It is not often that I buy home sewing patterns. When you spend your whole day making them like I do, why would you? But then I discovered DP Studio and why would you not! These patterns are exciting, innovative, and fashion focused – I bought two!
I ordered direct through DP Studio, but found out later that Miss Maude Sewing stocks a selection of DP Studio patterns in New Zealand (so you might want to check there first to save $20 of airfreight!)
I cut into this oh-so-beautiful Liberty Art Fabrics silk chiffon from The Fabric Store. It was being saved for something special, and DP Studio Le 604 Shirt with pleats and gathers was the perfect candidate. Almost. For a moment while cutting out I thought there wasn’t enough fabric- only 2m when the yield required 2.05m – but I made it! Cutting the inside cuff in plain black silk georgette, and jiggling the lay around got me there in the end.
What I love about this shirt (or is it a blouse? When does a shirt become a blouse? Maybe this qualifies as a blouse because of the floaty fabric, and the ruffles? But it has a collar and cuffs, which are strictly shirt aren’t they?)
Anyway, what I love about this shirt/blouse/whatever are all the design details – from the long elbow length cuffs, the multiple front tucks that conceal the bust dart, the quirkiest cutest collar ever, to the sleeve head ruffles – every detail works together to create a really interesting piece. It always garners compliments!
Consequently there is a lot of work involved in sewing this pattern – don’t think you will whip it up in an afternoon! DP Studio have rated this pattern for experienced sewers, and rightly so. My chiffon shirt took me about three days. Not helped by the fact that I sewed the wrong sleeve into the wrong armhole – wow has it been a long time since I did that! I had french seamed it too, and it looked so beautiful, and I had just pressed it, and I held it up to admire, as you do, and thought hang on, something’s not right here… know that feeling?
There were a couple of moments where the instructions left me scratching my head and wondering exactly how things were intended to be sewn, but nothing that can’t be solved with a little creative license. I plan on writing a second blog post showing exactly how I made the ruffles, as well as the tucks and front band, and maybe some other bits and pieces too. Hopefully this might help someone who gets a bit stuck on these technicalities and runs to Google for help!
Buttons can really make or break a garment, so for this blouse I ordered some pancake shank covered buttons from my friends at Hawes & Freer using their excellent covered button service. They look so dainty and I think they really finish things off beautifully. My Pfaff Passport 3 executed the buttonholes perfectly too (always a nerve-wracking moment!) In fact I sewed the complete shirt on this machine and it handled the silk chiffon with aplomb.
Random buttonhole tip for silk chiffon and other fine fabrics: Make sure you clip away all fabric threads passing longitudinally down the centre of the buttonhole. If left, these catch on the button when unfastening, and create flaws in the fabric around the buttonhole. (I know this because at my first job in the fashion industry, this was one of my tasks!)
So what do you reckon – is this a shirt, or a blouse? What’s your definition of each?
And when was the last time you sewed the wrong sleeve into an armhole?