Friday, February 25, 2011

Colette Patterns Sencha Blouse

I decided to hang up my Vogue 5510 knockoff for now, and shift my focus to the upcoming Me Made March.  I am seriously lacking in shirts; I own maybe two that I like and actually wear.  Since there are 4-5 Casual Fridays in a month, I tend to repeat the same shirts or just screw it and wear a dress.  I have jeans that I like, I just can't ever find tops to go with them!  I tried shopping this past Fall for pretty, feminine blouses in non-geometric prints and I came home empty handed.  All the stores I tried only had knitwear or your basic collared button-down, which honestly, I find hopelessly boring.

My friend told me about Colette Patterns; her and Sarai had worked together a few years ago.  I checked out their website and loved everything, but was a little hesitant to spend $16 on a pattern.  Not that it's that expensive, but when most of my patterns are thrift store and rummage sale finds for about a quarter each, $16 sounds pricey.  But I've heard really good things about the detailed instructions, and my fellow bloggers seem to love them, so I went for it and ordered the Sencha blouse.

It arrived a couple days ago, and the packaging is utterly delightful.  The booklet is sewn together (adorable touch!) and comes with incredibly detailed instructions. 

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I started with Version 1, which is the basic blouse.  I used some soft chambray I picked up at a church rummage sale.  There was enough yardage, but it had a small square cut out.  I had to disregard the suggested layout and just place my pieces where they fit.  Luckily the fabric didn't have a nap or a print or it never would have fit.

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After I cut out all my pieces, I did my usual lowering of the neckline.  Gotta show some collarbone!  I cut away at the bodice front first, and then laid the scrap on top of my facing pieces and cut away there, too.

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Since my fabric is really soft and a little stretchier than most cottons I work with, I reached for the heavyweight interfacing.

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For shaping on the blouse front, there are two deep tucks on either side. The tucks were super easy, I just marked the circles with a pin, and then made a little dot with my orange tailor's pencil.

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Match up the dots and sew between them, and you're done! It was easier to do than darts. Here's the inside after I pressed them towards the center.

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And the outside. I can already tell it's going be really flattering.  Anything that is fitted at the waist and then gently skims the stomach area always works really well for me.  I have an aversion to anything that clings to my stomach.

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After I sewed the backs to the fronts and the shoulder seams, and sewed the side seams, I moved to the sleeves.  The directions said to fold the sleeve over 1/4th inch and edgestitch.  I followed the directions to a T this time, but in the future I could skip this and hit up my stash of vintage seam tapes and bias tape to finish the edge.  Either would look really nice, I think.

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The final thing I did last night was finishing the sleeves. I gently pressed them in place and secured them with a couple pins, and then catchstitched the sleeve edge to the blouse. I don't mean to boast, but I am getting really good at that. I challenge you to find a stitch!

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All I have left to do is the buttons and hem.  This top was so easy that I bet I could knock out one of each version in no time!

I also started another project last night which I can't talk about yet because I'm making it for someone and I want the finished product to be a surprise.  It's for a pretty well-known blogger, so there's definitely a lot of pressure to make it perfect.  I don't want to give too much away, but it's going to be made out of the prettiest, softest peachy silk from the 1930's.  Even the scraps are gorgeous!

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No sewing tonight as the husband and I are going to see Pete Yorn.  A sexy man with a guitar and 16 oz PBRs?  Yes please!

3 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see how your sencha turns out. I am the same with you in the top department. I love jeans but can never find tops to wear. I need to start making more of my own.

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  2. I've been looking on-line for an easy way to lower the neckline on almost every thing I make... do you have a formula?
    I made the Sencha (with tie) and it strangles me unless I leave it untied. So many other dresses I've made also strangle me... pretty uncomfortable!

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    1. No, I just kind of wing it! I don't have a scientific method. If you make a muslin first, you can play around with it and not worry about ruining your final garment.

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