Completed: Flowery Alma Blouse

Earlier this year my friend Iona asked me to help her make a skirt. We spent a day together in January where we took measurements, altered her pattern (due to a fabric shortage) and cut out some of the pieces. I promised to take along a project and work on it at the same time. I decided on the Alma blouse. It is a relatively simple pattern and easy to put down and pick up. Yesterday, we got together again to carry on with our adventures. 

We spent a considerable time chatting and swapping over machines. When we unpacked Iona’s machine we found the cord and pedal were missing so we shared mine instead of regularly rethreading one machine. We did a little dance around my flat between the machine and the ironing board to press.  However, we did get a lot done. You’ll have to take my word for this as I didn’t take many photos. You know what it is like when two girls get together when they haven’t seen each other for a while. Iona cut out her lining and stitched the four panels of her skirt together as well as overlocking the seam edges. I took the blouse as far as inserting the zip (darts, shoulder seams, the left side seam and preparing the sleeves and bias tape). 

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Then it was time for Iona to leave and for me to run around tidying the flat while preparing dinner for 5 as well as creating a chocolate roulade. Again, no photos except this bad one of melting the chocolate. It was the perfect evening to finish the day and my guests were nice enough to praise the roulade. 

Originally I had planned to sew the Alma only with Iona but as my new challenge began to sink in I asked if I was allowed to finish it before we met again. Iona agreed - we both know I will always have something on my sewing table. So this morning while Adam was watching the Grand Prix (a permanent part of our weekends during March to November) I got on with my creation. And here it is:

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This is the second time I have made this. The first I dubbed as a wearable muslin because I didn’t quite manage to get the bias tape over the zipper nicely. The result is a slightly itchy feel when I wear it but wear it I do, and you might not be surprised to hear it is pink. On this version I have a much neater finish but I did have to a bit of a fix to get there. Somehow I managed to screw up inserting the bias tape and only realised this once I had trimmed the seam allowance. WIth some experimentation with folding the bias over, I managed to enclose the raw edge and I think I have got away with it - just. And anyway, it will be below my arm so no one will really be able to see!

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I hand-picked the zipper using this great tutorial from Sewaholic. It took me about 30 minutes but I’m please with the result. You can be much more accurate using this method as you can move the fabric a little before committing to a stitch. This is definitely something I will try again. I also got the neckline slightly wrong but I couldn’t be bothered to unpick it all. Can you notice what I did? 

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I picked the fabric up last year on my birthday trip to Goldhawk Road. I have no idea what it is but it feels like satin with a bit of stretch. I was drawn to the pretty flowers and knew immediately what I wanted to make with it.

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I’m really happy with it and it makes a great addition to my wardrobe. So this is pattern two of twenty completed in the 20:20 challenge. It is blue (again!) so I need to steer away from the colour for a while before I use up my allocation. I’m off now to cut out the Laurel pattern and make a muslin. I have a few ideas for this but need to see what it is like on before deciding which way to go. What did you get up to this weekend?