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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1 Comment

  1. chopkins2011 said,

    Great clear instructions. I haven’t begun this blouse yet but will have your blog handy when I do

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