Thursday, July 19, 2012

2+2=1 sweet blouse

I simply love the 2+2 blouse.
Tildy has grown out of hers.
Winter 2011
Disregard the extra long ties,I though they would be cute.
They were,however,a barometer of what she had been doing through the day.
Mud,paint,weetbix you name it.
They dangled through it all.
Not cute
Quite nasty.
And Spotlight had a sale....
Perfick excuse!

As I love wearing my bossy hat I thought I would do a little tute.
My tutorials are designed to be used with the purchased pattern. At times I take a little detour,my children play hard so I use some extra stitching here and there.
Ultimately,if I didn't love the pattern,I wouldn't be taking the time to show&sew.

Okey dokey pig in a pokey.
Lets start with the blouse back.
Following the pattern instructions interface the back pieces as directed.
Note where the interfacing goes. 
I made this several times applying interfacing to the edge of the fabric and it created unwanted bulk and half my button hole would not have support.
Fold the edge of the back over and press.
This will be the un-interfaced strip.
I find it helpful to cut a tiny snip,top and bottom, to mark the fold lines.
Fold,but d0n't press,along the next marked fold line,right side together.
Stitch across the bottom.
Press the stitched seam.
Following the instructions-clip the corner and then trim back the interfaced seam.
At this point I like to stitch a 1/2 seam as a hemming guide along the bottom of the shirt back.
This will save a step later.
Press along the hem guide line.
Turn the button placket to the right side.
Gently smooth and poke the corner out.
Dampen and roll under your fingers to get a smooth seam.
Press this well making sure the hem raw edge is tucked under the placket.
I choose to topstitch the placket in place at this point. The hem is not stitched yet.
Or baste in place as directed in the pattern.
Its up to you-blue kangaroo!
After stitching the placket,check the two backs are completely even.
Trim off any straggly bits.
Stay stitch the back neck,starting at the shoulder and stitching towards the centre back.
Now on to the front.
Transfer the markings to the right side of the front.
I like to poke holes in pattern and mark the dots with tailors chalk.
Flip the pattern over and repeat for the other side.
Join up the dots to create the cutting and tab placements lines.
 Use pins to mark the start and the end of the cutting line.
You will gather between these.
 Pins are easier to see on a busy print.
Following the pattern instructions,sew two lines of gathering stitch between the pins.
I set my stitch length to 4.
Snip carefully along the transferred cutting lines taking great care not to snip the gathering threads.

Fold over the edge of the cut centre front and press well.
Following the instructions,pin the front together 2 inches from folded edge.

Baste together.
Open the facing up and press it down,wrong sides together.
The neck line will match once it is even.
Press well from the right and the wrong side.
I quite like to stitch this facing in place. It makes it sturdier and stops it be a refuge for fluff.
Stay stitch the neck line and across the bottom of the front facing.

Lay the shirt flat and draw up the gathering thread until it fits the opening.
I like to knot the threads so that I can gather right up to the knots.

Fold the front so that the bottom of the facing is laying directly on the gathered section
Pin in small increments taking great care to catch the gathered edge.

Vertical pinning may be helpful.
Pin a wee bit past the edge of the facing.
Stitch a very narrow seam,start on the edge of the fold,taper down to 1/8 ths and then taper back to the fold at the end of the seam.
See the tiny taper at each end.

Lay the blouse front flat and press the seam upwards taking care not to press in tucks or creases. 

Neat&Tidy Heidi.
Making the front tab
Sometimes this front seam 'grows' a little. It can be worth checking that the tab,once sewn,will still cover the seam.
You made need to sew a narrower seam allowance at either end.
Hmmm,narrower seam allowance methinks!
I quite like to interface one side of the tab with a very soft interfacing.
Following the instructions,pin the two tabs together,leaving an opening for turning.
Sew together.
I like to sew my corner stitch on an angle,it gives a nice point once turned.
Trim the pressed tab taking care the trim the corners hard but not cut the threads.
Turn the tab carefully through to the right side.
A point turner or knitting needle can be helpful to push out the corners.
Dampen the tab and finger press,rolling the seams smooth beneath your fingers.
Press well.
The opening will be stitched closed when it is top-stitched in place.
Match the tab edge to the transferred dots.
Dont worry if you have to jiggle a bit. The most important thing is to cover the seam.
Take your time pressing and smoothing.
It will give you the best result.
Pin the sides and the top of the tab first and then have a fiddle with the pleats,pulling them gently down,to get the desired result.
Top-stitch the tab in place.
Adjust the gathers whilst sewing,tugging down gently to avoid tucks.
Press well.
Lovely and neat from the inside and very sturdy.
Remove the basting from the centre front seam and press well!
Well,thats enough for one sitting.
Apologies for all the photos-zoom through what you don't need to see.
See you later Alligator.
x N


  1. Oh, these will all be so pretty!
    I must make some more of these....

  2. Thank you Justine.
    Spotlight is getting some lovely fabric in now.
    xxx N

  3. These are just scrumptious! Will the ties be the same fabric too?

  4. Yes Cindy.
    I have noticed whilst 'pinning' there are lot of one fabric dresses out there. I thought it may be a more modern look?
    Thank you
    xxx N

  5. Just beautiful! It never crossed my mind to do the ties in the same fabric, Nicole, you are a genius! ;) Still one of my favorite patterns, MUST pull it out soon! Though I have been thinking that for months :/

  6. Thank you Brittney,you are marvellous for my self esteem!
    I hope they will work out okay.
    xx N

  7. Totally perfect timing, I have one of these lined up to make next. Thank you, mind-reader and sewing guide!

  8. My pleasure Sarvi!
    (I knew of course,he he)
    You are too kind and I know I will be checking in regularly on your Scirocco tute.
    Thank you.
    x N

  9. thanks for posting Nicole! Very helpful as always!

  10. Thanks Sharon,I would have thought you an expert on these but its always nice to peek at someones else's ideas,isn't it?
    x N

    1. Yes it is! You always have some helpful tips I never think of. Maybe not enough sleep. ;) I had been hoping that you would get to this pattern. I guess I will have to try it again in long sleeves now. :)

    2. he he,I need to sew the SHORT sleeve!
      x N

  11. I don't have this pattern, but you are making me want it!
    They're gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Millie,it might pass under the radar for your girls?
      E&Z are cross that it they have(just)grown out of theirs.
      x N

  12. I so enjoy your tutorials even if I've already made the pattern. Your sewing and pressing is so lovely.

  13. Thank you Sarah,that is terribly kind of you!
    x N

  14. Everything is so meticulous, perfect and very beautiful! Even your pins look pretty :-)

  15. Thank you for noticing my pins,terribly blunt but oh so pretty!
    x N

  16. Oooh, this fabric is so pretty! I am getting excited about sewing for a little girl!

  17. You have made(and will make)such cool clothes for Joe but the stuff for girls is just endless Inder!
    xx N