Friday, April 4, 2014

Made by Me Files/OOTDs: Pretty Blossoms Top (Simplicity 9559 Bow Blouse).

Up first will be the ootds portion followed by a bit on the sewing up of the blouse.

I made Angus's little overalls last summer.  They were much longer last summer.  He's getting so big!

Day: Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Where: School Duties--Volunteering and Pickup.

Ease of Wear: (4.5 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.)  I wore this for maybe a total of two hours the day before, so I decided I wanted to wear it again, that is how comfy this blouse  Don't worry, it is now in the wash after being worn for a combined total of five hours.  ;-)

Again, making your own clothing means (as long as it is fitted correctly during the process) that the item fits exactly as *you* need it to fit, not what some random fit model needs for her fit. Since most blouses fit me from the waist up in ready to wear, I typically don't worry too much about making those, but it is wonderful to have a blouse that not only fits in the upper portion but fits nice and loose through the lower portion, where in the past on RTW button-downs they do fit a whole lot tighter.  (My shoulder and bust are very small so if I sized for my hips I would end up with a ridiculously oversized man shirt that would hide any figure I have.)  I feel like now all I want to do is make more blouses, but since this one was a bit of a labor of love, I may wait a while to make another.

The skirt is old old old and has been washed so many times it is as soft as a baby's bottom.  The shoes and jacket are also very easy to wear.

Cool Factor: (3.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I like this overall.  Very pretty and the jacket is a very interesting shape.  The jacket may be really old (like seven years), but I turn to it more than I ever thought I would.  In fact when I first bought it, I thought I had chosen wrong and was all set to return it, but it has aged very well and fits my style better now than it did then.  The skirt is dated, but it suits my frame, so it works. 

Anecdote from the Day:  Did the typical for any room parent/SAHM...lots of time with the young'ns.  It was lovely to have two other moms show up and help with the volunteer activity, always a pleasure to get to know more folks like myself.  After last year's weep-fest (where I felt like no one liked me), I have definitely come into my own amongst the parents there.  Sure, I don't fit in with everyone (still way too many very pretty, very rich, very fit parents who I am pretty sure don't even notice me), but there are so many wonderful people there who are hoping to be friends with me, too.

Day: Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Where: Angus's doctors appointment and Subway for lunch.

Ease of Wear: (4 of 5 stars--5 being the most easy to wear.) Well it's comfortable enough, but it took a little bit for the pants to feel super comfy since they had been washed and dried and still had the taut feel to them.  Of course they are a lightweight chambray so they quickly stretched out, but until then they were not perfection. 

Cool Factor: (2.5 of 5 stars--5 being the coolest--for both outfits.) I love this combo of colors, the yellow, white, and light blue together.  So perfect for the spring that appears to have fully sprung round these parts.  It wasn't the best look ever, but I was in a hurry to get going to Angus's two-year old physical, so I wasn't going to fuss around looking for cooler bottoms.  ;-) 

Anecdote from the Day:  The appointment was scheduled last minute so I had to cancel on the Moms group that I am one of the founders of...ugh.  But of course it was fine, but I felt bad.

Last year I bought the Collection Secretary Blouse in the Hummingbird Floral Print and was so sad when I discovered that it didn't quite have the magical powers it needed for me to keep it in my closet.  Instead I decided that I would try to remake the shirt in a floral that was the right shade of blue for my skin tone using a vintage 1980 Simplicity (9559) pattern that I had found on ebay.

I didn't want to cut into the Liberty print tana lawn until I was sure that the blouse was going to fit me, so I decided to make the blouse out of a pretty floral cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner (called Little Folks "Little Honey Meadow") that is far less expensive and still available just in case I really screwed up.

I knew the size 12 would fit since I definitely have a size 34 inch high bust measurement, but I wasn't sure about how it would work on my hips.  I did at least know that this pattern had a long deep dart from the hip up to the bust, so if need be I could play with the dart to ensure it fit through to the hip.  I *kind of* knew it wouldn't work from waist down as is, but I am always ever hopeful.  LOL.

I ended up taking the dart and releasing the bottom of the dart into a reverse pleat from low waist down.  It ended up working out better than I imagined since I really like how soft it looks and how well it matches the sort of "romantic" look of this blouse.  The bow and print and lightweight fabric really lend itself well to these pretty details.

I did shorten the blouse by a half-inch and I am glad I did since the blouse hits right at mid-hip.  I was supposed to use a narrow hem, but still felt like the top was too long, so I ended up turning it up 5/8" to shorten it even more.

The bow construction was very easy, but applying the facing to the button placket/bow collar combo was tricky and I know I can do better, so I will be very careful when I make up the J. Crew fake Secretary blouse.

The sleeves were such a delight to attach.  I normally struggle with setting in sleeves, but these required very little fiddling on my part to properly place in the armscye.  I still pinned the heck out of the sleeve when attaching it to the body of the blouse, and I definitely took my time, but I didn't have to go back and seam rip any portion of the sleeve, so small successes, people.

Unlike the front, I did not let out the dart in the back.  It turns out the my back width is very small in comparison with my front at the high hip area.  (Further down, it is the opposite case, thankyouverymuch big bottom.)  The blouse it a touch too long in back, but I can pinch out some extra length when making the fake secretary blouse (there a ton of tutorials on how to do that--this is for a dress, but can be used on a blouse).

I am glad I did this...not only did I want to make something that was not a winter garment, but I also really wanted to try this pattern out, AND I figured since PatternReview was running a fitted blouse contest I might as well put my entry in there, too.  :-)   Three birds, one stone.

Okay, that's it for now...I hope everyone is having a great Friday, and we'll talk soon!