Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Not sew easy


I had hoped to show you my new blouse today. The “only takes one metre easy blouse”.

Not quite so easy!

The first thing that went wrong was entirely my own fault. I was a bit too relaxed and traced the size 18 darts instead of the size 8 ones on the front sections. And I didn’t realise until I had cut them. So my bust darts are somewhere under my arms. Perfect for saggy boobage I suppose. I won’t know whether or not my salvaging tweaks have worked until I sew the side seams and try it on.

But the main difficulty was the collar. Beware the two-piece collar, girls! You have to fit the collar onto the collar band - TWICE because obviously it has two layers. And then sew the layers together, and then attach it to the neck of the blouse, and THEN attach a piece of home-made bias binding to cover the raw edges on the inside neck, stitching it in such a way that you are left with only one visible line of stitching. Yeah, right! Even with top quality Liberty cotton I was getting puckers of fabric round every curved seam – and there are lots of curved seams! I unpicked every seam at least twice. I sewed them re-a-ll-y slowly. And still they puckered. And there was no way that bias binding was going to be topstitched exactly “in the ditch” of the collar attachment!

So I have stopped for a little rest. The next steps are the side seams (will it fit?) inserting the sleeves (puckered gathered sleeve tops anyone?) and the buttonholes (ah yes!).

7 comments:

Helen said...

I'm sorry if I'm teaching my granny how to suck eggs, but have you checked the tension on your sewing machine? And maybe set the sewing machine to a slightly larger stitch. That's the most likely cause of puckering on the seams. And are you tacking the seams after you pin them? If you tack them with smaller-than-usual stitches that should help.

RooKnits said...

My pattern arrived on Saturday. So I sense lots of swearing next week!

zombiecazz said...

Argh I couldn't even imagine doing that kind of sewing. It's looking really good though.

Twelfthknit said...

ouch.
India

Segwyne said...

Shirts I have made. Instead of machine stitching in the ditch, I have found it easiest (i.e. least frustrating) to hand stitch it. You don't have to use a running stitch, but rather try one for blind stitching. Hmm, 15 years of sewing and I never bothered to learn the proper names of all the stitches.

As for the shoulders, machine baste for a few inches on either side of the center of the cap. Use a nice wide stitch. Leave nice long threads at the end and don't backstitch at either end of this basting. When you pin it in place, gently tug on the end threads to adjust the ease so it will fit. The idea is to not quite gather it and to make it look flat. It is tricky, so take it slowly and check it frequently to make sure it isn't puckering. If it does pucker, you needn't take out the whole seam, just a short distance on either side of the pucker. Then stretch the body side of the fabric a bit until the sleeve cap lies flat. When you are done stitching it together, you can remove the easing stitches.

If I can help any more, feel free to drop me a line at segwynne@verizon.net. Good luck.

Segwyne said...

http://www.fiber-images.com/Free_Things/Reference_Charts/free_reference_charts_handsewing_stitches.html
Here is a list of various stitches and their names. I use the blind hem stitch. Others there would work well, too.

Twelfthknit said...

I'm just about to make this blouse up. I *hate* the fact that there is no seam allowance on the pattern pieces -what's that about. And I am not looking forward to the collar. Admittedly, now that I have downloaded the English instructions it might be a bit easier....