Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Spoolette Bowling Shirt (And a completed Sewlution!)


So my latest sewing challenge was to make a bowling shirt for a night of bowling, milkshakes, burgers and karaoke with the Spoolettes! (If you don't know about the Spoolettes then head over to Sew Dixie Lou right now and get involved!) The girls had all excelled themselves with their bowling shirts and embroidery skills so hopefully you'll start seeing quite a few of them popping up in your feeds. An amazing time was had by all and the lovely Alison from Another Little Crafty Creation made us all these amazing little badges! Thanks so much Alison.


I decided to go down a fairly simple and feminine route with mine, concentrating on the 1950's/60's look. It turned out as more of a 'bowling blouse' and I look like I belong in a diner but I love it and think I could even get some everyday wear out of it too!


I used vintage Vogue pattern 9318 which I was lucky enough to pick up in the swap at Rachel from House of Pinheiro's epic meet up at the V&A/Goldhawk Road in April. I'm not sure who donated it to the pile but whoever it was thank you very much, it's a great pattern and I had a lot of fun sewing it up. Once I had an idea of how I wanted it to look so I had a rummage through my stash for some appropriate fabric and came across this lovely soft cotton gingham which I also by pure coincidence picked up at the same swap! Thank you very much also to this kind donator. Although the pattern envelope is a little torn all the pattern pieces were present and fully intact so I set to cutting out all the pieces.


With this done and all the appropriate pattern pieces interfaced (I used the lightweight budget interfacing from Minerva Crafts, which I think is pretty brilliant) I was ready to sew. At which point i realised the construction instructions for this pattern either never existed or were missing! It was the first time I'd worked with a vintage pattern, I'm usually spoiled by the fantastic instructions that come with patterns from indie designers plus I've only ever made one other blouse before (my La Sylphide for the Mad Men Challenge) which didn't even have a collar so this little realisation stopped me in my tracks!


The cut out pattern pieces sat around for a few days before I decided that I really needed to get on with a bowling shirt or I was going to have nothing to wear. So I just went for it minus instructions and it turned out pretty well! I've actually proved to myself that I know more about construction than I think I do. How to put all these pieces together came sort of instinctively, there were a few aspects I puzzled over like it was a jigsaw but I didn't stand there clueless staring at the pattern pieces like I probably would have done a year ago.


The blouse is fully faced (along the centre front, hem and neckline) with quite wide facing which is a technique I have not tried before but really like. I decided the easiest way to construct this was to join all the facing pieces first and then attach them to the main fabric as one piece, like you might do with a lining. This worked out great, one continuous line of stitching at attach all pieces, pink and clip the seam allowances, turn right side out and press. I pinked all my seams for speed as I figured I wouldn't be wearing and washing this all that much.


The collar was really straightforward to sew up and attach. I'm glad the pattern didn't have a more complex collar with a stand or anything as I don't think I would have managed that without instructions! I was most pleased with how easily the sleeves were set in, I sewed in some gathering stitches in preparation but they hardly needed any ease at all and fit smoothly and neatly. The cuffs were also straightforward, before sewing up the sleeve seam I folded the interfaced band in half, stitched it to the right side of the sleeve, turned in, pressed and topstitched to highlight this detail.


I love the design features of this pattern; the rounded collar, shoulder darts and the nipped in waist. My favourite part is definitely the shaping at the hem.


As for the embroidery I chain stitched a small 'Fiona' on the chest. I love how this turned out! I did really want to do a big 'Spoolettes' motif across the back but didn't have time. Embroidery on that scale would be very time consuming and I didn't want to ruin the whole top by just scrawling across the back in a fabric pen, as tempted as I was. I'm hoping we can repeat this bowling meet up so I can add that to my shirt!


I'm also very pleased to say that this little sewing adventure, minus pattern instructions, marks the completion of my 2013 Sewlution! I signed up to Karen's sewing resolutions challenge last December and my pledge was as follows:


Well I think it's time to admit that my addiction to sewing has truly taken hold this year and to date I've completed 20 garments, smashing my target of 12 and there's still a month to go! This bowling shirt also completes the second part of my resolution being made from a vintage pattern. I've got to say I really enjoyed working with this pattern, I love the little vintage details, so hopefully next year I'll be able to make use of my collection of patterns from the 1950s and 1960s which my wonderful Nan gave me when I first started sewing.


I think all that can finish this post off now is a few pictures of the Spoolettes enjoying themselves on Saturday!


16 comments:

  1. Was such a fun dayI cannot wait to repeat... your spoolette top was really lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rach! Can't wait to meet up again soon!

      Delete
  2. Squeaaaal I love it. That pointed hem and the lovely rounded collar make this a winner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was exactly those two features that made me snap up this pattern at the swap! Such a gorgeous shape!

      Delete
  3. I love your blouse! The fit, shape and fabric are gorgeous, and I really love the pointy hem detail; oh, and the collar!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lynne, it's a really gorgeous pattern isn't it, I'm going to have to try the other variations!

      Delete
  4. Aw I'm a 'virtual' Spoolette, I've got the badge but live too far away boooo! Hehe. Looks like a fun night was had by all! The bowling shirts are all fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All Spoolettes are welcome Gem! At least you know wherever you go now there are probably Spoolettes to meet up with!

      Delete
  5. Wooot! Your spoolette bowling shirt rocks! You gals were certainly the best dressed bowling team ever. And, congrats on meeting your Sewlutions challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Catja! I haven't made a specific Sewlution this year have you?

      Delete
  6. This is sooo cute and such a great shape on you :) I would definitely wear that day to day! Well done for completing it without any instructions when it was only your second blouse too- v impressive!
    I definitely want to be a spoolette, looks like you all had a fab time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I kind of enjoyed the challenge of making this without instructions, it felt like a real achievement! You can definitely be a Spoolette! It doesn't matter where you are!

      Delete
  7. CUTE!!! Also,I didn't realise you were in London! I'm so sorry we didn't get to meet up, maybe next time :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I'm in London! And always looking for a meet up so hopefully soon!

      Delete
  8. This is so cute and well done! Now I wish I were wearing this type of shirt for bowling... I'm sure you looked adorable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Pauline! You'd look so great in a blouse this style!

      Delete

I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!