Thursday, 26 May 2016

Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse Tutorial

Welcome to the tutorial for the Simple Sew Peter Pan Blouse. This cute blouse features a collar, grown on sleeves and a button back.

1 - First things first, work out what size you need to make by taking your measurements and using the size chart on the pattern envelope to find the best fit. Buy all your supplies and pre-wash your fabric. I always iron my paper pattern pieces before cutting them and I cut them out roughly then go back and cut around the correct size. Some people like to trace their paper patterns so that they have all the sizes intact, but I feel like life is too short!

One thing to point out that you need to keep in mind throughout sewing this blouse is seam allowances are 1cm. This is smaller than the standard 1.5cm, so make sure you stick to it or the blouse will be ill fitting and the pieces won’t line up!

Cut out all the fabric pieces according to the instructions and lay plans.

2 - Iron interfacing onto one set of collar pieces.

3 - Then pin two collars right sides together and sew around the outer curve. Take it slowly around the curve so that it is nice and rounded. 

4 - Trim down the seam allowance or notch the curve. This is so that when it is turned through to the right side there is minimal bulk and the curve is smooth. I like to use pinking shears to get really close to the line of stitching - it works a little like a cross between trimming the seam allowance and notching. Repeat for the other collar.

5 - Turn the collars round so that they are right sides out. Roll the edges between your fingers to get the seams to sit flat.

6 - Give them a good press.

7 - Moving onto the main part of the blouse, pin the shoulder seams together, with right sides of the fabric together and sew. Pin the side seams together, with right sides of the fabric together, and sew. Finish the seams and press open. On a fabric that does not fray too much, I just pink the seams. Other options are to use a zig-zag stitch or an overlocker.

8 - Fold the centre back seams over by 5mm, right sides together, press and sew.

9 - Place the collar on top of the blouse, so that the right side of the blouse and the right side of the collar are both facing up. Pin into place.

10 - Sew the collar to the blouse

11 - Pin the bias binding to the collar edge. The right side of the binding should be face down, against the right side of the collar. The fold line of the binding should sit just a little further out from the line of stitching you have just sewn (or directly on top of it if you are very neat!)

12 - Sew along the fold line of the binding, all the way around the collar.

13 - This is what it should look like so far, with the binding flipped up.

14 - Trim the collar and blouse seam down so that it is in line with the binding. Press the binding up away from the collar, towards the wrong side of the blouse.

15 - Making sure the collar is out of the way, sew the binding down to the blouse. You will be sewing from the wrong side at the edge of the binding. Make sure the collar is pulled away so that you don’t sew through it. Press the neckline well.

16 - This is what it looks like from the right side with the collar lifted up - a line of stitching all the way around the neck.

17 - And this is it from the wrong side. The bias binding should only be visible on the inside.

18 - With the collar folded back down into place, the binding is not visible and the finish is really neat.

19 - Now to finish the arm holes. With the right side of the fabric facing up, pin bias binding around the armhole, right sides together, starting at the underarm seam. Leave a little extra at the beginning and the end to overlap. Start sewing a couple of centimetres after the underarm seam and stop a little before it.

20 - Pin the binding together at the arm hole seam and sew along this line.

21 - Trim the ends of the bias binding, press open and continue sewing to the arm hole edge. This produces a nice flat, continuous line of binding that perfectly fits the armhole.

22 - Fold the binding to the inside of the blouse and press. Sew from the wrong side at the edge of the binding.

23 - Give the arm hole a thorough press using lots of steam. It can be a little tricky to get the binding to stretch around the curves of the arm hole, so take your time. This is how it should look, with the binding only visible on the inside.

24 - Turn up the hem by 5mm and press. Turn up again by another 5mm and press. Pin in place and sew the hem.

25 - Ensure that you follow the curve of the hem to maintain the shape of the blouse.

26 - Using the notches on the centre back as a guide, turn the centre back seams in and press. This creates the button placket. Sew along the edge of the placket. At the top, the bias binding from the collar should now be enclosed within the button placket.

27 - Mark out the position that you would like the buttons down the back. Refer to the pattern piece for guidance or use your own placement.

28 - I have a one step buttonhole function on my machine, so it is nice and easy to sew multiple buttonholes.

29 - When ripping open the button holes, put a pin at the top. This will prevent you from ripping past the buttonhole opening.

30 - Pin the centre backs together at the top and bottom, then use the buttonholes to mark the position of the buttons on the other side.

31 - Sew the buttons on and give the blouse a final press. You are finished!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful! Please get in touch if you have any questions, and I would love to see your finished blouses!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Me Made May - Week 2 Round Up


I can't believe week 2 has been and gone already. This week has been quite repetitive, I've found I'm wearing a few key items a lot! I've also struggled a bit with the hot weather as I only have one me-made summer skirt and no tops! I really need to address that!


I spent Sunday in York Museum Gardens and the weather was beautiful. I started off wearing my MIY Collection Longley Cardi, but it got too hot and then I was just in my RTW jeans and nursing top.


