Sewing the Mimi Blouse from Tilly Walnes

in needleworkmonday •  8 days ago 

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Do you remember that I have a strict sewing plan for 2020? And I am already behind this elaborate plan… There was the exhibition last week, two crochet shawls and wool from Iceland which distracted me from sewing. One of my goals was to make a blouse. A blouse would be perfect for me to learn to sew buttonholes and a collar, I envisioned the blouse to help me to be more accurate in cutting the fabric as it will be made from unforgiving woven fabric (my enemy). No more fumbling my way with imprecise measured patterns and lazy cut jersey. In my minds eye I saw myself sitting highly concentrated behind the sewing machine stitching tiny seams on delicate fabric to sew the perfect vintage blouse I will wear on official dates with people in awe of my skills in fashion and sewing…
And as always, it did not work this way :-DDD

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I started out with Tilly and the buttons pattern for her vintage inspires Mimi blouse which you can find in her first book Love at first stitch. By the way did you know that she has written her third book right now and it will be published in March 2020? Back to my Mimi… I love how the fit of the blouse looks on Tilly herself but as I am shorter, wider and on the same time less busty, I already figured that I will not look the same in this blouse (sadly). Also, the neckline is much to deep for my liking, but as the patten is well tested and in my possession, I thought it a good starting point.

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I decided to use a crazy patterned cotton fabric which was the scrap of a scrap (I made a skirt for a friend from this) and naturally the fabric was not enough which I noticed during the cutting process. So, I supplemented the blue fabric with a red one for the collar. The blouse has a relaxed fit so I decided to cut out the size four (Tilly has her own size chart) which normally would have been too small. The finished garment will have a bust width of 109 cm and 102 cm for the waist, both is wide enough to accommodate my 96 cm bust and 84 cm waist. While tracing out my size on transparent paper I already noticed the blouse will be much too long and the waist too low, so I cut the pattern at the marked line and slid the two parts 5,5 cm into another.

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The attentive reader may raise objections to my diligence, and she is right, as I have done all the before mentioned preparations last year. Now it’s Monday and I am sitting at my sewing table with a lot of precut pieces for a lovely blouse and I am not very sure which will be placed where. The one thing I could figure out was how to assemble the back with the yoke, but I needed a staring-party for this (if you have never done a staring-party that’s how its done: take your cut out fabric and assembly it in a weird pattern on the floor. Sit down and stare on the fabric. Feel how your eyes start to water. Stare more. Concentrate. Notice how the fabric is starting to get blurry. Don’t get distracted. Stare with all your might. STARE! Then stand up, go to your computer and google „how to sew the Mimi blouse“. Staring-party ends.)

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After all my puff sleeve sweaters I am fairly accomplished in sewing gathered fabrics together, so the yoke of the Mimi blouse did not pose an obstacle. The body of the blouse was done in no time and before starting to sew the sleeves I pinned the sides together to try the blouse on.
Sigh. Did I already mentioned I hate woven fabric? So, yes, I really hate it.
You perhaps cannot see it on the photos, but the armholes are tiny. And I despise to have small sleeves and armholes which cling to my armpit without any give. I always feel like sweating if these parts are too narrow. The rest of the fit is ok, but absolutely not flattering (in my eyes) - its strangely wide and small at the same time. I have a lot of room at the waist and belly but the fabric bunches up at my back and the folds look as if the blouse is too small at my hips (which is not the case). The neckline width is not as wide as I feared, but I still think it will look comical with the collar attached.
So far this is another fail in sewing a woven fabric pattern. I will try to motivate me to finish this blouse but search for a different pattern which will fit me better.

