Royal Blouse

Out of the Blue

Well hey! Bet you weren’t expecting to hear from me again so soon! I know I said last week I might be scaling back my posts to fortnightly soon instead of weekly, and that may still happen – but I happened to be finished this project in time, and given it’s only that shirt I’ve been trying to finish for a month, I couldn’t wait to share it! So here’s my first real shirt, Butterick 6133, in royal blue poly cotton πŸ™‚

Royal Blouse

I must say, looking back on these photos, I’m actually really pleased with how this shirt turned out – because as anyone who’s read the last couple of posts will know, it was quite the slog to get it finished! It’s hard to say exactly why; the pattern certainly isn’tΒ too complicated, and it came together easily enough. I think it was a combination of my new-to-me pattern uncertainty of how it was going to turn out, and my slight indifference towards the fabric – though the shade looks pretty brilliant, it’s hard to get excited about poly cotton (though at $3/m, it was hard to go past for a wearable muslin!).

IMG_2683

I was also pretty worried about the sizing – I generally go with around a size 12 in Big 4 patterns, one size down from my bust measurement, as this usually gives me the fit I like (without all that excess ease!). However, I noticed this pattern had acres of ease built in to it; from the finished garment measurements, I could tell I’d fit into the size 10. But would it look alright? I decided to go with the 10; if it came out too small, the cheap fabric meant it was no great loss – and if it was too big, I’d never wear it. And I’m glad I did! The 10 fits like a glove and needs no further alterations. With that uncertainty gone, and some really lovely white cotton for the next iteration, I think it will get sewn up *a lot* more quickly than this one!

Royal Blouse

As I said before, construction was very straightforward, only slightly time consuming because of the multiple panels in both top and bottom. I think it was well-worth it, though – the gentle curve of each seam gives it such a beautiful fit, gently skimming the waist, instead of completely by-passing it and falling straight to the hips, as most of my RTW shirts do (not a flattering look on me!). This also means it looks nice both over a pair of pants, like in these photos, or tucked into a high-waisted skirt – so definite points for versatility there πŸ˜‰

Royal Blouse

I didn’t take quite so much time over the insides as I normally would, mostly because I wanted to be sure it would fit and look nice before I invested too much in it; most of the seams are french seams, with the exception of the armscye – I’m not sure if french seams here are a thing (I’m assuming so??), but that sounded way too scary, especially as this was the first time I was sewing my sleeves inΒ not flat, so I just pinked the edges of the seam allowance. And then I forgot to finish the edge of the facing until I was almost finished the shirt! So that got a quick zig zag before hemming. Oh, and of course when I went to do the button holes on the Janome, in what I can only assume was a fit of jealousy after I’d sewn the rest of the shirt on the Singer, it decided to give up on three of them half way through, leaving me to try and finish them manually with a short zig zag. They look horrendous, but they’re fortunately hidden behind the super snazzy buttons I found in my stash, which are possibly also my favourite part of this shirt.

IMG_2686

Royal Blouse

Now, if there is one element of this pattern I am not a huge fan of, it’s the sleeve binding. I sewed it as evenly as possible and gave it a good press, but I think it would be nigh on impossible to ever get it looking perfect. Has anyone got any alternative ideas for finishing the edges? I’m also on the fence about the extent of the fullness at the back; I think it borders almost on too full, but I’m thinking I might not be able to take much out before range of movement across the back is compromised. So I guess I’m just embracing it then!

Royal Blouse

Well, despite the sew-jo-sapping slog that was the making of this shirt, I do declare it a success! I am actually really pleased with how it looks on, and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it πŸ™‚ I really can’t wait to make the next white version, either – now I know how good the end result is I’m sure the sewing won’t be such a struggle. Also, on a funny side note – the pattern actually calls for seven buttons, but I only had six of these. I worked out my own spacing and I reckon it works fine, but in most of the pictures it looks like there’s only five – forgot to do the bottom one up till half way through the shoot, whoops!

I’d better wrap up there – I’m in surgery for the next month and that necessitates getting up at five every day 😦 I’m already looking forward to the weekend for a sleep-in and some more sewing!

Until next time,

Miss Maddy xx

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25 comments

  1. cetakz · March 15, 2016

    Nice blouse, like verticak stich on buttons.
    Cvetak Zanovetak

    Liked by 2 people

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Thank you! I quite like it too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • Roseanne Roberts · March 30, 2016

      Hello Miss Maddy,
      I’ve just recently discovered your beautiful blog. I am here from Perth and am wondering if we could meet for a coffee and perhaps a little outing to Rathdowne remnants.

