Have you ever owned a fabric you’ve been too terrified to cut into? I think a lot of us have been there. It can be because it’s so beautiful or so rare or it cost you so much or it represents something much bigger about your sewing status.
I put fabrics up on a pedestal all the time, it can be a £40 silk or a £2 polyester. Its a real problem!
For me this Liberty print ticked so many of those fear boxes; it’s rare because I’ve never found Liberty chambray anywhere other than one Japanese etsy seller. It cost me a bit to buy it and ship it over as you might imagine. And it’s utterly beautiful so I wanted it in my Carline dress family.
I decided a safe bet would be to sew a pattern I’d made before but with a few tweaks. I’d loved making the Elisalex because of the great fitting princess seams and wanted to try adding sleeves to make the dress more versatile. I skipped the instructions for the sleeve insertion and used the clean insertion method which I’ve used a few times – video close up here. I really should post my own version of this tutorial as I think the original post photos are a little hard to see.
With this technique the sleeve is fully enclosed in the bodice lining for a very professional finish. The draft of the sleeves is excellent by the way!
I also swapped out the skirt pleats for gathers as I think the pleats fell a little funny on my lower half.
Seeing photos of the back still makes me smile with it’s gorgeous swooped neckline… makes me sad I can’t see my back when I wear it! Thought I’d need some kind of flamingo or giraffe neck for that to be possible. For the zipper I’m not over the moon with my invisible zipper. Even after installing what feels like a thousand, there are just some that don’t want to stay hidden at the intersections of the seams, even when everything has been graded and stitched properly. This is why my heart belongs to lapped zippers. I might unpick and redo.
As you saw at the start I thought I’d copy Gertie and make a sailor inspired number but changed my mind as I lay the binding on. Maybe it’s plain but I love it. And if down the line I want to fancy it up I can hand-stitch trim on top!
What do think? Add some trim or leave it plain?
Waheeeyyyy I finally can share my Sassy Librarian Blouse with you!
(Plus I’ll be announcing my Giveaway winner!)
I was lucky enough to sign up for the course that accompanies this blouse when Craftsy had a free class day.
I’d seen so many great variations of this blouse that it really intrigued me if the style would suit me.
At the blogger meet up I chose a Liberty cotton tana lawn print that had tiny golfers and greens in a purple, lialc and apple green colour way.
Erica also bought this groovy fabric in a red and blue colourway, great minds think alike.
I went for view 2 – with pleats, the bow and the tab. As soon as Christine mentioned Mary Tyler Moore I was like hells yes, that’s what I’m after.
What do you normally do on a sunny evening? Of course you go up to the roof terrace and do a golf themed photo shoot!
I’m really pleased I made this blouse as it’s a pretty different and unique design.
Perhaps I’d make a couple of changes next time though:
- I’d definitely lower the back neckline as it’s a bit too high which makes it gape.
- I’d also lower the front a touch as the tab and bow hit a little too high for comfort when I look down.
- I might also swap out the release pleats for darts as I feel they aren’t as flattering on me as I’m used to.
- I’d also experiment with using more overlocked edges and see if they add any bulk to the insides.
The class was pretty well run and perfectly tailored for beginners.
As I had a little more experience I was chomping at the bit to fast forward a little and see the next step but it probably did me some good to stop and watch all the parts.
I do wish details were added in to explain how to use french seams on this blouse. I figured it out myself but bet loads of people had the same head scratching moments that I did. I much prefer the insides with french seams when using a delicate cotton lawn like this.
I also sneakily sewed down my facings, behind one of the pleat flaps. This way my seams (trapped between my facings and outer fabric) definitely won’t fray which is something I was worried about.
Christine is such a sweetheart, explaining everything carefully and clearly, and I really liked that she always looked well put together and was so softly spoken.
The paper pattern wasn’t too fiddly to print and stick, though I did still end up tracing it out afterwards as I had so many amendments to make after my muslin.
I’d definitely recommend the class and it’s inspired me to see what other classes Craftsy has that I could take.
Giveaway winner announcement!
Now what you’re probably all waiting for.
I bloody love the sewing community!! I’ve been nominated for another Liebster award and a Super Sweet Blogger Award.
