Fear Fabric Challenge: The Carme Blouse....in CHIFFON! EEEKK!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

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Completed top for the Fall Essentials Sew Along...check.  Kicked that scary chiffon in the ass for the Fear Fabric Challenge...check!  Aaahhh feels good people.
Wearable garment output has been pretty slim for me here in the past couple months.  I've either been busy working on other people's projects (you down with O.P.P?) or busy creating failed projects for myself, feeling bad about it and drowning my sorrows in a bucket of ice cream. Promise to blog the failed projects soon.  I feel it's good to share those kinds of things too.  Often times our blog feed is filled with so much awesome we forget shit happens and are really hard on ourselves when it does. In the meantime let's take a look at a garment I'm actually happy about and will actually wear!
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Pattern:  The Carme Blouse by Pauline Alice available here in pdf or print
Fabric:    Floral Chiffon from Fabric Mart

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Cutting Tips:
I've actually tried sewing with chiffon once before.  I didn't do any research before hand, just kind of jumped into it and it showed.  That project soon ended up in the scrap bag off to a happier home. The main struggle for me was not the sewing but the cutting.  What a little back talking b***** chiffon can be.  Little did I know while I was cutting my pieces on the fold my bottom layer was being all unruly and wiggling around, not playing nice at all!  This resulted in wonky pieces that didn't want to play nice together.  This time I smartened up and did some research before cutting into my fabric. The most helpful tip I learned was to cut the fabric as one layer using tissue paper. This means any pattern pieces that are to be cut on the fold will need to be made double and taped together so that it can be cut on one layer.  I laid out my tissue paper taping it down so it wouldn't fly everywhere when trying to lay the chiffon on top.  After laying my chiffon out I pinned down my pattern pieces using sharp pins. I cut my fabric and tissue paper as one.  The tissue paper slaps that chiffon into submission.  No more unruliness.  Any notches I cut out in a triangle instead of cutting in as to not weaken the seam.

Sewing Tips:
When it came to sewing I used a microtex sharp needle and changed my stitch length to 2.0.  I found it damn near impossible to go any longer as the fabric wants to start to gather.  For pinning I used sharp glass head pins.  One tip I read was instead of pinning pieces together use a hand basting stitch. Ain't nobody go time for that!   All of my seams are french.  Oui, oui!
   
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Ok let's talk about the pattern and construction.  I've eyed the Carme Blouse for quite a long time. Pin tucks get me every time.  They may be time consuming to sew but they are my favorite decorative detail.  The print of my fabric is a little busy and makes the tucks rather hard to see in pictures but trust me they are there.

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I cut a size 36 and graded to a 38 at the hips.  I'm pretty happy with the fit and didn't make any other size alterations.  Now that I see the back view I may do a sway back adjustment next time.

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I took the most time with the pin tucks.  I'm kind of glad my print is so busy as it hides any imperfections rather well.  The sleeve vents and attaching the collar was a struggle for me.  I found the pattern instructions hard to understand so I referred to the sewalong.  The tutorials are in video format which I prefer over a gazillion photos that are sometimes hard to make out. However I did find myself watching the video over and over a gazillion times because she would speed right through the steps.  

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I prefer the sleeves rolled up because I like showing off those sleeve tabs.  Ok the real reason is because I made my button holes a smidge too small and it's a little awkward for me to button.  I won't tell you that the top button on the collar is totally inoperable.  I put the buttonhole too far over.  No biggie because I totally didn't intend to ever button it all the way up anyhow.

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For the hem I attempted to use my new rolled hem foot.  No go! That foot is going to take a lot of practice and patience.  Have any of you mastered one? Are there any tricks to it?  I ended up using wonder tape to finish the hem.

I wore the shirt to work Thursday and came home and took some photos for this post outside because it was so nice out.  Well I didn't realize what a wrinkly mess it turned into by the end of the day and it was quite apparent in my photos.  I ended up washing the shirt and retaking some pictures today inside.  Today it snowed a little...yeah on Halloween!

Orlando says, "Pay no mind to those wrinkles Shannon. We all know they come here for the cat pictures anyway"
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Have you sewn up anything for the fear fabric challenge?  I'm glad I tackled my fear as I have a lot of chiffon in my stash waiting to be turned into something beautiful.

Happy Halloween!!


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38 comments

  1. A very pretty and feminine blouse.

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  2. I love it. I'm amazed that you took on not only the chiffon, but pintucked it as well. Great job.

