Friday, 20 April 2012

A Thai Violet

Like the play on words? Geddit? This blouse is certainly shy and retiring, it’s taken me seven months to finish!

I’m back anyway!

The pattern is Colette patterns Violet, version 2. I decided I wanted the longer sleeves and thought they would suit the fabric better too. The fabric I bought last August when we were in Thailand. There’s still about 3 or 4 metres left for me to make an Anna Sui Vogue pattern I bought some time ago.

I’ve not made any adjustments, I’m not the best at adjusting patterns anyway (note to self, I really must learn to adjust patterns to fit better!) Me being me too, I didn’t make a muslin. Instead I just went and cut out the pattern and starting sewing!

I’m pretty pleased with the result though. I remember having a few problems with the collar, ending with one side more rounded than the other, fortunately this doesn’t show with this fabric. For the first time in my life, I actually used French seams throughout, bar the seam across the back and the arm holes. Are you impressed? This probably added to the length of time it took to finish, not to mention the lack of machine for four months of the make!

 Note the tidy French seam!

Mm, don't think that was in the plan - where's the seam ripper got to?

The fabric is quite fine and slippery and I ended up at one point catching in fabric where I shouldn’t. Time for some unpicking! The top buttonhole was also a nightmare. I lost count of how many times I tried to sew it, fortunately it doesn’t show. All these problems using woven fabrics, dare I even try to sew something with all the lovely knits here in New Zealand!
If I was brave enough, I think I might try to add darts like Handmade Jane, etc have. The fit is very loose, but as long as I tuck it in I think it looks OK. It may have been better to do an FBA, but that’s for another time. So will I make up the pattern again? Yep, I reckon so. The pattern is clear and easy to follow and I like the shape and finish. I’m not normally one to reuse patterns, but I have a feeling this may be one of those few patterns. I think the longer sleeves would be a tad more comfy using a small cuff with the sleeve gathered in, rather than elastic. Maybe I can change them on this one?

I also couldn't decide on the colour of buttons. I originally bought red buttons, then saw these lovely shiny black ones, what do you think?

The blouse was actually finished all bar the buttonholes when my machine went in the container last December. I was hoping I’d manage to borrow Mum’s machine at Christmas to finish, but it didn’t happen and the unfinished blouse came in my suitcase when we travelled over! I even contemplated sewing buttons on the wrong side and stitching poppers inside, but I persevered and held out. The lifesafer was a new acquaintance in my new choir in Wellington who lent me her machine. A week later the buttonholes were done and the blouse was finally finished. Two weeks later I finally get round to taking photos, by which time my own machine has arrived and we are at last surrounded by our own belongings (bar the few odd things which got broken on the way over and those that have gone missing – now where’s that insurance claim form got to?)

Hopefully I can now get sewing again, although at the moment I seem to be quite busy and finding time to cut out anything, let alone sew it is quite difficult.

Anyway, here’s to a new year of blogging and sewing, albeit four months into the new year! :-)

In the meantime, I'm still debating whether I can take part in Me Made May...


  1. A very gorgeous blouse, and this is such a pretty silhouette on you. I am very impressed that you finished with those beautiful French seams; well done!