Fabric swatches for the new Secretary Blouse and Sheath Skirt with Kick Pleat.
I enjoyed the entire process of ordering swatches, reviewing them and then making the decision on which fabrics would be right for the Secretary Blouse and Sheath Skirt. First, seeing the colors in daylight gave me a better estimation of how they would work with each other. Right away I knew the royal blue was just a bit too bright for me. The salmon pink blouse fabric was gorgeous but the slippery quality and the sheerness were not going to work for the blouse.
Instead I went with the cream colored fabric which has a pebbly texture and was less transparent. It went well with the black gabardine. Even though this is not an exciting combination it leaves me free to select some sparkly rhinestone or pearl and rhinestone earrings to complete the outfit. I try to keep a sense of understatement like the one I observed among women of my Mom’s generation during the 1950s.
I then took my selected swatches to the sewing machine to see how they would behave. I was very pleased with the way they worked well with straight and zig-zag stitching. They also responded well to hand sewing which is very important to me. I prefer hand finishing hems, buttonholes and other details like plackets.
These are easy care, low maintenance synthetics which works well for me. The price was also within budget so it was win-win all around.
Buttonhole made with 4-step buttonhole attachment.
The fabric arrived last week and I’ve been practicing machine made buttonholes. I am now very good friends with my four-step buttonholer. The only thing I don’t care for is the way the fabric shreds after the buttonhole is cut open. I’m also having a problem with the stitching when I cut the opening. Whether I use a special chisel like cutter or the seam ripper there are times the tiny zig-zag stitches also get cut.
My solution is the buttonhole on the right.
I found that if I hand sewed around the machine made buttonhole stitch the fraying stopped. I used the correct buttonhole stitch and am very pleased with this hybrid result as shown in the buttonhole on the right. This is not couture or anything I’ve seen elsewhere but it suits my needs and it works. That’s good enough for me.
Button for the secretary blouse.
I’ve cut out all the pattern pieces and think that this time everything will turn out as I originally envisioned. I also have learned to avoid being hasty when buying fabric. It truly is wise to consider the properties of the fabric and whether or not it suits the needs of the design. This eliminates so much of the angst that develops when the fabric is unsuitable. Haste makes waste in terms of time, money and creative energy. I’m going to make this a thing of the past for sure.