Friday, November 8, 2013

Butterick 5889

This blouse started out as a "Brown Bag Challenge" from my local sewing guild chapter.  What's a Brown Bag Challenge you ask? Well, I'll tell you! 

At one of our monthly meetings, there were a bunch of brown bags in the middle of the table - each sealed so you can't see the contents.  Each member selects a bag and the goal is to make something (anything!) from the treasure you found in the bag.  We did have some trading going on this year and I ended up with this fabric.  You had two months to work on your project and then it was show time!

My brown bag fabric, pattern and matching linen

I did drag my feet a bit with this challenge.  The main reason was because I couldn't decide on the pattern.  I knew I wanted a blouse out of the fabric and I already had the red linen in my stash that matched perfectly for a skirt. So after about a month of putting it off, I finally decided Butterick 5889 would be the lucky winner.

Needless to say, I didn't like mine at all!
After sewing the whole thing together, I hate it!  This had to be one of the worst patterns ever!  I cut out a size extra small and it was huge!!!  And I mean huge!  I had to take in the center front 4 inches each side (for a total of eight inches) just in the front.  If I didn't the neckline would have hit somewhere near my bra band in the front.  I know it's meant to be oversized, but this is ridiculous!  I can still pinch in way more than 5 inches each side. 

Also, I lengthened the whole blouse by 4 inches. Thank goodness I did that, or it would have been way, way to short. 

I decided to cut the facings out of the linen skirt fabric and turn them to the front to add a little interest.  In turning them, I wanted a bit of the sheer fabric to show so it would look like mini piping along the edge - I think that turned out ok.  Also, I like the green buttons on the red linen down the front.  Hang on, did I just say I liked something about this top?

This view doesn't look so bad, but I still don't like it
After making the sleeve placket and sewing on the bands, they were too tight to close!  I almost gave up at this point.  I contemplated cutting the sleeves just above the plackets and doing something else, but I decided after all that work of sewing them on, I wasn't about to cut them off!  Instead, I decided to sew the two ends of the bands together by hand and embellish with some more of those green buttons!  Now, it's a design feature!

Rescued the sleeve bands!
What I couldn't understand is when I wore this to work (on the show and tell day for our meeting), everyone loved it!  I even had one person even say it's the best thing they have ever seen that I've made.  After I told them I didn't like it and probably wouldn't wear it again, they couldn't understand why I didn't like it.  Of course I explained why and everything that is wrong with it, but they didn't care - they thought it looked great. 

And as the day went on, more and more compliments were coming my way. I was starting to feel a bit ill!  What were they thinking! I just can't understand what everyone likes about it.  Honestly, this blouse has been worn once and is now in the Charity Shop pile. 

Another view - not any better in this view

Then, that evening, it was time for show and tell at the meeting.  And again, everyone loved it!  I must be going crazy!  I told of the horrible pattern, the fitting issues, the compliments I received at work, etc., and people still liked it.  I just don't get it!  Me and this blouse were never meant to be.  

Am I trying to do a backbend or something in this pic?

Until next time,
Happy Sewing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Decades of Style - Siren Sundress

This is the 1948 Siren Sundress by the Decades of Style independent pattern company.  I made this from a wonderful linen that I picked up awhile ago (can't remember where!), but I love the color.  The dress has a mock wrap front with long ties that you can wear two different ways in the back, and then wrap around to the front and around to the back again for a bow - they are very long ties!  When selecting your fabric, be aware that the wrong side of the fabric will show on the ties. 

Front view
The back of the dress wraps around and is held together with a hook and eye.  There is a waist stay made with grograin ribbon that is very functional.  It was a windy day when I took these pictures so you can see below how the back flap can fly open unexpectedly!

Back view with flap flying open
Another view of the back - without the flap flying open!  The ties seem to work better for me if they are twisted at the center back rather than just lapping over each other. I've tried it both ways, but this way feels more secure.

Another back view

I had some major issues with this pattern.  I made a muslin first to check for fit and it was terrible!  I ended up completely repositioning the front and back panels - the sides I raised about an inch and then tapered to the original center front.  I added bust cups and ended up sewing the front panels together to stop them gapping open. 
Side front
Will I make this pattern again - not sure.  Maybe if I find the right material again, but it's not high on my list at the moment.

Happy Sewing!