A spotty JJ for PR sewing bee

A few weeks ago the new PR Sewing Bee contest was announced and I decided to join. I don’t remember why I didn’t enter last year, but I did watch it and it seemed like a lot of fun. Contests and challenges are big motivators for me, so this year I say ‘Bring it on!’

The first round challenge started yesterday and I did not expect a fitted blouse as the first project. They are supposed to get more complex every week, so I wonder – will a tailored jacket be the last challenge? 😀

I am going to make another BurdaStyle JJ – I’ve made it before and it fits nice. I am a little rounder than last time I made it, but I’ve made it with seam allowances a little larger than 5/8 last time and I am making it with 3/8 SA this time. There are 6 vertical seams adding up to a total difference of 3 inches, enough to fit with 1.5-2 inches of ease around the bust.

The fabric I chose is a very light satin backed silk crepe – it was a gift from a lovely friend I met online and then in real life (Servus, Olga!). I starched it to make cutting and sewing easier. It didn’t transform into quilting cotton, but it is easier to handle after starching. I don’t think the stand collar would look good in this fabric, I lowered the neckline and I will bound it with bias. The neckline is now 2 cm wider, 1 cm lower in the back and 11 cm lower in front. Somebody tried it before me successfully so I can be sure it will look nice.

I was going to make ‘real’ french seams, but I couldn’t sew the fabric with a narrow 1/4” seam allowance without it shifting under the presser foot. I am now slowly going through all the seams fake frenching them.

I want to have no visible seaming on the right side of the blouse, a lot more hand sewing will be needed  – fixing the bias on the back of the neckline, the same for sleeves (I’m not making cuffs) and invisible rolled hem. But I am on holiday and we have to stay around the house, so I have plenty of time for that.

The buttonholes will show though, not sure what I can do about that. I could’ve done loops, but I didn’t think of them early enough and now it’s too late. I have these dainty bobble buttons in red and light purple, I’m not sure which ones I’ll use yet. None of them matches perfectly, but there’s no way I can get to a haberdashery before the challenge closes. I might change them after.

Are you doing this? You can join anytime before the challenge closes on September 7th.

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Am I too late for the hoot trend?

When I first started sewing more than 5 years ago, my main resource was BurdaStyle website. Lots and lots of sewing tips, tutorials and free patterns. I still have manyof them saved din my account, but I think this is the first time I’m making something with one of their patterns. (I don’t count a failed Kasia that I attempted as a first project)

The JJ blouse is a simple princess seams shirt with ruffles and puffed sleeves. I skipped the ruffles as my fabric is busy enough.

I’m usually a 38-40 but after measuring the pattern I decided to cut 36 and my seam allowances were a bit more than 5/8, so this pattern runs large.
I also removed 2 cm in length, one from the bust and another one from the waist. This is standard for me as I am petite.

I had the buttonholes made at DMButtons. Save yourself a headache and use them if you are in London. You could also send them your garment by post if you are in the UK. I paid 3 pounds for 8 buttonholes, and they were done in 2 minutes. Sewn, cut and ready to use. I’m never making buttonholes again!

What you see there is water. It was raining and I wiped that street light with my bum.

I bought the fabric at Saeed’s Fabrics in my only (so far) trip to Walthamstow market last year. I had only one meter, it was an impulse purchase as I loved the print too much but had no idea what to make with it. A month or so ago I saw that a fitted blouse contest was going to run on Pattern Review. I had the pattern (still free on BurdaStyle), I had the fabric, a contest was the motivation I needed to make something.

This is the first shirt I make and I love it! It’s not often that a project ends up better than I imagined 🙂 . I was feeling so smug I even tried the Rachel pose.

I won’t do it again. I promise!