turning violet, violet

Remember when, a few weeks ago, I wrote about how I am very nearly the slowest sewist alive, and I embrace that? Well, my friend Antoinette (of TangerineTrees) apparently decided to take that as a challenge. She invited me to the world’s-smallest-and-fastest-sewalong, since she had just acquired the Colette Violet pattern, and it had been languishing in my stash for a long while. Yes, I know that now is supposed to be the time to focus on the Laurel for a variety of reasons, but I guess we’re rebels like that. ;-) Join us in 2016 for our Laurel sewalong!

I knew this would be a (hopefully wearable) muslin, but still, to trace/alter/cut/fuse/construct over the course of a few days would be a tall order for me. One that I failed at actually, but … I’m still calling it a win since I only finished one day late! This was my first blouse with a collar, since I’ve fallen quite behind with the Archer sewalong. If only my hands would work as quickly as my plans.

Colette Violet

I really like this feminine, classic design. For a t-shirt-and-jeans girl, it says a lot that I think this could be an oft-worn style in my wardrobe. It will go great with my plethora of jeans, but I could cute it up with a skirt or any variety of accessories. This is my first Peter Pan collar — not just self-made but in the entirety of my closet, but it won’t be lonely for long because I’m already scoping out Violets number 2, 3…

Regarding sizing, I wasn’t really sure which way to go, because this was my first Colette make — not counting the Taffy blouse, with which I went so far off course that it can’t be considered. I started with an 18 (46″ bust). I did this because, while I usually choose the 44″ bust size to fit my shoulders, I figured that the C-cup block would make a difference. It worked fine, but I will shave off a little from the front upper chest between the armscyes next time. Aside from that, the only other change I need to make is to pivot out a bit more at the hips, which is an adjustment that I should have made this time but miscalculated.

Colette Violet

I lengthened the top about an inch, so I decided to add one more buttonhole at the bottom, spaced just as the rest were without redistributing them. I do like the eight, but that’s about the only thing I like about the way these buttonholes came together. My one-step buttonholer on my sewing machine starts at the bottom of the buttonhole, so I should have worked in from the shirt’s edge, but I sewed the first one the opposite direction, and it came way closer to the edge than I’d anticipated. But since I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than unpick a buttonhole on a wearable muslin, I ignored the warning bells and trudged forward with the remaining ones. Problem is, since I didn’t grade up enough at the hemline, the buttons want to pull all the way to the end of the buttonholes. Not a good look:

So, I decided to slipstitch the whole thing in place so that the buttons will stay a tiny bit away from the edge of the placket. Fortunately the shirt can slip over my head so I don’t need the buttons to be functional. But yes, this slipstitching took quite a bit longer than unpicking the one buttonhole would have. Thanks for noticing.

Due to the sizing missteps, time will tell how comfortable I find this particular make. But I love the design, and I consider the wearable muslin a success — I know what I want to change, and I learned a lot about blouse construction in the process. Thanks for the challenge, Antoinette! (Her Violet is here!)


P.S. Do you Instagram? It’s fun! I joined a long time ago but have become much more active recently. The pics I post are often sewing-related, e.g., my progress during this sewalong, but I sometimes snap doggy, foodie, other life photos… I’m moonthirty there if you want to play. :)

Comments 18

  • This is a VERY wearable muslin. Great job. And I promise that only you can see the “issues” with the buttons. Can’t wait to see the next ones.

  • I can’t believe that’s your first collar! Darn good, lady! I love your fabric – has a vintage vibe, but perfect with jeans.

    • Thanks Gail! I think it helped that I’ve had some experience with sewing curves, from bag making. I knew to notch the he!! out of it before turning it out. This fabric was a very inexpensive cotton shirting from Fabric.com, which I ended up liking a lot more after it was made up… Story of my life. ;)

  • Feel the fear and sew it anyway! See, collars aren’t that scary. Good job. Btw, the real problem with your buttonholes is not that the hips need to be graded out but that they should run parallel to center front on a shirt, not perpendicular. Buttons will always travel to the edge of the buttonhole in the direction of strain (just everyday wearing strain). That’s why ready to wear shirts have the buttonholes vertical (except for the one on the collar stand usually). Well done on your fast sew along. I’m thinking more challenges like this would be good for you. Hmmm….

    • Thanks girl! Yes, I see what you’re saying. As soon as I finished the buttonholes, as I was looking at it, I was all… Wait, this doesn’t look right…. I checked our closets and Every. Single. One. of my & Al’s RTW shirts had vertical buttonholes, so I started doing some research… I found an interesting post which said, amongst other things, that vintage patterns often called for horizontal, which explains why Colette would lean that way. I’ll likely change it for next time though! Here’s that post: http://ooobop.com/2012/07/09/horizontal-or-vertical-buttonholes/

  • Hey! Well done, and so fast! :) I love the big reveal you did, and I think your fabric and button choices are wonderful together. There were all manner of little picky things I didn’t dig with this pattern, and it has been a challenge to decide which are me and which are the pattern. The point in the comment above, about buttonholes needing to be parallel to CF, makes all the sense in the world. I thought it was odd that the buttonholes were perpendicular, but went with it anyway! Look forward to seeing the new blouse in person.

  • This is certainly very nice for a wearable muslin! You might think you are a slow sewer, but i think in reality you tackle challenging projects that involve learning new things. I, on the other hand, keep making the same easy knits over and over! Whenever I try something new, it takes FOREVER. I’ll join you in 2016 for the laurel sewalong :)

    • Thanks, Megan! Actually, it’s both… I’m slow anyway, but exceptionally slow when trying new things. ;) People talk about whipping out simple t-shirts in an hour, but it takes me that long just to cut! S’ok though, it gets done!

  • Cute and it looks nice, light, and airy… perfect for the Texas summer~! Love that fabric, too! Hehe… I wish my hands could make things as quickly as I plan them, too. I’m such a slow sewer, too. :)

  • What a great top to add to your wardrobe and you’ve even got me thinking about making a top like this too. I’ve yet to venture into sewing something with a collar. I’ve got a shirt in the planning for my hubby to practice making a collar on and think the next one might just have to be one for me. Good tips in the other comments about the button holes and thanks for the link on the article :)

    • Haha, I like the way you think — the hubby’s shirt is the practice, then on to yours! Yeah, the buttonhole thing is really interesting… So many nuances and “rules.” :-)

  • I love your resulting shirt.. I like that pattern, as it looks smart, but comfortable and wearable. Do you have any problems with gaping at the bustline buttons? That is my usual problem area, so I get nervous with button up shirts…

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