Button Hole-y Goodness

May 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

After my first try at button holes, I decided, with confidence, that I was not a natural button-hole sewer. Some of us just aren’t born with it.

In an attempt to rectify this “hole” in my sewing repertoire, I needed practice. So I asked myself,

Amelia: “Self, What can I sew that has lots of buttons?”

Self: “A blouse! You never wear them but they look great with high-waisted skirts! Plus, plenty of buttons!”

I listened to myself and now I have my latest piece; a loose-fitting, deep v neck blouse without a collar. Worn below with my cool new blue jeans from my lovely mother!

The best thing about it is that it is loose-fitting on ALL parts of my torso, bust, waist and hips. This is not something I have ever been able to find in a shirt. I either sacrifice my shoulders so that they end up looking like a rugby players, or I have buttons popping open left, right and centre (mostly centre, though).

I recently found an amazing book at the library here in Aarhus, called “Ny Mønsterkonstruktion for Kvinder” (New Pattern Construction for Women) by Inger Öberg and Hervor Ersman. I think it was originally written in Swedish and translated to both Danish and Norwegian. It basically goes through how to draw any of the basic body blocks and how to adjust them to get different effects, such as princess seams, empire line, gathering in different places, wrap tops, loose shorts, jeans, anything you want really, they have covered it. This is the EXACT book I had been hoping to stumble across, I had just imagined it being in English but beggars can’t be choosers, so with my beginners Danish and handy ol’ google translate, I sat down to attempt to draw my own body block. The first problem I encountered was the ease. They use WAY too much ease in this book, and without translating the whole book, I would have no idea where they added it and how much. I tried for the life of me but I couldn’t figure it out. This was around 11 at night and it had been a long day. Some would say I was lazy, others would say I was just doing what any sane person would do to save themselves from having a very late night; I cheated. At the back of the book, they have given the pattern pieces for body blocks from sizes 34 to 54 with appropriate measurements. Along I went and took out the ease I could figure out, then matched up my own measurements with the amount of ease I wanted for a loose-fitting shirt. I ended up grading between a 38 at the waist, shoulders and hips and a 40 at the bust. I moved the dart from the shoulder to the arm hole and kept the waist one as it was (they have included a pattern of a body block with darts already in it, so you just have to move them instead of redrawing the pattern). I left the back at a straight 38

Please excuse the terrible, just washed and I forgot I hadn’t brushed it yet, hair

For this shirt, it worked out fine. Since it was loose, the fitting wasn’t such a big issue, but if I wanted a more fitted top, I would have to do a bit more work to get it to fit well.

I added a button placket to the front and used some bias binding for the sleeves and back of the collar. The bias binding I used is a bit stiff for the material at the moment, but I’m hoping once it’s washed that it will become a bit more flexible.

I used seven buttons for the front so I got oodles of practice in. And the button holes looked tidy!

Look! Top stitching as well! I knew you would be proud.

Now, I have at least made two things that fit in to my Spring/Summer Palette so I don’t feel so completely behind. Just have to find some inspiration to get me excited about the next piece.

Til next time.

In to the blue

May 11, 2012 § 6 Comments

This is my first item for the Colette Palette challenge. It’s sort of a wearable muslin to try out my skirt block (made using this tutorial). I’ve used that tutorial to make skirts for my boyfriends sister, but never for myself, so I never really knew how they fit. I found that it’s best to insert a high hip measurement in to the block. The shaping from my waist down to my hips was well off, so even though the block looks really straight at the top now, it fits much better. I also extended the darts on the back and front. There was just a tad too much material bunching in the front, there still is a bit, and extending the darts helped. On a really positive note, the waist band is almost perfect. Fits like a glove!

And without further ado,

Rather obvious how it relates to my palette, but I am really in love with this colour at the moment. I also have a pair of pants in nearly this exact tone, which my lovely mother sent for Christmas.

Note the bunching in the front. I will play with the darts a bit and see if I can fix that in the next run. I really like the length of this skirt too. Not too short but if it were any longer, I would have had to add a split somewhere to aid with walking.

I think the back fits pretty well. I had to adjust the darts here too and made them longer. Same thing as the front really; too much material where there shouldn’t have been.

One dart in the front, two in the back, side closure with two buttons to close the waist band. You might notice that the buttons don’t have loops…

Ta-dah! Though not the tidiest and most pretty looking, I did my first button holes! Turns out my basic little machine can handle them. The top one is the worst as I had cut through the middle when I realised that there was a wrong and a right side to sewing them. Oops! Got it fixed for the second one though.

All in all, I’m pleased with the skirt and it will get worn a lot over summer (if it decides to turn up in Denmark, I’m having my doubts). First time I’ve ever made a muslin (of sorts) for anything and the first time for button holes! In the words of Barney Stinson, “self high-five!”.

Next, I’m tackling something to go with the white part of my palette. I love the look of the white with this blue, don’t you?

Til next time!

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