It’s been four days since I started working on this 1940s blouse (Simplicity 1692) and it was three and a half days ago that the fabric reminded me of a Catull poem my Latin teacher used to recite to us very passionately:
Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse requiris? nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
(I still remember every word – that tells you what a fantastic teacher he was.) One possible translation would be:
I hate and I love. Why do I do this you may ask? I don’t know but it’s killing me.
Obviously, it’s about unrequited love so it might not be all that fitting because I’m starting to believe that once the blouse is finished it will give something back and reward me for all the hard work. (Also, to say working with this fabric is killing me is a bit too dramatic even for an occasional drama queen like me. It just bloody annoys me at times.)
I bought the fabric online at Croft Mill and purely based on the description, which was 100% accurate. I love their descriptions, which is why I keep going back to their website. It’s such a gamble to buy fabric online – especially if, like me, you’re too impatient for swabs, but their descriptions usually give you a very good idea what the fabric feels like. Now, I bought the last bit of the fabric (if they had more I would totally order more of it and make a whole dress, even if that would mean risking a fabric induced nervous breakdown) and I can’t remember what it was supposed to be (viscose maybe…?) but I do remember that the description said something like there might well be a bit of silk in this because it feels so soft and drapes so well. And it does. It’s amazing. It’s like touching a waterfall. So light and soft, just perfect for my little blouse. But… also an incredible pain in the bum. Not only is it super slippery (like, you check your watch and it’s slipped out of the room) it’s also surprisingly stretchy. Cutting out was a nightmare. I will never know why I didn’t use the paper-sandwich-method. Actually, I do know: I couldn’t be bothered. I deserve all I got. Never mind. I am hoping that the slight stretch and the gorgeous flower pattern will hide any unevenness. That would be a fair deal, I think.
Despite all the problems I soldiered on and got quite far. There is a lot going on in this blouse. Four tucks at the hem, two tucks at the shoulder seems and gathers at the neckline. The neckline took me ages to get right. It has a thin binding above the gathers and getting that to sit neatly was really tricky what with the slipperiness of it all. And of course, when I took the gathering threads out, I accidentally cut the binding stitching and had to fix that without the help of the gathering threads. But hey, we got there. Only then the instructions read “slip-stitch binding in place” and I knew I needed a break before tackling any sort of hand-sewing. Mind you, the fabric might be easier to handle by hand. We shall see. I know one thing: I can’t wait to wear this for the first time. Slipping it on feels like sliding into a warm bath.
If you are struggling with any tricky fabrics at the moment: Chin up and keep going!