So, I finished this top in time to wear on Sunday.
The fabric is an eyelet from Joann’s. I love the texture and interest the mottled dye gives. The first version of the top had the two rows of ruffles like in view B or C, inspiring me to tell myself, “My, don’t you look fluffy.”
The upper row of ruffles was immediately chopped off, then pressed and stitched under. Ack, such a pain.
The pattern is an oldie, from 1994. The few folks who have a copy for sale online are calling it “vintage.” Really? Eighteen years old is vintage?
Anyhow, since the pattern has long been out of print, I’m not going to do a formal pattern review. But I will share a few things I learned/was reminded of while making this.
1. Sewing with eyelet – If you choose to use eyelet for a main fabric, hold it up to your body to see just how big the holes are. The holes in my eyelet are about 1/8″ across, just a bit too big for comfort, so I decided to line the bodice front and back with the lightest weight batiste I could find.
2. A lining can save you work – Lining a garment with a shaped hem is awesome! It saves you having to do a narrow hem on that curve. It also saved me from having to do a bias binding around the armholes. Woot!
3. Check the finished measurements before choosing a size to sew – It’s always a good idea to check the finished garment measurements to determine what size to make. If I had made the size indicated by my measurements, there would have been 16 inches of wearing ease. As it was, I made two sizes smaller and still have 12 inches of ease. Yes, it’s a peasant blouse, but seriously?
4. Read the instructions first – It’s also always a good idea to read through the directions before starting, visualizing each step. This way you may spot errors, inconsistencies, or just silly ways of doing things.
The neckline ruffle was narrow hemmed on one long edge, then gathered and sewn, right sides up, to the top of the blouse. Then the raw edge was supposed to be turned under and stitched down to form the elastic casing.
If I had thought about it more carefully, I would have realized it made much more sense to press under that raw edge before gathering. It was rather a nightmare to do it afterwards.
Hope you find those tips helpful.
All in all, I’m pleased with my new top and plan to make another. The changes I’ll be making for the next one:
- make one size smaller
- make only one ruffle to begin with
- narrow hem both long edges of the ruffle before attaching to the blouse
Bonus tip: Write down any corrections and observations. If you figure out changes like my list above for a pattern, make sure to write them down and keep them with the pattern. That way you won’t have to reinvent the wheel the next time you pull it out to sew something.