The “last minute substitution” blouse

The Facts:

Fabric:  1m mystery synthetic blend = $2 + scraps of black lining fabric from my Empty Pockets Vest
Pattern:  Simplicity 2599= $1
Year:  2009
Notions:  some much-too-thick interfacing for neck facings
First worn:  only for photos
Wear again?:  nope
Total cost:  $3

So, ah, erm, I had a spot of trouble with this week’s creation.  I live in black and white, so I thought this would be a walk in the park, but as it happened, the garment that started off as black and white quickly took a turn and ended up black and RED.  I’ll reveal it next week, since it will fit into the ’60s theme.  Suffice to say that there I was on Sunday with nothing made and no B&W fabric to be had.  A lucky find at my local charity shop provided me with $2 worth of this mystery fabric.  I’m guessing it’s at least 30 years old from the look of the other fabrics it was bundled with, but that’s just a guess.

The pattern is a little boxy and boring, and it was missing a little je ne sais quois, so I decided to add a tie made from my scraps of black lining fabric.  It was a good idea in theory, but the fabric is a little too stiff and slippery, and I can’t get it to lie properly.  It sticks out and then unties itself.  I took about 100 self timer photos and there were only about 5 with the tie in place! After fussing and fighting with it for  a while, I realized that it would probably work out much better the other way around: the drapey black and white print as a necktie instead of the body of the garment.  Like this piano dress made by Ophelia K / Crochetie.

I’m going to get a bit philosophical here, so bear with me:  After spending a whole rare, precious free afternoon on this and realizing that I would never wear it, I started to kick myself.  I don’t get very much time at home to myself, so I try to optimize every moment.  And when I do, I’m always multitasking. Here’s my typical hour to myself:  quickly put on a load of laundry and load the dishwasher, so that the robots are working while I sew; set up laptop so that I can watch that last episode of Project Runway while I work; quickly survey my surroundings and decide if there is something more urgent, and what can be done later while the kids are asleep (i.e. something quiet) and what has to be done now (i.e. something noisy or complicated that needs undivided attention).  Then I get sewing.  Whew.  If I use up all that free time and there is nothing wearable, I feel like I’ve ruined the afternoon.  But wait:  does it always have to be about the product and not about the process?  Don’t we like the act of sewing as much as the products of sewing?  If not, then we’d just buy everything RTW, wouldn’t we?  And I did enjoy trying to figure out how to draw that collar shape and get it set in properly.  While it didn’t work, I know I can spend another precious free afternoon cutting it into something else.  No time doing what you like to do is wasted time, I figure.

And I did manage to spend the last free 30 minutes making a Nettie-style mini from my man’s discarded T-shirts.  Much more me, technically still black and white (and grey), and damn it if it doesn’t make my ass look good.  ;)  (I got tired of fussing with my hair, which I’m growing out and it seems to be in that awkward always-wrong stage, so I just tied it back).

The sun goes down by about 4:30pm here these days, so I’m afraid that there won’t be any more well-lit outdoor shots for the rest of the year.  Well, unless I manage to get something done and photographed on the weekend…..haha, yeah right!  Chez Another Sewing Scientist, weekends are for making brownies and having popcorn movie nights and digging fossils!






Vicki used to sew when she was young and free, but then raising young'uns and bringing home (some of) the bacon took up all her time. Now her closet is full of skinny clothes, maternity clothes and post-partum clothes, none of which fit properly. Maybe that's why she started sewing again in 2010.


Comments are closed.

  1. I can totally relate to the joy of the process and the feeling of waisted hours when something doesn’t work out. It’s good to put it all in perspective. We will have successes and failures, but we can learn something valuable from both. You’re going to have to bump up the exposure on any future pictures during the early darkness. It was really hard to see your photos. ;) all I can tell is that the blouse fabric is really neat and the skirt is very flattering!

  2. Ack, I know the photos are so crap. I still haven’t managed to buy myself a new camera since I broke mine during the Music challenge, and I’ve been making due with my son’s pocket camera, which is terrible. I’m going to go outside for my next photos, freezing weather or not.

    There has been some talk over on the community forum about how no one outside of the contributors’ group can comment. Has anyone without a contributor’s account been able to comment lately?

  3. The top looks fine under the cardi and the skirt is pretty snazzy.

    Not everything works, but usually you at least get a little learning out of the whole process. I’ve got a box full of ‘well I finished it but I can’t/won’t wear it”. But from all of this I’ve got better at putting zips in, my button holes line up a lot better, my sizings are improving – so, time not wasted (completely!)

    • Ah, the notorious “well I finished it but I won’t wear it” box. I have one of those too! I hope that in 2013, I’ll spend my precious free time making over those flops.

  4. Funny, I also love black and white, started a much-anticipated garment, didn’t finish it, and (just realised) will be using it for the ’60s challenge. Like you, I don’t like the top I made. Wishing us both more luck next week!

    • I ended up having a very busy social weekend, so I haven’t (yet) finished this week’s ’60s themed project. Maybe I’ll take an afternoon off….. :) Good luck!

  5. You are correct, Madame Scientist, it IS about the process : ) I just put several pieces I made for challenges this year into a bag to take to the swap next week. Someone else may love them and that’s fine. Yes, I do feel a little bit like I wasted my precious free time but maybe that’s what I needed to do.
    I haven’t seen any comments made by not-contributors so maybe when they tightened up security to keep out the spam it made it members-only. We use wordpress a lot at home, I was going to look into it this week. I’m no longer getting the Gateway error messages so maybe changes are afoot?
    Can’t wait to see what you do this coming week!

    • Sometimes it’s hard when you’re an A-type, logical, goal-oriented person to enjoy the process. I’m working on it.

      I haven’t gotten any Gateway error messages today, so things are looking better!