VPLL Project 0219 Blouse — Part 1

May 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm (Sewing Projects, The 1912 Project)

I decided to tackle the pattern without instructions because… hey… I need the points!!  Seriously, when I saw this blouse available I immediately thought about making it into a summer blouse, with a peplum.  My second thought was to change the grain of the pattern.  It is a biased-cut pattern.  While I “thought” about changing the grain, in the end I decided not to because… hey… no instructions and I was going to have to wing it and didn’t want to add another wrinkle to this task.

Darling DannyO is fishing for the weekend and I am puttering around.  My legs are not working, but my eyes are so I decided to begin this project.  I’ve got my CD player “shuffling” between Adele, Jill Scott, India.Arie and Esperanza Spalding – if that doesn’t motivate me, nothing will. 🙂

I have a stash of fabric that I “shopped” for in my friend’s sunroom.  She had a room full of fabric she needed to get rid of and she let her friends who sewed “shop.” I decided to use a piece of blue floral cotton.   The fabric was free.  The bias tape was free.  The buttons were free.   I pre-washed the cotton fabric and ironed it smoothly.

Free Fabric, Bias Tape and Buttons (YAY!)

Because the pattern is cut on the bias it does require more fabric than a straight-grained garment

The first thing I did was to lop off the sleeves.  I didn’t take any careful measurements because I intend to make them very short and will adjust as the garment is sewed.  I also lopped off some of the yoke.  I picture in my mind’s eye a peasant-style neckline.  I also need to cut carefully in order to leave enough fabric for the peplum.  Remember that the back yoke is cut on a folded bias.    If you are making the blouse in its original state, I’d recommend that you have at least 2 yards of 45” fabric available – 2 ½ if you want to be certain to have enough material.

Pattern Layout (remember, I lopped off the sleeves and the top of the yoke pieces)

I cut all of the pieces on the bias, including the button placket (4 pieces of the button placket).  I also cut two pieces of the placket out of a lightweight interfacing.  I know that probably negates any benefit from cutting the fashion fabric on the bias, but I was concerned that the placket would stretch and twist when I added the buttonholes.

On to the sewing…

  1.  Sew the front yokes (2 pieces) and back yoke together at the shoulder seams, matching #22 & #23—using a 3/8” seam.  Press towards the back yoke piece.  Baste corners #25 and #26 and clip to seam line.
  2. Pin bias tape to the outside seams of the yoke, clipping at the corners to eliminate any bulk/pleats.  Baste and press well.

    Bias tape basted on to the front and back yoke pieces

  3. Mark the pleats on the two front bodice pieces.  Pin and iron the pleats towards the side seam, matching lines. (you should have three tiny pleats)  Baste across seam line (3/8”) over all of the pleats.

    Pleats on front bodice marked with chalk

    Front pleats basted into place

  4. Stay-stitch around the curved bodice pieces, from #25 to #26 (the seam that attaches to the yoke) – clipping the curve to the stay stitching.

It is 10:10 p.m.  I’ve been up since 5:00 a.m.  I am not going to sew another seam tonight… but I am going to pin the bodice piece(s) to the yoke piece before I go to bed.  I don’t know what the recommendation is for pinning and sewing the yoke piece to the bodice piece (remember…no instructions) but here is my suggestion.

  1.  Start at corner #25 and pin down the front of the yoke/bodice (to #24).  Do the same to the second front straight seam.  Baste the corner seam at #25.   Starting at #25, sew a 3/8” seam to the bottom edge of the front bodice on each yoke piece.
  2. Start at corner #26 and pin down the back of the yoke/bodice (to #27).  Do the same to the opposite side of the back straight seam.  Baste the corner seam at #26.  Starting at #26, sew the 3/8” seam to the bottom edge of the back bodice on each side of the back yoke.

    Basting the #25 & #26 corners

    The straight seam from the #25 corners to the bottom of the garment

** because this garment is cut on the bias, you should always sew like seams in the same direction, preferably from top to bottom.  If you sew in different directions, you may develop a problem that the bias garment will not lay correctly.  It can be awkward if you aren’t use to flipping seams.  Tomorrow, when I’ve had my coffee I will show you what I mean.  I certainly hope this fits me.   I like the way this is looking 🙂  I’ve got lots of plans for the bias tape to be involved in the peplum… stay tuned for the rest of the story!!

Good Morning!  I’ve got a pot of coffee and a piece of my homemade sweet bread (with honey) under my belt… literally!!!  On to the rest of the story…

  1.  Pin the bodice to the neckline from #25 to #26.  Because you have stay-stitched and clipped the bodice piece, it will curve around the yoke piece perfectly. There are no diamond markings to match up pattern pieces, so I would suggest starting at #25, pin a few inches, move to #26, pin a few inches.  Work this way until you meet in the middle.  It should match perfectly!!
  2. Sew the bodice to the yoke (3/8” seam) and press well.

    Pinning the yoke to the bodice from #25 to #26 — the stay-stitched, curved edge

At this point, I didn’t like the way the bias tape looked at the corners, so I ended up opening up each seam, cutting the bias tape and re-sewing the corners.  I think it is just a matter of preference what you decide to do.

Blouse without the button placket sewn on

On to the button placket.

