Wednesday, August 04, 2010

FO: Sencha in Tana Lawn

Having cut and prepped my Sencha blouse on holiday, I was determined to sew it up on my first day back. If only as an escape from the interminable rows of my Percy shawl!

I can see why so many sewists have struggled with the fit of this blouse. When laid out flat, it looks, frankly, HUGE! I was tempted to cut a size zero, if only for the comic value of telling my daughter I was a potential supermodel. But commonsense and a measuring tape prevailed, and I cut a size 6 (US sizes) on the principal that it was more likely to fit... even if it looked more like a size 22!

What an interesting light switch!
The Tana Lawn was a dream to work with. Seriously, it didn't misbehave at all - no fraying or thread-snagging whatsoever. FL thought it was silk when he saw it. It has the fine weave of a voile, but a certain amount of body too - it doesn't go all limp and droopy as you work with it.
I really like this blouse! I used some vintage buttons from granny's button box on the back. They are brassy metal with a mother-of-pearl inlay. I only had four of these, so finished the lower section with hidden snap fasteners. They are below the waistline so nobody will be any the wiser as I definitely intend to wear this top tucked in...

...because this top has some very... pointy tucks, as in: they point. They aim downwards from the neck with such a powerful outward trajectory that when I look down, I feel like my boobs are being thrust sideways and down, while the waist tucks give a contrasting upwards poof of fabric. The net result is that I feel like the star in a Carry On film. Yes, for the first time in my life I am channelling Barbara Windsor. I am really not accustomed to drawing so much attention to my bosoms! Tucking it in keeps the fabric under sufficient control. Leaving it loose is... not good! Possibly I need to reconsider my upholstery. A bra with rather more pushed-togetherness might be a good idea.
A heavy necklace helps too. I am wearing my granny's double string of glass beads today, and they pin the fabric down beautifully!

I am surprised to find I like the extended-shoulder sleeve. This was my main reservation about the pattern when I first saw it: I thought it would make me look broad-shouldered and hit my arms at the chubby point. In fact, the opposite is true: it is very flattering. It is almost sleeveless yet it covers the underarm area - fantastic! Cool without being over-revealing! Result!

Sencha blouse pattern from Colette, won from Karen in a blog comment competition. Thanks again Karen!
1.4 metres of Liberty Tana Lawn, in the Carline print, won on eeebaaay for £12. This was exactly the right amount of fabric for a size 6 (and would probably be enough for several bigger sizes too).
Vintage buttons.
What did I think of the pattern?
Very clear diagrams, though some of the written instructions were a bit opaque - so I just used my experience and did what I expected to do. For example, the description of Understitching confused me. But maybe it's just that the terms used were US-friendly rather than English..?
The method shown for the back opening produced a very neat finish - full marks for that!
Oh - and the sleeve with its invisible Catchstitching (no proper explanation given in the pattern, but that's what the web is for!) gave a thoroughly professional and vintage-looking hem - very nice!
I was worried that the neck would come up too high, but it seems to sit lower than the neckline I've seen other sewing bloggers produce. I have no explanation for this. Maybe I inadvertently took a bigger seam allowance?
Would I make it again?
Yes, I most definitely would. In a super-drapey voile or perhaps a slinky satin! Maybe in a plain colour next time, or at least a smaller print.


feresaknit said...

You cut out a sewing pattern on holiday! I once cut one out on the office floor but never on my hols!

Oh, nice blouse by the way! ;D

RooKnits said...

love it.

Sandy said...

I had a hard time deciding between the loveliness of your garden over the loveliness of you in that new blouse! So accomplished and congrats for finishing it off so well.

Clare said...

this looks fab! when you posted the pic of the dress in Leeds, it reminded me of the red carline - not at all surprised you chose this, it's gorgeous. I'm a huge fan of tana lawn and there are some good bargains to be had on eeeeeeeeeeebaaaaaaaaaaaay too. Seeing this has made me want to give sencha another go.

Steven L. Ritter said...

Not much for me to say about sewing..You look very nice... Remember that I'm reading your blog even if I don't comment. Keep up the good work!!!

Clare said...

It looks great, especially with the trousers! The liberty lawn is great isn't it, I've scored some great remnants (including that exact print) in the January sales in the past, but you got a real bargain!

Steph said...

This is an amazing top, the prettiest Sencha I've seen.