Monday, April 29, 2013

The Sassy Librarian - Part 2, and finis!

This blouse was so fun to make and the class is a great one to take!  If you missed my last post, this is referring to the class I took on,  The Sassy Librarian Blouse .  This class is good for beginners and advanced sewist alike.
The instructor, Christine Haynes, is a pattern designer and an excellent teacher.  Even though I say it's good for beginners, you do need to know how to use your sewing machine.  She speaks clearly and shows exactly what she is doing each step of the way.  I like how she lets you know if the next section applies to the view you are making or not and it's easy to skip to where you want to go.  Honestly, sometimes if a technique is known to me, I wanted to hurry her up.  I have made blouses and shirts before, but long enough apart that it's always nice to freshen up the 'how-to's.  It is always nice to watch someone else actually doing the step, and see it done smoothly, before you need to do it.  Also, if she struggles a bit (like setting in a perfect sleeve), then I'm reassured my struggles are normal.
I did take the time to watch every step so my blouse took a lot longer than it normally will to make.
Here is the final product:

When I got to the step of the collar, I was so pleased with how easy it was and how nicely it lay:

For the buttonholes, I went to the blogpost by "Dog Named Banjo".  This tutorial really helped me to go step by step with my Bernina 440 buttonholer.  I tried to wing it, but ended up going back and reading the steps again.  She has it laid out very nice.  I did discover the auto feature isn't working on my buttonholer.  It will do one at a time beautifully, so I just did that.   I'll have to go and have my foot recalibrated, apparently.
Speaking of going to the shop, when I got my serger out to help finish off the seams on this blouse, the poor thing decided to freeze up.  She apparently didn't like the move from Arizona to Oregon.  It's been 2 weeks at the Bernina dealer so I'm hoping she's home soon (and doesn't cost an arm and a leg).
My next project is to finish up my 'muslin mock up' with sleeves and facings and have a 2nd version.  It fits well and I think I will enjoy that lightweight fabric this summer!  When my Serging Bernie gets back I will zip that on up!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The making of a Sassy Librarian (Blouse that is)

I am having so much fun taking my new Craftsy class.  It's called 'The Sassy Librarian Blouse' and was a gift from my DDIL.  At first I felt intimidated by printing and taping and cutting out the pattern, but it wasn't actually as bad as I had built up in my mind.

After staring for a day at the stack of printed pages, I jumped in!  It took a while, but I started by laying out the first four pages in a row, lining up the numbers and arrows.

Then acting on the advice of the instructor, I trimmed the border of one side to make it easier to accurately match the arrows and lines.

Sometimes 2 sides had to be trimmed to match up more easily.

This process took me all of one afternoon, and monopolized our large dining room table.  But in the end I had a paper pattern all trimmed out in the size I need for my blouse.
Then came the adventure of making a muslin mock up to make sure it would fit before I actually cut into the 'real' fabric.  I only needed to cut out the front and back to see if the fit was right for me.  I put in the darts and sewed the side seams together.

It seems to fit perfectly with one minor adjustment. I had to let the side seem out at the bottom about 3/4 of an inch.  I unpicked about 4 inches and think I will add paper to the pattern angling down from the 4" mark adding 3/4" to the bottom on each side.  Keeping the 5/8" seam allowance, that should be just right!

So now I'm ready to add to the paper pattern and cut out the real blouse fabric!

Are you taking this class?  Please share your challenges and solutions with me in the comments.