Monday, April 17, 2017

Year of the Sleeve

Back in March, I had a spur of the moment inspiration and wanted to make a quick blouse.  I initially saw this picture when I was deep down a pinterest rabbit hole (where most of my inspiration comes from):

I had a decent amount of random fabric, so I figured I might as well add sleeves as well, and oh, maybe I should make them gigantic bell sleeves?  Very much on trend right now, but not necessarily a style I would typically gravitate towards, but fun to experiment with.  (I keep trying to make myself sew practical garments, but it's way more fun to sew special things!)

For my pattern, I did my usual procedure of picking random pieces from different patterns.  The bell sleeves were an easy pick off of the Megan Nielsen Dove Blouse, While I love the french darts in the bodice, I wanted a dart-less top that could accommodate the gathering, so for the bodice I went for my good ol' staple, the Grainline Studio Scout Tee.  And hence the Doubt tee is born!  Maybe not the most compelling smashed together name, but it was the best I could come up with. :)  

I started with the bodice, as that was the part where I was adding in my personal flair and not following a pattern, since the Scout Tee is just a loose-fitting straight tee.  I eyeballed where I wanted the gathered seam to be, and then drew it on my front and back pieces using a curved ruler.  I then gathered the tops and bottoms and then sewed them together.  Major fail.  It looked ridiculous, nothing like my inspiration photo above.  I think the biggest problem was that I gathered it too much, but it was super overwhelming and not flattering at all.  Luckily I had enough fabric to cut out a second bodice, so I did that, and then just zigzag stitched a piece of skinny elastic to the inside just under the bust.  It's not perfect, and I think I might have liked it better without it, but it gives it a bit of interest.  Hmmm, I just realized I could take it out at this point.  Take a look below and let me know what you think - gathered or straight?

The rest of it was pretty straightforward to sew, as I just followed the Dove instructions for the sleeves, and the Scout instructions for attaching the sleeves and finishing up the edges.  Oh, I did forget to mention that I extended the Scout sleeve pattern piece to elbow length and then trimmed the width slightly to match the circumference of the Dove bell, so the sleeves were a combo of the two patterns.  I really could have gotten away with just drawing a circle to get the bell sleeves, but I already had the pattern pieces cut out for the Dove, so I went with it. 

I remembered reading recently on the Grainline Studio blog about doing a cheater's rolled hem, so I looked it up, and voila!  I have beautiful "rolled" hems on the curved sleeves, which would have been a beast otherwise.  It does involve sewing it three times, but it was worth it.

Without further ado, meet my Doubt blouse!

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