Sunday, August 31, 2014

Birthday Blouse

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Aloha! I'm back from one of the most relaxing vacations and the best birthday/anniversary present ever. Kauai is truly stunning. We opted for a condo in order to do our own cooking, but we did go out to dinner on my birthday and I wore this blouse made especially for the occasion. I'm not really sure I'll get a lot of wear out of this because of the print, but I loved wearing something so pretty and flowy and feminine. I also liked making something special for my birthday, and it's made me think about incorporating more special sewing into my life instead of just tee shirts.  The fabric is  a rayon challis purchased at Wanderlust. Can I just say how much I love love love rayon challis! It feels wonderful against your skin and it's a pleasure to sew. I really love the weight of it, too, for blouses and skirts. Since I have about a yard left, I think I'd like to make some pajamas or lounge pants with it. I don't think I need two blouses with pineapples and hibiscuses.... or maybe I do.

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So let's talk about the pattern and what the shape does and doesn't do for me. Before I modified it beyond recognition it was the Saiph by Papercut Patterns. Despite the fact that I hadn't seen a lot of happy Saiphs online, I still purchased it because I've really been wanting to try Papercut patterns and this looked like an easy one to start. Plus, I love wearing tunics and leggings. I know they're probably not the best thing for my top-heavy shape, but I love to be comfortable. As I get better at sewing and, especially, fitting my body I can see myself moving towards more subtle shape-defining silhouettes; however, I don't think I'll ever wear super fitted shapes. It's just not me, and at the end of the day you've gotta go with how you feel the most comfortable.

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My favorite part is the keyhole in the back. This blouse easily slips over my head, so I really don't need it, but it's a pretty detail all the same.
Here are my notes:
  • I would like to try this again but I would have to make some serious modifications. I went for the largest size to accommodate my bust, which made for a terrible oversized shape. If you ever saw Big Love - think Juniper Creek sister wives. This is the problem for me and my challenge going forward in fitting. The larger the size, the larger the size is overall - i.e. wider shoulders, longer arms, legs, torso, wider hips, etc. I need to bite the bullet and do FBAs, which also means muslins, with all my patterns. 
  • For the next Saiph I would go for a smaller size, include an FBA, and bring the torso up several inches. What I did instead this time was to keep trimming the bottom skirt part, which changed the silhouette entirely and wasted way too much fabric. 
  • Glad I opted for short sleeves since long sleeves with a Hawaiian print in Hawaii seemed silly. I added some slits on the sleeves per Barry's recommendation. He mentioned that it was looking a bit like hospital scrubs, which is fair.
  • I made my own bias tape (for the sleeve slits) for the first time. Easy and fun, but hard to stop and work on something like that when you're in the fitting process. In the future. I should make it after cutting but before sewing up. In fact, it would be a nice thing to make and have between projects and a great way to keep scraps out of the landfill. 
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Here's me taking selfies on the lanai while waiting for Barry to finish getting dressed.  I'm trying to get better at taking pictures as I think it's an important aspect of body image/acceptance. Obviously, I'm still grimacing slightly. Will work on that.
So that's all for now. I hope to share some more creative endeavors very soon. Have a very lovely week.

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