And I’m back! Thank you for being patient during the long pause.
I moved just about 5 weeks ago, but have struggled to get back into the sewing room to create because it is simply the last priority! I had to unpack the kitchen, the downstairs, my bedroom, the girl’s bedrooms and of course get my office set up so I can get back to work. It is so selfish of me to put the rest of the family’s needs off because I want to get back behind the machine, isn’t it? I’m sure lots of mothers know what I’m talking about.
I am also struggling with the need to set everything up perfectly. I now have a gigantic room all to myself, with a door that closes and even it’s own bathroom. I can’t be more delighted! But now that it is my private space, I’m paralyzed by imagining the most thoughtful, productive and expressive way to set it up. I loved my old sewing room so much, but I want to do something totally different. I just don’t know what that wonderfully different thing is.
But luckily, to pull me out of all this busy-work and planning, it is time for the Pattern Review Sewing Bee. Yay! I enjoyed last year’s challenges very much, but most importantly, they pushed me to do my very best. To take on complicated techniques, tricky fabrics, and stretch my design ideas. I really grew during that month and a half! I don’t know how far I’ll get this year, but I definitely want to try again.
So I set up my sewing machine where the movers dropped my desk and started sewing for the Fitted Blouse Challenge.
I had a bit of a pause, because I really don’t need any fitted blouses. As I will delve into further in my next post, my new locale and work situation has changed what I want to wear and what I have the need to wear. But I happened to stumble upon the Named Kanerva Blouse and I fell in love.
The blouse is quite shaped by bust, front waist and back waist darts. A subtle peplum also contributes to the shape. But it is not tight or restrictive in any way, which is what I assumed would be the case in a fitted blouse. And since it is done in the most delightfully light silk-cotton fabric, it feels like an angel’s embrace. No really, it does!
Because it was for the contest, I did not use the pattern darts but pinned my darts on my body to make them customized. I also took a little more in at the waist and shaped it. It is inadvisable to curve the sides in much as it will affect the drape, but I did just a bit and it made a difference in the fit.
I added a little detail with the bias binding around the neckline and cuffs to make it more polished and elegant. Bias binding is a fiddly, detailed job, but I’m glad I was patient with it and it turned out very well. I happened to have that silver cotton left over from my draped top. I love when that works out.
The shell buttons shimmer so nicely down the back and are flat enough not to bother you when you sit back in a chair. I’ve learned my lesson with shank buttons on my back!
Little story about dealing with Named Patterns. I told you I saw the Kanerva blouse and was instantly smitten, so I quickly entered my info so I could get started right away. Of course I re-read my email address, don’t be silly. But I mostly re-read the beginning part, NOT the “gmail.com” part. Oops. So, I’m waiting around, waiting, waaaaaiting. Where is my pattern? Now I know, since I also sell patterns, that these ladies have this all automated, so if it hasn’t come in an hour it ain’t coming. So I go back and realize my stupid mistake in typing my email address and shoot them a quick email explaining my stupidity.
But by this time, it is past my bedtime and I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. When I wake up I realize that about 8 minutes after I finally fell asleep, Laura answered my email by resending the pattern. This makes sense because they are in Finland, I assume about 8-9 hours ahead of me. But the links didn’t work! Wah! I’m still so very aware that this is all my fault, but I email her again and ask for the links to be resent. I immediately get an auto-reply that Named is on vacation for the week and will get back to all customer requests at that time. Of course they should have a holiday, I am a one woman show here at GrayDay Patterns and I know they must take the personal time. But if they don’t get back to me until next week, the challenge will be over. At this point I’m on the verge of just repurchasing the pattern. I still need it, I messed up, so I should just pony up and buy it again.
But within the hour I get another email from Laura with all the links working and all is well. Meaning she took time out of her vacation to check her email and make sure this was resolved! What a dear! I was seriously impressed. Also, the pattern is wonderful, too.
If you’d like to see my contest entry, it is here. We find out who makes it into the next round on Saturday, so I’ll be holding my breath until then!