Border Print Taffy

Finally reunited with my sewing machine after months of travel, I set about making myself a quick garment. Hah! I should have just made more Myrtle Bags!

My  first project out of the Collette Sewing Handbook was the Taffy blouse.

Front full

I had this really pretty border print viscose:


It’s deliciously cool against the skin, light and breathable. But … it is also rather loosely woven and combined with the bias cut pattern the whole process was one that leads to hair rending and cursing. I don’t care if I have to boil rice to make my own starch next time, I WILL USE STABILIZER the next time! Apologies for the yelling, but I hope my shouts echo through time to my own ears when I next decide to make a bias cut pattern out of loosely woven fabric.

On to the process.

Size: I cut a size 0 with no changes, and it fit very well. As with all garments, the key is to get the shoulder to fit and lie correctly against the body. If I had gone by bust size, I would have cut size 4 and wept as it slipped off my shoulders.

Pattern changes: I wondered if I would need to change the sleeves, making them longer and less circular. However, I really liked how the sleeves came out, so no changes there. I will move up the tie position by a couple of inches the next time.  

Cutting: Awful. I WILL USE STABILIZER next time. I positioned the body pieces on the centre of the fabric and used the border print on one side for the sleeves. I used up the remaining border on the other side to make continuous bias tape.

Tip: although making one inch wide tape to get ¼ inch tape is generally a good plan, in loosely woven fabric like this the tape thins out leaving a frustratingly narrow width of ¾ inch. So unless I use a tight, crisp woven the next time, I’ll mark lines 1.5 inches apart the next time, just to have enough width to work with.

Sewing: Pretty straightforward, because the lines of this top are very simple. I may finish the sleeve edges with my picot foot the next time. I did try to gather the front neck slightly, but after attaching the binding around the neck, the gathers pressed out. Such is the weird magic of bias cuts!

Since the ties were positioned too low for my preference, instead of ripping out the side seam I just sewed them along the outside of the seam to their new position. Oh and I hung the garment after sewing it together (before hemming), not after cutting the pieces.

The sleeves are bound with self fabric:


As is the neck:


On the bottom I tried my picot foot. It bound it neatly, but also made the edge r-e-a-l-l-y flare out. I’m undecided if I like the ruffly lettuce look or whether I should just trim it off and stitch a regular hem.


Garment: I like! It’s pretty and wearable. I would definitely want a very pretty, sheer one next time, perhaps lined and edged with charmeuse in the same colour.

Also, I’m most probably mid-air right now, so this post is being brought to you by the magic of Scheduled Posting. Replies to questions will appear only when I’m next near an internet connection!


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