Monday, April 29, 2013

Blue Jasmine sewing fix

So after being overseas for a couple of weeks I was dying to get back into a sewing project. Maybe I was having withdrawal symptoms? Must be an addiction!

Luckily I had the foresight to order a few new patterns from Decades of Style and Colette before I left and they arrived while I was away. Love love love getting sewing stuff in the post!

To get a sewing 'fix' I decided on a quick and easy project:

It's the 1018 Jasmine blouse by Colette.

This is the first Colette pattern I've tried and thought it was brilliant. I love that the pattern comes as a book instead of a broadsheet!

I have also recently pledged to sew more 'useful' things that I can wear to work or out and about, because most of my self-made wardrobe is fancy and never gets worn. This Jasmine blouse was perfect, I can wear it to the office with a suit skirt (once I go back to work that is..!) or with jeans.

Trying to be budget-conscious I also used material from the stash:

This is 100% cotton (yes...probably quilting cotton) from Sewing World. However I didn't have enough to make the entire blouse because the bodice is cut on the bias. As a side note, being bias cut gives the blouse a lovely drape and also means no zip! You can pull it on over your head.  Bonus.

To remedy the not-enough-material problem the trusty stash of cream linen came to the rescue. I used this linen for the front of the collar and the cuffs.

Looks pretty doesn't it?! This is version one - the long tie and gathered cuffs. Version two has a short tie (contrast colour) and notched cuffs.


The only modification I made to this was to give the cuffs extra room. Lucky I tried one of them on before attaching it to the armhole - it would not go over my herculean elbow. So I had to unpick the french seam (sad face) and give the cuff a 3/8" raw edge seam instead of the usual 5/8". Even now I have to mollycoddle it over my elbow and it's very snug around my bicep, so next time I will add an inch to the cuff width.  Or maybe go easy on the bicep-enhancing protein shakes. Being linen as well makes it slightly more bulky of course.

This is the finished product, it only took a day to complete and thus satisfied my need for a quick sewing fix. 

The version one tie is designed to be able to tie in a bow, but I quite like it as is. With less bulky material it is definitely long enough to tie.

One issue I did have with the pattern was the loop at the front. I think it's meant to be cut on the fold, because there was no way the piece I originally cut out could be turned through. Perhaps, again, with lighter material it might work - but I recut the loop on the fold, essentially doubling its width.

The linen was just the perfect colour for the cuffs. Originally I had some white Japanese cotton in mind to use for the contrast, but the flowers are a very subtle cream colour. Here you can also see the French seam.

And here I practised with the new overlocker! I am still getting used to how clunky it is compared to the sewing machine. However the time it saves in finishing raw edges is worth a bit of fiddling around with tensions and the occasional accidental upper knife injury!

I know some sewers find the wide neck to be a bit gapey but it doesn't bother me. I did find that using cotton and linen made the collar slightly challenging to sit correctly, but after pinning it down and hanging it for a day it settled down (sounds like torture!).


  1. Hi, I love this little blouse with it's slightly wayward collar. Its worked out well. I like your plans to make practical clothes. I also like your pictures of Petra - my husband and I went there some years ago. Thank you for nominating me for a Liebster - I already have one nomination (just yet to do the work) so I am not sure if I can have two - although your liebster image is better than mine. I will formally acknowledge you later this week (robably Sunday) in a blog post.

    1. You're welcome Sarah Liz! Petra is fantastic. I would love for more people to go to Jordan.

  2. Gorgeous! I love your fabric combinations!

  3. That is so pretty. Love seeing that pattern on people.

    1. Thank you! The pattern is so feminine.

  4. You'll have to stop pumping all that iron! Great choice of fabric. This is in my stash yet to be made up, I thought I liked the shorter tie but this one looks good. Hmmm...