Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tweet Tweet - Weekend Sewing Summer Blouse

I think this is everyone's first project out of Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing book!
And for good reason, it just looks like such a fun, simple top and who isn't looking forward to spring and summer?

I won't lie, I definitely had some issues making it. I started making it Thursday, thinking I would whip it up quickly...
* First, I was making the large size and I needed more than the 1 and 5/8 yard suggested. I actually used most of my 2 yard cut.
* Second, the cutting layout in the book didn't work at all. Fortunately I love puzzles and often make up my own anyway.
* Next, I wasn't getting the directions about sewing the bias trim to the neck edge. I was lost, I didn't understand what size strip to cut or what the finished size would be. I kind of muddled through it but was getting frustrated.
It was late so I stopped here.

Fortunately the very next day I actually got to talk to Heather at Spool Sewing for a book signing/store party! What perfect timing! :)
I also got to see some summer blouses in person which also really helped. I liked the tip I got from one of the ladies at Spool, to just do a simple bias strip folded in half. Then line up all raw edges, stitch, flip to the back and stitch more. I'm thinking a 1" strip, a 1/8" edge stitch would yield a neat 3/8" finished edge so I'll definitely work it this way next time.

One thing I love about this pattern is that is feels infinitely adaptable.
I changed a few things with mine, the biggest is that I took in the side seams quite a bit under the darts. It was looking TOO loose and flowy for my tastes. I also added an inch of length (and did a narrow rolled hem). I chopped about 3" off my sleeves before hemming those -- they were long!
I'm not super happy with the height of the collar, it almost hits my neck. I think I would prefer a slightly lower curve, following the collarbone. Of course, I don't plan on wearing it closed and so I didn't add the loop and button at the top anyway.

So I already have my next version planned (I think I'd make loads of variations if I had the time!) I have an Amy Butler print waiting. This one will be sleeveless, with a V neck and a longer tunic length. Maybe some more darts. We'll see!

It was so much fun meeting Heather, I hope she doesn't think I was a giant PITA bashing her book. There are so many patterns in it that I *WILL* make. I've even learned how to make buttonholes to make the Kai shirt! Her writing style makes all of it seem very approachable for a beginner. I'm looking forward to working with different fabrics outside my comfort zone now, I'll just be sure to check out the errata on Heather's blog first. ;)


  1. Hi! I totally agree with your issues with the pattern: the yardage is just WRONG--version one ended up with me having different sleeves!! Even with 2 yards for try #2, I will have 3/4 sleeves willynilly. AND the neck line. . . oy! I am taking it out (this will make it try #3) and gnashing my teeth.

    My original love for the book is fading, actually, given that this oh-so-easy pattern is so riddled with unhelpful errors. Oh, basting marks are missing, too. . . .

    BUT: I will take hope from your story and set forth again. Just maybe not to wear tomorrow! Maybe. Then again. . .!

  2. Yes there are a lot of errors. I've made the Kai shirt and Huck Finn pants and found some smaller issues with those too. Check the errata on Heather's blog for info on the basting marks, and email her other things that you find!

    I was able to cut a size L out of a 2 yard piece easily (with a directional fabric too). I'll post my cutting layout tonight, probably over in the Flikr group:
    There are some discussions in the group too.

  3. I made the dish towel from the book, and I even modified it! I am going to make the shirt, so thanks for your pointers! I've been reading a lot of people's blogs about it. I like the book and am going to make the headband today, but you would think they would have had someone make all the patterns first to discover the problems.