Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Stabled Zebras- a gift Mimi Blouse (Still in its wrapping)

Hi everyone!

Gosh it feels an age since I last blogged- the weather was totally different for a start! Very happy that the days are now longer (this will also help me get my finished project photos up quicker, I hope!). I've been gallivanting off on holiday and, while I have been beavering away at a gift project, unfortunately I hadn't quite finished by the recipient's birthday and then said recipient wasn't at a gathering I expected them to be at by the time I'd finished! So it's still sitting in its wrapping paper.

Oh well, it's nice to have got the project out of the way, and although I don't have great photos as these were taking in a rush before wrapping, I don't mind sharing as the person this is intended for is not a huge user of social media so probably won't see it!

Mimi blouse front

Mimi blouse back
For the said gift I made the Mimi Blouse from Love at First Stitch. I'm sure you're all bored of me banging on about that book now, but I've kind of become obsessed by trying to complete all the projects! I have plenty of other sewing books and patterns that I've planned to make up, but I think there's something about the range being a nice manageable number of items to create and very easy to wear on an everyday basis that's making it jump to the head of the queue every time. I'm currently thinking about making up another Megan to replace the one I made that was too small- before I get started on another gift (and finishing up another project that I need to hem and photograph, but my darn twin needle snapped so am waiting for a replacement before I can get on with it!).

I've now made everything from the book bar the Lilou dress! Now that it's getting summery I'm sure I won't be able to hold out for long, even if it wasn't officially on my list of things to sew for this year (and I keep seeing lovely dress hacks using the Lilou's pleated skirt).  Margot (unblogged) and Mimi have been gifts for others although I hope to find time to make versions for myself soon.

Unfortunately as Mimi is still waiting to be received I won't know how well I've done with the fit (always a risk when making a shirt, but I'm hoping the gathered front will mean it works!). The friend I've made it for is a similar size to me, and it fit me fine (although a tad tight on the sleeves, so I hope this isn't an issue for my friend, erk!). And, in super-selfish reasoning, if it doesn't fit her then I can have it! Definitely not be the end of the world for me, as it was hard to part with those zebras, even if I bought them with my friend in mind.

This was my first shirt project and I think I handled it OK! The collar (again, my first) is maybe a bit wrinkly and the facing a bit prominent as the interfacing might have been a bit stiff for the fine fabric (a beautiful lightweight zebra-printed cotton from Simply Fabrics) but I'm hoping with washing it will soften up and lay nice and flat. I'm not sure I handled the curve of the collar perfectly either- but I was originally sewing to a deadline so didn't have time to re-do anything! I had grand plans to make a few test shirts in the form of PJs for myself, but of course didn't end up having the time.

These are also my first buttonholes! It didn't take me long to get the hang of them but they might be a tiny bit tight for the buttons- again, something that should ease up with wash and wear. You can't really see the buttons but they're vintage, from Angus's gran's stash. There are a few more that I hope to use up for myself, they're plain but sweet.

My next gifting project will also be a shirt- I'm making this chicken wax-print (top left- the blue floral at  bottom left is going to be my next Megan dress) from Goldhawk Road into a short-sleeved shirt from the Great British Sewing Bee 'Sew Your Own Wardrobe' book for my fella's birthday. I'm working on a couple of 'palate cleanser' projects for myself first though (although these haven't been as simple as expected- more on that in the next post).

 Do you have any favourite sewing books? I'm keen on turning my attentions to the Colette Sewing Handbook next- for the same reasons- the manageable number of projects and detailed instructions. I also adore the Gertie books- but there's so much in them it's hard to know where to start!

Until next time,

NorseOtter xxx


  1. Wowsers, this is gorgeous! How can you bear to give it away? You'll have to make one for yourself now too!! I'm finding myself a bit obsessed with Love At First Stitch too. I think I've made four versions of the Lilou skirt, but with different bodices. I have Gertie's books, and also the Colette book, but I know (from experience) that there are some fitting issues with the Colette book patterns. I would definately recommend googling the patterns first to see what others have said about them.

    1. Thank you! I know, it is going to be tough (and has still not gone to its recipient, despite my late reply!). That's a shame about the Colette book patterns, I was hoping they would fall into 'palette cleanser' territory, thanks for the heads-up!

  2. OMG! The chicken fabric! I was so tempted to buy this when I saw it on eBay a while ago! Can't wait to see the end result.

    1. It's great isn't it? And so reasonable on Goldhawk Road. There are so many great designs, it's hard to choose! There are some great pencil prints and key designs that I may not be able to resist next time x

  3. Would you mind me sharing any of your sewing projects on SSB in the future? I credit, link to your post and let you know when featured. https://facebook.com/sassysewingbees