Coming Out of the (aging) Closet

Many of us have projects we started with good intentions and then had to abandon for various reasons. Mostly of my reason is the sheer volume of bridal dresses taking over my life from Mar-Dec. Last week, I decided to uncover one blouse from the aging closet (like cheese or fine wine) and bring it into the light of day after 4 years and finally finish it.

Originally this Butterick 3926 96 had been cut with a collar and collar band and all nicely interfaced and sewn together as one unit ready to be attached to the shirt….not a lot to do but no one goes out without a collar do they? I pinned it all together and tried it on and decided it was way too much activity of the print high up on my neck so I took apart the collar and band and just kept the band like a Mandarin collar…less is more. Of course the collar was already understitched and trimmed with pinking shears, so that left the band smaller as well.collar inside-bandneck-band Here are the band center edges which have to be re-shaped into straighter edges. Nice thing about interfacing…you can draw on it!new-seam-linesnew-seam-lines-2 With a ruler I drew the lines straight up and at 90 degree angles from each center front You can also see the dotted lines where the lower edge would be folded under and attached to the neck edge later.

Then I thought…do I HAVE to turn all that bulk under and stitch through all the layers? Is there some way to keep it flat, not use a nasty serged/overlocked edge? Well IF I treat it like a waistband facing and attach a Hong Kong binding…that might work. The lower edge was trimmed to 1/4 inch and Ambiance bias strip was sewn on and flipped to the wrong side and edge stitched to hold the HK in place.10-fold-under-line

Here is the inside band facing with the HK binding and the understitching at the top edge:


13-ready-to-stitch Now I can stitch in the ditch from the right side and everything will be flat inside…ahhhh.14-collar-shut Band overlaps, sits flat and now for buttons…when in doubt I always make covered ones as it raises the perceived value. Let’s make seven 5/8 inch ones:buttons and make some black buttonholes and sew on those buttons:front-finished Can you see the buttons? Most just blend in…just the way I like it and with a snap at the band, I’m ready to wear it out!

Before I go I will leave you with 3 new sheer jackets for my model/client Nancy. She keeps buying wild polyester chiffon for the same great drapey jacket to wear over tank tops and t-shirts. Traveling a lot with her husband she can change her looks and these jackets take up no space in her suitcase and never wrinkle. red-chiffongreen-chiffongrey-chiffongrey-chiffon-back So a little secret…the grey jacket was cut crossgrain to have the flowers on the bottom back edge…holy crap…you can do that? Yes, it is a tight woven and we can do what we want! It still drapes the same as the rest. And a sneak preview…. Vogue 8947Β , you have seen it on many blogs, and now Nancy wants it too so here is her muslin waiting for her:1-front

Until next time….watch for signs of Spring!!!! It’s coming!!!

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22 Responses to Coming Out of the (aging) Closet

  1. Cindy says:

    I told many a customer in my fabric store days that fabric is like fine wine, it must age properly first. Use no fabric before it’s time! At least that is my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
    Sounds like you are keeping plenty busy! We are hoppin’ where I work too.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Hi Cindy, I find if I serge the ends, pre-shrink all fabrics, label the yardage and content and price, they can successfully age indefinitely….some I have had for almost 40 years…ha ha…waiting for a special occasion…..there are even kimonos from pre-WW2 waiting in the dark to be used some day. Hope you get some breathing time!!!!

  3. LOVE your new top! That mandarin collar in place of the regular collar is perfect! I’m intrigued by the HK binding – is that just turned under and stitched? It looks nice and neat.

    • mrsmole says:

      Yes, the bias binding is stitched with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and flipped to the wrong side and stitched in the ditch…it can be used for lots of things…even as a contrast or stripes….love that!

  4. BeaJay says:

    Loving your makes. I can certainly understand the attraction of the soft chiffon jacket. I am going to make some myself. Great work on the first shirt.

    • mrsmole says:

      You already have some mighty fine chiffon creations yourself, BeaJay…in fact I trolled the internet to find that pattern for the last bunch and bought it…you inspire me too!

