I still haven't done any actual sewing as too much has been going on here, and this week is the week of the month I do all our company invoicing, so I have no free sewing time again. I did manage to cut out another McCalls M5661 in a hand-printed silk but haven't even got around to marking it up (mmm, my fave sewing bit...not!) I also ordered some black Linton Tweeds "fancy" fabric for a 1950's jacket/cape, together with the lining, and frog closures. I hope I don't mess it up, as it will be an expensive mistake!
I thought I would post a pic (sorry, it isn't a very good one) of the Vintage Vogue V2859 blouse I made a few weeks ago, over the Christmas hols. I made it up in a sort of shiny jacquard-type-thingy - with a bit of stretch horizontally - from Ditto fabrics. I don't know what the fibre is but it was perfect for the blouse, as it had a nice "wrong" side, it being the "right" side in negative, so it doesn't matter when the wrong side shows on the belt.
I don't usually make up muslins. I mean, I didn't, but now I do. And luckily I had changed my lazy ways before I made this blouse up, otherwise I think it would have been a disaster. Not from a fitting point of view...I mean from a technical point of view. Let's be honest here: the pattern was recommended for more advanced sewers and that isn't me!
There were a few things I came across for the first time, and the muslin really helped with that: a patch buttonhole, the narrow hem on the neckline which turns a sharp angle, all the teeny tiny narrow hems (see pics).
I didn't really find making this blouse terribly difficult once I understood the instructions, especially the bit where you are supposed to use a bit of scrap fabric to reinforce the corners at the neckline and to carry the narrow hem around that corner. I still don't know if I did exactly the right thing there. Putting the little patch at the corner and turning inwards was no problem, but when it came to hemming/finishing it on the corner, well I just did it the only way I could, and it seems to look okay (in one of the photos above - you can also see where I have slipstiched the underside of the neck twist). Sorry, I expect none of this is making much sense, as I don't have photos of the actual process, but if you ever make this top, you'll know the exact bit I mean when you come to it!!
I was sort of dreading the narrow hems, of which there are many, but in fact came to like doing them. I didn't have a narrow-hem foot, so did them by hand, just turning under by about 13mm and pressing, cutting very close to the crease (about 1 to 2mm away)and then turning and pressing again, then stitching...very carefully! They turned out to be 3mm wide, so not bad.
I lengthened the top by three inches but I wish I had made that four inches as it still tends to ride up a little during wear, which makes it just a little too short for me (and I am only 5ft 2). Because I lengthened the top and kept the belt sewn in the same position vertically speaking, I had to account for this when finishing the lower hem of the belt, the bottom hem of the blouse, and the vertical back edges of the blouse, too. The belt should have been attached so that the lower edge of it was in line with the hem on the blouse, making things a lot simpler. I didn't realise this until just in time, when I realised I would have to finish things off a bit differently. It wasn't difficult, just took a little more time.
I really like this top a lot. So much that I was determined to finish the garment off beautifully, so I would be proud of it, and I am. I like that the sleeves are such an elegant shape, and I really like the neck detail. One thing: if you slouch at all in this top, it will show, as the sleeves and neckline call for bolt upright, vintage posture! I do tend to hold myself much taller and straighter in this top.