Time to shine! Sewalong part two: Preperation
In this second Megan sew-along blog, we’re going to talk about cutting and preparing the fabric before finally assembling the blouse. I also discuss preparing the breast pocket and flaps. If you have a machine with an embroidery module, now is also the time to add the embroidery of the collar.
With the paper pattern pieces (pdf or copied from edition 1/2021) ready to go, you can cut the fabric. For the pattern piece of the back piece it is described that a centre strip can be created by cutting the pattern on the marked line. This is a very nice detail if you’ve opted for a striped or woven fabric. You can also choose not to do this and leave the back piece as a whole. In that case, place the back piece at the fabric fold.
- 2 × front piece
2 × button trim
4 × flap
2 × back piece (on fabric fold, if you make it without a center strip)
(1 × centre strip back on fabric fold, with a corner
of 45° to the fabric direction)
2 × collar on fabric fold
2 × collar stand on fabric fold
2 × sleeve
2 × cuff on fabric fold
2 × pocket for size 36 – 42: 16 × 18 cm and for size 44 – 48: 17 × 19 cm
2 × diagonal strips for sleeve slits (here including seam allowances) 26 × 4 cm, finished width 1 cm.
On the fabric
Place the pattern pieces on the folded fabric. For me it often works best to first put all the pattern pieces on it quickly with the help of pattern weights. This way you can still jigsaw the pieces easily. Especially if you have a barely enough of fabric. This is how I realized that it was more convenient to mirror the pattern piece of the cuff (on the fabric fold side) and place it once on the double folded fabric.
When you have determined the placement of the pattern, pin the parts and you can cut the fabric.
Note: The pattern is without seam allowances, don't forget to 'cut' these. At the top of the pocket I cut 2 cm and at the hem of the blouse 3 cm. Trim the seam allowance for the remaining pattern pieces by 1-1.5 cm. The pattern piece includes seam allowance only on the sleeve split strip.
You want to work precisely when making a piece like this blouse. So the step of transferring the pattern onto the fabric is one that you cannot skip.
Options for transferring are with basting thread or with washable/fade marker or tailor’s chalk. Do the latter on every pattern piece. For me the fastest way, but not suitable for all fabrics (so test first!), is to us a tracing wheel.
You can read more useful tips here.
Reinforce the facing of the button band, cuffs, flaps, collar, collar stand with fusible interfacing. In addition to the instructions, I also reinforce the top of the pocket with a strip. This way the pocket entrance keeps its shape better. I have not reinforced the seam allowance as is mentioned in the description.
Mnemonic: The facing part of a pattern piece is always the part closest to your body on the finished garment. For example, inside collar stand or under collar
Prepare pockets and flaps
When making the breast pocket, first hem the top edge. Then iron the seam allowances to the wrong side. I use an ironing ruler for this. This gives you a neatly finished pocket. You can also use a cardboard template. This you can only use a few times, especially if you iron with steam, but that also works. I trim the corners for a neat finish. If necessary, baste the edges before attaching the pocket to the indicated marking on the front piece. Sew the bag close to the edge.
For the flaps, place the two pieces right sides together, sew the sides and bottom edge. You can use the cut-to-shape interfacing or paper pattern piece as a guide when sewing. Trim the seam allowances and turn inside out. Carefully press out the curve. Iron the flap and stitch narrow along the edge. If desired, finish the seam allowance with a zigzag stitch or an over locker. Iron this seam allowance to the back and sew it 1 cm above the pocket.
In the Megan blouse you have the option to embroider the collar and (one of the) buttonholes. You can download the embroidery files for this on the website.
After cutting the collar parts, now is the time to embroider the top collar. I am using the BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition here. If you don’t have an embroidery module or prefer no embroidery, go on and skip this step.
Put the embroidery stabilizer in the embroidery frame. Embroider the placement line and fix the right corner of the collar on it with spray adhesive. Embroider the attachment line and the motif. Mirror the embroidery pattern for the left corner of the collar.
You can read a more extensive explanation about the embroidery options in blog 4 (October 22).
So much for the preparations. In the next blog (October 15) we will further assemble the blouse.