Something blue

It feels like spring has finally arrived in London this week. After months of the seemingly endless cycle of grey days and long, dark nights, the sun is finally shining, blossom has appeared on trees overnight, and any green space in the city is now edged with yellow daffodils (not a colour combination I’d ever wear, but in nature it works). With warmer days finally in sight, I decided to skip the grey tunic and move straight on to a blouse that I can hopefully start wearing soon.

The pattern

When I first started thinking about making this top, I already knew which pattern I would need: New Look 6483. I’m pretty sure it’s the first sewing pattern I ever used, and have made 4 (now 5) tops to date. It’s quite straightforward but has a few steps that always make me think – not to mention the slightly confusing wording of the instructions.

The fabric

I bought some blue shirting fabric from Misan West on Goldhawk Road a few months back. They have a massive sale section on the first floor, so managed to get the 1 metre I needed for just £3. I highly recommend the shop. It has every fabric you could think of and the sale/remnants section really is incredible – my friend picked up enough wool to make a coat for just £20!

The fabric was really easy to handle with very little stretch and wasn’t slippery at all (something I was worried about as it was so cheap). The only downside is that the pins and some unpicking have left a few marks – one right on the front in the middle! I’m hoping that it will be less prominent after washing the top…

shirt05

The fabric in question

The process

As I’ve used the pattern several times before, the process was largely straightforward. I decided not to use any interfacing as I always find it ends up making tops too stiff. An unlined facing seems to be enough, once I cut the right pieces. Note to self: still read the pattern carefully even if you’ve used it several times before!

The previous tops I’ve made didn’t have sleeves, so that was one thing that was different this time. I also deviated from the pattern slightly by making the sleeves long and wide. When cutting the pieces I simple drew a diagonal line from the original sleeve seem, being careful not to exaggerate the shape too much. I’m pretty pleased with the shape of the sleeves, but if I do it again I think I’ll be more careful to change the shape from the elbow downwards, rather than from the top of the sleeve.

Sewing the sleeves in took some time, but the time invested was well worth it. I read up about how to insert sleeves and how to use ease-stitching (Tilly’s book and Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time give great explanations – better than anything I could find online), and was super careful with pinning and basting. This is one of the reasons why I love dressmaking so much; thinking about how to turn a 2-dimensional piece of fabric and some thread into something that fits a 3-dimensional human body!

Et voila!

shirt01

Natural lighting highlighting my poor ironing skills…

shirt02

Shoulder seam no.1 (and the wholes left by unpicking some messy stitching)

shirt03

Shoulder seam no. 2 (the seam in action)

shirt04

The wide sleeve – I sewed a deeper hem than usual as the width makes the inside of the sleeve fairly visible

 

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