I have already deviated from my sewing plans that I have put out into the world wide web in my recent post. I have sewn a shirt, which didn't even make the short list. Such is life :-)
The shirt I made is the Sarah Shirt by By Hand London. I haven't before looked at By Hand London patterns because the company doesn't make patterns for the very overweight lady. The Sarah shirt however is very forgiving as it is a swing shirt. I have seen a review of the pattern on the Curvy Sewing Collective website and I figured it would work for me. It is a perfect pattern for me to start building up a slightly less casual wardrobe.
I was tempted to make a full bust adjustment but looking at the finished measurements, I decided against it. I made a very quick toile, just front and back, no sleeves. It fit perfectly. I decided to add a bit of length, which is an easy change, particularly if the pattern has a lengthening/shortening line. The fabric was from my stash. It is a soft and drapey cotton lawn that I had bought at Guthrie & Ghani last year. I chose to make the short sleeved version with the Peter Pan collar, which is my favourite kind of collar.
The pattern is well written and there is also a sew-along on the By Hand London website. The one thing I would say is that the pattern instructions are small (half an A4 page) and some of the lines shown are a bit difficult to spot. You can of course magnify the instructions if you are using a computer but I am quite old fashioned because I like to have a printout so I can make easy notes. If you are a relative beginner, the sew along is really good and has additional information that might help you make the blouse.
Sewing was straightforward, even the collar. Having said that, I made two collars because I had to do some unpicking and the first collar didn't quite look so nice after that. The top collar is just a tad larger than the bottom collar, which requires quite a bit of easing. I found this to be quite difficult but I think the reason was the interfaced fabric, which didn't give quite as much as would be ideal. I wonder if it might be a good idea to only use interfacing on the bottom collar? Any advice would be appreciated.
Setting in the sleeves becomes easier with experience and I made sure to transfer the markings from the pattern to my fabric because I have been known to set sleeves back to front. The sleeve top is a bit puffed, which I used to dislike because I thought I would make me look bigger than I am. I have now realised that it makes no difference to my appearance. Puffed sleeves are a bit 1980s maybe but with this particular blouse, I think they work.
Making 10 button holes filled me with a bit of anxiety. The spacing did make me break out in sweat. I am cursed with a brain that instantly notices even the slightest deviations from perfect when it comes to things like even spacing of anything. I made a practice buttonhole with the button firmly stuck into the automatic button hole thingymajig. It is super easy but sometimes the hole is a little too big and well worth testing. I ran out of grey thread and didn't want to wait for a replacement spool. I decided to use a pale orangey pink instead, a colour that is reflected in the fabric. After I finished the 10 button holes, I didn't like the colour. I started to unpick them and make grey ones using a large grey overlocker cone thread that I have. I am glad I tested a practice button hole with the cone first because it didn't work, it didn't run smoothly on my sewing machine and the buttonhole was all wonky. I did a quick family survey and everyone thought pink is just fine. So pink it is. Barely noticeable as it turns out. I particularly like the little flower buttons.
The light is not terribly good for photography indoors at the moment and I am afraid the photos are not great. I also didn't feel like modelling and you just have to believe me that the blouse looks nice on me. I think I am going to make a second one, it is a quick make and fun, too. The only thing I didn't enjoy with this blouse is sewing on the buttons. I think my machine has the option to sew buttons on but I have never tried that.
As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely week. xx