The Anderson Blouse Pt5

Work on the Anderson blouse continues (I’m sure you’re getting bored of these posts!). The sleeves are made, but completing the flat felled seam inside the sleeve was very tricky.


On the first attempt I managed to catch part of the sleeve, so had to unpick and try again. The first sleeve is now attached to the body.

I went to the local market to pick up some buttons for the cuffs. As they were so cheap (15p each), I chose an ivory coloured pair and a black pair, so I could try and them out against the fabric.

I think I am leaning towards the ivory button.

Sewing is going to have to wait for a bit, the sewing machine is away so I can tidy my flat as I have my parents visiting for dinner tonight. So enough blogging, off to wheel out the vacuum (there are bits of thread everywhere!).

While my daughter was at her friend’s house, I managed to get some more work done on the Anderson Blouse. After unpicking the shoulder seams more than once, I managed to get them lined up in such a way so I could create the flat felled seam. I tried on the blouse shell (sleeves come next), and it fits really well.

My daughter returned home late in the evening bearing cupcakes:

Apparently they are ‘accidentally gluten-free, and taste a bit like rice’, I shall try one later!

I’ve been making homemade lemonade this week and was going to write up the adapted recipe I used for this blog. But the weather was grey and overcast for most of the day, so I’ve been struggling to take a good picture to finish off the post – hopefully, tomorrow…..

Today I thought I would try out some seams on the fabric, especially as I wanted to encase the raw edges of the fabric as it frays very badly. Fortunately, Sew Over It were very generous with their fabric estimations, so I had plenty of spare fabric after cutting out my pattern pieces

As my sewing machine can only do a straight stitch, I tried out a French Seam and a Flat Felled Seam.

When I compared the finished straight seams I definitely preferred the flat felled seam. It lies completely flat and was slightly easier to do (no juggling with seam allowance mathematics). Although the French seam looked neater on the outside, I didn’t like the feel of it on the inside, plus I knew I would have to cope with a gathered seam and a set-in sleeve and they are more difficult with a French seam.

I then decided to test the flat felled seam in both a set-in sleeve shape and a gathered straight edge.

The flat felled seam worked well, but I need to be more careful when sewing so I don’t catch any of the fabric in the seam.

So now I have tested everything I can think of, it’s time to take the plunge and sew the actual blouse!

While my daughter had a friend round (the teenagers spent most of the day eating me out of house and home and watching anime), I traced my Anderson Blouse pattern. Ironed the fabric (it’s one that wrinkles if you just look at it wrong), pinned out my pattern pieces and cut them out.

Then I read the first instruction from Sew Over It.

Hmm, this could be tricky. As you may already know, I sew on a vintage 1920s Singer hand-crank sewing machine.

This lovely sewing machine can only do a straight stitch, and only forwards. You have to physically change the direction of the fabric to go in the other direction.

I think I am going to try and sew 10mm from the edge of a test bit of fabric to see if that works as stay stitching.

Slightly related, if you are thinking of trying a Sew Over It pattern, I can report that the instructions are very clear (with photographic diagrams).

I’ve been admiring the Anderson Blouse from Sew Over It for a while. When I realised that one of their shops was in Clapham North (only a few tube stops from me) I decided to take a trip.

The ladies in the shop were lovely, but annoyingly they didn’t have any physical patterns for the Anderson Blouse. So I picked up some fabric and decided to buy the PDF version of the pattern when I got home.

I must admit that I had forgotten how much I hate PDF patterns, especially the faff I have to go through to print them out. You can’t customise the scale of the page when printing from an iPad, so I had to go and dig out my laptop. After a lot of trial and error (mainly my laptop refusing to recognise the printer), I ended up digging out my printer cable and connecting them together.

Remember to scale your pages to 100% to make sure the pattern prints out at the correct scale. 32 pages later, I had a pile of paper ready to be stuck together.

After a lot of sticky tape and patience (and possibly a little swearing), the pattern was stuck together. Now all I need to do is trace the pattern onto tracing paper, but I think that is a job for tomorrow.

The fabric I picked up is lovely and drapey, I think it is Crepe de Chine. I love the feathers and I hoping it will look nice as a finished blouse.

The next thing I am planning on making is the Mae Blouse from Blue Ginger Doll. I bought the pattern and fabric 2 weeks ago and have been gradually tracing it.

Unfortunately, I have also damaged my back (it has all the symptoms of sciatica). It has been getting worse in the last few weeks and I am currently waiting to be referred for an MRI.

It is now at the stage where I am taking incredibly powerful medication many times a day and am unable to sit on a chair for more than about 10mins (kind of makes sewing tricky).

So until I start improving, there won’t be many blog posts from me. Bear with me, I hope to be back in action soon…….

Yesterday was a busy day. I finished my Mathilde Blouse. The adaptations worked perfectly, so now the neckline sits in my collar bone and the blouse finishes just below my hips.

I mentioned before that I have a Singer sewing machine from 1934. Due to my eBay stalking, I also have a 1940’s buttonholer.

It comes with a series of cams that you put inside for different size buttonholes. The first things I did when I received it was to make a buttonhole sample strip. This means I can test buttons to check which cam I need to make the right size buttonhole.

So with buttonholer attached I finished off Mathilde with its buttoned back.

While I had the buttonholer out I also made the buttonholes for a shirt I finished ages ago. I copied an existing shirt to make this, and I’ll post at some point about how I did this (basically brown paper and lots of patience!).

Onto the next project: The Mini Skirt.

My teenage daughter has asked to help me make a mini skirt for her. So I found a pattern on Burda Style for a sequinned pleated mini skirt.

I have spent the morning (while waiting for said teenage to wake up!) printing out and sticking together the pattern.

30 A4 pages that need to be patiently trimmed and tessellated together. I’ve still got to trace the pattern pieces (and add my own seam allowance, because the pattern doesn’t have them), but that will have to wait until I have an awake teenager to measure.

In the meantime here is the fabric she has chosen for her skirt:

Red roses for the main skirt, very dark blue lining. She’s hoping to wear this skirt tomorrow – I think that means I’ll need to go and wake her up (again!).

Just before I started this blog, I made this blouse:

The pattern is the Mathilde Blouse from Tilly and the Buttons. It comes again with a wonderful set of tutorials. However, I am quite tall (and have a particularly long body, which is why shop bought dresses never have their waistline in the right place on me), so I decided to make another Mathilde blouse to go with the skirt I finished the other day.

I decided to modify the pattern slightly. Mainly to make the body longer, the neckline slightly lower (so it sits in my collar bone instead of above it) and the sleeves slightly narrower.

So I traced the pattern pieces, with my modifications, and am about to start cutting out my pieces from some plain white cotton poplin. I am planning on using some turquoise polka dot buttons for the back.

There are 1 1/2 weeks left of the Easter holidays and I am planning to make this blouse, another skirt and my teenage daughter has asked if I can help her make a skirt as well. It’s going to be busy!

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