Have you ever started a project and never got around to finishing it because of something small, like buttons? Or a bias tape finished hem? Or both? That’s what happened with my Datura blouse.
When I became a contestant for the Super Online Sewing Match, I had to send in a self-portrait. Holy smokes–who knew it would be so hard to find a decent photo of myself? All of the photos I’m in either include Froo or Boo or both. Even finding a photo of just the hubs & me is rare. So I threw on my Datura blouse with an open-flap back/unfinished hem and asked Froo to take a photo of me. This is the photo that ended up on the Sew Mama Sew blog:
Does the fabric combination look familiar? I must have been in a creative rut, sewing a shirt for myself using the exact same fabric in a baby girl’s dress:
In a “who wore it best?” contest, my little niece would win hands-down, with 100% of the popular vote. I must have thought it worked so well on her, that it would work on me, too. I was completely outstyled by a baby–I guess that’s why I never got around to finishing the blouse. The weather also cooled down considerably in July, so that might have something to do with it. Excuses!
The Datura blouse pattern is available from the Deer and Doe pattern shop. I think the chambray and country roses are fitting for my first ever French pattern:
But nothing is more chic than covered buttons:
Yay! My buttons are finished! I took the easy way out and omitted button holes, sewing the buttons straight through both layers. I used size 5/8″ covered buttons to make a dozen buttons, mimicking the look of a wedding gown. C’est romantique, non?
I would delve into the details of sewing construction, but I don’t remember making this blouse. Looking through my past posts, I must have started at the end of June, which isn’t that long ago! I’ll share what I do know:
- I made the blouse in size 38 and the fit is parfait.
- The instructions are sparse. Par exemple, the instructions read, “Stitch the remaining bias tape as hem facing, at the bottom of the blouse.” No illustrations, no detailed step-by-step dialogue guiding me through my confusion.
- I will definitely make it again. Encore!
I thought I would provide a mini bias tape hem facing tutorial, if you’re a visual learner, like me. As a disclaimer, I’m pretty new to bias tape and the method I use is the one that makes the most sense to me. There are oodles of online tutorials on how to make bias tape (I’ll leave you to find your preferred method), but not too many on how to sew a hem facing with bias tape. Even the good ones I’ve found are missing the crucial photo on how to start and finish when hemming with bias tape.
I made some bias tape with quilting cotton from Jo-Ann. I chose to use quilting cotton because it is heavier than chambray, creases better and provides structure. Besides, the dusty aqua with small and squishy polka dots is a fun surprise on the inside of the blouse! I cut 1″ strips on the bias and used the #12 (1/2 inch) Clover bias tape maker. This is what single-fold 1/2″ bias tape looks like:
My brain looks at that and I immediately think, there are 2 folds, that must be double-fold bias tape. Oh no no no. If you were to take single-fold bias tape and fold it again, in half, that would become double-fold bias tape. So my 1/2″ single-fold bias tape can be transformed into 1/4″ double-fold bias tape:
Step 1: Leaving a 1/2″ tail, align right side of bias tape on top of the right side of the shirt, a scant 1/4″ from the bottom edge. Pin.
Step 2: Tuck in the tail to align with the edge of the placket. Pin. (My placket is purposely inside out because I liked the look of it better this way.)
Step 3: Using the fold line as a guide, sew the bias tape onto the shirt. Your stitch line + scant 1/4″ edge should give you less than a 1/2″ seam allowance. Sew until you are about 2″ from the other end of the shirt.
Step 4: Trim bias tape to leave 1/2″ tail and tuck it in (as in Step 2), then sew down.
Step 5: Press bias tape up, towards the bottom of the shirt, tucking the edges of the shirt underneath the top fold.
Step 6: Trim edges as needed. Then press to the inside of the shirt.
Step 7: Press entire bias strip on fold.
Step 8: Starting from the bottom edge, top stitch the bias tape to the placket, then pivot the needle at the corner to top stitch the entire length of the bias tape. (I really should have started on the other side–I had to shove the shirt through the neck of the sewing machine!)
Step 9: Press everything in place and admire your work.
Step 10: Have someone take photos of you wearing your new Datura blouse. Froo was behind the camera again:
I must admit, I love everything about this blouse! If I had a wee complaint, it would be my lack of bottoms to match–I wear jeans 90% of the time and chambray on denim is just too blue. I haven’t worn these khaki pants in about a year. I kept trying to put my hands in my pockets, but the pockets are horribly shallow.
When I took off my blouse, Froo poked my belly and asked, “mommy, why do you look like a pumpkin?” I couldn’t stop laughing! Underneath my Datura blouse, hides a pumpkin–I feel a bit like Cinderella. Yet another reason to love the Datura!