Frou-Frouing the Frou Frou
An outside shot! By the skin of our teeth, an outside shot! Talk about chasing the light. With minutes to spare, I leapt from my sewing machine and begged my boyfriend to take a couple of snaps. They’re not brilliant, but they’ll do. What a lovely change to have a background that isn’t a white wall.
So, this is my toile of the Pendrell blouse. I was sorely tempted to skip the toile and cut straight into the lawn cotton with the burnt out polka dot:
But I’d already emailed Handmade Jane for her thoughts on this make, as blogged about here. She’d made some adjustments to the Pendrell blouse and I knew in my heart that I should test the pattern too. I’d be gutted if this fabric was wasted.
Then I remembered some pink gingham that had been sitting in my stash box since last summer. I’d bought it from Walthamstow market, so I know I’d have spent £2 a metre maximum on it. Cheaper than calico! The decision had been made: pink gingham would be my test make. That decision was made on Friday night. Now it’s Sunday evening and I spent the weekend at a conference in Coventry. I think that tells you everything you need to know about the speed of this make.
Any other conclusions?
Narrow upper chest adjustment Seriously, I need to have these words tattooed across my forehead. I forget every single time, despite the fact that almost every make needs a narrow upper chest adjustment. I definitely need to pinch in the top of the princess seams to accommodate my personal body issues. The problem may not be entirely obvious in these photos, but that’s because I’m wearing a bra that was probably designed by a construction engineer on his day off.
Sizing I cut a size 10, which works well with a skirt but would be a bit too snug to go over jeans. So if I want a more roomy make, I need to take this into consideration.
Depth This is a long blouse. I’m going to take a good couple of inches off the bottom before hemming.
Bias Bindings Of Dreams Oh my goodness me. This pattern is worth buying if only for the genius instructions for the neck and arm bias bindings. The directions for these weren’t immediately clear to me, simply because they were so different to what I’ve done before. So I turned to the blog sewalong and this particular post that was a work of art in terms of simplicity and helpfulness. If only every pattern came with these online posts! Many tears would be saved in households around the world, I’m sure.
I’m a fan of sleeveless blouses as they sit so smoothly beneath cardigans, but I always find the facings a drag. Not any more! This is a technique that can be easily transferred to other makes. Thank you, Sewaholic. You’ve just made my life a lot easier.
French seams The good news is that almost every seam can have a French seam. Only the princess seams need pinking or overlocking.
Adaptability All the way through this test make I kept thinking, I can’t wait to see how this works in different fabrics. This blouse is highly adaptable because even a slightly alternative weight fabric will perform differently with those bias frills. And oh, what frills! I kept trilling, ‘They’re so cute!’ They’re born to be made in gingham. Look!
You tell me. What’s not to like?
Those armholes, by the way, fit perfectly.
Before I leave the subject of gingham: several Sewists bought some beeooootiful blue and white gingham when we had our Walthamstow Shopping Frenzy. Far be it from me to influence final makes, but I just want to put it out there: Pendrell + Gingham = Match Made In Heaven. That’s all I’m saying.
So you’ve been warned. The pattern has been tested and I’m ready to go a bit Pendrell mad. You may be seeing various versions over the coming weeks. If there’s one teeny-tiny drawback to this pattern, it’s that I can’t see those frills sitting easily under cardigans which makes this a definite late Spring/Summer make. But if that’s the worst I have to say – that I’m guaranteed a summer of frilly festivity – that’s no bad thing. Result!