Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Hem-isphere Project: The Parisienne Blouse

So here it is: my answer to Round 2 of Cecile and my Hem-isphere project. If you require or would like an update about why we chose what project starting points we sent each other for this round, please check this post. In short, the theme was 'Parisienne' and this is what I received from Cecile:

The package contained some black and white striped drapey synthetic crepe, some facetted black buttons and a 1970s Simplicity tunic sewing pattern. 

Pattern Description:

I decided not to go with the pattern Cecile included in the package. I really liked the style but it didn't look like it would a cardigan would fit over those loose sleeves very well. I hadn't yet found the right fabric to try out Simplicity 2601 (pictured below), but when I saw the black and white stripey stuff Cecile sent, I thought now might be a good opportunity. I think this pattern has a timeless look to it, it seems simultaneously retro and contemporary, which seems very much in-keeping with the Parisienne vibe. I chose the collared neckline and the short puff sleeves but omitted the sleeve band ties. 

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it?

Is it arrogant to say that I think mine looks better?! Better than the version in the envelope photograph anyhow. I was warned that this pattern sits very high up on the waist, but considering I have a high natural waist it sat well on me.  

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yep. Although I went a bit off-piste in a hurry to move this project forward and had to go back and re-do a couple of steps. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I feel it's quite a deceptively simple pattern. I guess it's the midriff band, which is self-faced, and the button placket fastening that makes the pieces add up and makes the cutting out stage may never end! I like how well is works with the application of piping, although this added A LOT of time required to get this project done, which has left Cecile twiddling her thumbs for me to wrap up Round 2 of our project.

I dislike how the button placket finishes quite high leaving an opening right where I feel most conscious: my belly! I usually wear a vest under tops anyhow because I'm always chilly, but a vest underneath this blouse will be compulsory.   

Fabric Used:

The thin stripey crepey stuff previous described. It has a lovely drape which I thought would work week for the gathered bust are of the upper bodice and the skirt section. However, something less fine and floppy would have been nicer to work with for the sections that require interfacing or doubling up, and the thinness also posed quite a challenge when applying the piping. I took my time though, discovered new reserves of patience and made it work the best I could. 

I was pleased that this panelled pattern allowed me to play with the direction of the stripes. The result is more evident when you see the blouse in the flesh as the fine stripes in the photos do that strange TV thing.     

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Normally, the standard changes I make to sewing patterns are raising the waist line and adding more width at the hips. Neither of those were necessary in this pattern so the only pattern change I made was to redraft the sleeve band. The design changes were the addition of piping and altering of grain lines to create different directions for the stripes.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Umm, yep I would make this again but in quite a few years time as I have a stack of other blouse patterns still to try. It might be cool to try it with a contrast fabric for the collar, sleeve bands and midriff section, perhaps a floral with a solid for the rest of it. I'd like to see that. Yes I would recommend it to others, but I would alert them to its high-waistedness and belly-gap!


I'm not sure quite how close this final blouse remains to the initial vision of 'Parisienne' Cecile held. However, taking the inspirational starting word or phrase and then the materials each other has provided, and then running with them in whatever direction feels right is a big part of the actualisation of this project. So whatever the look and form of the final garment, as long as it exists then it has been a successful round. Plus I have already worn this blouse twice in real life and it was very comfortable and lovely to wear. So if that isn't the definition of a successful creation, then I don't know what is! 

A massive thanks to Cecile for creating these darling little Hem-isphere Project labels to put in our creations from this project! They make the garment super-special!


Merche Martinez said...

Love it your blouse so much! The stripes, the piping, and the model. Perfect!

Kait said...

That blouse turned out great! I really need to learn how to sew.

Anonymous said...

what a great collaboration you have! The top turned out wonderful! I definitely like the way you played with the stripe direction. Super cute!

velosews said...

I do love wonderful piping that emphasises the design lines. Your blouse is great.

ckh said...

I love this blouse! Very cute!

Kate said...

Another wonderful creation Zoe! Loving all the peplum blouses you've been sewing.

Harriet said...

Goegeous! It suits you so well too.

niddetissus said...

I love this blouse! I used that pattern when I first started sewing and I've been meaning to go back to it, now that my skills are slightly better. I didn't like the belly exposure either, so I'm thinking of lengthening the band the next time around.

Kestrel said...

The piping is a great touch to emphasise the shape - that's a definite improvment on the pattern picture!

Unknown said...

Not arrogant at all...your version is much lovelier than the pattern photo. And very chic!

Kathy said...

Hi Zoe! I've made this blouse too - in a tiny floral print cotton from Goldhawk Road. I'd never thought about making it up in a stripe though, it looks lovely! I usually wear mine tucked in to a high-waisted skirt (Ginger!). It gets around the belly-showing prob and is a very flattering look.

Kirsty said...

Gorgeous blouse. The stripes work perfectly.

Crab and Bee said...

Wow, your blouse looks beautifully made!

Christine said...

It looks great; I LOVE the piping detail you added on the seams! Such a cool project idea!

zen said...

i am really admiring this blouse, Zoe! i've had this pattern myself on the shelf for a year or so. even purchase fabric for it. i admit you've inspired me (again) and i'm rethinking the whole project. all i can say is WoWsA. your version is def superior to the cover! no contest!

Cecili said...

GURL! Your blouse is a-ma-zing, I love the style, the piping details and the way you're rocking a "classic" (as in our original Parisienne ideas) garment with neat trousers and sneakers :) I felt happy seeing the close up of the fabric that had been sitting in my stash for months because you made something beautiful out of it! And I'll blog about mine soon of course^^

Tilly said...

LOVE this! Such a cute pattern and the fabric is so swoonsome.

If you added an extra button would it resolve the midriff-exposing issue? I'd like to make this blouse but would also like to retain my dignity... xx

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