Friday, 24 February 2012

The Hem-isphere Project: Round 1 Results


Woo hoo!!!! The first round of the Hem-isphere Project is complete and Cecile and I are ready to share the results. A quick reminder of what Cecile's package to me contained: a vintage blouse pattern, length of beige lace, sequinned anchor applique and vintage belt buckle (all pictured below).

Well, having received this in early January, I've had about six weeks to whip up a garment using any of the contents, or a combination of them. Here's my finished garment:

The sewing pattern had a couple of my favourite mid-century vintage elements (kimono sleeves and a Peter Pan collar), so it was kind of a given that I would use that part. Because the pattern was designed for teenagers, it had woefully insufficient accommodation for lady-hips. Instead of spending ages trying to adapt and toile the pattern, I opted to frankenstein the top part of this pattern with the bottom part of the Sencha blouse pattern. I also widened the neck hole a bit because the original was life-threateningly small!

I then omitted the neck facings and overlocked the collar pieces on and then stitched the small neck seam-allowance down. This is a bit of a nuaghty treat, but time is somewhat of the essence at the moment! The fit needed a little adjusting and I took it all in along the side seams through to the end of the sleeves, but the ease of that is one of the many joys of mid-century kimono sleeves!

I was originally planning on making this top from a thrifted dress which would have worked really well with the beige lace which I hoped to incorporate. But the old dress, although pretty large, wasn't big enough fabric to fit the pattern pieces on so I opted for this fine blue cotton that I scored from the lovely Julia at the recent De-Stash Meet-Up.

The blue fabric lent itself naturally (to my mind) towards a nautical theme, which meant the anchor applique deployment was an obvious step. As everyone knows, a nautical theme cannot work properly without some red thrown in there! So I decided to make the collar stand out a bit from the blouse bodice by using ric-rac as piping around the collar edges. I've never tried this before but have always loved it when I've seen ric-rac used in that way. I already had the ric-rac in my stash and it was pleasingly easy to apply in this fashion. The result was better than I had expected and I'll definately use this techinique again in future makes. I could have applied the anchor in a more traditional placement on the bodice, but I had concerns about the fineness of the fabric being weighed down. Plus the fabric creases easily so an appliqued detail might prevent effective ironning after washing. I opted to put the anchor on the collar instead, which actually seems to me the kind of placement a 1950s lady might have gone for herself!

So there you have it! My first completed garment for the Hem-isphere project. I'm really loving this project so far. Normally I think a project through from beginning to end before physically touching anything. So it was exciting to have the initial elements chosen for me, and I was forced to be more relaxed about this creation than my usual approach. The result is very wearable, and I can't wait for it to get warm enough to wear this out (and not covered up under ten cardigans!).

So, what did Cecile make from the package I sent her?!:

A wonderful loose blouse. I love how the check of the fabric changes to diagonals where she has cut the collar piece on the bias. We'll all have to head over to her blog to read more about this lovely creation.

9 comments:

lladybird said...

Lovely! I love little nautical details & sweet things like peter pan collars. I've seen that ric rac trim method and I think it is so pretty... it definitely adds a nice touch to that collar!

MrsC said...

Good work, Zo! I love it, it's a bit like ready, Steady, Cook for sewists! hehehe.

molly said...

Very cute blouse, I love the shape!

Marie said...

What a lovely blouse Zoe, it's right up my street! The ric rac's such a nice touch!

StephC said...

It looks great!

How does one sign up for the hem-isphere project??

Phil said...

This blouse looks cute on you! I have just made a skirt out of some 1970's fabric donated by my mother in law. I'd never have chosen it but I think these kinds of projects help us get out of our comfort zones! Looking forward to seeing the next one. P.S. May have to steal the ric rac collar idea. I have some languishing in my stash!

Cecili said...

I knew you would make something awesome out of the little things I sent you! I love your top, it's pretty, fun and elegant :)

Joy said...

This is adorable! I never get tired of nautical.

secretlifeofseams said...

Looks fantastic! I'm so happy my fabric has gone on to have a better life with ric-rac and peter pan collars. Fabric swaps are definitely the way forward.
This project is going to be so interesting, I'm looking forward to the next rounds!

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