August 31, 2013

Variations on a Theme


1586Pantone Colors: Emerald, linden green, koi, vivacious, carafe
Fabric: 1.25 yards white fabric that I'm pretty sure is the kind you're meant to do embroidery, like counted cross-stitch, on (but whatever), gift=free; 2 fat quarters, also a gift=free
Pattern: Simplicity 1586, received from Jeri in the Sew Weekly Reunion swap
Year: 1956
Notions: 12” zipper $0.65; 1 package bias tape $0.75; 1.5 yards ribbon $0.75; button from stash
Time to Complete: Incapable of keeping track
Made before: Nope
Make again: Yes. Purple.
Sewing soundtrack: Electrelane
First worn: Not yet
Wear again: I'll wear the white base, definitely. The collars... I'm not sure.
Total cost: $2.15 

So, in addition to all the other mad things going on this month (...oh, who am I trying to get one round? I have mad things going on every month), August was month for the inaugural Sew Weekly Reunion. I was v. v. excited about this, as I mentioned here, but, as it turned out, I wound up being less than enthusiastic about the challenge theme when it was announced.

The theme was Pantone Fashion Colors of Fall 2013. Which, since there are ten of them, should be easy. For me--no.

I'm not gonna lie. I was totally uninspired. Color things are really hard for me. I mean really. I started sewing, finally, two days ago. (In fairness to me, I did spend most of yesterday (Friday) somehow totally convinced it was Thursday. But still.)

One day, I went through my whole stash and held up every piece of fabric to the Pantone graphic on my computer screen, hoping for something. Of course there were some that matched, but either I had something very specific in mind for the fabric, or something about it (for example, the weight or print) just didn't seem right. Suffice it to say inspiration did not strike. Later I went through all my patterns--again, nothing jumped out at me.

Since I didn't have anything particular in mind, I decided I might as well go ahead and use the pattern Jeri, my swap partner, sent me (rather than hoarding it for months as I'm wont to do with new stuff)--thanks again, Jeri! And I decided I'd make it in white, as I originally planned.

Unfortunately, white is not one of the Pantone colors. But my pattern had multiple "changes"--detachable collars and a gigantic chest bow (the latter of which I forewent this time around, as it does actually have to be sewn on and I didn't want to do that)--and I figured I could work one or two of the colors in there.
all three
I found also that if I used a different fabric for the backs of the collars, I could cut each one out of a single fat quarter. I still had several very bright fat quarters left over from a bundle I was given a couple years ago, and even though they're a couple years old, they contained a surprising number of the Pantone colors for this year. (Yeah, I'm guessing they don't really change that much year to year, anyway.)

I had to do some significant resizing of the pattern, and for some reason that's a lot harder for me to do for collars than for bodices, so none of the collar shapes are quite right. The white one with the ribbon, in particular, doesn't fit--it's wider than the blouse neckline, so a bunch of blouse shows through underneath. I wish I'd realized this before I'd sewn sixteen buttonholes (but then, with my setup, it's not like doing buttonholes is really difficult; it just takes a long time). I doubt I'll ever actually wear that one. The others... I might. But I'll definitely wear the white base.

I guess it's probably debatable whether I actually met the challenge or not. If I count all of the collars together, I did use five of the ten Pantone colors--emerald, linden green, koi, vivacious, carafe--but in very small amounts. That may never leave my closet. And even if they do, I think everything looks a lot more appropriate to spring/summer than fall/winter.

On the other hand, I finally managed to make a blouse that properly fits me, something that in all my years of sewing, I'd never before done. Sure, I've made other tops, and worn them frequently, but there's always been something off. This one, I'm really pleased with the fit. Finally.

Okay now I'll be like a normal blogger and just post a bunch of pictures. Even though they're not particularly good pictures. But yeah.
This is the base. With no Pantone colors. But I like it a lot.
You can't quite tell how poorly the collar fits here. (I am actually holding onto it to try and make that more, not less, obvious, but it seems to have backfired.) Anyway it's much less cute in real life. This was the only ribbon I had that was the right size, and happily, it's one of the Pantone colors, too. (And if I take the ribbon out and turn the collar over, I can wear it as a solid white that matches the blouse--the buttonholes only go through one side. Unfortunately, the fit is so poor that I will probably never do that.)
This is the collar I'm most likely to wear. Though you can't really tell in this picture, it's tiny blue and green sorry, emerald and linden leaves.
leaf cu
Oh you want to see the fabric properly? Well here.
In the photo on the left, I'm wearing it backwards. I actually like it better this way--it's like a teeny tiny cape. Unfortunately, the occasions on which I might want or need to wear a teeny tiny cape are as infrequent as those on which I might wear a regular one... In the right photo, I'm wearing the collar correctly. I really like the length, but I think I made it a bit too narrow.

And here's this fabric, too.

And finally, here I am "wearing" all three collars at once. Because yeah.
The innards. All the raw edges are finished with bias tape. I did a lapped zipper (which is not white, but the closest I had). It's installed upside-down, intentionally. (It makes so much more sense to me to do it this way. Getting dressed is much less of a struggle with an actual opening at the bottom. Here's another zipper pic.) From left to right, you're looking at the zipper, darts, armhole, shoulder seam, neckline. 

Also, by the way. I still want to make up this pattern in purple satin. (Or silk. I wouldn't say no to silk.) And I will.

Okay bye now.


  1. So glad you found a blouse that fits and the pattern found a good home. I have tons of trouble getting collars to fit properly too so you are not alone!

    1. Thanks Jeri! Despite the collars not coming out quiiiite as intended, I really liked the pattern. V. happy to have it. And I suppose this was almost kind of my muslin, since I still really want to make a fancier version--hopefully I can get everything fitted out correctly then.