Jo from Sew Little Time is an awesome kickass sewist. Her blog is great fun to read, she’s a good twitter friend and, as I learned at the blogger meet up, an excellent dinner partner.
Check out her Mad Men dress, Anise and all her lovely knitting for starters!
Jo has thrown down the gauntlet with questions for her nominees. There wasn’t any of that last time around so I’m happy to play along.
I don’t see any shame in admitting this. I totally heart First Knight. I wish I could say a cool film but it’d be a fib. I can’t really say why but I love Richard Gere as an American Lancelot and Sean Connery as a Scottish King Arthur! Awesome fun. Maybe it’s the mystery of Camelot. Who knows. Have you seen it? Have I gone up or down in your estimation?
2. What kind of holidays do you like – beach? city break? raving in Ibiza? Do tell!
I love the sun. It’s not about baking myself that much, more about being totally warmed through, getting vitamin D and feeling really healthy (doesn’t everyone feel more healthy in bright warm sunlight). My favourite place to visit is Melbourne. Let me sit in the sun with a good book at St Kilda and I’d be a very happy lady.
3. I spend a lot of time commuting – if you had a spare hour on the train, what would you do?
I do the same! I have an hour each way to waste on the way to my office. I read blogs, work on Almond Rock posts and play on my social media accounts. I really want to get back into reading books on the train so I need a bigger handbag me thinks!
4. What is the best sewing book you have read?
I think my current favourite is the Merchant and Mills sewing book. Its very cleverly written to be gender neutral, charming and inspiring. I learnt some great new tips and really responded to the design and layout used.
5. Knits or wovens?
Wovens all the way baby! It’s one of my New Year ReSewlutions to get better at knits… but hey crikey we’re nearly half way through the year already! I should probably mobilise on that.
6. What is your favourite blog?
Oh no you don’t. I’m not picking a favourite!! I love so many. There are blogs with amazing layouts, great clever features, beautiful clothes, diys and crafts, and most of all hilarious happy people who I enjoy reading about and chatting to.
7. What other crafts do you do and which is your favourite?
Honestly I’m afraid I don’t really do much else. I dabble with jewellery making but not enough to say it’s a secondary craft. I read a lot, watch epic movie marathons and wax lyrical about James Bond. I also like to think I’m a pretty decent baker and cake decorator. I’ve learned from the best though so is that really a craft or more of a handed down family secret?
8. What is your karaoke song?
For a big old extrovert I’m not really a fan of karaoke. I do have one ace up my sleeve. Think Nelly….
9. Sweet or savoury?
Sweeeeeeeet. I’d love to live off dessert without consequences… and bread! Give me a banoffee pie and I’ll call you my best friend!
10. What is your favourite accessory?
At the minute it’s my red leather satchel. I can’t stop using it! I got on my way home from the epic London meetup so it always reminds me of sewing adventures.
Eeeeek I’d want a spending spree! But to be more restrained… I’m currently cooking up a plan for a shirtdress so I’d buy 2 metres of pale pink carline rose tana lawn (£44) and Simplicity 1880 (£8). Then I’m out of budget. Oh.
If I got the pale pink cabbage rose cath kidston print fabric (£25) instead of Liberty I could also squeeze in an order of a belladone from Deer and Doe perhaps?
Phew that was harder than I thought. I wonder if you all feel like you’ve seen into my soul now…
Next up the Super Sweet Blogger Award which was given to me by lovely Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea. Thanks very much Lara. I had the pleasure of her company in Birmingham this weekend. She is fun and talented and dreams of dresses!
I mean after hearing that you’ve GOT TO check out her blog!
She’d like me to answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
And to nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.
Q: Cookies or Cake?
A: Cake I think… just edges it out.
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
A: CHOCOLATE are you crazy?!
Q: Favorite sweet treat?
A: Banoffee pie all the way. Or as close as you can get to it!
Q: When do you crave sweets the most?
A: As soon as I go on a diet. But mostly after dinner time.
Q: Sweet nickname?
A: Nothing to report here. It’s very hard to abbreviate a three letter name into something cuter!
I’m very grateful to the sewing community but for these awards I’d like to nominate my favourite food bloggers for a bit of redirection! Maybe you’ll discover someone you like too?