      If you would like to email me I can send you my ph number.
      Regards,
      Roseanne

      Like

  2. Michelle · March 15, 2016

    Lovely! It’s a wonderful color for you and the fit is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nathalie · March 15, 2016

    what a lovely colour! The blouse suits you really well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Why thank you! The bolt really jumped out at me in the shop, I couldn’t leave it behind πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Elizsews · March 15, 2016

    Great colour, the tailored style gives a ‘dressy’ look while remaining practical and easy to wear. A very useful addition to your placement wardrobe!…..ummmmm surgery another sewing skill! Maybe no late night sewing while on five o’clock starts! Good luck πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Thank you πŸ™‚ Haha yes, I think sewing will be limited to weekends and afternoons off for now!

      Like

  5. Siobhan · March 15, 2016

    Sweet blouse! You’re really advancing your sewing skills.

    Regarding the sleeve binding, I’m assuming there is just a cuff strip that you encase the sleeve hem in? I recently did a few of these on some children’s blouses and found this was the neatest way (of course inserting your own measurements here).

    The binding was to be a finished width of 1cm, so I cut 4cm strips (for a 1cm SA). Pressed them in half then one long raw edge to the centre fold as usual, then seamed them in a circle. The unpressed long raw edge was sewn to the *inside* of the sleeve, then pressed. Then due to your pre pressing of the strip you can just fold the strip over as you edge stitch to *just* cover your previous stitching. Sewing it to the inside first means the topstitching will always be neatest from the outside, and although you are more likely to catch the inside fold with your topstitching it doesn’t really matter because it’s already secured down. (Make sure to turn your work so you sew on the inside of the tube rather than trying to fit it over your machine bed and potentially stretching things.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Oooh yes I see what you mean! Thanks, that’s a great suggestion πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. 1stgaia1 · March 15, 2016

    Great pattern! I’m definitely going to get it as with my size 10 shoulders, 44 inch bust and size14/16 rest of me I should be able to get a proper fit. I will put long sleeves into it as we are coming up to Winter.
    I reckon you could get rid of some of the fullness in the back. Try pining and moving your arms to establish how much you can take out whist still having enough ease.
    A real cheat on the sleeves would be instead of gathering make a channel and elasticise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Oh, thank you! Those are some great ideas πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. Emma @ A Hand Stitched Life · March 15, 2016

    This blouse is stunning Maddy! I adore the style and colour. I have a love hate relationship with my sewing machine and button holes. It has an automatic sensor buttonhole stitch, which is wonderful, when it works. Sometimes it just decides the buttons are half the size they are. It’s wonderful fun.

    I agree about the fullness in the back, it does toe the line of being excessive but I’m sure you can work it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Gotta love it when machines decide to misbehave πŸ˜€ But thanks so much Emma!

      Like

  8. SofΓ­a · March 16, 2016

    Beautiful blouse!! The colour is so pretty, and the pattern is lovely! The ruched details are so cute, specially the ones at the sleeves. It fits you very well, and I can see it paired with a pencil skirt for a more ‘retro’ look! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 16, 2016

      Thanks Sofia! Yeah, I can’t wait to try this one with a skirt πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. A very pretty blue! Lovely work!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Courtney · March 22, 2016

    Looks great! Do you feel like you’re able to move your arms freely? I just finished my muslin of the same pattern, and while the fit looks good while I’m standing still, I’m trying to decide whether I can lift my arms well enough to go ahead with the final version. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · March 23, 2016

      Thank you! Yeah there is a bit of restriction when I raise my arms, but not enough to bother me – I guess it depends what you want to do in the shirt! I think it could be easily fixed by altering the sleep or using a different one – I don’t think you’d get the same problem with a cap sleeve, for example πŸ™‚

      Like

      • Courtney · March 23, 2016

        Thanks! Maybe I’ll go ahead and make the shirt, and just add a little length to the sleeve binding for easier reaching of cabinet shelves. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Clara Mason · May 13, 2016

    Perfect! I love the elegance and playfulness of this outfit. And the background is absolutely breathtaking

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · May 24, 2016

      Thank you! I do get a pretty nice backdrop from our deck – but we’re about to move house! I hope that I’ll find as good a spot in the new place πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Pingback: Work Clothes for the Vintage Soul – Miss Maddy Sews

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