Sunday, 28 July 2013

FO: The Gertie Portrait Blouse

Anyone who followed me during Me Made May will have seen this - It's become a wardrobe staple!



It is the Portrait Blouse from Gertie's Book for Better Sewing.  I loved this from the first time I saw it.  It's such a pretty style with very clean lines and shapes.  I am really getting into blouses after being a t-shirt girl for most of my life - I have several more planned.  This one feels very ladylike!  Maybe I fear the ironing board less than I used to since starting sewing?

For such a simple pattern, I did have to make a lot of adjustments however.

Of course, I consulted the fabulous #sewcialists on Twitter - there's always some fab advice available - and found that Katie had made it already so she gave me some great tips.

The sizing on Gertie's book patterns is quite different from usual pattern sizing - I made an 8, and added slightly (about 1/4" at each seam) to the waist and hips.  I have heard that the book is quite wide across the back which suits my broad shoulders and I think the shoulders fit well!

Gertie says in the book that it is a short style, so I knew I'd be in for some considerable lengthening - she wasn't wrong.  I lengthened by 4"!  I also did a small FBA.  For me, the neckline is perfect and I love the loose tucks rather than darts.  I did have to lengthen them quite a bit to get them to sit flat - the fabric would insist on poofing out above them, but I kept extending them until this stopped happening!  I suspect this was to do with my lengthening making the end points hit in the wrong place.

I also did a couple of new techniques on this make - narrow hems, following the instructions from the book.  It was fairly easy and looks nice and neat.  I also handpicked the side zip.  I don't know why I haven't done this before, as it made the zip so easy to insert neatly.  My only complaint is that the thread matches the fabric so well that you can't see my pick stitches!  As you would expect, Gertie's instructions on both of these were nice and clear with good photos and illustrations to help.

The fabric was a poly remnant with lovely drape that I picked up from the legendary remnants table at Ditto in Brighton (I love that table!).  I had just over 1m and I think it was the princely sum of £1.80.  So that plus the cost of the zip makes it a practically free make!  I've worn it lots and have a couple more in the pipeline (OK they are in my head but they'll get done sometime!).  They definitely smarten up my jeans!

And finally a back view for Nessa:

15 comments:

  1. He he he! Thanks for that! I love that back drape! The neckline really is nice, I have that book so I shall give this pattern another look.

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    1. thanks nessa! it's a great simple style that looks great with jeans or skirts. lengthen a lot tho!

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  2. i love this: nice and simple everyday wear. gorgeous colour too. :)

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  3. I love this, especially in this color!

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    1. thanks laura - i love the colour too!

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  4. This has been on my 'to make' list for ages. It's great to see what you did with it, I haven't spotted that many out in the wild and yours is one of the nicest I've seen.

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    1. aaaww, thanks jo! i have a cotton print fabric for another one in the project box (aka big pile of not yet sewn fabric)

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  5. Aha, this pattern is on my list of patterns to make. Your version is lovely and very helpful to have your notes on it too.

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    1. thanks kerry - i guess you'd need to lengthen quite a lot too!

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  6. How pretty! I have the book, but have yet to make something from it. Maybe I will give this one a go first. Yours turned out really well!

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    1. thank you! i love almost all the patterns in the book - not sure why i haven't made more from it. i keep getting distracted by newer shiny thi... look, a squirrel!

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  7. Pretty blouse and what a bargain :) Do you recommend Gertie's book? I've been admiring it for awhile now.

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    1. thanks zoe. i really like the book - all the patterns really appeal to me and i like her very down to earth approach to sewing vintage - i.e. repro is ok. i need to sew more of them! maybe a winter wiggle dress!

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  8. I just made one, it looks fab doesn't it? Mine is all silky. Yours looks great. Jo x

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