Sewing a blouse
I don’t think I have ever mentioned here, on the English side of the blog, that I also started sewing. During the school year of 2016-2017 I enrolled in a basic sewing course for beginners. This was the very first time ever that I touched a sewing machine and the classes marked the beginning of a (difficult) learning process with ups and downs.
This school year I again enrolled for classes. Since I finished the basic course, I could choose among any of the other modules, and opted for the module ‘blouse and dress’.
Our first project of the school year was to be a blouse and I took almost the entire first half of the year to finish a single blouse. Jep, I have a talent for choosing difficult projects and this time was no different. While my fellow students finished 2 to 3 projects, I diligently worked on my single project.
The way the course works is that we all need to work on a blouse or dress, but we can each fill out the details of the patterns to our personal preference. The school year started with us drawing a standard pattern for a bodice, which we then adapted to our personal measurements. Apparently my body is pretty standard, since my pattern didn’t need a single adjustment.
Once we all had our basic pattern, we could start redrawing it for the particular blouse we had in mind. Some of us chose a shirt dress, others went for simple, flowy tops. And I, I picked a blouse I liked to wear from my wardrobe and brought it to class.
Of course, when I chose this top, I hadn’t paid any attention to the different elements that made up the blouse. I just liked the shape and wouldn’t mind a second blouse like that.
It was only when I was drawing the new pattern, with the assistance of the teacher, that I realised that I had made things very complicated for myself. But the teacher was convinced that I could do it and that it would look great, so I ventured on and started transferring my paper pattern to my fabric.
It literally cost me blood, sweat and tears and had to suppress the inclination to throw the whole thing away multiple times. I felt like I made no progress at all. I spend hours sewing the pleats. Pleats for the shoulders, pleats for the neckline, pleats for the back. Being a perfectionist didn’t help either, since I often felt that my pleats weren’t straight enough and wanted to take them out. Luckily the teacher prevented this, by showing me that ironing often revealed that things weren’t as crooked as I believed.
Also the edge around the neck proved quite the challenge. I eventually decided to use false buttons, by simply sewing them through both layers. The original blouse had real buttons, which were hidden behind another line of fabric, but since I had been working on this blouse for a long time already and since the buttons wouldn’t be used, I saved my sanity by going for false ones.
And then, finally, two weeks before Christmas break I finished my blouse. Until then the only sewing project I had made that school year, while my fellow students had finished at least 2.
But, since my sewing experience is very limited and the blouse was a very difficult one, I am absolutely fine with the result. To say even more, even though this project severly tested my patience and perseverance, I’m extremely happy and proud of this blouse!