DIY, Refashion, Sewing

Sleeveless Mimi Blouse


There was a bit of a journey to get to a finished and photographed garment here. I shall detail this for you now. As an aside, I’ve been feeling like a mess up makes for a more interesting post, but it meant I experienced strife. Do I secretly want to suffer so that my blog is more interesting? What is my life, what is real? Anyway…


When I heard that Karen of Did You Make That was hosting a gingham along where people made gingham items (obviously), I thought this would be a great opportunity to use up the rest of my never ending Laura Ashley duvet cover. Readers may remember my previous projects include a yoked sorbetto top and a scalloped skirt. People who know me in the real world may also know my first project with this duvet, which was a rather shoddily made pair of short dungarees. I liked them, but not enough to show them on here right now! I decided to make a Mimi blouse from Love at First Stitch out of the remaining fabric, with a contrasting pink collar using some hot pink fabric from my stash.


It was at this stage that things started to go wrong. Once I had cut out the pieces, I realised that this pattern is probably not gingham. I think it’s a check, just with very few colours. Ah well, it’s for myself anyway, it doesn’t matter whether it’s for a competition or not. I barely manage to squeeze out the shape of the collar from the pink fabric, then realise I don’t have enough interfacing. So, I order more and wait a couple of days before continuing. Then, I trim the wrong edges of the bottom side of the collar, so I have to cut out another piece and start again on it. Then, I go to iron the interfacing onto the collar, and this happens.


I was so mad at myself for ironing directly onto the fabric, scorching and slightly melting it onto the iron. I didn’t have enough of the hot pink fabric to cut out the collar again, and I didn’t think it would work having the collar patterned too. Plus, I had already purchased the shank buttons in a matching shade of pink for this project and it made me sad to think they would go to waste. So, I rummaged through my stash, putting fabrics up against the blouse trying to work out an alternative. I eventually settled on some light pink fabric which used to be a tablecloth. I had made it into a maxi skirt to reasonable success, as seen here in a photograph from the past-


Ha, wearing the same shoes! However, it wasn’t made to stand many wears, and so I used it for this project. This proved a little harder than anticipated, as the grain line was not even close to being parallel to the hem line in most places. I never could work out quite what shape that tablecloth was… I was much more careful ironing on the interfacing this time, using a cloth over the top to protect my wretched, demanding collar.


Right, collar’s on, pattern pretty much matched at the front, onto the sleeves now and… I can’t get them over my upper arms. I had traced a smaller size than the one my measurements suggested, because I wasn’t sure if this blouse would look a little clowny if too loose. However, I completely forgot that in making this decision, I was now using pattern pieces for my arms which don’t fit me. Like, at all. I was all about ready to give up. Then, I remembered that I was going on holiday to Dubrovnik in less than a week, and thought wouldn’t it be nice if I could wear this top out and about there? I yelled a few swearwords to get it out of my system, then stormed on. I cut the armholes to accomodate my weird, low hanging armpits, turned the raw edge to the inside and hemmed it. I guess we’re making a sleeveless blouse now. I am actually pretty pleased with the buttonholes, I took my sweet time over them and I think it shows.


I wipe my sweating brow, coming up for air amongst piles of discarded fabric and thread. Through the sweat, the track of a single tear can be seen sliding down my face. It is done, and I burst out of the room to the window, tearing it open and laughing as I feel the wind rush through me. I am free.


This blouse was a slog, I’ll be honest. Entirely by my own doing, I might add. The instructions were very clear and the pattern was actually pretty simple. I’m hoping to make another soon, to prove I can, mostly.

As I dreamed, I took this blouse to Dubrovnik for an awesome holiday (more about that in a future post), and was excited to take some photos of me wearing it with my refashioned skirt. We went out to enjoy the streets and ice cream, and within five minutes of leaving the apartment a pigeon pooed on me, right down the skirt (a refashioned skirt, no less), and quickly seeping onto my legs. Right, well I guess it was pretty outrageous for me to be in the same city as this pigeon, whilst wearing a skirt. I suppose I was asking for the poo… I washed the skirt (and myself), and wore it a couple of days later, where this blouse finally reaches the end of its creation story.  

These Instagram photos were posted as part of #sewphotohop, a instagram challenge hosted over September by House of Pinheiro. Go have a look through if you fancy reading a bit more about my miscellaneous sewing thoughts.



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