Happy Saturday sewing everyone. Just chilling with a cup of tea and then I'm going to carry on with my Pendrell blouse. In case you don't know the Pendrell is the first pattern from Tasia at Sewaholic which she designs for pear shaped girls. Here is the link to her excellent blog http://sewaholic.net/ There is a sew-along tab on the home page which has all her links about the Pendrell. She conducted a sew-along for the Pendrell recently and so all the posts are in one convenient place. You don't have to be a pear to make it - she shows you how to "un-pear" shape the blouse. In fact I reduced the hip when cutting.
This is in fact the first top or blouse I have ever sewed so it is quite exciting. Before taking up sewing again in summer 2010 I had only made 2 skirts and a dress. Since last summer I have made dresses, leggings and a skirt.
I am using a polyester chiffon fabric with colourful glittery circles on it. I am also trying my hand at underling the blouse inspired by Tasia's posts on underlining. Unfortunately I can't remember what my underlining fabric is. I will check when I next go back to the fabric shop.
I started cutting during the week over 2 nights, the polyester on one night and the underlining the next. They ended up being late night sessions - I think I finished at midnight both nights. Now cutting is one of my least favourite things about sewing. Since taking up sewing I have read that some sewers love the cutting part. If that is you then I am truly envious. All that getting the fabric straight, lining up the grainline and pinning is enough to put anyone off sewing. However it is one of the necessary evils (evil being far too strong a word but you get my meaning) in the way of the fun stuff. As the most tedious part (in my opinion) comes at the start, my new philosophy is to get it out the way - just get started. I use the dining room table with an old curtain draped over the top. (Even I probably would have given up by now if my only option was the floor - I still remember the back-aching agony from the couple of times I have used the floor). If I get the horrible stuff out of the way during the week then I can play with the sewing machine at the weekend (which has to be everyone's favourite part).
I almost forgot - another first for me - I traced out the pattern with Burda tracing paper. This again took me a night during the week, so I must have spent 4 evenings on the project this week. Although it took time I think the extra effort is worth it. I have the pattern now ready to use if I want to do it again and the original is still there if I want to make a different size.
I also did the basting for the underlining over 2 nights - thankfully a much easier task than cutting and it didn't take as long. I basted by hand. Tasia has given examples of machine basting the underlining as well as a nifty diagonal tailor basting (a different hand basting method). I used the running stitch as it was quicker. Tasia has compared the 2 and she thinks there is less bubbling on the hand basted method. However - you know what - as Tasia says, it is up to you. If speed is your thing then by all means machine-baste away. Personally I will carry on hand basting until I am more experienced or confident.
The great news is that with all the most tedious parts now out of the way I can now start sewing on a rainy Saturday afternoon! Here are some pictures of my basted pieces showing the underling and the top fabric. I cut out the neck and armhole binding in the chiffon fabric but having re-read Tasia's blog, she used the underlining fabric for her underlined silk blouse. I may do the same but I'll make that decision later.