|Yep, that dorky eyes closed photo again!|
If you recognise the shape, that's because I based it completely on my graphic print kimono blouse. Same pattern, same extending of shoulder line. I widened the neck slightly to create more of a boat neck shape, which worked, although I think it might have looked better if it had been even wider. This widening of the neck meant it slips over my head, so I just sewed the back seam up. No closures. I told you this was quick and simple.
This version is slightly smaller than my earlier versions of this pattern. The reason for this is that I recently, within the last few months, realised that for years (ever) I hadn't been using 5/8 inch seam allowances! I was using the 5/8 inch mark on my needle plate, but when (for some reason) I decided to measure this, I realised that this is not 5/8 inch from the central needle position. It's actually from the far left needle position. Is that normal? It feels like that is wrong. My machine has 2 straight stitch options. Number 1, which defaults to far left, but is adjustable towards the right, and Number 2, which is centrally positioned and is not adjustable. When I had my lesson when I bought the machine, the woman said to use stitch number 2 as my default stitch (and it's more comfortable and logical sewing with the needle in the middle). Surely it would make more sense to have the markings on the needle plate from that central position? Isn't that how everyone sews? Or is that just me? Either way, no surprises as to why most things I've made have been a bit too big in the past!
I used French seams inside and faced the neckline with bias binding. The sleeves and hem were just turned under. In order to give the top a little bit more interest, I used a contrast bias binding for the neck facing. This is made from some vintage fabric I had in my stash, which I love, but which I bought many years ago before I got into sewing properly, attempted to make a dress from and absolutely wasted the material by getting it all spectacularly wrong! Still, it's made pretty bias binding. I have a few Boden tops which have contrast colour binding on the inside of the neck and it's a detail I like. It's a secret that only I (and now you) know is there.
I was particularly proud of my careful stop stitching on this, I used a dark blue thread on the top of the machine and a white thread in the bottom, so that the thread matched the fabric on each side! I wasn't sure if this would work, or whether one of the threads would pull through slightly, but it worked perfectly. You can just see the white stitching on the far right of this photo.
I like this blouse, and it's proven to be a good basic piece of "cake". But, it's a bit plain and unexciting. I don't know. I like it, but then always feel the need to jazz it up with a bright cardigan or something similar. Even P commented that it was a bit plain. I am thinking about adding something to make it a little bit more exciting. One idea I had was to embroider something on it - maybe an anchor? I had thought in red, but then maybe I should stick to the colours in the bias binding. The purple is nice. Also, I actually don't know how to embroider.
Another idea I had was to somehow use more of the vintage fabric on the outside of the top. Maybe a strip on the shoulders, covering the current shoulder seam? I then lose the impact of the surprise bias binding, but then does that matter?
Or should I just leave it as is, a useful layer that goes with most things, and continue to wear it with bright accessories/other clothes instead? Thoughts?