Miniature Peasant Blouse

I’d love to say my dressing table is usually tidier than this, but it’d be a big fat lie.

What do you do when you’ve been wanting to make something for ages but can’t quite find the right pattern for it?  Make your child one instead, of course!  

I’ve been looking for the perfect peasant blouse pattern for a really long time, ever since I fell in love with the ones from Vivien of Holloway.  I’d almost be tempted to buy one, but I’m not buying clothes (as per my pledge), and in any case this is one of the few garments I know I could sew much cheaper than buy.  There is a draft-it-yourself affair here, which definitely works, as proven by Tasha, so I may actually have a go at that at some point – I’m definitely not having any luck finding an ready-made pattern…

However, that’s on hold for the time being, but when I saw McCalls 6684 at work, I couldn’t resist getting it for the girls…

Granted, the envelope styling doesn’t do it any favours…  But still, even the trousers would be a useful kids basic if I made them without the weird 3-inches-too-long bottom bit.  And the playsuit would be dinky minus the crazy ruff…

Anyway, I made top A, the most straightforward blouse ever, although it is definitely more cropped than it appears on the envelope.  I realised this as soon as I cut it out, but never mind…

She was NOT letting go of the juice…

I made the 4, as Annie’s quite big for only-just-3.  Just as well really, considering how short this is!  It’s dead simple, a front, a back, 2 sleeves, to be honest I can’t think of a quicker make – it’d be perfect for a last-minute present.  The fabric is a polycotton 1/4″ gingham from work, which a couple of years ago I would probably have been a bit sniffy about for a garment, but it’s pretty, it’s cool and lightweight for summer, and it pretty much doesn’t need ironing.

I sewed it all on my new Brother, to give it a test-run.  I STILL LOVE IT!!  Although, one thing that does take a bit of getting used to (for which read ‘a LOT of cursing’) is the reverse lever.  You know how on every machine you’ve ever used, you have to hold the lever down while it reverses, and then you release it and it reverts to forward motion?  Well, with this one it’s not a spring lever – you move it to reverse, and then you have to move it back to the forward position.  Needless to say, this took me an insanely long time to remember.  Fortunately, the pattern didn’t require any zig-zagging – I french-seamed the sleeve and side seams, and the instructions for the armhole seam said to reinforce with a second stitching line and trim the seam allowance down.  I reckon that’s good enough!

The other thing I’ve noticed about this machine, now I’ve used it a bit more, is it makes a really nice sound, a lot calmer than my modern machine, which can be a bit chattery-clattery if you go any speed.  This one has a more solid, quiet whirring sound.

I used 1/4″ elastic at the waist instead of the 1/2″ specified in the pattern – I thought it would look too heavy and I think I was right.  If I made it again I might tone down the sleeves a bit, but it depends if I can be bothered to faff.  Probably not.  Anyway, Amy’s ordered ‘One the same as ‘Annie’s, but pink’, so we’ll soon see whether I can be bothered to change it!

In other news, I have actually made my muslin for my OWOP projects!  Haven’t tried it on yet, obviously…  Yes, I know I’ve already made a Portrait Blouse, but I’m still at the stage where my fitting improves with every garment, so I thought I’d start again from scratch, as my original has a couple of issues.  The main one is that if I wear it for any length of time the fabric forms some kind of weird shelf at the bottom of my rib-cage, which looks pretty odd.  I think I can fix it by extending the waist tucks up an inch or so.  Here’s hoping!

Are you taking part in OWOP this year?  I don’t think it’s too late to sign up!  Although I am getting a bit jumpy about the deadline, seeing as I have to make 2 more, really, to get a week out of them…  But I think we’ve discussed my approach to deadlines before.  Come back in a week when I’ve procrastinated a bit more…

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