Sewing a Blouse (Newlook 6407) Day 6

I have reached step 37. Nice and simple to start this session.

stitch down facing
With the front facing on the outside of the blouse (i.e. right sides together), stitch 1.5 cm from the edge. (My sewing machine thinks in metric.)

Trim facing close to the stitching but trim the shirt front to within 5/8th of an inch of the edge. (The rest of the sewing room thinks in imperial.)
I have also trimmed the corner in preparation for turning the facing back to the inside.

Again I use my trusty wooden letter opener to push out the corner.

Step 38 instructs us to press up the hem, This sounds simple but is a little tricky as the hem is curved.

The tool in the photo is very useful. I bought it in a fabric shop and I love it. A tape measure is a nuisance when doing this type of thing, especially when a hot iron is involved. I did iron a plastic tape measure once. Being me I kept it just in case it should come in handy and, in fact, it did! I made a fiddle quilt, and incorporated a short length of it in the design.

Anyway, back to business...

The fiddly job of tucking under the raw edge to meet the crease we created. Use a tool (in my case the wooden letter opener) to hold it in place whilst you press it down. This saves your fingers...
Creases will appear, hopefully mostly in the tacked under edge but inevitably, I think, in the hem too. However the right side of your shirt must not have any creases. It is possible but a bit fiddly....

(Don't forget, you need to get your burnt finger immediately into cold water and leave it there for 10 mins. When I say immediately, please check the iron is in a safe position first.)

Did you notice my lovely ironing board cover in the above photos? Well, I'll let you into a secret - I have draped a piece of fabric over the ironing board so that my stained cover is not visible. I intend to make an ironing board cover from the fabric. Maybe that should be my next project...

Now, I am using a different colour because I am using the bloggers form of time travel to suggest that you check your bobbin before doing the hem, as it is very annoying to run out part way along.

Onwards. Stitch the hem in place. Carefully. Slowly and carefully. Maybe using a few pins.
Keep the fabric under a little tension but don't stretch it otherwise it will distort and look very odd.

It turns out that pins, quite a few pins, are very necessary.

Press! Taa-daa!

Let's not celebrate too early.
Now for the front of the shirt. Step 39 is simple enough - stitch 2.5 cm from the front edge - if you go slowly, from top to bottom. This is counter-intuitive when stitching the left side, because you will need to have the bulk of your shirt to the right of the needle, but always stitch from top to bottom as any tiny gathering of fabric cannot be tolerated at the collar but will disappear at the hem. Really, it will. If a big gathering occurs you have a more serious problem.

Oh no! The dreaded button holes. Step 40 calmly suggests you mark the button holes then make button holes at the markings. I can't be the only one who begins to panic at this stage...
Some notes about button holes

  • Are the buttons you have chosen the recommended size? If not, adjust the button hole guide in the pattern accordingly
  • Make a short dummy front of blouse (one piece of fabric with iron-on interface stitched to a second piece without the interfacing).  
  • Make sure the non-interfaced piece of fabric is on the top
  • Mark the buttonholes carefully, a top and bottom line with a stitch line in between.
  • Select your button hole option on your machine and sew a button hole on your mock front.
  • Make note of what went wrong.
  • Using your newly acquired notes, make a second button hole
  • Cut your buttonhole and try to fit one of your chosen buttons through it
  • Adjust button hole size accordingly
  • Maybe try some more
  • Make sure you adjust the button hole guide to reflect any changes to buttonhole size or spacing
  • Mark your buttonholes on the shirt front (RIGHT side - this is on the left as you look at your shirt....)
  • Fill your bobbin. You do not want to run out part way through
  • Visit the bathroom, find your glasses (probably in the bathroom), shut the door, switch off the radio, unclench your jaws, relax your shoulders and sit back in your seat.
  • Attempt to do your buttonholes on your blouse but with great care. I know you have practised but this is real...
  • DO NOT cut your button holes until you have very carefully checked that they are correctly spaced
  • Once you have a full set of correctly spaced button holes...
  • Slide a pin across the top of the first button hole and cut very carefully (with a sharp unpicker) towards the pin within the space left between the stitches. Do not cut the stitches.
  • Stitch over neatly, by hand, any buttonholes which have had any stitches cut

If things go wrong, maybe try to make a feature of it somehow....
Good luck.

New buttonhole guide
check spacing
Cut buttonholes
Draw buttonholes
Mark button positions

Sew, what next?