The Made Up initiative seems to be going from strength to strength. The good news is that at the time of writing, the total has just skipped past the £2,000 mark, which is almost double the initial target! Hoorah! The slightly less good news (for me, anyway) is that we've also skipped past the halfway point to the deadline. Hmmm, I think a bit of a progress report is needed….
Considering I have to fit my sewing in between fairy cake making and regular trips to the swimming baths (shudder), I don't think I'm doing too badly. Everything will rev into gear soon when the boys go back to school, but in the meantime, there's plenty of prep work to be getting on with.
The one major change I've had to make to my plans is that my 1930's blouse will now be sleeveless. This is partly down to me stubbornly insisting to myself that one metre was enough fabric and partly because of the fabric itself. It was only after washing and ironing the fabric (more on that in a minute) that I realised there was a sizeable chunk missing from one corner - a 7" x 5" rectangle to be precise. It took me ages to work out what this was, then I remembered - a couple of hours before I'd actually purchased the fabric I'd asked for a sample, and the hole was the sample I'd been given. I wouldn't have minded if I'd been given a bit more to play with, but my fabric still only just measured a metre in total. In fairness, this may not have been intentional, but all the same, it was bloody annoying and meant I had to omit the sleeves.
Whinging aside, the pattern pieces have been cut from the fabric, so the fun's about to begin! I got to use my razor sharp serrated edge scissors for the first time and they were fab, they made the cutting so much easier, thanks Alex for the recommendation! I had to make a couple of tiny adjustments to the yoke and to the front and back bodice pieces to allow for lack of sleeves. I used this tutorial, the same one I used to convert my Granville to a sleeveless version, and it worked fine. I also decreased the back width slightly, which is an adjustment I made on my other versions.
As I didn't want to take any chances with silk crepe de chine i.e ruin it in the wash before I'd even taken the scissors to it, I did a bit of research on how to launder silk. This involved asking my regular laundering guru - my mum, Lily. Lily's advice was to gently wash the fabric in lukewarm water with a very mild soap, no rubbing or squeezing, just swirl it around. Then rinse it well, smooth it out and lay it between a towel to dry flat. This is more or less the same advice given on the Til the Sun Goes Down website, so I knew it was sound. It washed beautifully, but it was a bugger to get the creases out of. I pressed the fabric whilst it was still damp, but they were still pretty stubborn. It's definitely NOT going to be an easy care garment!
I've now underlined the front, back and yoke pieces with white silk cotton to brighten the colour and make the silk less transparent. Even with the underlining, the fabric has still retained its silky hand and slight sheen, which is encouraging. My next step is to interface the under collar and front button band with silk organza to add a bit of crispness. I'm using silk thread to underline and to sew the actual blouse, along with a sharp needle and Entomology pins. If you're interested, my silk thread came from here, which offers a much wider choice of colours than Gutermann silk thread. I also have some vintage silk thread in exactly the right colour (see photo above), but sadly, not enough. Aren't the old thread bobbins so much more attractive than the modern ones?!
I've given myself until the end of this week to finish all the underlining and interfacing. Then all I have to do is sew the blouse together, which should be straight forward (nervous laugh). How are you getting on with your Made Up pledges? Started? Finished? Still thinking about it?! x