The McCalls pattern 2797 is one of my all-time favourites. I have made it up several times and you can check out the various incarnations on my blog.
A few weeks ago, I purchased 2 metres of this delightful print cotton from New Threads, Weyhill Fair just about the same day that it was delivered to them. Because I was not sure about shrinkage I overlocked the edges and then put the fabric through the wash before cutting out the pattern.
I decided to use the TNT blouse pattern and taking inspiration from a.n.other version of the blouse would repeat the double top-stitching around the collar, breast pockets, front facing and turn back cuffs on the sleeve hems.
The only alteration that I have made is to reduce the front facing. Originally the instructions are to cut another complete centre front panel. As I felt this would be too much fabric on the front of the blouse, especially when combined with the breast pockets, I drafted a facing.
For the short sleeves, when cutting out as I got closer to the end of the length of fabric I saw that I could add 4 inches to the length and this would be sufficient to provide for a turn-back cuff – another opportunity for some double top-stitiching. The buttons came from my stash.
I have been watching Craftsy.com and several lessons for industry techniques to use when dressmaking. The lessons given by Janet Pray showed me some new techniques and methods that I have not tried before. Recently, when stitching a circle I have sewn from the inside rather than slide the item over the free arm of the machine. I have found this especially helpful when making the Cross Body Bags when you get to the stage of attaching the lining to the outer bag. So this time, when inserting the sleeves into the armholes I decided to try the method again, i.e. having the sleeve (which is the fuller of the two pieces to be sewn together) against the feed dogs to allow them to ease the fullness, whilst I can ensure that the stitching from the bodice side is an even and a regular curve. With only a few pins this new method worked beautifully first time. No nips, tucks or stitches in the wrong place, just a neat seam with the fullness evenly spread around the sleeve cap. I shall certainly use this method again for setting in sleeves.
The remainder of the blouse went together quickly and easily though of course, the double topstitching did add to the time taken to complete the blouse.
I am very pleased with the completed blouse which goes well with the Navy linen-look cotton wraparound skirt mentioned in a previous blog post.
close up of the collar and pockets the sleeve turn back cuff