I’ve finally branched out in my sewing endeavors and have tried a few things beyond quilts! I was inspired by a class offered last winter at JP Knit & Stitch, a local fabric and yarn shop. With guidance from the teacher, I completed my first shirt – the Jasmine blouse by Colette Patterns.
This was my first class at JP Knit & Stitch, and I hope it won’t be my last. Jennifer, my teacher, was lovely and very knowledgable about sewing. She guided the small class of beginners through the process of shirt making. JP Knit & Stitch was incredibly helpful – they added on another class so that we could get the extra guidance we needed in this process. Several months later, when I was almost finished with my shirt but still had a troublesome fit problem, I went in for help. The woman working was able to provide me with a few really useful tips that helped the neckline to lie flat.
Now, on to the pattern and garment construction. Having never used a pattern before, I can’t really compare this to another. There were several things I wish I had known or would do differently next time. I hope this will help someone else starting out on their first Jasmine blouse. I picked a very thin and flowly chiffon type fabric for the neck tie. Although lovely to look at, it was extremely difficult to work with. This was probably not the best fabric choice for a beginner. Alternatively, I could have tried a spray starch to stiffen it up and that might have made cutting, pinning and sewing less frustrating.
When choosing my pattern size, my top half was just shy of the measurements for the size 0, whereas my hips were between the size 2 and the 4. I went with the larger size, and figured I could then take in the chest and shoulder area. I should have made more alterations to my pattern pieces from the beginning instead of cutting out and sewing for the size 4 and making adjustments later. There was just too much extra fabric and I wound up having to take the entire thing in several times. I still think the fit is not quite right. Next time I’ll cut out the smaller pattern pieces for the top and then adjust the waist to flare out towards the larger size.
Lastly, this was probably not the best pattern choice for a first shirt. Although I learned many valuable skills which will be transferable to future garment construction, it was a bit challenging for a first project. I had several moments of extreme frustration where Mike had to calm me down and make me walk away from the sewing machine. An easier tank top or sleeveless style might have been the way to go. But of course, I wanted something with a bit more flourish.
This shirt is perfect for the hot summer months as it is very lightweight and cool. My next project might be a bit easier and quicker though. Perhaps a Sorbetto top for those warm evenings?