The Blouse of Many Gathers

I don’t really have all that much to say about this one. Except maybe that sometimes sewing directions MAKE NO SENSE to me.

The problem in this case being that I don’t know what I’m doing, not necessarily that the directions are poorly written.

I used New Look 6107 which I bought specifically because it reminded me of a blouse that Annie may have worn on Community (my new fave!). The fabric is some Jolie Fleur shirting polyester I bought from (who, in spite of a rocky start, has become my primary fabric resource. Where are these thrift stores and estate sales you people find fabric at? You’d think there might be one or two in Atlanta. . . ). When I first pulled the fabric out of the box, I was not convinced that I liked it. But, after staring at it on my shelf for weeks and weeks, it grew on me. Then after buying the New Look pattern, I joined the two in happy sewing matrimony.

I did make a muslin–and thank goodness I did. I cut the bodice pieces way small. I don’t know what I was thinking. So, a few quick adjustments (I’m really getting the hang of fitting the top half of me–hurray!), and I was on my way.

Jolie Fleur shirting

This pattern included several things I’d never done before–the tie around the neck, cuffs, underlap, button loops. The tie was only an issue because I raised the point of the neckline two inches and forgot to compensate for that on the tie markings. It was fairly easily fixed. I caught the problem during the pinning stage.

The cuffs were a problem because I did not understand the directions. Apparently, I have trouble figuring out what to do if I don’t understand why I’m doing it. I figured out what was going on with the first cuff–the second went along much more smoothly.

The button loops sent me into major fits until I learned two things: 1. What exactly a scant quarter inch was. 2. The Bobby Pin method (totally blew my mind–so easy! And freaking brilliant!).

Oh hey–do you want to know something I learned all on my own?? Okay. I had to do some gathering at the yoke and on the sleeves. I’ve understood that for gathering, you want to use a long straight stitch. And that works on lots of fabrics. But, with this stuff that is so thin and so easily frayed, I found that using a long stitch wasn’t gathering at all–it just pulled through. The solution? Use a smaller stitch. It also makes the gathers smaller, which I actually prefer. Less bulky, more dainty. I’m sure this is something that everyone else already knew, but. . . whatevs, I’m still proud of myself. Gold star for me!

Of course, you can’t really tell I had a revelation on the terrible sleeve gathers. I had some issues, as usual, with getting the gathers spread evenly. Is there a trick to this? Is this something I will just learn through experience? So irritating.

I’m not used to wearing puffed sleeves (just had an Anne moment!) because most RTW clothes do not comfortably accommodate my rather broad shoulders. So when I tried on the blouse after inserting the sleeves, I felt like I was wearing epaulets. But, my mom assured me that they weren’t “weird” or “too poofy.” Now, I’ve gotten used to it (wearing the blouse right now!) and I’m enjoying that the sleeves don’t pull on my arms when I move.

Also, I covered some buttons. They are, unfortunately, hard to see with the pattern. But I still like them.

Altogether, loving the blouse!

Really–a dress form would make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.

Ready for more separates! Especially excited about 1. Being almost done with my silk noil skirt that I didn’t think I could pull off and 2. Just ordered Colette’s new Iris Shorts pattern!

My fuchsia shorts are HAPPENING!!!


Panther helped.
(I don’t really like the name Panther, but it’s what my mom started calling her when she was still a stray kitten and the name stuck. We considered changing it to “Pumpkin”–you know, because she’s so Halloweeny–but I don’t think that’s going to happen. If it were up to me, I’d name her Minerva.


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