Two True Bias Sutton Blouses

There hasn’t been a lot of sewing going on recently. It’s the busiest time of year at work and we’re also decorating so the house is in disarray. The only thing passing through my sewing machine has been a pair of curtains. I’ve got so many things on my list but only managed to grab a couple of hours this week, if I don’t get some serious sewing ‘me time’ soon tempers are likely to fray!

I made these Sutton blouses a few weeks ago. I wanted to try the pattern after seeing loads of lovely versions during Me made may (May turned out to be quite expensive due to all the new patterns I ‘needed’ to have)

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‘The Sutton Blouse is a loose fitting V-neck top with kimono sleeves, a one piece yoke and a back inverted pleat.’

For the first one I used a metre and a half of black and grey floral viscose I bought at the Leeds meet up. I cut a size 14 based on my measurements. The pattern is drafted for a height of 5ft 6 inches. As I’m short waisted and short in general (5ft 2inch if I’m standing straight) I decided to shorten the pattern by two inches. It’s a neat little pattern, all French seams apart from side seams. The directions suggest overlocking the side seams but the fabric was light enough to double turn and stitch each edge before stitching the seam together.

One thing that didn’t even cross my mind (which doesn’t seem to be firing on all cylinders at the moment) was to pay attention to pattern placement, consequently the front seam has chopped a big flower in half (didn’t even notice until I put it on my dressform when it was finished) It also ended up being a little shorter than anticipated. I’ve worked out that the optimum length to cover the mum tum is 5 inches below my belly button, this was an inch or two shorter so the tum is just peaking out! The pattern however does run true to size. I really don’t know what to do about shortening things anymore, this is the second time recently that I’ve made my usual adjustment only to find out I didn’t need to (I shortened my first Morris Blazer which then ended up being a bit too ‘cropped’) I always worry about things being too long and swamping me, I think I just need to take a bit more time measuring the pattern pieces before I start chopping.

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For my next Sutton I didn’t shorten the length. I used just under a metre and a half of Liberty silk satin which I bagged off ebay for a tenner. This was my first time working with silk satin, I’ve used silk twill and Crepe de Chine before which are a bit fiddly but I managed to get them to co-operated in the end.

This however fought me every step of the way. I laid it on a blanket (using Sew Busy lizzies timely suggestion on Instagram) pinned it down and weighted the pattern pieces with anything I had to hand. This seemed to stop it moving around and it wasn’t too difficult to cut if I took it slowly (I did actually pay attention to the pattern placement this time) However once I lifted the cut pieces they shifted around so much that I had no idea if they were on grain or even cut straight. I decided to forge ahead with the sewing, questioning the straightness of every seam I sewed (and trimming off bit’s here and there, convinced they was some wonkiness going on) I made it up exactly the same as the first; french seams and double fold side seams. The finished top isn’t too bad but I think the back yoke is a little out and I’m sure there’s something weird going on with the side seams. It’s one of those things that nobody will notice but I know it’s there!

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highlighting my wonky side seam!

The first Sutton has been worn a lot since finishing but I’m really not sure about the silk one. I think it’s entirely down to all the hassle it gave me. There seems to be a direct correlation between how much I like a garment and how well the sewing process went. It’ll take a bit of time for me to forget all the pain and trouble it gave me (a bit like childbirth) but I it’s highly unlikely I’ll be sewing with silk satin again anytime soon!

Is it just me or has anybody else fallen out with a garment that was a troublesome sew?