Self-Portrait Blouse

Do you remember I said I had some silk I wanted to use this half-term? And Gertie’s book was in my reading list… well here is my muslin of the Portrait Blouse.

self-portrait blouse 2

A muslin in Liberty lawn?! Am I crazy?! Well yes, but in this particular case I’m not – this wasn’t meant to be a muslin, however after wearing around the house there are a few more tweaks I will make before I make the silk version. I will definitely be wearing it, but its not quite perfect yet (although I’m sure a non-sewist wouldn’t notice). Also, as much as I LOVE the print (pink and purple scottie dogs!) I’m not sure its the most flattering on me – too much cream when worn alone, although it goes perfectly with all my cardigans.

self-portrait blouse 4

Gertie’s sizes are bigger on the hips than on normal patterns. Yay! I exactly matched up with the measurements for once! Hoorah! Except that was using my full bust measurement, so I still had to adjust the pattern and do a FBA. I use the Palmer & Pletsch Fit For Real People method. Amazon tells me I purchased the book in July 2010 however it is only recently (within the past 6 months) have I flipped over the page and seen the “Y” alteration for when you need to add more than 1 1/2″ which makes for a much better fit for me around the shoulders. I can’t believe it has taken me a couple of years to read that properly, but I know how to do it now (instead of adding all the extra fullness at once, it gets spread over two slashes).

self-portrait blouse 1

When I was making the muslin-muslin and this version everything fitted nicely, however when I actually wore the blouse to do things other than stand and pose I noticed it wasn’t quite right. When I moved around the blouse kept shifting up a little, so next time I’m going to move the bust darts down about an inch.

Other changes I made were to add 4 or 5 inches to the length (I like tops to be slightly longer anyway, but the instructions said it was a short top). I kept the dart/tucks the same length so there is a sort of peplum/flare going on that looks good over jeans.

self-portrait blouse 5

Speaking of jeans, these are the pair I started in the summer (do you remember this teaser back in July?) I still need to adjust the waist (too high waisted at the front, but the back is fine) before the pattern is perfect and I can show detailed pictures of my denim-clad derriere. They are totally wearable with a belt and a hip-length top and this time I even added some metal rivets on the pockets.

self-portrait blouse 3

But back to the Portrait Blouse. I also omitted the facings for the neckline and used…

self-portrait blouse binding

HANDMADE bias-binding! I used the Coletterie’s tutorial for making continuous bias binding so I could save a decent-sized and shaped piece of fabric (it is Liberty lawn after all). Then I applied it using Tasia’s method which was AMAZING. I didn’t quite do it in the same way as Tasia as I had already spent time pressing my bias-binding but I finally get how binding is supposed to be applied!inside out

The inside almost looks at good as the outside (although in need of a press after being worn all day) and has French seams everywhere. This make definitely counts towards my Sewlution to make things properly in case Karen does another check on us soon!

My flat is super-insulated and warm (I only have one radiator heating the whole place and I’m sat at the computer wearing just one layer) so I kinda forgot it was still winter outside as I was making this. I think it will be a little while before I can actually wear it in real life. Meanwhile the silk has been pre-washed and ironed and is waiting for a fresh rotary cutter blade before it can be cut.

self-portrait blouse

The excessive amount of photos is courtesy of my new remote clicker thingamabob. 80 pictures taken in a few minutes. I still need to get the hang of sorting the settings before I jump in front of the camera, but the remote made it so much easier to pose.