Monday, April 21, 2008

SWAP item #10

OK it's been more than a week since I've finished the SWAP but haven't blogged about it. I didn't have the time to take pictures until yesterday and to write a short text until right now. I sent them to Julie and now I'm trying to catch up a bit with my own blog.

I felt like this year's SWAP was cursed for me. Work was busier and more stressful these last months than ever, leaving me very little time to sew. I can't recall a time like that for me in the past 10 years! One week before the end of the SWAP, I had the 10th item half-done and I felt really burned out. I wanted to give up, really, I wanted all the stress to go away. Luckily, I've received encouragement (there will be a separate post on this) and I decided to go on. I said to myself: OK, I have a week, I will take my time to finish this blouse and my final item will be a blouse that I've sewn in January (see it in this post, scroll to the end). It's black and white, it goes with everything else, that's it! And then, on Tuesday night - that Friday was the deadline to end the SWAP - it suddenly dawns on me and I nearly had a panic attack! I hadn't use the fabric I bought from Julie and that was a requirement for the contest! Awful! So I had to gather all my strength and make a final blouse from the beautiful eyelet that I bought from Julie. I took that Tuesday off (I had a very bad cold anyway, my sewing table was filled with aspirin and paper handkerchiefs) and I cut and sewn a blouse...

To make things short, I will introduce you to my SWAP item #10 in this post, there will be a separate post on SWAP item #11 and another one presenting the composite photo and some outfits.

Not your usual silk blouse (sorry, I ran out of inspiration for titles :), but then in my book a silk blouse has become a basic, a must-have)



This blouse is made out of a very beautiful silk, with a texture, you'll see that in a close-up further below. This silk was part of my second price in the PR Wardrobe Contest 2007 and it comes from Textilestudiopatterns.

The pattern is self-drafted, using one of the models in Pattern Magic volume 2 - see here some pictures included in the book. I've used a Mrs. Stylebook sloper to draft the blouse and I was happy to find scans of the sloper, for download on Twistedangel's Studio blog - go here for the sloper in bust sizes 77-89 in cm (approx 30-35 in inches) and here for bust sizes 89-104 cm (35-41 in inches).

Speaking of the sloper, I made a muslin and here are my findings: the Japanese are very petite, the bodice was a bit short. The armhole length was OK, but you should add a bit (I've added about 6 mm - approx 1/4") either between armhole and waist, or simply at the waist seam (that's what I did). The sloper runs a bit large, I tried size 83 (although my bust is 84) and I finally went down a size and used 80 which was fine.

I drafted a short sleeve using the instruction for another blouse from Pattern Magic (my blouse was sleeveless) and I added the "peplum" (I guess it's not exactly a peplum but I really can't recall the appropriate word) from Simplicity 4047.

Here's my pattern (without the peplum part):



The front part extends into the back, forming a yoke. That yoke also forms a fold at the neck that gives that folding effect in the front. It's all folding!

See the front of the blouse lying flat and how the fold is formed at the back neck, extending into diagonal folds in the front.



The bust dart being rotated at the center front, this blouse must have a center front seam. I didn't want such a seam, nor did I want the blouse to button at front. Therefore I made button loops out of the silk and simulated a fake button closure, by covering buttons in silk. See a close-up below (you can also see the special texture of the fabric).



The blouse has French seams, the armholes, zipper opening (invisible zipper on the left side) and hem are bound in silk charmeuse.

Front of the blouse wrong side out



Back of the blouse wrong side out (see how it is unfolded in this photo, in the photo showing the blouse lying flat, the fold at the back neck covers my label).



Close-up of binding and French seams.



I love this blouse although I think this kind of pattern might be better in a stiffer fabric (I'm planning to starch that back part that folds anyway). Pattern Magic is an amazing book, it got me hooked immediately. Adding the peplum to the blouse and making it in silk gave it a vintage feel in my opinion. And I love that. You'll see in my SWAP post that this blouse, tucked inside my high waist pants gives a very 40s feeling.

17 comments:

Erica B. said...

That blouse is beautiful! I love the HK finish!

loopylulu said...

Great blouse and congratulations!

melissa said...

Simply gorgeous! Congratulations for finishing the swap, and making every piece couture-worthy. I admire you even more for doing all this with such a stressful and busy job schedule.

christina said...

Your garments are always soooo impressive. That Pattern Magic book is very cool. This blouse is so you!

tcarole said...

You are so lovely, you could wear a sack and pull it off, but you have such a great eye for things that really flatter you, I'm always so impressed by your choices.

I love all the couture finishes you add. Those are things that really make a garment feel special and the ironic thing is that most of the time, you're the only one who even knows about them.

Summerset said...

Oh my! You look beautiful! The blouse fabric is stunning and you've certainly done it justice with the fine finishes. You've done an amazing job finishing your SWAP this year!

Audrey said...

Congratulations on finishing your SWAP! I am looking forward to seeing all the pictures. The cut of your blouse is really interesting. I find the Pattern Magic books to be very inspiring, so it was neat to see one of the designs actually made into a wearable garment.

Cherie said...

Laura, lovely blouse, the style is great for you. Can't wait to see it tucked in. I love the deep color, and the texture of the fabric is awesome!

Shannon said...

Beautiful blouse!! Congratulations on finishing (especially under such stressful circumstances)!

Nancy K said...

Gorgeous! I love the design and the fabric is just beautiful.

Vicki said...

I was wondering how you were going with the SWAP. Glad you managed to finishe it. Congratulations!!

This blouse is lovely. And that pattern magic books looks interesting.

Tany said...

Amazing job!!! The fabric is just fabulous and the top is breathtaking! You are VERY talented!!!

Congratulations on finishing your SWAP, I'm looking forward to seeing all your creations side by side! Big hugs to you my friend, and I hope your life gets less busy so you have the time to amaze us with the beauty you create!

Alexandra said...

Gorgeous!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

As usual you have some amazing special touches which makes the top uniquely you! I am glad that you fought your way through and finished up the SWAP! It is beautiful!

Lori said...

Beautiful blouse and congratulations on finishing your SWAP

Katrin said...

I am glad that you managed to finish the SWAP even under such stress. The blouse is adorable and looks great on you ( as everything does ). Looking forward to seeing you in all SWAP pieces.
Best regards,
Katrin

Berry said...

Wow! This blouse is awesome, makes me want to have a silk blouse too but I'm so behind schedule for my Swap I'd better focus on that for now.