A new Melody

I wanted to try a different blouse and was inspired by Sian of Kittenish Behaviour to try a top with tie front. The pattern that Sian had used was Butterick 5895 which is now sadly out of print. It is still available on eBay but only from the USA so costs more than I was prepared to pay. The most annoying thing is that I used to have this pattern but sold it on when having a mammoth clear out!

However, I did recall a tie front blouse pattern from Love Notions that has been in my stash for over a year and this is what I decided to use. The other great point about this pattern is the grown on sleeves so if successful this will be a good substitute for the Libby blouse by Sew Over It as I can see that the collar has a much more simple construction.

The Melody Dolman is a woven button-down dolman with shirt-tail hem that can also be knotted at the waist. This dolman gives you a polished look without a lot of effort. If you’re new to sewing button-down shirts, this is a great beginner pattern. The camp style collar looks clean on the inside and out, and bonus- it’s easy to do! This dolman is meant for apparel weight woven fabrics. Also included is a breast pocket and sleeve cuffs.

The pretty Daisy-printed viscose fabric for the project recently arrived from Rainbow Fabrics of Kilburn. It was one of their remnants which unfortunately was faulty and thus I did not have sufficient for the dress I had originally planned but would be perfect as a wearable toile of the Melody Dolman. At a cost of £12.33 would be great if it worked and not too bad if it did not!

As soon as I started working with the fabric to make the patch pocket, I realised that it was very light and loosely woven. Dealing with a fabric that appears to have a mind of its own is a little like herding cats. I soldiered on…

Having cut out the blouse to XXL Full bust size. I applied the strips of interfacing to the front facing extensions, and French seamed the shoulder seams before staystitching the neck edge. Then for over a week the blouse was draped on the mannequin whilst I attended to gardening and general housework!

Finally, I was able to return to the project. I made up the collar, but attached to the wrong side of the neckline. Fortunately it was only basted so quick unpick to the rescue. Attaching the collar and facings was relatively easy then stitching the side seams. I made French seams for the side seams as by now the fabric was also fraying a great deal. I neatened the hem curves and stitched a narrow double folded hem. Unfortunately due to the loose weave there has been some stretching out and this manifests itself as a wavy hemline. Not my best work! I attached the sleeve cuffs and as they had not been interfaced found they were very ‘floppy’. Rather than hand tack at the seams I decided to top stitch in place.

The last part of construction was buttonholes and buttons for which I used some pretty lemon spot buttons from my stash. My machine is usually excellent at making buttonholes but this time, due I think to faulty thread, there were two where the thread snapped halfway through. A big sigh as I re-threaded the machine and returned to the buttonholes.

Perhaps it was a mistake to undertake this project on a very ‘clammy’ day. Although I had a fan blowing cold air over me I was uncomfortably warm and certainly did not enjoy the process. I simply wanted to get the blouse finished and tomorrow I could move onto something else so the prepared pocket is languishing in the pile of fabrics – not attached to the blouse!

Conclusion: This is a wearable muslin. The armholes are too deep which means there are drag lines from the shoulder seam. I feel that the length (which is longer to enable a tie front which in hindsight I probably won’t use!) is too long when untied.

Although I cut an XXL the blouse is a little too snug over the hips but fits OK everywhere else. I have altered the pattern and hopefully if I use a more stable fabric such as a cotton next time the blouse will rate more than 5 out of 10.

project #43 completed 17th June 2021