My latest make is the puffy-sleeved, button-backed wonder that is the Mathilde blouse, designed by Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons fame.
Of all the Sewist bloggers I follow, I find Tilly particularly inspiring because she came to sewing later on (i.e. as a grown up), fell in love, and in just a few years has built a passion in to a business. She also makes lovely patterns and posts really helpful instructables on her blog to boot – superstar.
The Mathilde blouse was a project of firsts for me. To kick off it’s a downloadable PDF pattern – never done that before. But it’s actually very straightforward. You just print it off (using the test page to check all your settings are in order/the printer gremlins aren’t up to no good), then match up the helpful numbers, stick it all together and voila. You then just treat it like any other pattern – find your size, cut it out.
Other firsts included decorative pleats, French seams (so fancy and so pretty, check Tilly’s blog for instructions) and machine-stitched buttonholes, using the buttonhole foot and a 1-step buttonhole function. That’s right, a foot that you snap on, that uses one of your buttons button to calculate and create a buttonhole the right size – it’s actual magic. I had a small snaffoo which was that mine didn’t seem to realise when I was back to the beginning of the hole, so I had to stop and switch to a zigzag stitch to finish each buttonhole. If anyone knows how to solve this (Janome Decor Excel II), lemme know. Otherwise, no big deal.
I did adjust the pattern just a smidgen. It’s deliberately straight-seamed and loose-fitting, and whilst this isn’t usually my style, I decided to go with it, particularly having seen ladies of all shapes and sizes looking gorgeous in it. But having finished it off, and worn it for a day, I had to admit it felt a little maternity-wear on me. So I went back in and curved the side seams just a little. This was fairly heartbreaking to do, on account of the above-mentioned beautiful French seams (lesson learned – be sure of the fit before you finish the seams) but I feel much more comfortable in it now that it curves a little. And having read Tilly’s post on sewing for your style, I’m hoping she won’t mind too much!