Sunday, 16 February 2014

Completed: Vintage inspired Mae blouse

I've mentioned before that I often stand in front of my wardrobe each morning and ask what I am going to wear that day when it looks full. For work I have enough trousers and skirts but I'm lacking in tops to pair them with. The beautiful Mae blouse by Abby at bluegingerdoll kept whispering that it was part of the solution and I bought the pattern with some of my Christmas money. 

Mae blouse

I chose to focus on the fit for this project. I made my first toile after grading the pattern out one size between the bust and the waist. As I had hoped the front fitted well, straight out of the packet. This pattern is designed for us girls with a slightly larger cup size meaning I didn't need to worry about an FBA. What I didn't expect was the size of the back bodice. It just wouldn't do up after the second button. I slashed the toile in a straight line just away from the dart on each side and, ably assisted by Adam, worked out how much extra I needed - 7cm on each side at my hips! I transferred this to the paper pattern and then tried a second toile. This one revealed there was too much length in the back bodice and I removed about 2cm. I promise that the top fits better than it looks in the photos. I thought I had pulled it down enough before taking the photos but clearly I hadn't. The neckline does sit smoothly and there isn't that much excess fabric at the back. 

Mae blouse

Alterations completed I cut into this gorgeous blue cotton at Darn It and Stitch when I popped in to stock up on seam rippers. I just couldn't resist it and knew immediately that it would work perfectly as a Mae. For the buttons I wanted some that wouldn't detract from the pattern but compliment it and chose plain white ones with a little shine. 

Mae blouse

Constructing the top is straightforward. I decided to finish the facings by using white bias tape, which I also added to the side seams. I love little details on the inside! Normally I don't like facings but these are different. They are a little wider than you normally find and I think this makes a big difference. They sit nicely around the neckline and the armsyce and don't pop up when you put on a jacket (a reoccurring problem for me). My facings are interfaced with a lightweight white cotton as try as I might, I couldn't find my fusible interfacing anywhere. 

Mae blouse

Creating scallops was new to me. The finished look of scallops made me think they were tricky but some careful cutting, slower sewing and this tutorial from Abby revealed that they can be simple. It was great to see the curve take shape when ironing out the seam line. I was surprised at how smooth the curves are on my first attempt. 

Mae blouse

Even more surprisingly the button holes were a breeze and worked first time on all of them! I slip stitched the hem in place and I'm glad I took the time to do this as the stitches are practically invisible. I chose not to hem at the recommended 1" as I prefer my tops to be longer so settled on 5/8". 

Mae blouse

Overall I really like this top. It feels fitted but not constricting. The neckline feels as elegant on as it looks in print and I love the kimono sleeves. However, they finish a little too low at the sides and I would raise this for the next make. It looks great tucked into a skirt. It will also work untucked with a pair of trousers without a belt that makes me look pregnant. I'm not - it is the knot of the Miette skirt belt! I can't wait to brighten up my dark coloured skirts and trousers for the office this week. 

20 comments:

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    1. Thank you, the neckline is what makes this pattern.

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  2. Its a gorgeous version! And the scallops look perfect. You've proved how important muslins are! I really need to get better at doing them! Beautiful fabric, very chic :)

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    1. Thanks, Katy. I've come to view toiles as a necessary evil in the whole process!

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  3. Really pretty! The fabric is lovely.

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  4. Very cute blouse! I really fancy trying the mae - it's in my ever growing queue. Ps. Loving the short hair.

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    1. Thanks, Amy. It was time for a change!

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  5. Really lovely! Great match of pattern and fabric.

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    1. Thanks, Kirsty. I love it when they are easy to pair together.

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  6. You don't look pregnant, hihi. But I know this kind of worry. I actually got offered a seat in the tube once, because somebody thought I am pregnant - but I was just wearing a jumper with a huge front pocket under my coat. So embarrassing! But back to your blouse - it looks lovely. And I can't believe it was your first attempt sewing scallops. They are perfect! I would have loved to see a pic from the back as well to see your buttons :) By the way, how many seam rippers do you have? I only have one that I bought 4 years ago... Do you exchange them regularly?

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    1. Ooh, that must have been embarrassing! I deliberately took photos of the back and thought I had added it but clearly not. Anyway, it is up now! I find that seam rippers become blunt after a while, particularly for opening button holes, and replace them when they feel like more effort to use.

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  7. I would also have liked to see the buttons on the back! This blouse looks gorgeous, and it suits you so much. It's so annoying to go through several toiles, but SO satisfying when the fit is finally spot on.

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    1. You're so right! A picture of the buttons is now up!

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  8. This is gorgeous, Claire! Your fitting efforts really paid off :) I must pop in to Darn It and Stitch sometime and see if they still have some of that fabric!

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    1. Thanks, Elena. If that fabric isn't there, there will be plenty more to tempt you!

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  9. This is lovely - I've been considering the pattern for a while and I really like the fabric you've used, it's really pretty!

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