In the Pink
I have been getting fine and fancy, well at least in my sewing room, making this Lottie Blouse.
Simple Sew have a great duo pattern pack of pencil skirt and blouse and I chose to get ready for Spring in pink.
Pink has been all over on the catwalks for SS17 which was great for me, as I had got some pink fabrics from my textile art group.
Simple Sew Lottie Blouse
If you would like to have this on trend Simple Sew pattern please get in touch
You can see my post on the Lottie skirt here
Silky Slippery Fabric
The fabric I used for this Lottie blouse is a lovely comfy, slightly stretchy silk blend. The downside from a sewing point of view is its a very slippery fabric! I won’t repeat my mutterings as I sewed, but will share how I dealt with this issue.
For cutting out I avoided the use of pins, which can stretch fabric and leave holes in fine fabric, by using my pattern weights. I run workshops on making these or they can be found in my Etsy shop.
I also used a French rule and a rotary wheel cutter (along with a self healing cutting mat) for cutting out as This was much easier than scissors for this fine, slippy fabric.
I did find the fabric layouts a little confusing, and there is only a 60″ wide fabric blouse layplan provided. My fabric was not this wide, so I used 1.9m of 45″ wide fabric, which worked out fine.
I also used a rule, along with carbon paper and a carbon tracing wheel for marking the dart position.
The darts are the first thing to be sewn. With fine fabric, it is even more important to start the stitching at the narrowest part and not back stitch, but rather to hand tie a knot. This avoids bulky stitching showing on the right side of the blouse.
I also used my new fine Tulip pins. These are extra fine and short – ideal for fine fabrics and applique. I got these from another Yorkshire seamstress, Grace at Beyond Measure
For fine fabrics, use a finer, new needle. I used a 70 universal needle.
Since the fabric frayed a lot and is slightly see through, I chose to use French seams, as all the raw edges of the fabric are enclosed and hidden.
Because this blouse pattern seam allowance is only 1cm, I made sure I cut the blouse on the generous side to allow for the French seams.
I do find it interesting that the French refer to this seam construction as “Coutures anglaises” – English seams!
A French seam is actually two seams, first starting with a 1cm seam allowance wrong fabric sides together, which is then trimmed and enclosed in a second seam right fabric sides together. Here is how you create this seam:
- Place the wrong fabric sides together, and sew a 1cm seam. Then trim the seam allowance down to 4mm
- Press this seam allowance to one side
- Place the right sides of the fabric together and press
- Now sew along the seamline with a 6mm seam allowance
- Press this enclosed seam towards the back.
Bias Bound Neckline
Once the shoulders are joined with a French seam, the next stage is to bind around the bottom of the neckline on the front piece. This uses a strip of bias binding, cut on the diagonal – to the selvedge of the fabric. This means the strip is stretchy to work on the curved neckline. I pinned this on the right side of the neck , sewed, trimmed and then clipped to the stitching line on the curve.
Clipping seems scary but the worst thing that can happen is you cut through the stitching and need to re do some stitches!
I then turned the bias strip over to the wrong side and slip stiched the free, folded edge to the stitch line.
The next step I did was to insert the sleeves.
By a row of running stitches between the notches I achieved a slightly gathered sleeve head is. As I wanted a French seam here as well, I did wrong sides together and then created the second seam as above.
I used the rolled hemmer foot on my machine to sew the Lottie blouse hem. This is tricky on slippery fabric. A spray starch can help. There is a helpful video tutorial on using this foot
I ended up with some missed sections despite unpicking and repeating. So I decided to finish with a hand stitched roled hem instead.
I did catch down the neck tie by hand as well, to hold it folded in place.
Although the Lottie blouse was tricky with the fine slippery fabric, I am really enjoying wearing it as It feels lovely next to my skin.
I have also used some spare to make a top to go under my lacy costume for my dance show
I would love to hear from you. Please comment, or contact me