Luckily I had the foresight to order a few new patterns from Decades of Style and Colette before I left and they arrived while I was away. Love love love getting sewing stuff in the post!
To get a sewing 'fix' I decided on a quick and easy project:
It's the 1018 Jasmine blouse by Colette.
This is the first Colette pattern I've tried and thought it was brilliant. I love that the pattern comes as a book instead of a broadsheet!
I have also recently pledged to sew more 'useful' things that I can wear to work or out and about, because most of my self-made wardrobe is fancy and never gets worn. This Jasmine blouse was perfect, I can wear it to the office with a suit skirt (once I go back to work that is..!) or with jeans.
Trying to be budget-conscious I also used material from the stash:
To remedy the not-enough-material problem the trusty stash of cream linen came to the rescue. I used this linen for the front of the collar and the cuffs.
Looks pretty doesn't it?! This is version one - the long tie and gathered cuffs. Version two has a short tie (contrast colour) and notched cuffs.
The only modification I made to this was to give the cuffs extra room. Lucky I tried one of them on before attaching it to the armhole - it would not go over my herculean elbow. So I had to unpick the french seam (sad face) and give the cuff a 3/8" raw edge seam instead of the usual 5/8". Even now I have to mollycoddle it over my elbow and it's very snug around my bicep, so next time I will add an inch to the cuff width. Or maybe go easy on the bicep-enhancing protein shakes. Being linen as well makes it slightly more bulky of course.
This is the finished product, it only took a day to complete and thus satisfied my need for a quick sewing fix.
One issue I did have with the pattern was the loop at the front. I think it's meant to be cut on the fold, because there was no way the piece I originally cut out could be turned through. Perhaps, again, with lighter material it might work - but I recut the loop on the fold, essentially doubling its width.
And here I practised with the new overlocker! I am still getting used to how clunky it is compared to the sewing machine. However the time it saves in finishing raw edges is worth a bit of fiddling around with tensions and the occasional accidental upper knife injury!
The linen was just the perfect colour for the cuffs. Originally I had some white Japanese cotton in mind to use for the contrast, but the flowers are a very subtle cream colour. Here you can also see the French seam.
I know some sewers find the wide neck to be a bit gapey but it doesn't bother me. I did find that using cotton and linen made the collar slightly challenging to sit correctly, but after pinning it down and hanging it for a day it settled down (sounds like torture!).