F3449: The Floral and The Phoenix

Bit shocked that it’s been a good few months since my last post – especially as I’ve actually been doing rather a lot of sewing. I’ve sorted the whole ‘time for sewing’ thing – getting photographs of the finished things is proving to be the biggest challenge it would seem! Hopefully now that the weather is improving, that will get a bit easier.

Today I have a repeat of a favourite of mine to show you – Marfy 3449.

My latest version is definitely an improvement on the first – I’ve swapped out the F3449 sleeve for the sleeve on another blouse (F5200 – which has been muslined but was a complete disaster and is unlikely to ever be finished. Perhaps I’ll drag it out of the naughty corner and blog about the experience). Let me just say – I am IN LOVE with this sleeve!

This one is also underlined with a white silk crepe de chine, which I thought to do as the floral CDC was a little on the thin side. But the underlining gives back so much more than just making it opaque – the flow of the silk is just amplified in every good way. It makes me wish I had underlining the original version! Totally worth all the time spent thread tracing.

Especially, the underlining does its biggest 1+1=3 where the sleeves meet the cuff. It makes the fabric flounce in such a voluminous way (I’m wearing at as I type this and keep stopping to admire it – haha!). Balancing this out is lots of structure in the cuff – I underlined the cuff piece in both the white CDC and some thin cotton flannel I happened to have a scrap of handy. This completely changes the feel of the cuff – it even holds its own shape when laid flat, but the weight of it makes the sleeve and cuff sit wonderfully.

I chose to not underline the ruffle at the neckline though – it ends up being quite a heavy weight just on it’s own, and I didn’t want the front to look or feel as though it was being dragged down by the weight. That, and white underlining peaking out from the wrong side of the ruffle would look blergh.

One thing I changed/improved about the construction order for this blouse was for that centre front seam. You can see that in this silk – the weight of the ruffle pulls the front collar open so that you see the insides. This also happens to my first 3449, but in a slightly different way.

On my first version, I didn’t think about how to finish this seam until after I’d sewn it together – now when I sew Marfy toiles I put a lot of thought into how to finish it off as a result.

In the end I sewed in some binding to close all of the clipped seams from the ruffle. This was a bit of a drama! For this blouse, I made the binding up first, then made one pass as I sewed all the layers together – before folding and pressing the binding back and sewing it down in place.

Ruffle, pinned in place and clipped so it hangs nicely.

Those clipped edges would otherwise be visible, so I’ve added a strip of binding to be included in the seam, ironed across to the seam edge side before the two front halves are sewn together. Then the seam edges have been encased in the binding.

Basically it’s a pain in the ass, and combined with the tiny collar I self-drafted (both for my first and for this one) – a really involved process. Fashioning and sewing on that blasted self-drafted collar was about 4 solid hours of work. I’m considering that when I make this again (I love it too much to retire this pattern just yet) – maybe I’ll just make a facing for the front. That would minus the need for binding and a self-drafted collar. I have a sneaking suspicion that the weight of my added collar does support the front ruffle somewhat… so version 3 of this will be an interesting experiment!

I’m also wondering if a little hook and eye at the top centre front seam to hold the ruffle up would be quite flattering? Perhaps another thing for a future version.

Otherwise, I french seamed pretty much everything except the armscye, which I used my overlocker on. I have an irrational dislike of finishing armscye seams – it just doesn’t seem right to topstitch in place in a fabric like this.

The hem seam is handstitched down onto the underlining. From memory, the F3449 pattern is a straight hem and I made it curved – I think this is so much more flattering on the body, especially as it’s a fitted blouse.

So this brings us back full circle to the original F3449 – my Stitches to Style blouse. Well, it was much beloved. Except whilst making it I accidentally sliced a little to close to the seam on the armscye seam allowance. Which was fine, as long as I handwashed it – which is what I do for things I make (especially silk blouses).

Except it accidentally got dragged into the washing machine, and came out rather ripped. Oops.

Thing is I’d originally bought that fabric with a shirt dress in mind, so there was quite a bit of it left. Just enough to eek out a NEW and improved (read – overlocked armscye seams) version of that blouse. I did have to unpick the flounce from the old one to make it work with the yardage I had left though – ruffle details always consume so much more fabric than you think they should! A sleeve was also sacrificed to make the new cuffs.

So, my Stitches to Style Blouse has risen from the dead:

In hindsight, I do really wish I’d underlined this one though – that lovely polka dot chartruese silk twill is very prone to creasing, where as my floral version doesn’t have a single crease after a day of wear. Next time!

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35 thoughts on “F3449: The Floral and The Phoenix

  1. Glad you’re back, and with a beautiful blouse to boot! WOW, that interlining really does so much for that blouse, seeing them with and without really helps one understand the difference it makes.

  2. What a beautiful blouse. I remember the first one, and am so happy for you that you could rescue it!! I love underlining for all the reasons one love underlining, but I’ve never thought to underline a silk blouse. And your little collar is perfect. I think it finishes and balances the neckline out perfectly.

    • Yes, I’ll definitely be doing it again. I’ve just cut out another silk blouse (from a different pattern) and I’m taking a pause whilst I decide whether to underline it or not! I’m leaning towards the extra work! It really makes a huge difference to how the blouse feels when wearing it too – totally luxe. I can definitely recommend it. Thank you :)

  3. Reading over breakfast, and you’ve just made me want to wear two different blouses instead of the one I had planned on for today. These are so beautiful!!

    • Thanks Karen :) It’s a really fabulous pattern base, and I’ll absolutely be making it again sometime in the future. The answer to that is more work blouses! After being on maternity leave and then my favourite RTW shirt making going bust, the work wardrobe needs some sewing attention ;)

  4. What a gorgeous blouse! The fabric looks so luxurious. You are right, those are pretty fine sleeves. With all my sewing, I still can’t make a sleeved garment that is comfortable…always something to strive for!

    • Thanks Katherine :) From my sleeve experience to date, these are easily the best outcome I’ve achieved. Marfy sleeves seems to really be next level – I’ve not yet had a bad experience with them yet.

  5. I love the drape of the CDC with the underlining – it looks so luxurious. And the stable cuffs / underlined CDC make for sleeve magic. And hats off to you for two blouses out of the one yardage – recycled ruffle FTW! :D

  6. I’m agreeing with everyone else about the underlining. It makes the face fabric so much more luxurious. Very pretty and flattering on you. I know exactly what you mean about working out the details for Marfy patterns. Since there are no instructions I find myself doing mental gymnastics to figure out the construction sequence but that’s much of the fun. Glad to see you found time for sewing.

  7. These are so pretty and elegant! And I agree about the ruffle, I think it would lose a lot of its bouncy fluttery-ness if you’d underlined it.

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