Hooray, I got round to making the Simple Sew Lottie Blouse from the pattern that came free with issue 2 of Love Sewing Magazine.
I wasn’t sure which fabric to use; I wanted something a bit floaty, so my usual choice of foolproof cotton was not an option. But I certainly didn’t want something that’s difficult to sew with – a chiffon or silk would have been beautiful but I am nowhere near ready for that level yet! So I chose this pretty vintage-look cotton modal, which has a nice drape and is lightweight, cool and breathable. But I can’t take the credit for it… I saw somebody else’s Lottie Blouse was made in it (and it looked fab!) so I copied!
It’s a crinkly fabric, so stretches a bit when pulled, which made for an interesting sewing experience. I was surprised at how well I handled it, actually.
I’ve read a few write-ups about this blouse and people tend to agree that it is a simple sew, like the pattern’s name suggests. I also agree. It was quick and easy to put together. Of course that doesn’t mean I made the whole thing without making mistakes, though!
My first little problem came before I had even cut the pieces. There’s one horizontally long (necktie) piece that needs to be cut on the fold. My fabric wasn’t wide enough to fit it on. So I had to chop the pattern piece into two, cut them separately, and stitch them together to form the long strip. It was a pain, but not exactly difficult, so I survived it.
I sailed through the construction until I got to binding the neckline. I’m usually OK with binding but this was fiddly. The fabric stretched and the curve was tight to get around. I’m not very impressed with the end result; it looks uneven and lumpy… but it’s not bad enough to bother redoing it! The necktie mostly covers it so I just left it as it is.
Then I went on to do the sleeves. All went swimmingly and I inserted the first one perfectly. Or so I thought – until I realised I had sewn it inside out!! Noooooo… This is what happens when I sew in the daytime!! I was so busy concentrating on getting the sleeve head to fit right that I totally ignored which way up I pinned the pieces together. I don’t think I will ever learn to check before I put things through the machine. This isn’t the first time and unfortunately I do think it won’t be the last.
Of course on the second attempt I made some puckers and messed it up a bit really, which put my unpicker into overdrive. Typical. But finally I had both sleeves in, sitting lovely.
The last issue was the insertion of the necktie. The instructions are vague. I’m pretty sure I did it correctly, but I don’t really like it. There’s a raw edge underneath the collar, on the outside. You can’t see it but I just feel it’s untidy. I would much prefer the edge to be tucked in between the collar/necktie pieces, and then the collar can be topstitched to secure it in place. I wonder why they suggest the method they do. I will try my made-up method if I make another of these blouses and see how it turns out!
So… Ta-da! My very first blouse!
I wasn’t sure if I would actually wear it – I’m torn between thinking it looks old-lady-like or has that fashionable vintage look or is a bit grown-up and mature for me! But I wore it yesterday and even went out in it – go me! It’s so comfy and breezy in the lovely sunshine we’re having at the moment. I think it would look cute with a high-waisted skirt – of which I (quite shockingly) own none! Time to get started on the Lottie Skirt methinks!