Wednesday, 3 September 2014


Despite yesterday's sewing-related glumpishness, I carried on with my current project off and on all day, right up until about 4pm I looked at it and went: you know what? Nope! and slung it in the bin.

This project was a last minute addition to my fall plans. It started with perusing a catalogue that came to my mum's house and me spying this Esprit shirt:

I did actually consider buying it, because this isn't actually an expensive shirt, but there were a couple of things I don't like about it. In particular, I have no time for the pleats at the bottom of the placket which I'm afraid would lead inevitably to being asked if I'm pregnant. Also, it seemed like a style I could make more than once if it turned out well. I was very taken by the idea of it in a bright checked fabric, as I have had a similar bookmarked for lo these many weeks on one of my favourite fabric shopping sites but had no excuse to buy it pattern in mind.

First though, I needed a pattern. It's a little bit like the Carme, insofar as it's a pullover blouse with button placket and tabbed sleeves, but the neckline is quite different and that isn't something I have the skills to change on the Carme myself, so I didn't think I could do a straightfoward mod of that pattern.

Patrones 339-2
Having checked my stash and my magazine collection, I decided I didn't have a pattern, as unlikely as that sounds given the size of my Burda mag stash. The closest, but also HIDEOUSLY EXPENSIVE option is a Vogue pattern,
Vogue 1323. Hideously expensive doesn't always stop me, but hideously expensive AND only one useful view because I think the trouser pattern that comes it is vile and would never make it: no. I found a few other alternatives, but the most practical alternative was Butterick 5826, which was MUCH cheaper. I don't like a few things about that top (the D ring sleeve tabs, the sleeves full stop), but I was poised to buy it nevertheless. Then a new issue of Patrones arrived and magically a similar top was in it. This picture is actually NOT the top I made (Patrones 338-19) but from the NEXT issue, as Patrones is nothing if not tediously repetitive. The one I made was very similar except it had bust darts, a tiny bit of gathering at the shoulder and a back yoke, very similar to the Vogue pattern, but the important bit is that the collar/placket etc was like this photo. When I made it I just copied across the shirt-tail hem from the Carme blouse to make it a little more like what I wanted.

However, since I haven't made any tops from Patrones before I decided not to buy the fabric I was thinking about but make it up in some tiny blue and white gingham stuff from my stash.
Not my best idea. It turned out that I HATE this fabric. I've always been dubious about it since I bought it (on eBay second-hand in a huge 6m piece, but for very little money) because it's either 100% polyester or close to it. It has a slight crinkle to it that has an interesting effect in the gingham of making it look slightly stripy from different angles, and I thought, when I tried it, that for polyester it pressed reasonably well. What I didn't realize though until actually sewing was that every time I pressed it, the crinkles flattened out erratically, changing the shape of the fabric pieces after I'd cut them out. I had to cut the collar band out three times and even then it was not quite right. Also, when I went to try it on, it took mere minutes in front on the mirror for the plastic-y polyester texture to grate on my nerves. I hate wearing all poly fabric, it's like wearing a black plastic rubbish bag.

Even if I hadn't hated the fabric... I hated the fit I got from the pattern. The shoulders are WAY off on me, even though I ostensibly cut to size, and at the same time the collar was uncomfortable. I did an OK but not brilliant job with the placket (the Carme instructions give you a MUCH nicer finish) but the several layers of fabric in the placket were too heavy for the fabric and the neckline sagged unattractively -- and I didn't even interface it!

So, lots of rarrrrgh noises later, I tossed the half-made shirt, tossed the remaining fabric (a LOT of remaining fabric, I feel quite guilty) in the pile to go to the fabric recycling box, and abandoned the whole idea for a couple of hours.

Butterick 5826

Since then, I decided that the best plan was to buy the Butterick pattern. I think my actual plan is just to frankenpattern the neckline of view A (or possibly B) onto the basic Carme bodice, because I know that (mostly) fits at the shoulder and I like the sleeve better.

Meanwhile, other news in brief:
- STILL NO KITCHEN. The (second) installation guy is due in the morning tomorrow, now, having been "delayed". I will believe it when I see it at this point.
- I am still thinking about whether I want to make something to wear to this family event. I got as far as laying out pattern pieces on fabric for a new skirt today but then was distracted by the fact that I didn't have a matching zip for it, and ground to a halt again. :| I don't have much time left so I REALLY need to make up my mind.


  1. Well, that sucks about your wadder. I hate it when that happens. And it sounds like both a pattern and a fabric fail.

    BTW--I received my Patrones yesterday. Thank you so much! My daughter wears a 98, so something like 2/3 of that issue's designs come in her current size.

    1. It was an all round fail, I agree! I will have to hope the Butterick pattern works out better!

      Yay, I'm glad your magazine arrived and there are some potentially usable patterns for your daughter! :D

  2. At least you didn't waste good fabric ! I love this style shirt - it is timeless. I have used kwik sew 3026 for a similar style ( front placket ) but it has a different neckline. I find kwik sew fits me well. Good luck with your next version.

    1. Thanks, I am somewhat hopeful that I'll be able to get something to work from some combination of the Butterick pattern and other top patterns that I know fit already. If nothing else, I want an excuse to buy that fabric I've been coveting!