  5. Sewing for yourself – well done Mrs Mole! And looking good too πŸ™‚

  6. mrsmole says:

    Thanks, Kim…I sure envy your latest getaway!!!!!

  7. Bunny says:

    Lots of really nice work here, Mrs Mole. That blouse is great and that band treatment is going in my toolbox. Thanks! Love that print!

  8. Laurie says:

    Wow! I can’t see those buttons at all… Nice work and I appreciate the tips! Love those sheer flowy “jackets…” The are very IN right now and I would like to make myself a few. Happy almost Spring!!!

    • mrsmole says:

      There is something about sheer flowy jackets that are so feminine and in a way they are extensions of scarves, just larger! Thanks for dropping by, Laurie.

  9. June says:

    The binding looks wonderful. I never thought about the perceived value of a piece of clothing before, but I guess that’s true, custom-made buttons do seem to elevate a garment. Glad that I’m not the only one with long-term UFOs. πŸ™‚ I swear I’m still working on that t-shirt, I swear, but it got rudely pushed aside by a 5-year-old’s demands that I make her some new yoga pants, ha ha.

    • mrsmole says:

      A long time ago I realized that making covered buttons makes a garment look richer and the cost of a covered button is really really cheap compared to store bought ones and they come in so many sizes! Never ignore a request from a 5 year old…ha ha!!!!

  10. Lyrique says:

    I really like that mandarin collar idea. You’ve presented a solution for which I’ve been looking.

  11. mrsmole says:

    Sometimes a band and a collar are just too much for a blouse especially if you have a shorter neck or the fabric is wild. We can be the designer and use the parts we like…I love that!

  12. theresa says:

    Love the flowy cover-ups. I’ve considered them. Then I look at 7 sets of little nails, 8 if you count the cat and have a feeling mine would be mostly snags, which would be fine if a I found a snag free light flowy fabric. If! Love the top and it’s colors. Can’t see those buttons at all and I bet you would disappear in the woods all together wearing it. πŸ™‚

    • mrsmole says:

      Ha ha…never thought of it before, Theresa, but it is an up-scale version of a camo hunting jacket!!!! Yes, chiffon is not for your household wearing…too many little creatures with paws!

  13. Monique says:

    Good for you for stashbusting and “treating” yourself to something new. It all seems to fit in with the idea and energy of Spring :-). And your creativity and workwomanship are so inspiring – I’m still getting used to the fact that we can do what WE want, as nicely and well as we want, when we sew for ourselves.
    Have a good Sunday!

  14. Sharon says:

    I recently stumbled across your blog .Love it! Think I must be your soul sister on the east coast. I have similar experiences with brides, they usually give the biggest headaches, but also make the best stories. Last fall I was contacted by the concierge of a very posh hotel here in Annapolis. He stated that he had a bride with a problem (red flag).The bride lives locally, but had purchased her gown “back home” and had the alterations done “back home” because that person did such a lovely job on her sister’s gown.The bride had made only one trip “back home” for a fitting (red flag). Mom picked up her gown when it was complete, and Dad carefully drove it 1200 mile cross country, wrapped in a Ralph Lauren sheet. Guess the seamstress back home didn’t include a bridal garment bag. When Dad arrived with the gown, the bride tried it on (2 days before the wedding), and to her surprise, when she got into the gown and it was zipped, it gave the illusion that the young lady had 4 breasts instead of the usually allotted 2. That’s where my job started. To condense the story, the bride made it down the aisle on time, with the correct number of breasts. The family was very happy with my work, but took a deep breath when given the price. Moral of the story: miracles can get expensive!! Keep up your hard work at miracles, I will do the same, and thank you for sharing your experiences!! Sharon

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Sharon…you must be a magician as well as a mathematician! Reducing 4 boobs down to 2 in 2 days…Holy Moley! I will try to find your site as well and keep up with things from this side of the country. Brides…crazy people…but Oh so so special…ha ha. Thanks for dropping by and sharing just one story out of the millions we come across!!!!

  15. Pingback: Muslins and Mothers | fit for a queen

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