A new outfit for Mathilda’s summer wardrobe
I’ve been sewing up things for Mathilda’s summer wardrobe. She’s six now, and she’s done quite a bit of growing since last year, so I’m going to be sewing a lot for her before summer starts. This week, I wanted to make a top that could be worn for everyday wear, but wasn’t a t-shirt. I decided on this tunic blouse:
I used an Ottobre Design Pattern from Issue 1/2012. This blouse is called Ayiana. It has a tiered bodice with ruffled button placket and puffed sleeves.
There are a lot of pattern pieces for this one – 10! Ottobre patterns are usually made up with only 5 or 6 pieces, so I wasn’t sure if it was going to be more complicated than usual, but it ended up being quite simple to make.
I made it up in size 128. I wanted to make sure that it would last all summer.
I had about 1.2m of this pretty printed voile. It has bands of coordinating rows of flowers in shades of green, pink and grey.
I was originally going to make each of the tiers a different colour band, but seeing as the upper tier is actually curved, it wasn’t really going to work that way. So I turned the fabric around, and cut out the main pieces with the bands going vertically, and that is how I got the patchwork-look to this top. I think it looks a bit “Holly Hobbie”, something that I would have worn when I was her age.
I did cut the sleeve bands, button plackets, little ruffles and hem bands down the grain though, so they are a single colour.
This blouse has a binding to finish the neck edge, so after cutting out all the pieces I trimmed off the neck edges of the bodice pieces. Incidentally – I should also have trimmed the button placket pieces, but I forgot to do that, which didn’t matter too much, I just had a little bit extra in the seam allowance when I was putting it together.
I cut fusible interfacing for the button placket and sleeve bands.
This was pretty easy to assemble. The button placket is completed prior to sewing on the upper tier, so its really easy – much easier than the plackets I put in these two hoodies (Mathilda’s and Hannah’s).
Where I did have a bit of a challenge was with the neck binding. Ottobre doesn’t usually provide detailed descriptions of construction techniques, but this is one time when a little bit more explanation would have been good.
When I originally pinned the neck binding to the neckline, I realised that there was going to be a raw edge at the front – I even started to stitch it before I realised! So I unpicked it and started again.
Firstly, I repinned the neck binding, it is cut on the bias so it does have a little stretch. I folded the ends around the front placket like the picture below. (You can even see the little needle-holes where I originally started to sew it together)
I pinned it all around like this, with the pins perpendicular to the row of stitching, I stitched straight over the pins without any problems. When I had finished it and removed all the pins, it looked like this:
Next, I folded the raw edge of the neck band over and under and pinned it all around. This time with the pins running in the direction of the stitching so that I can pull them out as I go along.
The end result is very neat, with no raw edges, and minimal bulk at the front opening edges.
Whilst the sleeves were sewn in Ottobre’s usual way, with the sleeve and side seams done all together in one long seam, the sleeve bindings were put in after the sleeves were completed. Much like setting in sleeves the traditional way. It was so very fiddly, being so little – it is for the skinny little arms of a six-year-old!
But the end result is very neat and tidy, on the inside and out.
To finish the placket I opted for plastic KAM snaps. Putting in button holes seemed like a very fiddly job to me, whereas putting in snaps is just so quick and easy.
I used some pretty pale pink heart shaped snaps. These are Mathilda’s favourite – she loves them, she loves anything heart shaped.
I ended up using four sets. The lowest one isn’t really necessary, but it looked odd without it there – the gap was too long.
So here it is, a pretty green floral tunic blouse for Mathilda.
I did accidentally do the sleeve bands in different colours – not intentional, but by the time I realised that I’d cut them out different I didn’t have enough of the fabric left over to cut a matching pair, but I don’t think it matters too much.
The hem is finished with a wide band, this one I did cut out of the one colour – the darkest green band. Apart from that I didn’t plan the layout of the different coloured bands, they are random, fortunately, they worked out okay.
All the inside seams are finished with the overlocker.
And here is Mathilda, wearing her new blouse.
Thanks for reading.