Annelise first covered my back nearly two weeks ago, she’s the first thing I made in my fevered wardrobe-in-a-week sewing. She traces her pedigree through Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing blouse married to an exotic Japanese double gauze cotton. It’s actually two layers of thin fabric, pad-stitched together to make one breezy fabric substantial enough for a blouse or perhaps a dress. We have various prints at work so I took it for a test drive. I marveled at the doubled fabric and then promptly forgot about it. Easy to sew.
I first made this from a man’s shirt. It’s wearable, but doesn’t fit me well enough. The fault was mine, I thought the pattern came from a modern block when it is from a vintage one. Had I done the appropriate flat pattern measurements, I would have approached it differently. After Lauren of Wearing History graciously answered some of my pattern questions (I adore the online sewing community!), I realized I should approach the shirt as I would a 30’s pattern.
That meant (for me) working from a 34″ high bust (I usually work from a 32″ to fit my back), altering the front for a full bust, playing with the armscythe/sleeves, and factoring in a little wearing ease. Some reviewers have reported tightness through the arms, which I think is to be expected from a 30’s pattern. In this case, I used Zemelda’s sleeves (because I know they fit well) and altered the armscythe on the fly.
Due to the interesting nature of the fabric, I left out the interfacing. It’s as cool and delicious as possible. The stripes are slightly irregular and not precisely on grain. That happens sometimes with printed stripes, rather easy to do if you think about it. In this case, I chose to align my grainline with the stripe rather than worry too much about grain. Dear little pockets. I put my bus card in one of them today. Talk about handy!
While a common cut for the era- late 30’s/early 40’s- this is my own first whack which I feel fits me properly. I’m like Goldilocks- this one’s too big, that one’s too small, this pulls at the back. It’s about getting the right amount of ease for my body and lack of girdle in order to achieve the “look.” I bought a piece of Liberty cotton covered in a scrimshaw design of clipper ships to make this shirt ages ago, I finally feel confident cutting it. I may even use huge era-appropriate buttons.
Part of the joy of blogging my sewing is turning the work inside out. This is by far the cleanest, prettiest convertible collar I’ve ever sewn, thanks to Sherry’s Convertible Collar Tutorial.
I wore this all day running errands downtown and got a lot of looks. To me, this feels like a really normal shirt, am I missing something?
Update on Trash Wars 2011: I applied for a mini-bin at the council today. Thanks, Emmi. My husband plays up being blokey through over the fence chatter to the man of the house next door, he says he’ll discuss composting. I know it bugs Husband, too. Between that and having a tiny bin the problem may well be nipped.