I’ve finally finished my first garment of the year! I started my McCalls M7094 blouse way back in April 2017. I cut it out mid way through the chaos of moving house and naively thought I’d be able to complete it in between working on the renovations. Ha! Nevertheless, here we are 10 months later and it’s finally done.
The fabric is a pretty viscose I tracked down on Ebay after it sold out at Minerva. It turned out to be a good match for the pattern and the drape suits the waterfall-y back opening beautifully. I love the colours and I think it’ll be a useful addition to my spring wardrobe (its snowing as I type this, but I live in hope).
The last time I worked with viscose I found that, despite my finishing, the edges became very frayed after being washed a few times. This time I did French seams throughout to avoid that and I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I managed to French seam everything, including the armholes, which I thought I’d find super tricky. In terms of finish this is, without question, the best thing I’ve made to date. Until I’ve got to grips with my overlocker, I plan to French seam everything I sew from now on!
The pattern came free with Love Sewing magazine and it’s the first time since school that I’ve used a “big 4” pattern. I’d forgotten just how poor the directions are compared to the indie designers. There were a couple of bits I had to improvise because I just couldn’t work out what I was supposed to do from the brief instructions and the rubbish illustrations. Irritatingly, the parts I had to ad-lib are at the front. The neckline notches and the base of the V-neck are rather messy but luckily the busy print disguises the imperfections. It’s a real shame because otherwise it all went perfectly.
Another thing worth noting is that I found this pattern to have absolutely LOADS of design ease. I think I went down two sizes and it’s still on the large side. Its not a terrible fit as its deliberately loose and tunic-y, but I could certainly afford to cut another size smaller still.
Despite the imperfections and the fit issues, I’m calling this a success. It’s not my favourite make, but it’s certainly the neatest. I’m usually a one-sitting-sewist and prefer to get my projects finished on the day they’re started. This blouse took almost 5 weeks of occasional evening and weekend sewing, because every time I started to feel frustrated or rushed, I stepped away.
One of my resolutions this year was to slow things down. I definitely took my time with this make and the quality of my work has improved tenfold. I think I’m on to something.
I’d love to make another version of this top, without the split back, in a plain colour to really make the most of the design. There are shoulder pleats and back yoke gathers but they’re a bit lost amongst this busy floral print. Before I attempt another one, I must do my research and learn how to correct my mistakes. There will be no more winging-it!
After such a long break from sewing I’m really enjoying the feeling of completing a project. I’d forgotten how strong the sense of achievement can be when you get a finished make hung in the wardrobe. It’s good to be back.