Gathered Cream Mathilde

mathilde blouse

Here she is folks! My version of Tilly’s Mathilde Blouse.  I used some lovely cream cotton from my shopping spree the other week, which has a gorgeous drape to it, just perfect for a blouse. IMG_8854

I’m not so keen on the pin-tucks in the original pattern, so I went with the gathered bodice hack from her website. Construction was pretty simple; the pattern comes with lots of photos for each step and there’s also tutorials on the website if you get stuck, which I did briefly with the button placket at the back. Happily her blog tutorial got me on the right track and I didn’t have any further problems. One thing that was a bit confusing was that the material used on the blog tutorial had no obvious right and wrong side. It was fairly clear what was going on in most cases, but left me scratching my head a couple of times.

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As you can see, the sleeves are on the long side, so I might shorten them if I find the time. I’ll happily wear them as they are, especially because I have tended to just push them up, but they would probably look a bit less weird if they decided whether to be a full sleeve or a three-quarter length.

IMG_8838When I finished the whole thing and put it on for the first time I felt a bit like I was in a tent – I had forgotten that using gathers instead of pin-tucks meant all that extra fabric would be around my hips! I ended up taking in the side seam quite a bit so that I wasn’t swamped in fabric. I feel like it’s still a bit billowy, but I’ll probably wear it mostly tucked into skirts, where that won’t matter so much. I took in the cuffs quite a bit as well. Maybe I actually need to go down a size next time?

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So I used self-fabric interfacing throughout this garment.  I thought it would be nicer to retain the transparency of the material and also give the interfaced parts a nicer texture. Oh, and I ran out of interfacing 😉 Does that make me a terrible person? I was worried it would, but I did a bit of googling and it turns out it’s a vintage technique and definitely not lazy… Anyway, I really like how it looks and feels, I sometimes find interfacing a bit ‘crispy’. Just me? Anyone else tried self-fabric interfacing? Anything it really doesn’t work on that I shouldn’t try?

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And here are the buttons! I didn’t want anything too busy and these buttons are perfect. The gold rims look lovely next to the cream fabric and the black really makes them pop out from the rest of the blouse. I love buttons in pretty much any place on a garment (haven’t tried all over yet, maybe I should give it a go…), but buttoning up the back has to be one of my favourites. The back of your clothes normally don’t get as much love, so it’s fun to spice it up a bit!

IMG_8861 IMG_8862All in all I’m pretty pleased with this blouse. It’s mostly sewn with french seams (instructions included in the pattern), so it looks pretty good from the inside too. Plus it means I can wear trousers for Me-Made-May now! Oh yeah, speaking of MMM, I’m afraid I fell off the photo bandwagon pretty quickly – the boyfriend was away and the photos I attempted to take in the mirror were pretty terrible. I’m still very proudly wearing my me-mades though and to be honest I already showed you nearly all my outfits last week, so I’m probably saving you from me-made boredom. And terrible photos. I’ll do a round-up at some point though and include any outfits that didn’t make it into week 1.

Wardrobe Architect Week Three: Exploring shapes

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IMG_8715Wardrobe Architect Week Three! Thinking hard about what words my style encompasses was quite enlightening; since then I’ve been kicking myself that I didn’t think of the word ‘kooky’. I know, I worry too much. Anyway I am excited to be looking at real clothing shapes  rather than more abstract ideas. This is where the fun starts 😉 This week is all about filling in tables with preferences for different styles (I’m sorry it’s so small, I can’t seem to make it any bigger).Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 22.10.03

So some styles that I rate really highly on here are knee length or slightly shorter skirts, both full and pencil. I love a dropped waist, but sadly I’m not an art deco starlet and they make me look hideous, so I rated that very low. Another thing I’ve realised is that calf length skirts look really frumpy on me. I always imagine I’ll look like a stylish ’50s housewife, but I actually look like a child wearing an older sibling’s hand-me-downs. My swirl skirt and my red velvet dress are both waiting for some hem reduction to knee level now that I’ve realised this. Same goes for trousers – I can go for normal long trousers or proper shorts, but the middle ground is a no-go area unless I want to look like a boy scout.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 22.07.20This last part about the necklines and sleeves is all about balance for me. I’ve rated necklines that add bulk fairly low – I’m small and therefore don’t pull off big bulky turtlenecks. Sleeveless is my least favourite type of sleeve – although I do wear it sometimes I prefer to add a cap sleeve or a kimono sleeve to balance out my larger hips.

So there you go. I thought of creating some graphs or something for this post, but I  don’t think there are any particularly interesting trends to reveal from the ratings, so I will just keep this post short and sweet. Next week is all about creating sillhouettes, are you excited?

I know what you’re thinking, where are all the pretty pictures?? Well, tables of data didn’t lend themselves to the prettiest post ever, but I finished my Mathilde blouse on the weekend, so I promise to provide you with a picture-filled post soon!

Cute Lambs, Sewing Withdrawal and Me Made May

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I am lucky enough to be dating a man whose uncles own a sheep farm in Wales, so I spent my bank holiday with some extremely cute lambs :) A few of them have been separated out from the herd for one reason or another, so they need bottle-feeding 3-4 times a day and needless to say I was a pretty willing volunteer. There were also a few tottering calves and lots of mums-to-be milling around, all watched over by the eagle-eyed sheep dogs. I love taking my camera round the farm, there are so many opportunities for interesting pictures.

When I wasn’t busy with the lambs I had a few welding lessons – to get the whole farm experience! Turns out I’m pretty handy with the ol’ welding if I do say so myself. All in all, not the best weekend to start wearing all my precious me-made clothes really. But I made a pledge and I certainly wasn’t going to fail in the first week, so I wore the ones that wash well and could be covered up by a huge coat to save them from the mud. Perhaps this is a wardrobe hole I need to consider – homemade clothes I dislike enough I’m happy to let a lamb dribble milk all over them… Anyway, here’s what I’ve been wearing so far!

I had a great time on the farm, but during the lulls I was really itching to get back to my sewing machine! Do any of you get withdrawal symptoms from sewing? I knew I had the makings of a cream Mathilde blouse sitting on my sewing bench and I desperately wanted to start it! Perhaps I need to take a trailer full of sewing supplies with me wherever I go so I can get my fix. Like a lot of bloggers out there, sewing is my therapy, so I get really frustrated when I can’t pick it up.

Well I’m back now and I’ve just cut out all my pieces so I’m ready to go. Still can’t decide if I should put sleeves on it yet though, what do you think? I love the Mathilde sleeves, but I’m planning to gather the front instead of pin-tucks, so I think the sleeves as well might make it a bit billowy. I reckon I’ll make it and try it on without sleeves and see how it looks. Got plenty of fabric, so maybe I can try both.

How are your Me Made Mays going? Finding any wardrobe holes yet?

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