Wednesday, June 14, 2006

bloo shaatsu for jules

Kwik Sew 3027 - misses fitted shirts.

This is an extraordinary thing - a really nicely shaped Kwik Sew pattern. No wear-a-pillowcase styling here.

What's more, now I am wondering if there is something to sleeve cap ease is bogus. This pattern has no sleeve cap ease, but the front and back of the arm pieces are slightly different shapes. The result has plenty of ease - I can whirl my arms in all directions with no tightness across the back or pulling of the front buttons.!

I wasn't quite convinced about some of the methods in the instructions - then again this is my first wimmin's blouse, so probably it was just me. The bit that scared me was having to topstitch down the collar stand and the cuff-sleeve seam without sewing them down any other way first. The instructions only tell you to fold, pin and sew! For the collar stand part I did the whole yoke thing in a different order so that the only bit of dodgy stitching required was a little bit of hand stitching on the _inside_! For the cuffs I bit the bullet, pressed, basted and then went for it. Actually worked OKish - but I still don't fancy tackling the collar the way they recommended. Perhaps one day I will learn to stitch accurately on skinny hems through multiple layers of curving fabric, but at present, when in doubt I prefer to do some hidden handstitching instead.

I used quite lightweight cotton from yee olde local shoppe in Kamakura. Not sure how they get the colouring. I think it is dyed rather than printed since the fabric has no obvious right side.

I toiled for quite a while working out exactly what fitted might correspond to given my measurements (about 36-37,26-27,35-36), and I ended up with S bust and XS+0.5" hips. The 0.5" on the hips didn't seem worth bothering with so I went with XS on the hips. I tapered between the two, while keeping the S length in both body and arms. I wonder if I could have taken a little bit more off the waist -ie tapered more quickly higher up. It is quite funny - the pattern makers put all these nice feminine curves into their patterns and always end up turning them into much straighter lines! They tell you to buy a french curve but all I need is a ruler. :-o The S arm length and body length seem OK on me, again despite the fact that I am a bit under-tall. Tall people will definitely have to length things on this view of the blouse.

The other thing I did differently was the pattern layout. My fabric patterning seemed entirely random, with some patterned parts and other patches of almost solid blue. Luckily I had enough fabric that I could place all the bits that show on interesting parts of the pattern. So I have quite few useless scraps left over.

I used a thicker thread (size 30) for the topstitching and buttonholes (the latter being a tip I found on patternreview which really worked well - although tricky to set the machine up to handle it - increased top tension and re-testing required after every rethread!).

I am really pleased with the results from this pattern. Given previous experience with Kwik Sew I was concerned they only made shapeless clothes so I put this off for a bit. Then revitalised by the excellent zip zops pattern I made recently I decided to give it a go after all. I am now very pleased that I did and thoroughly recommend this pattern to other newbie blouse makers everywhere.