I finished my third sewalong today with the completion of the Pendrell blouse – yes! This was a great sewalong, run by Tasia at Sewaholic: fast paced, good, clear photos and tutorials and lots of great advice. There’s also a Sewtionary on Tasia’s blog where she unravels the mysteries of various tricky sewing techniques by means of step-by-step tutorials. It’s really useful stuff, if like me, you get a blank head full of cotton wool every single time a pattern calls for under stitching a facing to a neckline. I don’t know what’s wrong with me - I’ve done it countless times but still there’s an absolute vacuum in my brain every time it comes up!
And so, on to the Pendrell … a little peach of a pattern, well designed and clear and a pleasure to follow and use (in the same way the Collette Patterns are). This would be a perfect first project for a beginner as it’s easy to sew together and there are no closures (zips, buttons etc), just a neckline bound with stretchy bias binding. It’s a loose, drapey fit but is given shape by the cunning use of princess seams right down the front and back of the blouse. I chose view B, but omitted the seam ruffle as too many ruffles make me feel like Dog Toby from Punch and Judy. As I’ve mentioned before, Sewaholic patterns are designed for the pear-shaped figure. I’m curvy, but not pear-shaped so I sewed a bigger size than usual to accommodate by bust and waist and decreased the hip on the pattern to bring it more in proportion. I still had to take in the side seams at the bust and waist quite a bit, so I think for my next version I’ll try the next size down.
The fabric was one of the Innocent Crush voiles from Anna Maria Horner. There was a lot of excitement from other bloggers over the summer about them and I can totally see what all the fuss was about. Ooh, what a lovely, buttery (Anna Maria Horner's word, not mine) feel this fabric has, and it’s so drapey. Because the Pendrell is cut quite long, it’s perfect for tucking in.
|Ooh, lovely trousers, where did you get them?...|
As an experiment, I thought I’d try on my Sencha blouse and tuck it into my new 1940’s strides as the Pendrell looked so flattering. Crikey, what a difference in the feel and look of the fabric. In my naivety as a rookie seamstress, I used a medium weight quilting cotton for the Sencha. Having now sewn with voile, the quilting cotton feels like it’s been in a bath of starch for a week. It's so stiff, what was I thinking?! I still like it and will wear it again, but I’m afraid it will be forever afflicted with bad, stiff fabric syndrome.
This is a great, versatile blouse which I'm sure I'll wear a lot over the coming months. As well as teaming with my fine slacks, it also looks good untucked with jeans.
|Casual, jeans wearing girl|
I've already planned my next version....
So, I’m now in the unusual position of only participating in one sewalong - Casey’s Swing Dress. I’m planning to sew up my muslin tomorrow, but her post on how to sew up the complicated, gathered shoulder seam look terrifying, so maybe it’s a good thing I’ve only got that to concentrate on!
It hasn’t all been dressmaking though; I’ve got some exciting craft news which I’ll let you know about in the next post. Have a good Thursday everybody. x