November 16, 2011

Blouse sewing followup pt. 4

My next blouse was to test a new sleeve and finesse collar/collar band construction. This blouse provided more difficulties than I expected. The fabric I used is a white on white quilting cotton from my stash. I liked the print and thought I could get away with using for it a blouse.

First the good news. I originally estimated I would need a good 2 yards of 45" fabric for the blouse. I managed to cut the blouse out of less than 1.5 yards. I had enough fabric left over to recut the collar and still have a fair amount of left overs. I probably will still buy fabric in 2 yard increments for a short sleeve blouse, but I may be able to get away with less.

One thing that really bothers me is the collar band shaping. This shirt made it even more obvious that I need to work on it. You can see the shaping differences in the picture above. When the blue shirt is buttoned at the neck, the collar band gives a nice circular appearance. My collar doesn't do that because the end point creates a V. That end just needs to be lifted up a bit. I've gone back and forth on this several times. Now that I can see it more clearly in this blouse, I know it needs to be fixed.

Another thing that I've had to learn to compromise on is trimming. There are only two areas that need trimming. The RTW shirts are even trimmed in those two areas - though I still want to see a shirt put together in a factory. Anyway, the collar band is trimmed at the ends where it curves and the collars at the points.

Another that I struggled with was my white thread. For whatever reason, my white thread looked dirty against the fabric. The white on white print creates an optical illusion. I went so far as opening up a new spool of white thread and switching to an off white thread. The picture above illustrates the difficulty I had. The topstitching on the shirt placket looks fine but the buttonhole looks dirty. I suppose its possible that some area the thread travels is dirty, but I haven't figured it out.
Here is the completed blouse. It turned out well enough to be wearable. The sleeve is just a straight hem. This sleeve variation was not as comfortable as my previous sleeve, so I won't be going forward with it. The buttons are from my vintage button stash and emphasize the print on the shirt.

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