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It has been a great excuse to make a few things just for ME, and because I have two children, that is not something I get around to doing very often.
With these sewing projects, I really want to learn some new sewing skills, work with different fabrics and try out a few interesting techniques. For my March creation, I chose to make the Jasmine Blouse by Colette Patterns. I splashed out and bought some very expensive (but totally worth it) cotton/silk blend. This blouse is cut on the bias, so I thought it would give me a good opportunity to try and emulate some of the wonderful chevron patterns that are popular right now.
After prewashing and pressing my fabric according to instructions, I cut out my pattern. I recently made some pattern weights which I found particularly helpful when cutting out some of the smaller pattern pieces with my rotary cutter on top of my cutting mat.
When cutting out the larger pattern pieces, the weight of the fabric hanging over the edges of my cutting table caused the silk to shift and stretch, so I found that laying my fabric on a clean floor and pinning the pattern to the fabric before cutting out with my shears more convenient. I have smooth tiled flooring – I wouldn’t recommend doing that on hardwood floors in case the fabric snags or catches.
Because I wanted a ‘chevron’ pattern on my blouse, I paid careful attention to the placement of my pattern pieces. I ended up using a bit more than the recommended amount of fabric on the pattern packet to account for matching up my chevrons. If you do something similar, or if you sew with a plaid or other pattern that requires you to match the seams, be sure to take this into consideration when purchasing your yardage.Once all my pattern pieces were cut out, I applied iron-on interfacing to the front and back facings as well as to the cuffs.
After inserting a brand new needle into my machine, I followed the pattern directions and stitched the front darts, the front and back bodice and the shoulder seams. Silk tends to fray or unravel, so for a non-bulky and neat seam finish, I serged my seam allowances though it is also possible to pink or zig zag stitch seam allowances.
Next I assembled the collar and used my shears to snip into the seam allowance to reduce the bulk before turning the right way.
I used the stuffing tool in my Sew Taxi to turn out the tips of the collar.
After sewing the loop, attaching the collar to the bodice and creating the facings, I moved on to the sleeves and cuffs. Sewing the cuffs to the sleeve requires some hand stitching and I really enjoyed the slower pace while it lasted!
Next I inserted the sleeves into the bodice, which for some reason is always one of my least favorite parts of sewing a garment. I think this is because it requires plenty of patience, tweaking and basting BEFORE the final sewing.
The final step is to hem the blouse. It is recommended you let the garment hang for a day or two before hemming so that the bias cut threads have the chance to settle into place. I initially tried a rolled hem but I found it completely impossible (I think, because of all the different bias directions of the fabric) so in the end I hemmed my blouse by turning the fabric 1/4” to the wrong side, pressing, turning again and stitching, as recommended in the directions.
Colette Patterns – Jasmine
Blouse Fabric and interfacing (see fabric requirements of packet)
Hand sewing needle