Sunday, July 30, 2006

15-plus days and counting

Holy cow! I never take this long to finish sewing projects. (And no, I'm still not done.) Chalk it up to other obligations and not much time spent at the sewing machine for the last couple of weeks.

Picking up where I last left you (on the edge of your seats, I know), I added more width at the biceps to my sleeve pattern, cut two new sleeves, ripped one sleeve out of the muslin, and sewed one new one in. Success. I will finish this muslin to be wearable because as I look at it, it only needs the other sleeve, hems and buttons. It would be silly to just toss a perfectly wearable blouse. I may keep it but more likely I'll donate it. But I won't finish it until after I finish the final version. I'm bored with it. I've been looking at it on my dressform for more than two weeks!

This afternoon, I spent a couple of hours adjusting the front upper and middle bodice pieces. At first, I thought the solution would be to add a bit to the bottom of the upper piece at the underbust area and scoop out a corresponding bit from the middle and so I did that. Then I pulled out my good fabric and starting laying the pattern pieces on it for cutting. I actually cut out the back upper bodice piece and then I started second-guessing my alterations. I'm glad I did because I don't think they would've worked. By adding and then scooping, I decided I was essentially making no adjustment! Duh.

So I pinned the pattern pieces together, draped them on me and started fiddling and figuring out. I knew I needed more length over the girls to get that empire seam a bit lower. If I slashed too high, the neckline would be too low. If I slashed too low, the dart and seam angle would go wonky. What I ended up with was a slash that added about 3/4" near the center front but tapered to zero at the sideseam so I wouldn't screw up the length there. Doing this, however, added 3/4" to the upper empire seamline and so the adjoining piece had to be adjusted so they would fit together. I slashed that adjoining piece vertically, starting at the underbust curve, spread it 3/4" and tapered to zero at the bottom. I didn't want to spread the entire piece evenly outward because its bottom seam has to join up with the "peplum-y" piece below it and I didn't need any more width across the waist/hips than what I'd already adjusted for earlier. With the second series of adjustments done, I trued up my seamlines and finished cutting out. I'll detail these adjustments in more details (pics) later, if/when I ever finish this darn blouse.

This is the fabric I'm using. It's a medium-weight linen. I still have lots of summer to go here in Florida even if the calendar says otherwise and so autumn sewing isn't even on the horizon yet. We tend to dress tropical here in Florida long after autumn officially rolls in.

So far, I've sewn the darts and topstitched, sewn the upper bodice to the middle, overlocked and topstitched that seam, and sewn the shoulder seams together for a quick try-on. I think it's going to work. And the topstitching looks a lot better on the solid fabric.

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