Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sutton Blouse in Floral Silk

Happy new year all! I'm in the home stretch of a second pair of Ginger Jeans at the moment (in black this time), but between gingers I sewed up a True Bias Sutton Blouse. And I love it! I could probably just keep alternating my sewing with sutton, ginger, sutton, ginger, sutton, ginger for awhile and be very happy (but I do have plans for a wool jacket coming up and a Thread Theory Camas Blouse, and a few more knit dresses).

I just love the back box pleat detail, and the yoke is a great opportunity to use a small contrasting fabric or even some lace. I went all one fabric this time, but would love to mix up the yoke if i can find the right fabrics. I've had this fabric in my stash for awhile and it feels like a silk (and was priced like a silk) but i don't remember and i bought it before i really paid attention to fabrics (i didn't know what i was doing!).

Silky fabrics can be a little tricky, but just by doing a few things it was fine. Actually the hardest part was pressing it. i need to buy a new iron! the steam kept stopping and i really needed to steam steam steam!!! Also a sharp, fine microtek needle was a must. And i used my rotary cutter and mat to cut the pieces flat. So much easier than scissors! Less shifting. More accurate. Faster. Win, win, win. The other thing I've done before is use some spray starch when pressing seams and hems. It makes it easier to sew, and the starch washes out. Speaking of washing, to prewash, I just threw my fabric into a Tide garment wash bag, and washed it in the machine on cold and then hung it up to dry (and then pressed and steamed it like crazy with my iron). And that's how I'll continue to wash this top. 

The last thing is to just hold the fabric taut while sewing. This keeps the fabric from getting sucked down into the needle/throat plate, and keeps things from getting wavy. Hold the fabric behind your needle with your left hand and hold your fabric in front of you with your right hand and pull the fabric taut, not stretched, just taut. Hope that makes sense! And you don't need to pull or push the fabric, the feed dogs will move the fabric for you, just keep holding and adjusting your hands so the fabric stays taut. And i'm not an expert, that's just what works for me.

I didn't make many changes. I sized down a little. My bust put me in a 6/8, my waist put me in a 4, and hip in a 6, so i just decided to do the 4 because it's a loose top. I lengthened it by 2 inches because i'm on the tall side and wanted to make sure it would be long enough. Also note that this pattern has a center front french seam, so I considered pattern matching, but then decided to just make it easier on myself and staggered my pattern pieces so that there wouldn't be an obvious repeat and so that i didn't end up with a large pink flower on each boob. You have to watch out for these things! :) 

I love the instructions for the hem with side slits, it's very clever and results in a nice clean finish. There was also a sewalong on the True Bias blog, so there are a bunch of great photos to see all the steps. The only change I'm making to the pattern for my next sutton is deepen the v-neckline by about an 1.25". This pattern is really great for any silky drapey lightweight fabrics. I wore it out to dinner with my ginger jeans, and on another day wore it to work with some dress pants. I threw on a cardigan because it's chilly, but the sutton top will be perfect for the summer! And now I want to go shopping for more lightweight silky fabrics!