Skip to main content

Wearability Report: Silver Afternoon Blouse

I'm looking at clothes I made after I got a chance to wear them a few times, and report on how it went. I'm calling this the wearability report, where I'm listing the good & bad workmanship, the pattern merits & faults, the fitting strengths & failures, and following up with a general wearability score for the garment on a 1 to 10 scale, and general thoughts on it, a few months after it was made.

This summer I made two Afternoon blouses, with fixing some fitting issues between the two makes. The second version, in silver linen, I blogged about here.



Let me start by saying - I love this version of the blouse, and it has been one of my most successful makes this summer. The first version I'm not super happy about, with the dreaded front-sway/bib issues, but I managed to fix that problem. It's also lucky that this one has enough ease and my strength training this summer hasn't really been a problem in terms of fit. It is one of the first things I reach out for in my closet.

I have mostly good things to say about this make:

1. (pattern, fitting) It fits - this is all sorts of amazing - no swayback issue, no swayfront issue, enough room to move in; you'll note I made the corner-y version of the pattern, not the one that looks like a potato
2. (pattern) The pattern works well for my lifestyle - I get to wear a woven with jeans but not look too out of place at work. Bonus points that this version works well with my recent V1247.
3. (workmanship) I really took my time with this one, and it shows. Virtually every seam is topstitched, and the topstitching looks good.
4. (workmanship)  I could have done better with the facings: I didn't catch stitch the facing down to the fabric, and I should have - the floppy facing bothers me when I iron it after washing. Not a big thing, but really helps in terms of finishing.
5. (workmanship) I overcast the facing edges, which I ended up not liking - the fabric doesn't ravel as it is, and it has fusible interfacing too.
6. (fabric, cutting layout) I made this from a fabric remnant, which is why I had to use another fabric for the facing, and also cut part of the front slightly off grain (maybe 15 degrees?). This is not visible or noticeable, but I know that with wear the off grain side shifts a bit. I didn't have a choice and I knew it would happen: I'm lucky that it's not visible, but want to point it out as something where I got lucky.
7. (fabric) This fabric is of very good quality, and withstands washing amazingly well. It's also well suited for this pattern. I wish I could say fabric type&characteristics were a conscious choice when matching with the pattern, but they weren't - I got lucky.

Lessons learned: - it's worth spending some time at the end to make sure the inside is as nice as the outside
- not all raw edges need special treatment
- the right fabric makes a garment

Quality score: 8 (3 good - 2 neutral - 1 unavoidable - 1 lucky)
Conclusion: This pattern works very well for me, and I did a better job than average on workmanship this time around. Most of the quality minuses come from how I did things - I took enough time with the process that everything that bothers me right now can be fixed. 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes - I thought I'm not quite as enthusiastic about many of the things I make after I make them so it's worth getting stuff written up after a while!

      Delete
  2. Interesting! I enjoy reading about this sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'dd do more of these posts over the coming months. I have a pretty big backlog of things I made this year already, and I'm making things as I go along.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to make silk bias binding

I promised this tutorial a while ago, but was too busy with work to get to it. This tutorial will focus on how to iron and fold the binding, rather than how to cut it. I have three links to good tutorials about how to do the correct cutting.


Here goes: a tutorial for properly making bias binding. Apologies for picture quality, I was using my phone.

Tools needed:
* silk square for the bias, sewing machine and scissors to make the continuous bias strip that will be ironed into place
* a 2-inch (5cm) wide piece of cardboard
* some sort of vaporiser, filled with water
* bias tape maker - for these pictures, I used a Clover which makes 1/2" binding (starts with 1" strips), but if I were to do this again, I'd use the one which makes a 1" binding (out of 2" strips)

Naming:
* left-side: bias strip not yet passed through the bias maker
* right-side: bias strip which has been folded by the bias maker



Steps:

1. Cut bias strips out of your silk square. I like this tutorial…

A new shirt

I made a white shirt. I cut this out sometime in late September, and I used McCalls 6035 again. I managed to finish it around Christmas. I wanted a nice white shirt, with a bit of a twist, so I added grey embelishments to it.


I am very pleased with how the embelishments turned out. I did a few things:
- embroidered the collar with French knots
- added grey/white twill tape to the sleeve seams
- used mother-of-pearl-with-grey-tint buttons

The effects are subtle, but they are there and I like them.



I embroidered the collar using two shades of grey, in a "burst" pattern. I tried to be relatively consistent about density of the French knots, but I think a bit of difference isn't very bad.


The collar was the first thing I finished, and it stayed there for a long time, until I found the time to get back to sewing.


I used a lot more interfacing on the collar than I normally do, and I think it shows. The buttons and tape on sleeves were added later and they're not very speci…

Birds dress

Just another sheath dress from me today, from my TNT pattern. This one is all about the fabric:

I got this bird fabric from Plush Addict, and it seems to have been the last fabric purchase pre-baby (Cosmo - Nihonkai - Budgies On Oxford Cloth if you are interested), so didn't cut into it for a long time. In May, after finishing my coat, I finally took the plunge.


The pattern, as I said, was my TNT sheath pattern, pretty simple. The biggest challenge with this dress was fabric placement, I didn't want any weird bird cuts at seams, nor did I want any other sort of weird placement. 
As i had 2 meters of this fabric, I thought I should be able to get all that, so I spent a lot of time moving fabric pieces around, until I got it. I'm pretty happy with myself, the seams meld as much as possible, I'm particularly proud of the center back:


Construction wise, this dress has 6 darts and 5 seams, so it is all relatively straightforward. I stabilized the neckline and armholes with…