Late night sewing... Mae Blouse - Bluegingerdoll

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Hi Guys,

I finished the third attempt at my Mae blouse! Yes THIRD.
Let me take you on a journey...

The first attempt was with sewable tracing paper. 
I traced between the size that suited my "finished garment" measurements and the next size up, but it wouldn't even close. This surprised me, as I know the patterns are drafted for a D (I know I'm an E but I thought I was gonna be pretty close, I was wrong). I definitely needed some bust adjusting, I wasn't even been able to close it! 

So I decided to follow the sewalong, and do an FBA.
However it went a bit weird in the middle. Let me explain why.

In the sewalong, the first thing you do for an FBA is cut off the sleevey bit. Then you do the FBA and stick the shoulder back on.

Weirdness 1: In the sewalong (illustrated) pictures, it shows a straight edge where you trimmed off the sleeve, even after the FBA. But when you do an FBA you create a side Dart and it ends up kicking out at the side, it doesn't end up straight. I didn't know what to do so i just overlapped the sleeve over the kicked out bit and continued on

Weirdness 2: The side dart created is never mentioned again. I was at a loss as to whether to ignore its existence or sew it up. I thought it would be be baggy and weird if I ignored it, so I sewed it up and trued up the waist/hips. Although I kind of made a balls of measuring them (I forgot to remove the front darts when measuring)

Muslin 2 was done in a lilac cotton sateen lining, that I thought could possibly be wearable, until I cut too short a piece of fabric (although it was still workable) Then I realised that it had a really loose weave (pins were leaving massive holes) and that it was pulling like hell. No No No.

After sewing that up, it closed, but it was SNUG. And getting something to just close is not something to aim for! It was drag-line city.

So I halved the seam allowance and tried again. Close but no cigar.
I drew a whole new seam allowance on the pattern for the next try.

So that brings us to Muslin 3! I made it with something I got at a stash swap. (Thanks to whoever donated!). Not sure what it is, a slub silk or a wannabe slub silk. Either way, its a little stiff, so bear with me in terms of how it crumples instead of drapes. Part of the issue is that my skirt has a smaller waist than the blouse! It looks a lot shinier in these photos too... 

Now in photo one, I am becoming one with the fabric in terms of stiffness. What is with the arms? I look like a puppet on a string. However, let us admire the fact that I found something to match it in my wardrobe! A kilt I got in the Salvation Army. Talk about a 'Fall' Wardrobe, eh?

Although in this photo, I think it looks a little big, it looks better shortly!
I am pretty proud of my finishing. I surprised myself with the scalloped neckline, I thought that was going to be a lot harder. It turned out a lot better than I thought, although Thank God it did because any flaws would be really obvious in this fabric. I used my new overlocker (although it was threaded white, so the insides look a little silly) but I did hand catchstitch all of the hem and sleeve facings! And partially thanks to the stiffness, partially my mad 1.00am sewing skills and partially Mr.G's thread matching capabilities, I think its pretty damn good.

It's like the 1.00am sewing never happened... 
I haven't done the neckline facing. Yet. I'm still not sure if I want to, in case it's too obvious.

In a side note, you can see my crazy eye colour in that top photo!

After the first few photo's, I decided to loosen up and stop looking like such a grump grump.
However, apparently I must raise one eyebrow at all times.

One modification I made to the back was to do the buttonholes vertical instead on horizontal, as I didn't like  the thought of how the buttons would drag off to one side instead of being central in the buttonhole.

I wish that the skirt waist wasn't so snug! Crumple crumple.

I would like to take this opportunity to categorically state that I sewed the buttons on straight and tight, but the buggers prefer to look tipsy, no matter how much I twiddle them. They are vintage buttons that I bought in a vintage shop in Rochester. Thanks for the recommendation Rachel!

All in all I found the pattern pretty straight forward, although I would definitely follow the sewalong, as I found the written/illustrated instructions hard to follow. 
It's probably just how my brain works, but I was stumped in a few places. The hem boggled me so I winged it in the end. I didn't end up doing the second turn either. Ironically I think I understand now, in this exact moment. The photo was the wrong way up for my brain.

But look, I'm still happy with how it turned out! Even my eyebrow agrees

Another version is already in the pipeline. 
Has anyone else noted how ridiculous the concept of a button-back blouse is??
My arms go forward people!


Emmie x


  1. Ack I love this! And you look so pretty in those photos too xxx

  2. Awh thanks lovie! You inspired me with all your handsewing!

  3. Beautiful and the colour is divine! Matches your eyes!

  4. Your blouse is gorgeous! I take my hat off to you for sticking with, I'd have chucked it in a corner in a huff. Lynne

  5. Awh thanks!! Even my crazy eye?

  6. Lol, I usually would!

  7. I love it! Sorry about the hand stitching!

  8. I didn't notice any craziness, just a stunning deep blue!

  9. Hi Emmie - the blouse looked fab on when I saw it yesterday, I didn't appreciate the dedication it had taken to get to that point. Well done for sticking with it - I'm pretty sure I'd have given up! :)

  10. Hi Emmie, love your style. This colour really suits you!

  11. That looks like a really difficult fabric to work with, so well done you for getting such a lovely result! And more smiling please!

  12. Charity Shop Chic14 October 2013 at 17:32

    That blue colour is gorgeous!! And I love the kilt too.

  13. Loving the Mae Blouse....and that scalloped neckline is just perfect! Its so commendably brave of you to make your own is something I would like to start someday but never really had the discipline to begin...knowing me and my lack of skill with the needle, so I have always admired people who can! Have a fabulous weekend!
    May x

  14. you should try, it might change your life!

  15. Thanks! I was thinking of you when I chose the kilt!

  16. It was pretty good actually! will do!

  17. Thanks, it sounds worse on paper I think!

  18. Thats ok, I actually enjoyed it!

  19. Aw thanks! I had been talking about the chunk of brown in one of them :)

  20. I love the neckline on you - the color - and I am totally in to black buttons. Bootiful! :)


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