Saturday, 30 May 2015

Aster and sutton blouse

2 blouses to blog about, one of which is brand new and the other I made towards the end of last year.

This first one is the new Colette Aster blouse. I really liked this as soon as it popped into my inbox. I really appreciate the different sleeve options and also the semi fitted shape and collarless neck. In many ways it reminds me of the T&B Mimi blouse from 'Love at first stitch' and I have made and really like the fit of that pattern too, but this is a touch more minimal and less fussy I guess with the elimination of the front gathers. Both patterns are very flattering and easy to wear, so I wouldn't say I prefer one over the other in that respect, but I do prefer minimal fuss so, for me, the Aster will be more of a go to pattern.

I made up the flutter sleeve, but in a not so flowy fabric. I new that the fabric wouldn't have the correct drape before embarking, but like the idea of the wide silhouette on the sleeve.

Fit wise, this is pretty spot on! I made a straight US 8 with no alterations and I'm pretty happy. Bust darts are in the right place, no gaping top edge, good space at the hips...need I go on? I could probably do some kind of sway back adjustment, but truthfully those wrinkles at the base of my spine never really bother me that much!

The fabric I used is a vintage cotton sheet, dyed a very, very, very subtle (look very closely) pink. I saved some avocado pits to dye it naturally, but don't think I did everything 100% percent correct, so ended up with paler tan I wanted, but pretty pink. For some super duper natural dye inspiration, visit Nicki's blog. She's producing some amazing colours with the materials she's foraged for.

I also printed my grassy design on some of the fabric I dyed in this limey green colour. All the inks are solvent free and environmentally friendly adding to the green credentials of this garment.

Top tip if you hate sewing button holes is that this top slips on with non-functioning buttons. I (the super lazy) sewed buttons on to close the placket, but omitted the holes.

I faced the inside neck edge with a pretty velvet ribbon instead of the suggested binding. I constructed the yoke so that all seams are enclosed and the front neck edge is straight, so could take a rigid ribbon edge without distorting it.

So, the verdict is that I am pretty pleased to have added this pattern to my collection. I can see it being made up in all sorts of fabrics and I am thinking I shall probably extend it to a dress for my next version. It's got a touch of the darling ranges or the Alder about it when you think of adding length. I also want patch pockets on it at some point, so much potential it's making my head whir a little.

Just one little gripe about Colette patterns (apart from the amount of pages to print for their PDF patterns) is the absence of a centre front marking. Not really a big deal on this pattern, but it's also missing from the Albion coat pattern (the only other Colette pattern I've used) and it annoys me much more than is healthy. Please add them into future patterns!

Finally, here's a picture of my new shirt/blouse hanging in the window, because it looks so pretty!

Not quite finished actually, sorry!
The True Bias Sutton blouse was another pattern I bought not long after release (I like to take advantage of introductory discounts) and I made it up not long after. I rather confidently cut three at once, but only finished this one and got distracted by other things. I have tried wearing it several times, but have never been sure about it on me.
One of the great things about being May and more importantly me-made-May, is that you try out the things that previously didn't quite work and I'm questioning myself entirely with this top. I was wearing it tucked into my turquoise Evan skirt this morning and then put it on with these jeans after taking photos of the Aster blouse and have had a complete change of heart. The neckline is maybe not the best on me (I feel a bit blocky looking on the shoulders)and I should probably have gone a size bigger on the hips, but it's actually quite nice! Do you ever change your mind about the things you've made after giving yourself some distance?

Printing obsessed! I printed little arrows from a self-made stamp when I made this back in November or December time.

If I made this again there are tweaks I would make to the construction. For this version I cut two yolk pieces to finish the back neckline nicely and enclose the shoulder seams and back seam joining the yoke. I would definitely do this again, as to me this is much more logical. It does mean finishing the front neck edge first and sewing up the centre front seam, but eliminates the need for bias binding on the neckline. I'm not a big fan of bias bound neck edges, but a lot of people seem to prefer them!
I am definitely adding this top into my wardrobe and will probably wear it quite a lot now, which is brilliant (new top, woohoo), but am unsure if I will make it again. You win some you lose some I guess and sometimes a style just doesn't suit your body shape!
Bye for now and enjoy the rest of the weekend!