Market Blouse and a muslin

We went to Ikea a while ago to get a few things and while we were there, I saw the loveliest blue fabric with red polka dots. I got 1.5m of it for €8.99 and resolved to make up my pattern for the Market Blouse. Let me tell you this: don’t ever cut out a pattern when you’re feeling pessimistic. I cut out the largest size when really, I should have cut out the smallest. Big difference.

Still, it came out very pretty. My mum tried it on before I sewed the side seams and we reckon it will fit her fine, thankfully. I like the detail of the collar with the placket. It was quite straight forward to do.

Where I had trouble were the sleeves. They were to be gathered both at the cuff and at the sleeve cap. I’ve done gathers before but these were impossible. My sanity wasn’t aided by the fact that I kept sewing the wrong seam allowance and had to re-sew one of the cuffs four times. I got tucks a-plenty and nothing I did could avoid them.

I at least managed to make both sleeves look similar. In hindsight, I should have hand-basted the heck out of them. I’m not sure why I didn’t. It gets under my skin to finish off a project that’s not perfect but sometimes I have to concede. On the upside, I got a dry-run at the project and am currently sewing it in a different fabric (this one!) in my size.

I went back to Ikea on Thursday for all the things we forgot the previous time and I was surprised and saddened to see that they didn’t have any more of the same fabric. That said, it wasn’t amazing fabric to sew with and seems intent to wrinkle by itself, no matter how much I press it. The pattern, on the other hand, was very clear and straight forward to put together.

I have been slowly working away on a bigger project too: a blouse. I find buying commercial blouses very dissatisfying because my shape doesn’t fit the standard size – I have narrow shoulders and big boobs for my height so blouses either fit my shoulders and gape at the front, or they fit at the front but have baggy shoulders. Since I’ve never sewn a blouse before, I picked Amy Butler’s Liverpool pattern. Her patterns are clear with a good level of detail and I’ve never had problems getting pieces to fit together. I have some lovely light, navy gingham that I got at Murphy Sheehy’s but I didn’t want to ruin it by making all my mistakes on it, so I’m making a muslin. It was definitely the right decision.

I’m happy to say that so far, it seems to fit exactly. The collar stand (the bit between the collar and the body of the shirt) didn’t fit perfectly. It sticks out by about half a centimetre at each end. This is irritating but after some thought, I figure that this is because I need to ease my well-interfaced collar stand into my non-interfaced shirt body and some hand-basting probably wouldn’t go amiss. I have already set in one sleeve with no problems and hope to finish off the sleeves this weekend. It’s a slow process but there are many little details that I am not familiar with so I want to take my time and learn it properly.

This is a lot of sewing but fear not, when gathers don’t go your way, knitting is my only solace. I have returned with a vengeance to my second Heather Hoodie. I am almost finished – just in time to start some Christmas knitting!

3 thoughts on “Market Blouse and a muslin

  1. Lovely looking market blouse. Every cloud has a silver lining – your mum gets a fab new blouse and you get to make one in another fabulous fabric.

    With all your recent sewing exploits you have reminded me of all the sewing I used to do before the good fabric shops in Dublin shut down!

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