Only a month off schedule (!), the strawberry blouse is finished! I actually finished it late last night but couldn’t be bothered to model it for photos then so I’ve done so this evening. Apologies – I was rained on earlier and so my hair’s a bit off and I have no make-up on as well as only about 2-3 hours sleep so if I look like I might collapse with tiredness it’s because I might.
As usual, I took photos into my bedroom mirror so it looks like spotty fabric rather than white with tiny red strawberries but there are some clearer photos of the fabric further down when I took it off.
I am so happy with the fit of this blouse! Having always been a little bit larger in the chest department but with a narrow waist, normal shoulders and larger than average upper arms, blouses never fit correctly. The closest I came was a wrap-around blouse from H&M (below) because I could make it fit with the waist tie!
However, it was a little low cut for day-to-day wear! So learning to make blouses and shirts is a great skill to have. I also find a lot of blouses fall a little short which means it’s hard not to flash a bit of skin from time to time.
The main part that appealed to me with this pattern was the collar as I like the Peter Pan collar look. However, perhaps this one is slightly too large to be a Peter Pan? I’m not sure but it doesn’t really matter. The collar sits flat so I’m happy! 😉
I’m proud of this project because it’s neat inside as well as out. I used French seams throughout, level hems, and I even unpicked some stitches that weren’t in a straight enough line to re-do them!
It was such a delight to work with cotton again! Such a steady, easy to work with fabric compared to jersey or chiffon. I used tailor tacks for the first time to mark the darts and it helped to ensure the darts are symmetrical.
The buttons were metal casings which I covered in a thick red fabric I already had so that they contrast with the fabric a little and break up the pattern of numerous strawberries.
I wasn’t originally going to follow the sleeve pattern as they are rather ‘puffy’ but I kind of started without thinking and then quite enjoyed the assembly process! It reminded me of those flatpack kits you can make up into document boxes – ‘flap A folds in for flaps B and C to tuck in and hold flap D down‘, etc. Ironically, the first sleeve I made was the better of the two in both construction and fit so there is something to this beginner’s luck malarky! I was going to use red fabric buttons for the sleeves but I opted for pressers in the end as the sleeves would likely have been too tight with buttons – and I only had six 11mm buttons!
List of ‘firsts’ for this project: (Quite a few!)
- First blouse
- First time putting in darts of any kind
- First collared item
- First machine-made button holes (lovely and simple compared to hand sewing them!)
- First time I’ve covered buttons (very fiddly but worth it to have ones in the right colour!)
- First time using tailor’s tacks
Pattern: New Look 6732 (E)
Fabric: 45″ wide Sprig Strawberry Print Polycotton Dress Fabric at £2.55 per metre from The Craft Cotton on Amazon.co.uk