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  1. Sewing Redux: Simplicity 1590 & 3688

    Friday, January 17, 2014

    Why the hell doesn't Simplicity come up with nicer names for their patterns other than a bunch of boring numbers? Anyway, I digress.

    Finally, here is a redux of my latest two sewing ventures: a forties peplum blouse (1590) and skirt (3688), both Simplicity reprints.

    First up, the skirt. I am IN LOVE with this skirt. I wear it at least every other day. Being in between the sizes of Simplicity I chose to make a 14, but regretted it as it was 3 inches too big. I took in the waist but it's STILL a little too big. Oy vey! Neither these photos nor the pattern art above really does it justice.

    Other than the sizing, this skirt is perfect. It was so easy to sew up, has lovely seaming and I even deviated from the pattern to add pockets, including a pocket on the side zipper with a little Instagram advice from Naomi of Arthelia's Attic.

    The only thing I would do differently on the next one (oh, and there will be a next one!) is to not chicken out on the side fastening and do a button & hole instead of a T-bar (in fact, I find that I love button holes and may never make anything with a snap or zipper again). I used a lightweight suiting in navy and it has a lovely all-season wear. So far this is my favourite me-made wardrobe item and the most worn.

    Next up is the peplum blouse, which was the antithesis of the navy skirt, unfortunately. I'm chalking it up to trying too many new things at once, including:

    • slippery and unforgiving fabric (which shows up terribly in photos, by the way)
    • peplum
    • buttonholes (which I love, but still, it's new)
    • collars 
    I think any one of these challenges would have been fine on its own, but as a combination it was a very trying time trying to get everything on the straight and narrow.

    That peplum reaaaally got me. I should have just ignored the wording of the pattern instructions and  looked at the picture instead. It's still not 100% right - it's definitely too high up - but I can't fix it without all the ripping out showing, as you can see below.

    Also, I bit the bullet and sewed this one as a 12 instead of a 14, and it fits perfectly (if I wear a garter belt) but it makes the ties useless. The ties also highlight the fact that the peplum is sewn on too high. You can also see the snags from ripping out in this photo. Since the ties are attached on the inside I may just take them out. 

    The collar was also a big pain in the rear. Since it was my first time making a collar I got confused and actually sewed the shoulders shut without attaching the collar in between, so it was just hanging there by its basting. So once I figured out that it had to go in between, I had to do MORE ripping out (the 'ole Clover really got a workout this time around) and stitching. I think the collar is a bit too short in the back, which causes some curling of the collar. 

    I do, however, really like the buttons and buttonholes. The original pattern calls for a little bow tie too, but after I made it and held it up, I really didn't like the way it looked and left it out. I can't stand things buttoned high on my short neck (speaking of which, the pattern also called for another button, can you believe it?).

    The buttonholes were a challenge, but I'm really proud of myself. I was practicing the buttonholes and the last part of my buttonholer was just doing lazy zig-zags instead of matching the first part, so I ended up drawing the buttonholes on and manually machine stitching them. It took me 16 tries to get the perfect formula, but now I'm not scared of buttonholes anymore!

    Nothing much to say here other than I love these buttons. I think it's funny that I picked blue buttons for this blouse when my latest knitting project is also blue and dark red (and white). 

    I also declined to do a narrow hem because it was waaaay too finicky with the slippery stuff, so I did a catch hem by hand instead while bingeing on Downton Abbey. I'm also excited to sew something with set-in sleeves for my next project, as I've realized that the first two blouses I've done were kimono sleeves. 

    Well, that's all I have to say on this one! I really like the blouse and will wear it, because it's still wearable despite all of the little things I pointed out, plus no one on the street would really notice anyway. Have you made either of these garments? What were your experiences like?

    PS - thanks to my darling Ian for the photos! It was -9 (15.8 to Americans) when we were out taking these photos, and it was a wee bit chilly. 

  2. 7 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      Ooooh, so many pretties! I followed your progress on Instagram and the final reveal is fabulous!! The skirt is terrific - a great wardrobe staple - and the blouse is so pretty. You are brave to sew with slippery fabric (I swear too much if I do - LOL!) and I simply adore the contrast buttons.

    2. Unknown said...

      Awesome post Laurie! I can’t wait to read about your next project :-)

    3. Helen Mae said...

      Pretty pretty! The colour of the blouse is veeeery nice.

    4. The 16 tries really paid off, those button holes look absolutely excellent - as do both of these garments. Wonderful work! They partner so beautifully together, too (and I can't help but think how great that shirt would be for Valentine's Day).

      ♥ Jessica

    5. Isis said...

      You look really great! Very nice outfit!

    6. Unknown said...

      Despite any issues you had in sewing this outfit, it turned out looking really good. I also have the say the colors look great on you. Nice job ;) And thanks for sharing your insight with these patterns, I own both and am glad to know of some issues I should be aware of when working with them.

    7. I can see where you had problems with this fabric and pattern, but bottom line, it's a very flattering style and fit for your figure. You would probably need to modify the pattern pieces at the back to make them a bit longer for your figure before adding the peplum. Good on you for finishing it in spite of the challenges. Thank you for sharing.

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