I was one of the instigators of the recent Edinburgh meet up for sewists #sewscottish which was a total joy. We had a little fabric swap and I totally lucked out with this little parcel of black viscose with giraffes thanks to Shelly.
In my day job I’ve been working with conservationists supporting projects all over the developing world for 8 years. It’s been my sad little aim to get biodiversity themed fabrics into all my big meetings. My succeses include wearing an elephant printed dress to an elephant poaching meeting in London, tropical foliage skirt to a meeting at the Botanics in Edinburgh and leopard print skirt to a meeting at London Zoo. So finding a non-juvenille giraffe fabric is a major coup.
This is my 3rd attempt at the Anderson blouse from Sewoverit and is definitely my best yet.
Things I’ve found from previous makes
- the sizing is huge. My measurements suggest a 16 but I’ve cut a 12 this time and there is still plenty room
- the shoulders are massive – I’ve graded down to a size 0 and could still take them in a bit
- when you grade down the shoulders it leads to the seam line running backwards along the shoulder. I forgot to adjust it this time so it’s still not perfect.
- the ribbon closure at the waist is fiddly to do and always comes out in the wash. I’ve changed it to elastic. On a previous make I did the elastic too tight which means the shirt rides up to my natural waistline. This time I made it looser (hip width) so it doesn’t ride up.
- the overlap in the pattern is quite minimal. If you have sizeable boobs this means the shirt gapes a lot. I ignored the pattern and fitted it to my body so that it would still be able to slip over my head but wouldn’t expose me if I sat down. The pattern suggests a couple of stitches at the crossover point to prevent gaping but I prefer to wear this with a vest underneath – it’s February in Scotland and it’s waaaaay too chilly to just wear a blouse.
- on a previous make I ignored the cuffs and just put elastic in. For a parent of small babies this was brilliant as I could roll my sleeves up in seconds. I decided to go back to the pretty button closure as I was going to wear this for work when there were no stinky smelly children around. I forgot that I have to deal with the little stinkers before and after work though!
- I’ve also sewn down the front facing as Mr King hates ironing my other shirts and just ignores the facing so it flaps and looks wrinkly.
So all in all the original pattern is nice but I prefer it now I’ve done all these adjustments. From my wander around the Internet it seems a lot of people have had similar approaches to this blouse.
And as a final bonus – giraffes! I’ve got a freaking blouse with giraffes on it.
Except that now I’ve come back from maternity leave I’m no longer working specifically on biodiversity and moving more towards mainstream poverty alleviation projects – dunno how I’m going to theme my outfits for work meetings when the meeting is something like “ecosystem services for poverty alleviation” or “an evaluation of the programmatic approach to the climate investment funds”.
Maybe I should design my own fabric??
Look at that happy little face!