I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump these last couple of weeks. I got mid way through a difficult and fiddly project, with much unpicking, recutting and tbh crying and just had to step back. I decided what I needed to do was whip up a nice simple project over a long afternoon and use up some stash fabric.
… but that’s not quite how it went down.
Cos if you cant make things unnecessarily complicated, why even bother?
Choosing the project
Burda Style 06-2018-109 did not catch my eye when I first thumbed through the magazine. While not a spectacular issue there were still plenty of other much more interesting options. However I happened to see someone on sewing pattern review had made it and recommended it. She also made it in two colours which gave me the same idea.
A simple sleeveless shirt with a v-neck and a gathered front from the June 2018 issue. Perfect project to show-case a the sort of big, bold patterns I love but that always get lost in a more complex project. Super simple, easy-as-pie, cant-possibly-take-more-than-a-day.
Choosing the fabric
With such a simple project and a small required yardage I went to the fabric store with the intention of splurging on some pricey prints. But in the end I settled on two mid-range fabrics.
The first the purple Japanese amundsen (a kind of satin weave). It has a subtle ‘wrinkled’ texture that prevents it from sticking to the skin in summer, while have elegant and formal feel.
The pattern is so cute and fun, with flowers, stripes and stars, but its not garish or too girly.
Price: 1220 yen/meter and I needed 1.5m so 1830 yen (16usd) totally.
The second is a stripy double gauze. While not a traditional Japanese pattern it’s buy a Japanese designer (Nanami Ito). This is a very light and breezy fabric in fun summer colours.
Price 1400 yen/meter. So totally 2100 yen (18usd).
2 Tops at once
This was my first time trying to do two projects simultaneously. I would complete step one in one fabric, then repeat exactly in the next. This saved a lot of time and was very efficient – I got two shirts spending only a little more time than I would have for one.
However it was only possible this way because I could use/get away with dark navy thread for both fabrics. If I had had to keep rethreading the machine it would have slowed it right down. It also meant I had to take a leap of faith with the fit – if there was something majorly wrong I would have ruined two projects at once. I was pretty generous with seam allowance for this reason, 2cm on the sides and back, 10cm on the bottom – so I had some extra to play with if things came up too small.
In the end this was a good project to trial this method on and it worked out well for me.
Construction and changes
As there were only 4 pieces the shirt comes together pretty quickly.
Part way through I decided against the side zip – who likes scratchy zipper tape up in their armpit? And the plan was to move the zipper to the back. However after the first fitting I realised that the blouse was loose enough to skip the zip entirely. In fact it was possible to shorten the back slit to above bra strap level. This worked very well for me but I’d recommend testing carefully if you’re a larger-busted lady.
Adding the bias-binding was … fun. I hate doing it. As always 90% goes on like a dream, perfect and beautiful. But the final 10% doesn’t catch, unravels, or otherwise goes weird and then you have to unpick a lot of nice binding to fix it, which will then never look right again. As it is there are a few weird spots round the arm hole which I’ll just have to convince myself that nobody else will notice cos I WONT DO IT AGAIN! Grrrrrr!
I never have this many problems with facings.
Also I had some bias strips left over so I used them to form ties for the back rather than use a button cos I thought it’d be cutter.
2 breezy summer tops constructed over two afternoons with enough fabric left over to make some cute matching headbands.
They’re conservative enough for work, but also great for the weekend. Skipping the zip made it so much more comfortable and easy to get on and off.
So all in all I nice, if unspectacular, project to get me out of my sewing funk. And it worked! The day after I finished these I picked up the unfinished dress and got right back to it.