JJ Blouse

For practice, or maybe just to have a project I can actually WORK on (as opposed to just obsessing over, like the coat and the jeans), I am going to make the JJ blouse. Without ruffles. So the other night I went down and dug through my “stash” for something light-weight that I had enough of. My stash is not at all impressive. It is mostly hoarded or scavenged… old curtains and bedding, bits and scraps my mother or other people were giving away, a few remnants bought here and there. Not a lot of actual substantial bits of fabric. I tend to hang on to even the littlest bits… dance costuming often doesn’t use very much. But it did yield just under 2m of a reddish crinkle-cotton left over from my second tiered skirt. It seemed like a nice weight to try for a summery blouse. So I ironed, and started cutting.

Issue # 1: the crinkle. It’s not an issue with the tiered skirt at all, but that’s a very different kind of construction (and doesn’t require a pattern). But the problem arises when ironing, and putting pattern pieces on. First, how much do I iron it? Do I try to get it completely flat, knowing that it will “shrink up” as it re-crinkles itself? Do I aim for some medium-flatness and just try to get it as even as possible? I don’t know, either… I went the latter route, and we shall see if I pay for my foolishness.

I cut the pattern out pretty much as is, aside from shortening the sleeve a bit. We’ll see how that works out… it was the sleeve cap which was shortened, which will reduce the pouff (it occurs to me that this line on the pattern corresponds to the shortening-line on the body of the shirt, which I did not shorten. Ah… oops. Well, that’ll be interesting. What I REALLY should’ve altered (if I wanted it shorter but still pouffy) was the bottom edge of the sleeve. Silly girl. Ah well… we reap what we sew. And I still don’t even know if the blouse will FIT me… it should be the right size in the bust, and it doesn’t look TOO fitted in the waist, so I’m hopeful, but generally these things either fit in the shoulders, the bust, or the waist, but never all three (which is why I don’t OWN any tailored, fitted blouses). On the upside, sewing with the crinkle-cotton is basically like sewing something with a 2-way stretch.

[photos will be added when I manage to charge my camera]

Edit: First try-on

The fit is surprisingly good; I could probably even have gone down a size, but this is all right. The only real “issue” is that eternal swayback. I really have to figure out how to do a proper sway-back alteration. It’s not mentioned in my only sewing book, and I’m a little confused by the accounts I’ve found online… I should dig around Pattern Review’s message boards a bit more, maybe they have something in there… But in the mean-time, looking surprisingly good.


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