Sunday, March 14, 2010

Death of the Brown Blouse

It's official. Thank you, dear readers, my Burda blouse has officially achieved Wadder status. Why I ever went through with this crazy idea (after I bought a brown, fancy, lightweight turtleneck the same color for $6 on a clearance rack at Penney's), I'll never know. Truly, it should be chalked up to a brain injury.

I'm even embarrassed to post the ugly wadder, but here it is. I mean, have you ever seen something so..."ugly"? It's not the style because I love the Burda BWOF pattern. Just haven't found the perfect fabric for this top. The first was too stiff and this had the drape, but the crinkle cotton is a pain to work with, and the color is just so not me. The fabric had a fade line flaw too. I tried to accent the brown with blue thread and purchased matching blue buttons, but is just wasn't working. Anyway, the pattern will get made one day in the perfect fabric for the style.

On to new things. I took my friend, Stacey, out to lunch the other day, and we stopped at Walmart to pick up some odds and ends. Now, here's the bad news. Our Walmart finally got hit with "changes" in the fabric department. It's downsized with only one wall of fabric. This Walmart actually had a decent amount of beautiful cottons. It's a shame, a crying shame. Customers are mad, the employees are upset, but at least Stacey was able to pick out two colored cotton prints for some lightweight head wraps. She said the chemo fleece hats are now too hot since the weather is starting to warm up. I told her to pick out two cottons she liked, and I bought them and whipped them up into scarves today.

This gave me the opportunity to use my narrow hem foot. The last time I used this foot was maybe 7 years ago? I made a top for DD#1 (now 18) when she was in 5th grade, and I used the foot for the sleeves only to be put back in my foot box until today. It was perfect for the head scarves. It took a little practice again to get the feeding right, into what I call "the chute", but it's such an excellent little foot that gives beautiful results.

Here are the scarves in the cotton prints she picked:

And here's a closeup of that lovely, rolled hem. So neat and tidy!

Now I'm currently working on a custom order for 20 sports headbands made out of 2 layers of 100 weight Polarfleece for a softball team. Everything was cut today, so I'm just waiting for the list with the embroidery info. My machine will be smokin' this week!

BTW, have you seen Alexandra's dress? (I have to change my text colors because if you click on the words "Alexandra's dress" it will take you to her blog post.) It totally rocks! I'm really going to have to bite the bullet and buy this pattern this Spring.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Trouble with my Burda blouse

I have to de-stress before bedtime. I'm having trouble with a Burda blouse from a Burda WOF, and it has nothing to do with sewing it. My sewing mojo for this particular project is rapidly disappearing so I'm in a hurry to get it done.

Why? Because this is the second time I've picked an inappropriate fabric for it. The first was 100% cotton that is simply too crisp and doesn't have nice enough drape. The second and current is a brown, crinkle cotton with drape, but it is simply darn ugly and has a certain degree of "stretch" because of the vertical crinkles. A few of the mojo loss reasons are: My shoulder seams are falling off in a noticeable way because of the crinkle "stretch", the fabric is a "What was I thinking of???" type of piece when I bought it, and the fabric itself had a fade line repeat which annoyed the heck out of me and couldn't be avoided on the back piece.

A few days ago, I was seriously thinking of tossing it. Then I said no, now I'm thinking of tossing it again. Life is too short to play around with ugly fabric. Perhaps save the buttons and move on. This is NOT an enjoyable project.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Back to McCalls 4922

Last October I wrote a post on how I was going to make McCalls 4922. And here it is, about 4 1/2 months later, and I'm finally talking about the finished garment. I'm so woefully behind on pattern reviews! Here's the pattern:

It's a perfect pattern for a princess-seamed blouse that works for our school's uniform policy. I made the shirt to fit me and DD#2. She liked this blouse, but decided she didn't want it was white and she didn't want a white blouse. This just adds to my frustration of sewing for her. I still have to review this blouse and a Burda blouse which I also made for her but ended up in my closet. She's always nit-picky about things.

Her Burda complaint was valid because the sleeves were too short. It was the first time I ever used Burda WOF and pretty much made it as-is to check the sizing. A little snug in my bust (but not hers), and the sleeves were definitely too short. A little snug in the upper back, needed a forward shoulder and sleeve adjustment, you know, the same things needed in a Big 4 pattern for me. And the cotton shirting fabric for the Burda style was simply too stiff. The fabric used for it has to have more drape.

Anyway...back to McCall's 4922. Here is how it ended up:

I really like this blouse so I'm glad she didn't like the color white :) . I used a 10 at the neck and shoulders and morphed to the 14 from upper bust down. I love the blended sizes because I end up not having to do an FBA. Sometimes I might need to create an armhole dart if there's not enough shaping and transfer it elsewhere, but not so with this pattern.

The styling change I made on the pattern was to create bust gathers near the bust area of the buttoned front placket shown below:

Here is the styling change on the blouse closeup below:

DD#2 and I saw this detailing in lots of RTW blouses and she liked this. So I slashed/spread the CF pattern piece to create the gathers. I think maybe an 1/2" more of gathers would be even nicer. We'll see the next time I make this blouse. My alterations to this pattern included:

  1. 1/4" narrow shoulder

  2. 1/2" added sleeve length

  3. 1/2" added hem length

  4. removed 1/4" front sleeve ease

Really, very minor alterations, essentially just tweaks. The fit of this blouse is really superb, my only wishes for this blouse was it could be longer and made out of a fabric with more drape. The 100% cotton shirting fabric is fine, but it wrinkles like crazy and is kind of stiff. My wardrobe really needs a long white blouse that can be belted. It was made to the hem length of the school's policy because it was supposed to be for DD#2, and I prefer curved hemlines because I think it's more flattering on my figure. I love, love, LOVE the sleeve options: 3/4 length or full length. I prefer 3/4 ones because I'm a SAHM and working at the kitchen sink often leaves me with wet sleeve hems with long sleeves.

Here's the back. The wrinkles are because I'm twisting around to take the pic. It is actually very smooth with no swayback "puddling".

Here's a pic that show a different perspective and proportion:

In the next few days I'll try to review this blouse at PR. But my assessment of this pattern is that it is a winner, a must-have pattern. It's so versatile and different fabrics will really change the look of the blouse.