Total: £14.98

This is another make that's comparable in cost to a similar RTW item, so I'm happy with the cost. Especially since I'm getting so much wear out of it. And as for the epiphany about seam finishes this blouse brought about, well that's invaluable!


  1. Yay for bias binding seam finishes! The blouse looks lovely.

  2. This is gorgeous! I love the insides! I've only ever seen curtain fabric in Dunelm, so I must remember to have another look next time I'm in.