For my “new to Me” entry, I have a Carme blouse by Pauline Alice. As the blouse was for Daughter No2, we’d chosen a piece of Liberty lawn from the stash, must have had it around 4 or 5 years, so it was time to use it up. I fiddled around with the pattern, trying to get a good placement on the pieces, when I realised something wasn’t quite right. The print was off grain!! NOOOO! It was kinda liberating, I just thought, sod it, and cut where I wanted instead! 🙂
In order to add a little pizzaz I picked a wheat coloured spot cotton bias from the stash of trims. I thought I could use it in some intersecting areas. To go with the bias we picked out warm coloured buttons and contrast thread, with the idea to use that for topstitching. After a test, I discarded the contrast topstitching idea and stuck to an off white for that job. I also ditched the idea of using the flat fell seam and stuck to French seams. Guaranteed good finish.
The wheat spot bias ended up decorating the curved edges of the tucked bib and trimming the cuffs. The cotton was a little too stiff to work properly at the neck edge. This means I have more left over than I’d expected so I can use it somewhere else now too! 🙂 I love the contrast of the blue Liberty print and the warm bias binding. It draws the eye, so I had to be sure my stitching was dead straight.
I really like this pattern, it’s fairly quick to make, and I only altered two things from the original pattern instructions. One was to attach the collar differently. It’s always easier to get a collar onto something if you can make it flat, so no side seams until the collar is done. Then I changed the way the cuffs were attached. The instructions have you gather the lower edge of the sleeve, sew the cuffs short ends together and then turn under the seam allowances on the long edge in order to sandwich over the gathered sleeve. I just couldn’t see that working neatly on the toile already, and knew that with the addition of the bias that it would have to be different. I attached the cuff the way you’d sew on a waistband.
Fold the cuff in half, wrong sides together & press. Turn under the seam allowance on one long side. Leaving seam allowances on the short side overlapping the sleeve, sew the other long side to the sleeve edge, right sides together. Fold the cuff at the pressed fold, lining up the turned seam allowance and stitch the short edges together. Layer & trim & turn. Et voila.
Will there be more Carme Blouses on my sewing table? Undoubtedly. Daughter No2 really likes it, the shape, length, hem curve and of course, the tab to hold up the sleeves to look extra cool! You can read the full post with more gory details and plenty more photos on my blog: Mercury Handmade.