Thursday, 11 June 2015

Make Do and Mend - from Hubby's Shirt to My Blouse

 I have several of Hubby's shirts in my stash cupboard.  For one reason or another he has not work the for years.  This one is a Ben Sherman shirt made of beautiful fabric.  Too good to waste.

I bought two beautiful pieces of fabric in Paris and do not want to cut into them until I am sure that the style and fit are exactly what I want, so I consider this a toile which I can also wear.  I'm pleased with the result and will now make it up in white linen without the front opening, but with two patch pockets.

This is the fabric up close.  You can see why I love it.

The first step was the hardest.  I had to steal myself to cut into the shirt.
Collar off  Sleeves off. 

Laying out the pieces and deciding how to use them.

I decided to use the sleeve hems rather than unpick them and then hem them again.

It's hard to see it, but I used the buttons and buttonholes for the front of my shirt. (Why re-invent the wheel?)

I stitched the sleeves using French seams to avoid a messy finish at the bottom.
You can see the gentle gathering at the head of the sleeves.  Two rows of stitching ensure that the sleeves will go into the armholes evenly.

My friend, Sue, modelling the shirt for me. She preferred it worn like a short sleeved jacket.

A close up of Sue wearing the blouse.  I nearly gave it to her.

Sue show the blouse buttoned up.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Made in a Morning

A simple top made out of piece of batik in my stash.
I have been using some of my stash to try out some patterns. I bought some relatively expensive fabric in Paris a few weeks ago and I want to make two tops.  Instead of making toiles then I decided to make some wearable tops and if I liked them enough, I would make them again out of the better fabric. This one will be very useful in warm weather, but I don't think I like the shape well enough to make it out of the French fabric.

While I was making it, I thought I could also do a tutorial on a couple of 'tricky' techniques.
The back view.
How to face a neckline.

The finish of your garment can make all the difference between it looking home-made or professional.  My mother sewed beautifully (better than I do) and she was very particular about every stage of her work.  I was always proud to wear something she made and I would like to think that I am living up to her standards.

Cut out your facing and iron on interfacing.

Use a biro and a tape measure or ruler to mark the seamline.  This will make it much easier to stitch.

Stitch along the marks pivoting carefully at the point.

Trim the seams to voice bulk.

Carefully cut a notch at the centre of the V.

Clip the fabric around the curves.  This is a very important step to ensure the facing lies flat.

Trim the seam allowances at the shoulder seams.

Press and edge stitch facing to avoid 'rolling'. This entails stitching through the facings only.

Turn over and stitch through shoulder seams. This will prevent facing flapping and showing.  It eliminated the need for hemming which can spoil the look of the top.

Inside view of facing.

Trying on the top.  Photo courtesy of Hubby.

Attempting a 'selfie'.