Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Portrait Blouse in Strawberry Print Knit


While in Palm Springs teaching at Heather Ross's workshop last week, I took advantage of a few quiet moments to whip up a top! This is Heather's own Briar Rose strawberry print in a jersey knit. It's a stable knit, kind of like an interlock, so I decided to experiment with using it in place of a woven. I used the Portrait Blouse pattern that's included in my book

Wow, that was a few hairstyles ago. In the book, the top is made in a silk charmeuse. I found that I could easily replace that with a stable knit. The best part? No side zipper required! The knit makes it stretchy enough to get over one's body. 

I changed the neckline slightly by making it lower and a bit more U-shaped. I finished the neckline with a 1/2" binding rather than the facing that's included with the pattern. 

Pretty much everything else about the construction was exactly the same as detailed in the book. The only exception is that I used a very narrow zigzag stitch (.5 mm wide) on the sleeve and lower hems to allow the fabric to stretch. 

I kept the bust darts and waistline dart tucks for shaping. All in all, it makes a great casual top sewn in a knit. Perfect for layering under cardigans and such. Give it a try on nice firm knit--nothing too slinky or unstable like a single jersey. 

23 comments:

  1. I'm dying. I'm dead. The cuteness of this blouse and your hair has done me in. I happen to love that print and seeing it in one of my favorite patterns? Yes!

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  2. Looks great I totally want a shirt out of that fabric.

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  3. Many sewers are afraid to work with knits. Me too, but I had to get over it. Knits are great for my kids. I highly recommend to make a start with a project even if you have "only" your usual sewing machine. (Today I am a lucky owner of a serger machine.) Just take a "not too complicated" pattern like yours, and give it a try. Once you see how your machine works with knits, it's rather easy if you take a rather firm knit fabric.

    Love your hair colour!

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  4. Double needle is a great technique for hemming knits. Has lots of give but still lays in like a straight stitch. If your fabric has lots of give lengthen the stitch length. Happy hemming. k.

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  5. That is so adorable! And thank you for this post (I was so excited after seeing your reply to my comment on your last post), I think I might just have to give that top a go next weekend!

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  6. Great info! I also liked seeing the tattoo work you have gotten done between the book photos and now, looks great!

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  7. I find your blog and love it and then realize you were in my town last week?!?! Damn it!

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  8. I am in love with this fabric! It looks perfect on you :)

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  9. Thanks for this suggestion. .. I might have to have a play with the pattern. One question though: when binding the neck edge, how do you work out how long to cut the binding piece? (Assuming you make a circle and quarter pin it and the neckline then stretch the binding to fit and sit flat? )

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  10. Love what you are doing and LOVE your new hair color. Thank you for sharing with the world! :)

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  11. :) Lovely as always my purple hair sister!!! Twin needle+ wooly nylon in your bobbin = perfect, stretchy hems on knits. I am now search my stash for a knit to make me one of these tops!!

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  12. you look so cute :) And the top as well, of course.

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  13. Either the purple hair or the brushing it away from your face or you've changed your makeup - this gives you a lovely chic soft younger looking face. I wish I knew which one makes you look younger so I could try it. I love love love the cotton knit shirt. The neckline is nice.

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  14. You are looking very cute these days - the haircut and style is fab!!! Love the top!

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  15. Loving that nice wide neckline, so clean looking....suits you....
    daisy J x

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  16. That is so cute! Maybe time to try that strech setting on my machine... Just got your book and love it. Totally cured my fear of making alterations to a pattern.

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    1. I know, right, Therese (fear of altering a pattern). I too am swallowing my fear and tackling THIS blouse next month for the "Make A Garment A Month Challenge" http://sewcroandquilt.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/1950s-shirtwaist-dress-january-make-a-garment-a-month-challenge/.

      Fun, nervously excited about my upcoming blouse and can't wait for Gertie's next book.

      Lyric

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  17. Trying to put into words with difficulty but I do not like the portrait blouse in THIS fabric. I keep looking at it and the one from your book and they look totally different to me. What a difference/day a fabric makes, LOL. The size zipper though for functionality seems to add something-something to the fit of the blouse. It's sexy, girl. Not so much for the strawberry portait blouse.

    Cute fabric but a thumbs down for this project.

    Loving THIS color choice in hair for you, Ms. Gertie.

    Thanks for being a force on the WWW.

    Cheers,

    Lyric
    http://www.sewcroandquilt.wordpress.com

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    1. Meant to type "side" zipper; NOT "size" zipper, duh.

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  18. Love this version of the portrait blouse. I actually just recently purchased your book and sewed the portrait blouse and I love it! (here it is: http://gjeometry.com/2014/01/20/a-plethora-of-new-sewing-skills-with-gertie-and-twinkle-a-freebie/) I sewed it in a navy knit and it looks very dressy and has a nice shape to it. I think I may try your version with the U-shaped neckline and binding. Love your strawberry fabric, too cute!

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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