Taffy Blouse

Another Colette pattern tackled.  The Taffy blouse is one of the five patterns in The Colette Sewing Handbook – which I was lucky enough to receive from my sis last Christmas!

Pattern:  Taffy Blouse (The Collette Sewing Handbook)

Fabric:  Random red, white & navy sheer print acquired at a craft swap a millenium ago.  (Thanks, random crafter – whoever and wherever you are!)

Trim:  Home made bias tape – red, white & navy houndstooth quilting cotton from Joann Fabrics.

I love, love, love this shirt.  I love, love, love this pattern.  And I love, love, love Colette!  Love fest alert.

I haven’t worked with sheer fabrics in ages and when I did in the past, the process was frustrating and the results were…. underwhelming.  But, not this time!  Thanks to tips from the book, as well as Colette’s fabulous blog, I was able to handle the fabric with ease and take on a few new techniques with confidence.

First – the fabric itself!  I was having my usual wrestling match with this slippery sheer, resulting in nothing but headaches and curse words.  I thought I’d take a look to see if Sarai had any tips on working with this texture.  Sure enough, I am enlightened to the existence of spray on stabilizer.  Sweet puppy Jesus, where has this stuff been all my life?  Sprayed this stuff on and boom – cut-able, manageable fabric.  It made every step of the construction not just easier – it made it possible.  Forgive me, those of you who see this as an obvious solution and have known about this stuff for eons.  I was raised by a Mom who just glanced at unruly fabric and it would bend to her will.  Her magical powers made such devices unnecessary and unbeknownst to me, there was a solution out there for all us magic-less fabric muggles.  Epiphany had.

Next up – the French seam.  Well,  The Coletterie had me covered again.  They have both a great photo tutorial showing you how to do it just like they do in gay Par-ee.  (There are also some helpful videos out there if you’re looking for something more live action.)  It was a breeze and the seams look so beautiful – I foresee many more projects of mine will be finished this way.

Now for the hem.  Hemming a sheer fabric made me a teensy bit nervous – even with the extra grab provided by the stabilizer.  I poked around online and found a few different methods that seemed interesting.  But, for this blouse, I went with this one (minus the starch as I already had sprayed with magic juice stabilizer).  Her directions are simple and clear – and so is the technique.  Worked like a charm!

I gave it a wash in the gentle cycle to get rid of the stabilizer (and to test the seams and the hem!) and after hanging to dry, the fabric was back to it’s soft self and not one thread or fiber was out of place!  Success.

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