Just under 2 months ago I started a new job. This means that for the first time in my life, 1) I am a commuter, and 2) I require an office appropriate wardrobe. The commuting has the big negative that it leaves me little time for sewing in the evenings, which is why the FO I have to show today has been a WIP for over a month. However it's not all bad as my commute gives me lots of knitting time....more on that soon!
So here it is, my second Pendrell Blouse. This is becoming a favourite pattern, largely because my first Pendrell is quickly becoming a staple of my new office wardrobe. For this second version I wanted something softer and more drapey, so I chose this chiffon-type fabric which was on sale at John Lewis (since it was John Lewis, this was not cheap even though it was in the sale...I think maybe £6/7 a metre). I adore this fabric, however it was a pain to work with. Until now, I have mainly worked with cottons. This sheer fabric was a deliberate choice because I wanted to expand my repertoire and work with other types of fabric...and it was definitely a challenge. I had a quick google to get some tips on working with slippery fabrics, and came upon some excellent advice from A fashionable stitch. Sunni recommends pinning the fabric to a sheet/muslin to keep it in place while cutting out. You then cut the fashion fabric only, but the muslin gives it a bit of stability and prevents the slippery fabric moving around. This is GENIUS! Thanks Sunni :)
To prevent fraying, I french seamed everything in sight. This worked well, however meant it took a lot longer to sew as every seam had to be done twice. I must admit, I do love french seams - they look so neat! Somewhere along the line though, disaster struck. Despite careful checking as I went along, one of the sleeves ended up considerably further down at the front than the other (we're talking inches here!). I have no idea how this happened, but I think i must have somehow stretched it while sewing. For a while I was completely clueless on how to fixed this, and distraught that I had ruined my beautiful fabric. Since it would have required unpicking about 4 seams, undoing was not an option - plus I wasn't sure the sheer fabric would cope with being attacked with a seam ripper. However, a lovely sewing friend of mine suggested doing a fix job as best I could and then using a brooch or other accessory to hide the botch job. Another genius idea! To be honest, the fix is not that obvious, but I know it's there. A brooch definitely improves the situation!
I nearly forgot to introduce you to my newest sewing helper, Diana, who is kindly modelling the blouse for me above. She was a birthday present and has already been set to work. I think she does an awesome job. Sally is less convinced though....