Remember I went on a sewing with silk master class with Heather Jacks from the GBSB? Well I have finally finished my silk blouse! Not without a few choice words, a few tweets to Heather and quite a few moans of exasperation!
The sleeves had me and more than once it could have easily gone in the bin! I usually sew sleeves in flat, then sew the side seams after. I can’t remember ever using ease stitches for anything.
I sewed 2 rows of ease stitches at the end of my sewing lesson but didn’t have time to set them in.
Here’s what happened when I got home, after I’d bought some Janome blue tipped needles that Heather advised, and plucked up courage to tackle easing in silk sleeves!
Firstly I sewed my ease stitches too big – I’d already rushed ahead before Heather told me to use small stitches.
Even though things weren’t looking too good I went ahead and basted the sleeve in place.
Not looking too good, the sleeves weren’t supposed to be all gathered and puffy like this!
I unpicked everything and re-read the instructions. It was then I realised I had only sewn ease stitches between the dots and not the notches. You can just about make out the holes where the ease stitches were.
Here are the ease stitches all the way to the notches. They’re 2.6mm in length, and I also took more care making them parallel to the edge of the fabric.
Pinned! (yes mum I do have some!!).
Basted! I’m feeling much better about it this time.
from the wrong side basted – just checking it’s looking ok!
Phew! Stitched!! These are going to be french seams, so another very deep breath taken!
From here on things went swimmingly! I’m no longer afraid of sewing with silk. The hems on the bottom and on the sleeve were a doddle. Heather said to run the overlocker round the bottom to give a neat finish and make the edge easier to work.
Not 100% sure if it really was the right thing to do, but I just folding a couple of mm past the overlocked edge and pressed.
Then pressed again, about 1.5 cm – I just eyeballed it, no ruler sorry!
And it turned out super neat!
For the sleeve hems I turned over the second time just a little bit more than the first, the finished hem is only about 5mm.
I really love how it’s turned out! It’s not really something I would normally wear as it’s a bit on the plain side, but I’ll definitely make more now I have the confidence to sew with silk, and other challenging fabric.
The only thing I will have to change is to chop off the loop I made for the button and to make a smaller one as the button keeps coming undone.
Here’s a few more photo’s shower the finer details:
The french seams on the sleeves weren’t as neat as the other straight seams. It was a bit tricky to press them.
Love how the wide end of the bust dart disappears into the french seam.
No gathers, nips or tucks in the sleeve head!
The inside is as lovely as the outside!
Is it acceptable for facings to be visible like this from the outside?
Close up of the button and the loop. I’ve never sewn a loop like this before by hand – I’ve always cheated and made a pretend one on the machine by sewing a small zig zag stitch over four threads.
So there you go! My offerings from my first ever proper sewing lesson! Thanks Heather! I loved it! Not just the sewing bit, the whole day!