I've been planning to make the Deer&Doe Airelle blouse for nearly a year now. I even talked about it to Kerry at the FQR Retreat last year and Sue and Di kindly gave me the black bias binding from their FQR goody bags to use for the piping I was planning to add. Months went by, where I thought a lot about making this top and enviously eyed some lovely makes on Flickr but did nothing. A couple of weeks ago, I girded my loins (WTF?!) and publicly declared that I was fighting the fear and going to start. I cut out the pattern and ironed every piece. The Deer&Doe patterns are on pretty heavy paper, which I like (from my limited experience). I was ready to go...... and then it all stalled.
My problem is really all about cutting fabric. I worry so much about doing it wrong and ruining the fabric. (same as with my quilting) The nano iro double gauze I decided to use (after a last minute change of mind) had been sat sitting waiting to be used for something for coming on 4 years now. In the end, I did make a couple of cutting out mistakes, which meant I had to reduce the length of the sleeves by an inch or so and improvise the facing for the collar, which made me decide to also use the same fabric as the underneath of the collar itself. I chose voile obviously because voile and double gauze...how hard could that be for a beginner?
Anyway, my progress was slow and a bit stop starty (I nearly cried when I saw the beautiful jacket that Emily made in 4 hours!). Half way through I was convinced the way forward was to ditch the pattern sleeves and make tulip sleeves instead but I realised that I should just do what I'm told until I'm good enough to do better. And so, this afternoon I finally finished my first ever blouse (collar and cuffs matching, Mrs Garrett!)...
I also attempted a fashion shoot with Laughing Boy but he acted like I'd just asked him to sacrifice our first born and handed him a loaded weapon. I had planned a really cool "look my shoulder is broken" super model pose but wasn't given any more time! One vaguely usable photo later...
|David Bailey he ain't!|
Overall, I chose to make the largest size because I was concerned about fitting in the chebbage. This was probably a mistake as it is a bit big on me, especially the neck/collar which I feel is a bit gapey round the back. The instructions were very limited and if like me your a newbie to all of this malarkey, instructions like "clip the seam allowance" made me fret as there were no pictures to show where to do this. I turned to my Vogue Sewing manual for guidance but I may have over clipped! The facing on the collar is now really bumpy (with empty bits). Having said that, the instructions did the job. I chose french seams for the back, sides and the sleeves and bound the gathered bits on the shoulder. I think I will bind the armhole seams too. Double gauze frays if you even look at it the wrong way.
My sleeves didn't fit into the armholes - they (the sleeves) were too big - no idea why! So again I had to improvise and did a small gather at the top of each sleeve, with mixed success to be fair. I think they shoulders now look a bit oddly puffy and emphasise how big the top is. Also, the collar is every so slightly overlapped...
|can you spot the fish? or are you mesmerised by the lumpy facing?|
So, all in all a bit hit and miss but I think I learned a lot - an expensive toile if you will! I may give it away to someone who will love it or I might wear it to work tomorrow to test drive it. Here are my favourite bits...
I love the voile under the collar..
|my first ever collar!|
|my first ever cuff!|
|Mortmain by Gather .. for the "ambitious beginner"|