Monday was the same story, my RTW summer clothes with my Longley Cardi for when it was a little cooler. I'm finding this cardi so versatile for the weather, it's easy to throw on, doesn't crease and is cool if left open. I am planning another in a lighter knit fabric, I'm hoping it will be drapier and cooler and should see me through the summer!


Tuesday was a rainy day here. I wore my newly finished Simple Sew Patterns Classic Culottes. They are great in the rain because they are lightweight and the bottoms don't get soaked!

On Wednesday I wore a denim Megan Nielsen Patterns Brumby Skirt with my Sewaholic Fraser Sweatshirt. I loved the look of Brumby, but in this stiffer denim I don't think it does much for me, I'm going to re-make in a drapier fabric. This sweatshirt is getting a lot of wear as it's a lovely bright colour and the sleeve length means it's not overly warm.


Thursday saw the return of my trusty Colette Ginger. I've just noticed the waistband is coming apart at the back so I need to do some emergency repair work on it! This Ginger has an elasticated waistband and is made from stretch denim - it's so comfy and easy to wear!


I decided on Friday to not show another photo of my Longley Cardi, but to show what my little boy was wearing. I made my first Brindille and Twig pattern - a sweatshirt out of Girl Charlee UK teal cotton spandex. The fabric is lovely quality, I need to get some more to make myself a t shirt. The pattern was a joy to work with and so quick to make. The only fiddly bit was attaching the cuffs on the overlocker because they are so small!

On Saturday the baby had a nap for a whole hour (so unusual for him) so instead of doing the washing up I made some progress on my Simple Sew Patterns Peter Pan Blouse. I'm really taking my time with it and it's paying off because it's really neat. This is going to make up some of my much needed summer wardrobe!


I feel like I'm struggling a little to find something interesting to wear each day. I need to make a couple of basic t shirts and some more trousers so I have some wardrobe staples.


Monday, 9 May 2016

Me Made May - Week 1 Round Up

This is my first time participating in Me Made May and I'm really enjoying the challenge so far! It's got me thinking about what I wear everyday and even making some more clothes already to fill the gaps in my wardrobe.


I got off to a pretty good start wearing my Colette Patterns Ginger Skirt and Sewaholic Fraser Sweatshirt on the first day. The neckline of the sweatshirt doesn't look great in photos, that's definitely something I need to improve on next time! I actually get lots of compliments about the sweatshirt when I wear it, so I think overall it's a success!



Next up was the skirt again (don't judge me - if my clothes manage to avoid baby food / snot then they get a second outing before the wash) worn with my favourite ever cardigan, the MIY Collection Longley Cardi, by Wendy Ward. I absolutely love Wendy's patterns, they are so well drafted and thought through, plus excellent everyday clothes that fit easily into my wardrobe.


Day 3 I decided to wear my Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers. This was the first pair of trousers I ever made and the fit is not perfect yet. They are made from a cotton twill and they bag out over the course of the day. This picture was taken at the end of the day so you can see they are a little baggy. I don't have many pairs of trousers that are me-made and definitely need some more as they are perfect for being out and about with the baby!

Day 4 was lovely and sunny, so I wore my recently finished Seamwork Magazine Seneca Skirt. I love Seamwork for their quick patterns and have been a subscriber for a while now. This skirt is midi length and cool and floaty. The elastic waistband makes this a comfy and easy to wear skirt. I think I'll be wearing a lot more of this over the summer!


I was pretty busy on Day 5 with play groups so wore some very old RTW jeans with my first t shirt, the Sewaholic Renfrew. The neckline band is horribly stretched out on this, I really need to make another one with a better neckline. This is really a toile as the fabric is a bit cheap and thin. I realised on this day that I need to think about making some skinny jeans, they are quite a well worn item of clothing!


Day 6 we travelled to York to spend the weekend with my mum (and allow me a day out in Leeds for a hen do!) so I wore my very comfy skirt from The Beginners Guide To Dressmaking by Wendy Ward. This skirt gets a lot of wear as it is comfy and easy, in a dark grey ponte roma, it goes with everything. I'm wearing it with a RTW Gap nursing top and my favourite yellow Converse. I need something bright with an all grey outfit!

Day 7 was my first ever baby-free day. I went across to Leeds to do a room escape game and assault course. I realised before hand that I didn't have any me-made jogging bottoms so I quickly made some Papercut Patterns Anima Pants to wear. I got very muddy on the assault course and water slide and I made these trousers out of a very thick grey ponte, so it took AGES for me to dry out! They are great though and I want to make some more. I'm top right in the group photo by the way, and you can just about make out the trousers!


Over the course of the week I've realised that nearly everything I've worn has been stretchy! I think comfort is a major factor in how I dress at the moment. Plus, its easy to throw on stretchy clothes and they generally don't need much ironing.

I want to make some more t shirts for summer and some skinny jeans to have more basic wearable items!