Or I should have minded Tilli's size recommandations... that's also a possibility :-DD

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Thank you @crosheille for initiating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community.
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Those armholes do look very small - but these were not part of the adjustments you made, I think? The bodice looks too wide for you at the shoulder, so I think you were right to choose the smaller size to cut out - but maybe there needed to be adjustment to get wider sleeves?
The folding at the back - I think this is maybe because the length adjustment was a little bold and the waist is maybe not sitting in the right place?
The fabric is lovely 😎😍❤️ The model is beautiful 💐😍😘 I blame the pattern!
Is there a longer sleeve variation for the mimi blouse?

So many compliments in one comment are not allowed (because I look like a tomato right now... I am great at blushing. I think I turned it into an artform) but nevertheless I love to get them 😍😍😍
Back to the blouse: I only adjusted the waist/length and as the ease was so big in bust and waist I did not anticipated the sleeves and armholes to be so small. I definitely would need a biceps adjustment, but now as all is cut out, its too late. But the sleeves have a little gather at the shoulder and one pleat at the biceps. I pondered to omit both and simultaneously to widen the armhole in hope I will then get a more comfortable fit at the sleeves.
WIth the back folds... I am not sure if it was my rude modification or if the blouse is made to be worn tucked in (I saw several photos of this blouse and I only like it tucked in).
I don’t think there is an official sleeve variation, only a variation for the neckline with a pussy bow tie. But I guess its not too complicate to elongate the sleeves... While writing this, I noticed, I would use a blouse pattern with long sleeves instead of modifying this one, as I am not pleased with the fit (so far).

You are so so talented!!! You are truly a brave needleartist! Can you sew one for me please :D? I like the fabric choices and I hope you will be able to find a solution to the unfit parts. The pattern and colours look good on you.
I too hate small armholes. I would feel claustrophobic and would start sweating too! When you say woven fabric, does it mean they are the non-stretchy kind?
I really should learn from you to just get down on it and start sewing a blouse. I always have this phobia of cutting the fabric wrongly and everything goes to waste. But starting it off with scrap fabric is a good idea.

Too many compliments.... I blush and turn into a tomato 🍅:-D Believe me, I am absolutely not talented, I feel like a needlework con artist, I have no real foundation and fumble my way through the projects...But nevertheless I would love if we all would live nearer and it were possible to help or even sew for one another.
And I am absolutely sure you could tackle such a blouse (or any other sewing project) as you have enough experience in sewing and your are so neat and clever in all your projects, I don’t think it is important that you normally sew other things than garments.
And yes the scrap boxes enable my sewing 😂😂😂 I would never sew so much if I had to buy „real“ fabric, on the one hand it would be much too expensive and I would always get a heart attack if I make a mistake (which I do constantly as you all can read).
I hope you try out a blouse and find a nice pattern which fits you 😍🌈😍 (mine is abandoned under the desk 😱)

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Thank you so much for supporting me and this post. 🌈🌈

Sewing with woven fabric is brave, I prefer sticking with knits that have some forgiveness :)

Yes.. perhaps it was to daring to use woven fabric. I am still traumatised from my latest try of it (a skirt with pleads...I never finished it as I was unnerved after ripping the waist band open for the thousands time).
I am currently searching for sewing courses who tackle fitting and pattern adjustment but although I live in a really big town (which is sourrounded by other big cities) I only find the „hobby“ classes where people want to socialise not to learn. I am trying one of these classes right now, but I am not excited.
You see... I really want to learn to sew this sh*** woven fabric. REALLLYYYYYYY... ok I should stop now.

I have to adjust armholes for my narrow, sloping shoulders. I learned pattern fitting years ago from one of Nancy Zieman's books.

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I have one book about pattern adjusting at home its from Sarah Veblen and it seems to be very thorough... but I am still to inexperienced to really profit from these techniques. And one problem was that the overall ease in bust and waist (as I read in the finished measurements of the pattern) was so big that I did not anticipated the sleeves and armholes to be so small. I definitely would need a biceps adjustment, but now as all is cut out, its too late. I would love to learn to better understand how a bought pattern will fit on my body or how to adjust it before I sew.

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