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The not-so-mean reds

December 15, 2010

The final version of my Alexander blouse, and I’m pretty darned pleased with it.  When I first spotted the pattern, I knew just the fabric to use – this red & white polka dot silk chiffon I’d been eyeing at Gorgeous Fabrics.  I don’t mind sewing silk, but really hate cutting it.  Maybe because I don’t have a huge table to spread it out on, key for cutting silks.  I was also pretty excited to try out the rolled hem function on my serger, after tracking down the special needle plate my machine requires.  Totally made my day!  It may not be a couture finish, but works so well in this situation.  And was so worth changing the settings on my finicky serger.  I can tell this is going to be my new bestie.

I sewed up a muslin first, but can’t find the snapshots at the moment, and don’t feel like taking them again.  The muslin went together easily, but it was definitely too short to look remotely attractive, both in the bodice and the goofy little peplum.  So I lengthened each two inches.  I interlined the chiffon with China silk – gotta stay decent.  Speaking of staying decent, I added a placket to both the front and back (even though that never really opens).

The pattern called for the center front and back sections to meet…and that’s all!  Peekabo!  It also suggested shank buttons, but who in their right mind wants a half dozen pieces of hard plastic poking into their back all day long?

The seams were all stitched with a French seam.

Prior to fit adjustments - see how baggy that is?

When I first wore it, I realized that it was just too baggy between the bust and waist.  Another case of needing structured garments, or just my inadequate fitting?  Well, it wasn’t going to do, so I took apart the seams, French be damned!, and graded it in at the waist by about 3/8″ (which is a total of 1.5″ because it’s 3/8 on both the front and back of each seam).  This still wasn’t quite enough, but I’d already sewed up the second half of the French seam, so simply took it in a smidge more on that second half.  Thus, you can see the double line of stitched on the side seam, but I’d rather that than stress a delicate fabric by repeated unpicking.

For button loops, I simply made thread bars with bee’s wax coated thread, and then sewed on abalone buttons.  I may make little thread bar loops at the side to serve as belt carries.  For now…Fini!

Silk chiffon, China silk, abalone buttons, serged rolled hems, French seams, thread bars

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2010 12:53 am

    Wow this turned out lovely!! Saw this on BurdaStyle. Me digs the print + the lipstick too!


    • threadsquare permalink*
      December 16, 2010 1:23 pm

      Aw, thanks! I’m digging your site name, and contents…another fab blog to read!

  2. Ryan permalink
    December 16, 2010 7:31 am


  3. December 17, 2010 11:05 am

    Just saw this on Burda and wanted to say I think it’s gorgeous. I love red and polka dots so I swooned when I saw it! Jane x

    • threadsquare permalink*
      December 17, 2010 12:38 pm

      Thanks for such a lovely comment! One can never go wrong with red and white polka dots.

  4. January 26, 2011 10:57 am

    How did you put in the front placket? I made this shirt but I couldn’t figure out how to do that, and I want to put one in because the gaps are not so cute….this looks amazing!

    • threadsquare permalink*
      January 26, 2011 5:57 pm

      Thanks, Leah! I cut two plackets, each 2″ wide. One was double the length of the front (but starting a tad lower than the top button), the other double the length of the back. Mine were also interlined, as the chiffon is sheer & to add support. Fold in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch, trim corner, turn. Then, at step 9 in the instructions, prior to sewing the facings to the body of the front and back, sandwich the placket inside between the outer fabric & facing. When these are turned right side out, you should have a placket sticking out from what would have been the edge. Make sure you sew the placket on the opposite side of the loops/same side as buttons (left front & right back). I hope this makes sense!

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