Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pleated Blouse

April 2009 BWOF, #122

I bought this fabric last year from the co-op, but didn't have the perfect pattern for it. I knew that this fabric required simple lines, so #122 from the April issue was perfect! When I came out wearing it, Little Miss Princess declared, "Oooooh, Mom... I love it!" I have to admit, I love it, too!!!

I consulted "More Fabric Savvy" by Sandra Betzina to see what "special needs" pre-pleated fabrics have. If you love the look, you can find more pleated fabrics at Gorgeous Fabrics, here and here. The pleats run across the grain (not with it), and I used 2 yards with the same layout. Just a few words of warning about working with it...
1. The Betzina book recommended a Universal 70/10 needle, but I got nothing but skipped stitches until I tried a stretch needle. The poly fibers need a needle to move around them, not through them, so a ballpoint might also work, but I didn't try one.
2. NO PRESSING!!! The pleats will disappear and never reappear, and you don't really need to press since the pleats make the seams a little plump anyhow.
3. 1/2" wide tape is your best friend with this fabric. After I cut my pattern pieces, I carefully ran the tape along every seam edge, lightly holding the fabric in place, but not making the fabric lay flat. The purpose of the tape it to keep the seam edges the same length as the pattern pieces and also preserve your pleats. I did sew through some of the tape with my regular machine, but immediately removed it after sewing the seam, then serged the tape-free edges.
I ignored the BWOF instructions again, just checked for sequence of attaching pieces and how wide to make the casing seam allowance.

My way went like this...
1. Sewed front top and back top at shoulder seams.
2. Used black (purchased) bias tape to turn front and neck edges.
3. Sewed side seams of top.
4. Basted center front seam together to meet with a 1" s.a.
5. Sewed buttonholes in front bottom, using embroidery stabilizer on the back.
6. Sewed side seams of front and back bottoms.
7. Attached top unit and bottom unit with a 1" s.a., then stitched down for ribbon casing.
8. Inserted tie into casing.
*My fabric doesn't fray AT ALL, and I didn't want to flatten the pleats, and I really like the loose look... so I didn't hem the bottom or the sleeves. The "rule follower" in me is pulling her hair out, but my gut is saying, "Leave it alone, it looks *perfect*!"
My bamboo interlock arrived today for my PR contest entry. I'll be using Vogue 8379, and have to play with the trim stuff I bought to make a final decision on what I'm going to do with it. Entry deadline is August 15, so I have some time to play with it!


judy said...

Great shirt! I love the look of it and have been eyeing that pattern! Your fabric is perfect and it looks like a blouse you could dress up as well!

Julia said...

I love it. I wonder if you could use tear away stablilizer?

Lisa said...

Nice! I love the material.

Bunny said...

You did a great job with this, Kristine! Pleated fabric is so cool.

Bunny said...

Just wanted to add your tape trick is fabulous. I will definitely use that one.

Ann's Fashion Studio said...

It looks wonderful. I love the pleated fabric. Thank you for the great tips about working with this type of fabric.
I'm also anxious to hear how you like the bamboo interlock.

HeathersSphere said...

Super chic and fun top, Kristine! I am sure you enticed more to notice this pattern more!

gwensews said...

That's a lovely top, and you handled a difficult fabric perfectly.

Michelle said...

That top turned out fantastic! I love it!

Great problem-solving with some unruly fabric!

Kim said...

Very cute! I've been thinking about that pattern.

tinyshinythings said...

Hi Can I ask please was it adhesive masking tape you used?

tinyshinythings said...

Hi Can I ask please was it adhesive masking tape you used?