Hello friends! Here’s my entry for the first round of sewing in the Super Online Sewing Match II. Our patterns and gift certificates for fabric arrived on June 24 and we had 7 days to make our version of the Sutton Blouse by Kelli of True Bias.
I immediately went to Hart Fabrics online store to shop for just the right fabric. I fell in love with this bright turquoise, red-orange, yellow, and black rayon print. It’s buttery soft to touch, feels light and breezy, and sews up beautifully. Needless to say, I was very happy with it. Hart Fabrics is such a great store and seems to be well-curated. I appreciated the fact that they will send you matching thread. That’s a helpful service for me, since I live 20 miles from the nearest fabric store.
The fabric itself spoke to me, and said, “lengthen the Sutton Blouse so you can enjoy wearing it alone and not share the stage with anything else.” It’s been hotter than H around here so less clothing is more comfortable….. I made the shift.
I cut and sewed a muslin first, and knew right away what modifications I needed to make. For me, the neckline needed to be a little larger. I also chose to make a small row of gathers, instead of the pleat in the back. I thought it would look better with the vertical stripes.
One of the challenges I encountered was pattern placement on the fabric. I had to think through this very carefully, because of the center front seam. I wanted the design to be centered and equal on both sides. As you can see, time to think it through and measure more than once, resulted in a red stripe right down the middle that was just as wide as the other red stripes. I’m pleased with that!
I loved all of the French seaming! I hardly ever do that, because I usually just serge all inside seams, but it feels and looks so couture. I didn’t finish the side seams as Kelli instructs, but just serged the raw edges and left it at that. When I made the muslin, I found that turning the seam allowance under and stitching it down, resulted in added bulk under the arms, and didn’t press flat along the curve.
I prefer to topstitch side slits and the hem in one continuous stitch instead of crossing over the perpendicular stitches and using backstitching. I start at center back and go all the way around, up and down the slits, and back along the hem meeting up with where I began.
When I tried the shift on, the length was just about right, but if I turned it up an inch it would be too short. I elected to use bias tape to face the hem. I cut a 1 1/2 inch bias strip from the left over fabric, ran it through the little bias tape maker, and pressed it as it came out. I unfolded one side, and sewed it to the bottom of the dress. I made the little corners on the slits, by sewing the bias tape right sides together with the dress, clipped the corners and turned them out. From that point, it was an easy finish, just press and topstitch. Since you can see the underside of the back, the diagonal print of the bias tape adds a touch of interest.
I thought this was an excellent first challenge. It was exciting to work through the pattern first as a muslin and then put all my ideas into the final version. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
My youngest daughter happened to be here for the afternoon and she happily modeled for me. She looks so lovely and did such a nice job that I think I’ll probably gift her the dress. I’m having lots of fun and I hope the other contestants are too! Thank you, Sew Mama Sew for the opportunity! :)