Well, I did it! I finished the Colette Hawthorn, and only a little after the Sewalong ended! There were quite a few factors that drew out the making of this blouse – a combination of multiple muslins, nightmare fabric and I made have made a dress for shiggles in between muslins. Oops. But it’s done now, and I have to say – I love it! I’ve never worn or made anything with a peplum before, because I was afraid it would make my ample hips look even larger. Silly me. I could have been wearing amazing peplums all this time!
I made two muslins of the bodice – the first in a size 14, which was too big in the neck and armholes. I then made another in a size 12, expecting to have to do an FBA, but it actually fit just fine in the bust area! It was, however, a little snug in the waist, so I graded it out to a 14 at the waist when I cut my final fabric. Speaking of, this fabric is the devil. Woven in the forges of Satan himself. I bought it from Ebay a little while ago, and it’s some kind of polyester. Very slippery, but it has nice drape going for it, at least. I tried my best to keep it under control while I was cutting the pattern pieces out – I used my cutting mat, rotary cutter and a number of heavy items from my kitchen, but the pieces still ended up wonky. Mostly in a too-big kind of way. I hand-basted my darts before sewing them with my machine, which helped keep them straight and where they should be. Another irritating thing about this fabric – my Chaco liner pen chalk just fell right off it. Ugh.
I fiddled with the sleeves a bit, but they didn’t quite come out how I wanted. I wanted them to be fluttery, full sleeves. I was quite naive in thinking adding 3 inches to the width would achieve this. However, the sleeves are comfortable and loose and don’t cling to my arms, so I’m pleased about that. I didn’t add cuffs, instead I did a hand-rolled hem on the edges and left it at that. Incidentally, that’s how I hemmed the bottom of the peplum, too. It took 3 hours!
In the end, I managed to get all the pieces to fit together, except for the peplum and the bodice. There was about an inch too much bodice for the peplum, so I incoporated it into a tiny box pleat in the centre of the bodice back, which you can just see in this photo. It doesn’t look too bad, I don’t think – I wish it wasn’t there, but I couldn’t think of a better way to fix it. Oh, and did I mention this fabric frays if you so much as glance at it? No? Well, it did. So French seams, everywhere. Everywhere except the armholes, which I’m regretting. I’m going to bias bind them, because the fraying is just out of control.
Here you can see the cute little floral buttons I bought from Stonemountain & Daughter, and the inside of the blouse. I suffered the same problem a few others did with the collar being a bit too short to reach the edge of the blouse with the 5/8″ seam allowance, and while I was reading about that, I saw Purls & Pleats tutorial on finishing the facings with a Hong Kong finish, and decided to do that with some white bias binding from my stash. I think it came out looking well fancy! Oh, and I didn’t bother recutting and sewing the collar, I just let it be a little too short and I don’t think it’s noticeable at all. When I make it again, though, I will use a 1/4″ seam allowance for the collar sides to fix the issue, though.
Me and my lovely photographer! I think he does a good job, don’t you? 😉