Someone asked me recently if I ever have sewing disasters. ‘Hell, yeah!’ is the short response. The longer response involves me spending hours of my life sewing a skirt and blouse to prove on this blog that disasters are all par for the course. What type of martyr am I?!!!
Okay, not quite disasters – but certainly disappointments. The skirt’s fine – I know I’ll get some wear of it going into the office. But the fabric proved disappointing. It’s polyester, rather than wool, which means I can chuck it in the washing machine. But… Well, you all know how fond I’ve become of wool. If you want to make a similair skirt in better fabric, I used the pattern pieces from my Gertie Bombshell Dress. (It’s a Burda pattern: Burda 5/2011 Bustier dress.)
Sewing with tartan… If you suffer from any form of OCD, don’t touch tartan with a barge pole. You become absolutely obsessed with lining up all the stripes and squares. You can’t do this perfectly, it’s just impossible. As if to prove my point, one of the stripes on my skirt is interrupted by a waist dart so that I can see this displeasing lack of alignment every single time I pull the skirt on.
Moving on! The Taffy blouse. Ah, the Taffy blouse. Chewing on a mountain of toffee would have given me less head stress than the clenched jaws involved in this make. Now, don’t get me wrong. The basic shell is lovely and I would really like to use it in an adapted make. But if any of you are considering making your own bias binding for the FIVE METRES OF BINDING that are required on this make, I beg you to think again. I spent half a day making my own binding from the grey satin, and attaching the binding to the sleeves. What a big fat mess that was. Truly. See?
Shoddy binding with random badly placed seams!
I painstakingly undid all the binding and… No, I didn’t! What, are you crazy?! I lopped off my bound sleeve hems with some scissors and started again with some shop-bought contrast binding tape.
Look into my eyes. Buy bias binding. Do not make it. Buy bias binding. Do not make it…
If you are making the Taffy blouse I urge you not to skip the step of making notches. They are really important with something cut on the bias because bias cut seams will stretch like you wouldn’t believe and you’ll need to know what goes where.
I made a very quick toile of the main body to check fit. Mine is a size 6, which is spot on to my bust measurement (36″). It was nowhere near my waist measurement, which should have taken me up to a size 10, but I didn’t worry about that as I knew there’d be give in the bias. It fit absolutely fine, though is more suited to wear with skirts than over jeans.
I didn’t add the waist ties. I’m the type of person who walks out of public bathrooms with toilet roll stuck to the heel of her shoe. I knew that waist ties coming loose were begging for my blouse to start looking messy on me.
A lot of effort went into this make, we can agree. So it’s a shame I think it looks absolutely awful on me! Mutton dressed as lamb. My boyfriend agrees. But I can’t let this blouse go to waste, so if anyone wants it, I’m happy to give it away. It’s cut to a size 6 – 36″ chest, 28″ waist, 38″ hips. I’ll impose a deadline – say, Wednesday 1 February midnight GMT – but a deadline assumes anyone will want it. Don’t worry, I won’t be offended if you politely decline!
As I said earlier, I like the shell. But if I’m going to make this again, I definitely need to draft a new sleeve treatment. Good job I’m on a pattern making course, then! I’d also make the back neckline less scooped and widen the shoulders.
So, there we have it. I told my boyfriend I’d decided to give the blouse away.
‘Give it away?’ he asked in a surprised tone of voice. Pause. ‘You must really hate your readers.’
You’ve gotta laugh, or you’d cry!