July 13, 2015

Where I am a colourful bird

Hello there,
I hope this new week is going to be good for everyone, me included. I had a terrible past week and I am enjoying this new beginning as a chance to be happier. First thing to be happy, is wear something you enjoy wearing, like this top.

It is a quite simple "Button back blouse", found in the book "The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric". Since the pattern is an easy one, I took the occasion to better work my fitting skills, also because the fabric is on the non expensive side, so it was worth to be sacrificed as a wearable muslin.

Let's talk FBA: my upper bust is 95 cm, while my full bust is 105 cm, resulting in a D cup (105-95=10 cm) and the necessity of a 10/2=5 cm FBA. Hence the huge dart, visible in this picture:

Now, this is clear to me (if it is not correct please shout out, I am here to share and to learn). My problem is from which size to start the FBA. My poor knowledge says I have to start from the size which describes my upper bust measurement.

In this book, this is between size 12 (93 cm) and size 14 (98 cm). For this top, I used size 14, and then added 10 cm FBA in total (5 + 5). As you can clearly see, the blouse is too wide.

Writing this post up, I am checking again the measurements to give correct information, and honestly I can not understand why I went for such big alteration, ignoring the finished measurement provided for the garment: I should have noticed that the finished bust measurement is 104 cm for size 14, so the design has a large fit...

So ok, now I understand my mistake, and maybe next time I try this pattern I will start the FBA at size 12, because also on the shoulders I can use a smaller size.

Anyway, fitting issues aside, I do like the result. Maybe I am too sentimentally attached to anything I sew. In this case, the main features are the back buttons and the fabric. This is my first make from the book, but I foresee more, because I like the style, and because every single pattern has a sufficient amount of details to make it interesting.

I picked 3 different colours of buttons: light green, blue and red, to match the fabric. I could not settle on one colour so I went for all of them (hoarder alert). As usual I was over-scared to sew buttonholes. They are not perfect but good enough. I blame my machine, but don't tell her, she can get upset.

At my favourite local heberdashery, I also bought the bias tape which finished neck, hem, and armholes. In this colour they only had a kind of satin one, that in my modest opinion it is not really bias, since it has no give at all. The nightmare for those armholes!
I am so sorry for the over exposed pictures. Note to self: no more pictures at noon! Even if my balcony is in the shadows at that time of the day, it is difficult to clearly see details and fabric.

Speaking of fabric, it is a lovely cotton by Toto Tissus, where I bought this precut remnant for something like 3 €. I still have a tiny little scrap of it, maybe I'll do something for Chéri's niece. But we'll see about that. The print is a series of birds in and out their little cute cages.

In conclusion, I like this blouse, for the birds, the buttons, the nice feel of cotton on the skirt under the sun, and because it goes very well with all my bottom separates for this summer. I bet it will go into my holiday suitcase!
I wish you a nice evening, I go back to listening to "Sense and Sensibility" audiobook while tracing something new for my big project... (I'm such a teaser!)


  1. Oh, I am sorry to hear about the bad week... I am hoping for good week too. Your comment about machine's button hole sewing sensitivity made me laugh- that's my excuse for being unable to complete shirts for my husband:)

    1. Ahahah, we all need a good excuse from time to time! I hope your sewing machine will soon be tamed to buttonholes :) Have a great week, then!