all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Simple Sew Chelsea Blouse – shirring

IMG_0551As a free pattern with Love Sewing magazine, this pattern is good value, but I would not want to pay £10 for it. I’m afraid that yet again I was not impressed by Simple Sew, and would not recommend them for a beginner because they are so badly produced.

Just in case you love the result and want to rush out to buy your fabric before you have finished reading the blog – DON’T. The fabric requirement stated is far too much….. So much that I managed to make this out of the left overs, and will blog separately.

IMG_0548

For both 115cm and 150cm wide fabric the recommendation is 2.4m. My fabric is 140cm wide and at its shortest I had 1m left. So I got it out of 1.4m. So pleased that I didn’t buy super expensive material. The fabric is cotton poplin from Guthrie Ghani

What else did I find wrong with the pattern? I made a list…………

  1. The back facing notch marking is wrong. It is one notch and it should be two. It is also slightly in the wrong place. I adjusted the fit by over 1cm when setting in the sleeve.
  2. There is no instruction to finish the bottom of the facing. It should be step 4.
  3. I found it quite tricky to line up the facing, bodice and collar. The back section with the loop took me 3 goes to get a satisfactory result. Some dots to serve as guides would have been useful.
  4. I understitched the neck facing, despite no instruction to do so. I also top stitched the back neck hole to re-inforce the stitching. With care it could have been understitched.
  5. And of course, it recommends far too much fabric.

So if I really don’t like Simple Sew patterns, why did I make this?

I made it because I wanted to practice shirring. I don’t recall ever having used shirring elastic before, even in the billowy, floaty ’70s. Actually, it was easy. I had a brief discussion about it with the girls in Guthrie Ghani, as you do, and then ‘just did it’. I wound the bobbin by hand, and slotted it easily into my top loading bobbins case. I’m told its easier with a top loading bobbin. Then I tested, and was really pleased. So then I tested a parallel line, and it was quite straight forward and looked great.

The hardest part was marking the fabric on the right side ready to stitch. I used pink chalk, and it was quite hard to see the lines. The second line was somewhat easier, in as much as you can use the first stitch line as a guide. I wasn’t absolutely sure how to anchor the stitching, concluding the stitching backwards was probably not a good solution. I stitched 3 times over when I did the sleeve seams, and then tied the thread and elastic with knots at the ends. Hopefully that will be sufficient to keep the shirring elastic in place.

IMG_0546The back is finished with a rouleaux loop, and a self covered button. I love self covered buttons, and this blog is littered with pictures of my creations – so here is  another!

IMG_0547You may have guessed that I probably wont make the skirt and trousers from the pattern, but I don’t have all that many ‘bottoms’ to wear with this fabric. A liking for patterned fabric can limit ‘match-ability’. My beige skirt and black skirts will have to do the job.

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2 comments on “Simple Sew Chelsea Blouse – shirring

  1. Trisha
    August 7, 2016

    I have just blogged about this very blouse, totally agree about the fabric requirements!

    • ann hebden
      August 25, 2016

      Yes, I think I saw your blog post. We both said pretty much the same things about the pattern. Ann

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This entry was posted on August 7, 2016 by in Blouses, Chelsea collection, Fashion, Handmade, Love Sewing, Sewing, Simple Sew, Tops and tagged , , , , , , .
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