  1.  Iron the lightweight interfacing to the button placket pieces (2)
  2. Sew the plackets to the front of the garment.

    Blouse with the button placket sewed on the front

I will finish the piece and blog about it within the next week… (I promise!!!)  So far, I like where this is going 🙂


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Homemade Hawaiian Sweet Bread

May 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm (Recipes)

I found this recipe on line on a blog, www.kim-thislittlelifeofmine.blogspot.com.  I love King’s Hawaiian sweet bread.  It is the only bread I use in my bread pudding.  However, it is very expensive.  This bread, for a bread machine is unique, because, instead of eggs and sugar, it uses sweetened condensed milk!!  The blogger mentioned that her kids have egg allergies so this works perfectly!

Of course, I didn’t take a picture of it when it was freshly baked… it is half gone!

The recipe was easy — I just threw it in my bread machine, set it on the “sweet bread” setting and hit the button.  It is absolutely perfect!

Homemade Hawaiian Sweet Bread

  • 1 cup of water (use very very warm water)
  • 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk (about 1/2 a can)  The blog writer used fat-free, but, hey…
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (cut up into small cubes)
  • 3 1/3 cups of flour (I used all-purpose) The blog writer used 1 teaspoon of vital wheat gluten with the all-purpose flour, but hey…
  • 2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast

Put ingredients in bread machine in this order… water, butter, condensed milk, salt, flour and yeast.  Be sure to measure the flour exactly — spoon into the measuring cup and level with a knife so the flour isn’t compacted.  Set for “sweet” bread and hit the button.  Just check a few minutes into the cycle to make sure all of the flour is being incorporated.  If it isn’t, just swipe the sides with a spatula.  I found the recipe to be perfect — no additional water was needed!

The original blogger made hers into a braided bread.  For that (if you have more energy than I do 🙂  ), set the machine for the dough cycle. When complete, remove and separate into three sections.  Roll each out like snakes and mesh ends together.  Braid and press ends together.  Place in baking dish and allow to rise for 25-30 minutes.  Brush melted butter or egg white on the top over rising.  Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

I will never make mine into braids.  Darling DannyO and I love this bread toasted!  I may just make this bread once a week!!

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VPLL 1912 Project — 0219 Blouse… Step 1

May 2, 2012 at 11:42 am (0219 Blouse, The 1912 Project)

When I first started the VPLL project I wanted my patterns mailed to me, mostly because I was afraid…  but then I realized that if I took a chance and had the patterns sent to me in a PDF file, I would get them quickly.  If it didn’t work out, I could always go back to the mail option.  There is a wonderful link, HERE to show you, how to download, print and tape,  but I thought I’d blog about my success using that page.

I worked on the ladies wrap and unfortunately ironed a big hole in my fashion fabric… so I scrapped that for now.  I did make a muslin of the E0291 and blogged about my steps.  You can see blog post HERE.

I wanted to share the steps of receiving a pattern in Letter form — to take the uncertainty out of the process.  I live in Nanty Glo, PA and do not have ready access to a Kinko’s or Staple’s.  I have an HP Deskjet 5550 and some cheap paper.  After requesting the #0219 blouse pattern  in LTR form and got the password I was good to go.  I already checked my printer when I asked for the E0291 Ladies Wrap so I know it is calibrated correctly.  If you haven’t done that, click the  link,  LTR Size Measuring Box  and follow the links to make sure your printer will print the correct size.

The pattern itself is 17 pages.  This pattern does not have any directions ((Yikes!!)) That is another post for another day.  I plan to modernize the pattern and sew it from a pretty blue eyelet remnant I have in my stash…  Okay… The printer asked me if I knew I was printing beyond the normal printing surface and I told it I knew… and to proceed.

The pattern itself doesn’t require much ink because it is a few lines on a many pieces of paper…  Unfortunately,  the registration marks and the Column/Row indications are also not on the printable area.  Easy-peasy…

The first thing I did was to take each of the 17 pages and, using the PDF pages on my computer as a reference, transferred the Row # and Column# to each page.

Applying the Row/Column indicators by hand.

The next thing I did was to lay the pattern out on the floor based upon the Column/Row numbers.

Laying the pattern pieces in the order based on Column/Row numbers

The next step was to butt each page up against each other.  The registration marks did not print — out of the printable area.  No problem.  I took 4 pages at a time and made a perfect + and taped the four corners with a tiny piece of tape.

Matched four corners to a + and taped

Once the pages were all taped together, the unprintable areas needed to be joined.  I just used a small straight edge and joined the lines… while looking at my computer, but mostly using common sense.

Joining the pattern lines

Finally, on this particular pattern, one piece, Row 2 of 4, Column 4 of 5 was accidentally placed upside down.  How did I know that??  The “E0219” mark, that is in the left/bottom corner of each page was upside-down.  So, I corrected that.

Mark in the correct position :-)  (not upside down)

There you have it! It took me an hour, tops!  I figure it would take me 25 minutes one way and 2 gallons of gas to go to our nearest Staple’s store.  I also know how long it takes to open a new pattern and cut all of the pieces out…

Now I need to figure out pattern directions, how to change the straight of grain, lower the neckline, add arm scythes to make separate sleeves and add a little peplum… Whew!!  That’s certainly going to be the hardest part of sewing this pattern!!  Wish me luck!!

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