Thursday, 19 March 2015

Lottie blouse sew-along - week 3: darts and bodice assembly

I have some exciting news, as we are beginning the sewing today!

Before we start, I've set up a Flickr group, so do share your fabric choice, in-progress photos and of course the finished garments here

And just one more thing before we begin sewing (I know, I know, but this is very important) - we need to transfer our pattern markings to the fabric pieces. 

I recently started using tailor's tacks, and tend to rely on them a lot more than using pins when it comes to delicate/slippery/mobile fabrics. Want to decide for yourself? Taisia has a wonderful post here

OK, let's sew! :D 

First, pin each dart with right sides together. 

Here I am using glass-headed pins, as the crepe fabric that I'm using isn't hugely delicate (but it sure moves quite a bit), and the main benefit of these pins is that their heads are made of glass, so are iron-proof. 

If you are using more delicate fabric, though, I would highly recommend using fine pins like these, as they will minimise any potential damage to the fabric. They should come with a health warning, though, as pro-longed use would give you finger-aches! 

Sew it as pinned. Backstitch at the start, but do not backstitch at the bust point. If you are working with a delicate and fluid fabric, you might want to check out some tips here for a smooth, pucker-free finish. 

Instead, leave a decent length of thread trail, and tie a double knot by hand.  

Press darts towards the bottom. 

Next, pin bodice front to bodice back with wrong sides together, i.e. like how it would look finished except for the seams, because we are going to use French seams! I have pinned the side seams as well as the shoulder seams as 1) I find it quicker to pin as much as I can, and then sew the seams all in one go, and 2) we are going to set in the sleeves, as opposed to attaching them flat (distinction explained here)

Sew a narrow 0.5cm seam. This is because the built-in seam allowance for this pattern is only 1cm, rather than the usual 1.5cm, which is then halved to allow for the French seams. 

Please excuse the orangy-looking photos. It is hard to get decent photos on a winter weekday evening. Thankfully I found a super clear tutorial here on French seams for you. 

After sewing all four seams (2 sides and 2 shoulders) with a narrow seam allowance, we are going to trim them to make them ever more narrow! This is so that when we sew again with a 0.5cm seam allowance on the other side, the seams won't be poking out. 

Press seams open. 

Next, we are going to turn the blouse inside out. Pin these 4 seams again, but this time with the right sides together, i.e. enclosing the seam allowances.  


Sew all four seams as pinned. 

That'll be all for this week! We almost have a wearable blouse ;) Stay tuned and you'll have your own Lottie blouse very soon! 

3 comments:

  1. Yay, I managed to master my slippery fabric so far! I decided to try out the tailor tacks as well. Normally I just use chalk to mark the darts on the wrong side of the fabric, but for this delicate fabric I didn't dare! The tailor tacks worked quite well, though :). I just tried the blouse on as it is now, and I am quite happy with the fit. And the silk just feels heavenly on my skin!. But it frays like crazy, so I'll be happy when all my seams are French (I wonder how you're planning to do that for the sleeves, but I guess I'll find out soon). I put a picture of my Lottie-in-progress in your Flickr group. It was taken after dark, so the lighting is pretty bad I'm afraid, but it gives an impression. Looking forward to the next steps!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for uploading it - it is looking great!

      Very glad to hear that you are getting on well with the slippery fabric :)

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