Saturday, 8 December 2012

The No-Tell Pendrell

 Okay, I'll tell the secret of this Pendrell Blouse.  It's made of a bedsheet.
I've seen many bloggers make wonderful garments out of bedsheets.  Sue at Sewing Steady did a great post about it recently- look at the amazing results some people can get!
However, today, I am not one of these people.

Very unimpressed.
I thought I'd make this Pendrell Blouse from Sewaholic Patterns as a "wearable toile".  I'd already made one to test the fit, so with some tweaks I thought I might get something decent.

To be honest I don't think I'm sold on the idea of a wearable toile/muslin, as I don't want garments I only kinda like.  If I'm going to put my effort into finishing it properly I want a result I love!
However, I don't think this top was ever destined to be great- the bedsheet doesn't really drape well enough for this style.
Looking at the garments others have made with bedsheets, they seem to suit a more structured garment.  A good learning experience I suppose?

Okay, I'll give wearable toiles one thing- they do actually give you some practice at the finer points of construction that you wouldn't get with a no-frills toile.

I found for instance that I will change the construction slightly.  The instructions say to attach the bias tape around the armholes and then sew the side seams, tacking them down at the top.  I think maybe Tasia chose this way to make it easier to sew.

Following the pattern instruction

I feel it looks much nicer with the binding covering the side seams like so:
I think I'll do it this way instead.

A major thing that bothers me about this garment is the puckered neckline.  My leading theory right now is that when I staystitched the neckline, it eased in the fabric a bit.  Any other thoughts?  But see?  Another lesson from a wearable toile..  Hmm, maybe they're not so bad.
If I liked this garment more, I might try fixing it.  But I don't, lol.
Puckers, wrinkles, it's got it all.
Also, any thoughts on the back?  I got a severe case of meh-ningitis about it in this case, but I'd like to improve it when I make it in Proper-For-Real-Fabric.

Some interesting wrinkles here..
Unfortunately, I can't really see myself enjoying wearing this.  It just doesn't look so hot, in my opinion.  I think my seams look kinda crummy too- puckery.  I'm not sure how to avoid this problem.. for now I'll try to blame it on the bedsheet.  lol.

Well, the road to success is paved with failure I suppose.  My next one will hopefully turn out much better! 

Oh and thank you guys SO much for all your kind words on my previous blog post about my first birthday of being well :)  It was very touching!


  1. Umm, I think this turned out adorable, especially with that cute little bow! I'm much more critical of my own makes, than others' I suppose. I see the bit of puckering at the seams (mostly just at the back?) but think the top is still cute and wearable, just maybe a bit casual? All in all, I say nice work! Oh, and I'm totally with you on the armhole bias binding method.

    1. Thanks! I know it's so easy to lose perspective when it's your creation, isn't it? I have a much nicer fabric to use for the next one though!

  2. I think this turned out to be a cute top, and is totally wearable! Bedsheets are often made out of stiffer fabric which doesn't mould easily, so I think this is where the puckering comes from. Anyway, I don't think that the puckering is so bad! Maybe you are just more critical with your own work?

  3. I think it's cute - I like the colour and the bow. Can you get it on and off easily? There doesn't look like much ease in it - which is nice but the top has no closure and has built in ease. Puckering around the neckline - did you press after staystitching? I found puckering on my Banksia neckline after staystitching which was much better when I pressed. Also for topstitching down the bias tape on the neck and arms I always now use a slightly longer stitch - a 3. I don't know what the puckers on the princess seam are for - I'll have to check my Pendrell - I think it's the curved princess lines and I've noticed this on a lot of finished Pendrells. It could be the fabric. On slippery lining fabric I've found slight puckering no matter how perfectly I've tried to sew!

  4. It's a great start. You should reduce the back piece at the waist to reduce the excess fabric. The color and shape of the blouse looks great on you...

  5. I really like it! Especially the contrast edges and that darling little bow - so cute! But I know we're all our own worst critics. I'll tell you this though - my least loved garments are the ones I wear the most, because I don't care if I mess them up! So I wear them for cleaning the house and other kinds of grubby work, LOL!

  6. Oh, I really like this! I think it's super cute!


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