Ripping what I sew…

Slowly but surely, I have been working towards a wardrobe that will be a fair mix of my own creations and store bought items. I regularly wear the clothing I sew, but I realised that if I were to try wearing only self made clothes for a month ala Me-Made-March, I would pretty much have to go topless. As attractive a prospect as that is, this country won’t allow me to go hatless or gloveless let alone topless for better part of the year.

I only sew things that I’m inspired to, either by fabric, other garments or vintage designs, but I’m usually only attracted to skirts. I absolutely LOVE skirts and I love sewing them. But I am trying to branch out and the possibility of participating in Me-Made-May is egging me on to complete some long intended blouse designs.

I’m playing it pretty fast and loose with the word ‘design’ for this creation however. It’s so simple, it’s laughable. The idea has been kicking around in my head since forever and I’ve just left it aside, partly because it posed no challenge and partly because skirts kept seducing me away from it. I’ve seen them in stores and actually laughed out loud because I’m pretty sure a 6 yr old could sew this kind of blouse up with a toy sewing machine.

So when a lazy Tuesday off presented itself as did laundry and cleaning, I chose to take up this 2 hour project and spread it across the day. In between organising shoes, hand washing hand washables and lounging in my jammies I started work on this previously cut and readied fabric…

From Sew What

I had cut two almost square pieces from this fabric you might recognise from my Sewing Star audition video. I then abandoned it for a while, but it’s always nice to come back to an already cut project. Thank you past-self!
Having worked with this fabric previously and feeling I might need every inch I could save, I chose to zig zag stitch, rather than hem the raw edges. When done just right, the fabric rolls under and makes a smooth finish.

I started with the top edge – neck and shoulders. I edged both pieces and marked, on the fold, my shoulder measurements from centre and neck measurement from centre.

From Sew What

Several things went a bit wonky hereafter, even though this was the simplest of simple designs. I blame the TV, the dishwasher and my boyfriend who was not home at the time.

Firstly and most idiotically, I went and sewed both pieces together, a nice straight seam, without leaving an opening for the neck where my head could get through. Then, once I’d unpicked it, and tried it and failed to try it because the opening was too small, I unpicked some more. And then I FINALLY remembered that this is to be a pop-over top. No zips, no fasteners. So the neck opening has to be as big as my big head! Once that was sorted, I checked to make sure no fumes were leaking from anywhere that might have been the cause of this sudden bout of oafishness.

So yes, I sewed the top edge, leaving an opening wide enough for my head.

From Sew What

I then pressed the seam open and edge stitched as close as possible to the neck opening, to secure it and make it all neat.

Now, this top was supposed to be somewhat of a kaftaan blouse and so the seams are to be on the right side. So, taking into account my own girth, the length of the sleeve opening and the amount of fabric I had I marked a line about 9 inches long, 3.5 inches in from the edge and about 8 inches down from the shoulder.
I pinned my edges to avoid any slipping and hand basted the line first.

From Sew What

I did this on both sides and tried it on to make sure the seams were long enough and everything was in place. I also made a note of where I would like my sash to go through.

Once I was sure I pinned along the hand basted line itself and finalised it with my machine. I also marked and sewed an inch long buttonhole on each side with the trusty buttonhole setting on my machine to allow a sash to run through and through rather than go over and around.

From Sew What

I then just heat sealed the edges of a navy blue satin ribbon, called it a sash and was done!

From Sew What

Here is another view so you can see how the sash threads through.
I’m super pleased with it and once the starch washes out, I’m sure it will fall better. It’ll be perfect with a pair of olive/khaki shorts I plan on making. Summer harbour cruise here I come!


10 responses to “Ripping what I sew…

  1. I love the shapeless shape of kaftans. This one is so breezy! You might want to consider adding some of that sash ribbon to the neckline – to make it look more finished. I got a kaftan top from Zara last year and finally just got around to sewing up the excess opening in the armholes. Yay for summer clothes!


  2. Come to think of it, I had bought contrasting navy blue bias tape for this project! I think I might add it to the neck and bottom hem. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  3. It’s cool how you make out of fabric….Love your blog….and that kaftaan top is a really nice one 🙂

  4. I love your inspirational blog. The fabric of this blouse puts me in the mood for summer. The tittle blew me for a minute. I was thinking “uh oh, she has gotten mad and and actually popped the seams leaving the seam ripper behind”. lol Anyway this blouse is so versatile, it can be paired with jeans or a nice skirt and still look great——EXCELLENT JOB!!

  5. Thank you Jenny and Angela.

    I hope to make enough garments to wear one self-made piece every day in the month of May. 🙂

  6. Love that top! And you did an excellent job matching the pattern!! I wouldn’t be able to do the challenge yet either… Unless I want to just wear my teen kids clothes…

  7. Thank you Val!

    I’m desperately trying to make some more clothes to try and do the challenge in May. It’s still cold here so I can’t wear anything hand made yet – I mostly do summer stuff.

    Your blog is awesome btw!! I will be visiting more often!

  8. thePURPLEspirit

    Love this! I think this is gonna be my next project! I’m thinking of making this a dress length.. slightly longer.. btw why haven’t there been any new posts in the last month and a half?? Would love to see more stuff!!!

  9. thePURPLEspirit

    Oh and i stumbled on your blog from Swasta ani masta-> style Per diem-> here! You have great fashion sense too! xoxo

  10. Thanks Nitya!

    Yeah I’m also making a dress length version soon. 🙂

    I actually have 3 huge posts to put up and will be doing them this week hopefully so keep checking back and thank you for subscribing!

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