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  3. Oh wow, a proper shirt in chiffon?! Talk about major accomplishment! I'm thinking about using some kind of fabric stiffener next time I sew with chiffon. I read that you can use gelatin as well, which sounds interesting. I sewed with scuba for the Fear Fabric Challenge, not nearly as difficult as chiffon, but something I was afraid of anyway.

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  4. Wowser- this is impressive! Chiffon is crazy intimidating so hats off to you! Super cute blouse!

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  5. Gorgeous blouse, so pretty and TOTALLY wearable! Glad to hear you showed that chiffon who was boss! x

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  6. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.comNovember 1, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    This is awesome. I love pintucks they are my favourite feature too. I have been mooning over this pattern so long. I just don't feel confident enough to tackle it yet. Well done you.

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  7. You definitely got over your chiffon fear--good for you!!! Lovely top, you did an excellent job with this pattern that with the tucks would not be easy peasy and a challenging fabric.

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  8. What a challenge those pin tucks must have been in chiffon--yikes!! But you ended up with a beautiful shirt (and a few war stories, LOL) in the end. I hope you get lots of wear out of your Carme!

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  9. This is SO pretty! You should be very proud of your work. And good call with the busy print...prints and black hide all sewing sins!

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  10. wOwza! Pintucks and buttonholes on chiffon - you are a brave one! Looks amazing though :)

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  11. So glad you followed me on Kollabora so I clicked through and discovered your blog! It's great!!! You said you love to read other sewing blogs so here's mine: www.jillianhollmann.com/blog. Look forward to browsing more of your posts. Great blouse!

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  12. Ooooh, chiffon!! I'm frightened of diaphanous, floaty fabrics, for sure. I love your Carme blouse. And, I'm with you on the pintucks. Something so geometrically pleasing and yet they are very delicate. I think they can add so much to a design. I have not used the rolled hem foot. Actually, I've not rolled a hem before, so, you know, the foot has not been necessary. Yet. Oh, and OPP, LOL! I've never heard that before! But, of course now, am totally stealing and using it. Oh, and Kitty says to say 'hi' to the snake killer. (Check out pics of him in a preppy sweater vest.....really downplays the whole 'cats as killers' thing when, you know, they are dressed up in hand-knit argyle sweater vests. :)

    http://gjeometry.com/2014/11/01/preppies-knitters-a-new-feature-on-the-blog-packed-with-free-sewing-stuff/

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  13. I am bowing to your patience and skill. Golf clap included. Beautiful work.

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  14. Thanks! I amaze myself sometimes. ha!

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  15. I have heard of the gelatin. I have some spray starch that I tried when I was assembling the sleeve vents.. I believe (I've slept since then) I didn't like the result. I have to say the wonder tape was a dream for the hem.

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  16. You can do it! Just take your time with it. If I can do it anyone can do it. :)

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  17. Probably the most challenging make so far. I think I will wear it lots!

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  18. Thanks!! The buttonholes were scarier than those pintucks I do believe.

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  19. Kitty in a sweater vest!? how did I miss that?? Going to check it out now!!

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  20. This blouse looks gorgeous! I just recently accomplished my first slippery fabric sewing, and I don't think it turned out quite as well as yours. The cutting was pretty much the worst part so I am looking forward to using your tissue paper trick. Thanks for that. Good job conquering your fabric fear! Would you sew with chiffon again?

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  21. It looks so so good. I hope you did a victory lap of the room when you put it on? I absolutely HATE my rolled hem foot. Very happy to hear you have a nicer relationship with yours.

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  22. Yay you for slapping that chiffon into place! The top looks great on you :-)

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  23. I posted my youtube video for using the rolled hem foot on my blog, www.gabriellestanley.blogspot.co.uk . It involves cutting the hem wider, and stitching twice to give a firmer edge to pass through the foot, Maybe using this technique would help you?

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  24. Yes I definitely would! Good thing cuz I have a bunch in my stash. The tissue trick is awesome!

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  25. I love pintucks! Looks so nice :)

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  26. Your patience and hard work paid off, this blouse is beautiful! And I'm a huge fan of tracing a pattern piece twice and taping it together along the center. It's my go to technique when I am using striped fabric.

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  27. So pretty! You did a great job!

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  28. This looks amazing! Great job! I really can't believe you sewed this, though... you're so brave!

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