Summer Sewing Revival

What do you call it when you have time to sew, multiple barbeques on this week’s calendar, farmer’s markets and gardens overflowing with greenery, and plans for camping in the near future? Total bliss? Summer? I have a lot of fun things to report on, but I won’t spew it all out in one blog post. For now, let’s talk summer sewing.

After mailing off a grant application last week, I attacked some of my unfinished projects. I even have some stuff to show for it, because absence makes the seamstress sew faster. I finally finished the 1970s blouse from this McCall’s 5233 pattern:
Here it is, modeled and photographed clumsily.

The material is a light cotton swiss dot from Joann’s. I worked mostly with pieces I pulled out of their (overpriced) remnants bin, so I had to add a seam up the center front. I think the seam gets lost in the pattern, but Josh of course noticed it immediately. Whatever Josh! Lots of blouses have seams up the center front, phhshhh. Here’s a closer photo so you can see some of the details…
Well, you can kinda see them. There are little pintucks on either side of the front placket. I gave up trying to make them exactly according to the pattern markings. Instead, I just folded and and ironed until the length matched the yoke piece and both sides were symmetrical. Anyone have better tips for pintucks? The collar is rather ridiculous when not folded back – it pops like a frat boy who starches his shirts. But big collars are a thing of the seventies, right? I’ll have to get you a photo to demonstrate.
The construction on this was rather fiddly. Plackets like this are hard! At least, it’s hard not to get little wrinkles at those 90 degree corners. But I think I managed okay. I omitted the facing pieces because they were awkward and I thought finishing the edges with bias tape made more sense. You even get to catch a peek of it! See…
Polka dots! I ordered this stuff off Etsy, and I think it’s a nice touch. Elsewhere I used french seams or more bias tapes, so the inside is nice and tidy.

Not the tidiest job of applying bias tape, but that stuff is fiddly (again with the fiddly). I am proud that I made it turn the corners on the placket, however. To do this I had to open the bias tape, fold it right sides together, and then sew two 45 degree angles meeting at the fold. I’ll try to get a demo up later. The most difficult part is measuring the spacing correctly so that your two corners end up matching the corners on the placket.
Summery blouse completed! And how fitting, that my first occasion wearing it out was to a a very summery event: a night at the drive-in.
Happy Summer!
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