Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Simplicity 1590

I am not a fan of winter. The sudden change wreaks havoc on my body, and around the time of my last post I've been laid out sick to my gills-- my body can't decide if it's allergies, a cold, or just overly socialized. Probably a combination of all.

There is so much to update since last I posted! A crazy whirlwind of tiny but significant events... for starters, I've gone back to making lists of the projects I want to complete by the end of the month-- they were such great successes while I was living as a hermit in Arizona, why should it not be so while I am a hermit here in Texas? Even as I was rhetorically begging for my life to end from the symptoms of whatever ails me, I managed to complete so many of the projects on my rather ambitious list in November. The first of which was: 

Simplicity 1590

It occured to me after the last bat dress that I was making too many dresses, and I do realize that makes me sound mad as one can't really have enough... but, and I know this may sound silly, but part of the reason I have been constructing all these commercial patterns is to facilitate the sewing bug, as it's not an easy one to dive into like other addictive hobbies, and if I knew what blogs were when I was starting off I'd probably read into people's experiences like I do today. Anyway, I greatly digress.

Notice anything new, maybe? hehe...

I have a few peplum top patterns that I had trouble deciding to craft because it was indeed a peplum and a top that I wanted, and then it occurred to me that this particular one is a goldmine of useful skill building. It encompasses many, if not all aspects, of intermediate sewing level methods: bust darts, front darts, back darts, tuxedo style collar, buttons... all of which need intermediate tools like a button gauge, tailor's board and a pressing ham, knowledge on what interfacing to use... the list goes on! I say again, it's a goldmine!

I definitely recommend this particular pattern if you're looking to build upon your skill set with these tools to improve the look of quality in your work, or even to refresh yourself in case its been a while. Plus, it's hella cute for anyone.

I chose view B which includes all of the above details, and for the fabric I chose a Chillingsworth blender by Andover Fabrics and a dancewear material for the collar. Two particularly difficult materials; Andover fabrics is notorious for either over starching their cottons or they create them with a heavier weave then I can observe... I prewashed this material twice and there still seems to be residual stiffness, which is apparent by the tenacity of the folds created with simply pressing center folds in. This would by why they tell people not to construct garments with quilting cotton... but you can't find these kind of awesome prints in fashion material, so it makes it hard to heed that warning. Anyway, the dancewear might've seemed like a bad idea for a collar no less, but after observing the construction of t-shirt quilts while working in a quilt shop, I was convinced a t-shirt backing interfacing would work.

It did. It completely removed the stretch of this ultra stretch dancewear, while still retaining some of the natural drape. See? Quilters and garment constructors can learn from each other!

The blouse comes together in a total of 3 AHS: Freakshow episodes-- not so long. I almost hit a brick wall in the exact place where there seems to be a consensus where it is badly written in the instructions. The attachment of the peplum; other than this part, it's all very intuitive. I had debated creating a video on just this section, as people seem to have trouble preventing a bubble where the tie and peplum seam meet. 

I think the problem might be that either people haven't made the initial reinforcement in the corners, or they clipped into that seam after the peplum has been jammed into and attached to that seam-- which it seems to suggest from what I can tell. During the mock up, I simply clipped first then attached the vertical seam and followed through into the front dart when I stitched it up-- and voila no bubble, no pucker. That might've made things worse since I am not the best at verbal (written) direction...

I was a little lazy when it came to the tie-- I chose not to create it out of either of my fabrics. Instead, I used a black cotton lace that I had received in a lot of vintage notions in an ebay auction; I purchased it primarily for a tailor's clapper since I had never seen a clapper alone for how little I paid for the entire lot! Quite a find.

Finally, I finished the hem using a narrow lace ribbon... another momentary lapse of will-- I just didn't feel like turning under the seam so to hide the overlocked stitches lol.

I am also letting Ophelia model it alone, since the state of my face and body has been in a constant state of redness, puffiness, oozing liquid, and exhaustion since the beginning of November, heh.

My final notes on the pattern other than what I mentioned, it turned out to be a touch tighter than anticipated-- doesn't seem to be much integrated ease... or maybe it's because I've just been horribly swollen and bloated, since it doesn't appear to be tight on Ophelia who has been my identical measurements before being this sick lol.

As a side note, if you're thinking of using this amount of specialty material, do bear in mind that it probably can't be tossed in with the regular wash without horrible consequences-- my blouse will have to be dry cleaned.

More updates as I get better! Spook ya later, ghouls!


  1. Very cute Mari! I have that pattern so I might give it a go. I love the fabric choices.

    1. Thank you!
      It's a pretty great pattern, and for a while I wasn't sure if I was even going to pick the fabrics I did lol... glad I did!

  2. Oh, I hope you get better soon, Madame MM! There seems to be some really awful viruses going around these days that last forever and a day. I gave mine to the spouse, so that's practically a full month someone in this household has been under the weather.

    Do they actually make cotton for anything other than quilting any more? I never seem to be able to find any since Ant Hill closed. :( I really love your new top! Did you get a new iron? Was that it? LOL

    1. Yeah, it's certainly making its rounds-- I was sick first, then passed it to my husband... then he passed it back stronger lol. Admittedly, my immune system is as weak as a rice paper screen, so anything tends to halt my body lol.

      Ah Ant Hill fabrics... I remember that place-- best place for really unique buttons lol. It does seem like quilting has taken over the fabric industry, that is why us garment constructionists must keep up the pressure! Heheh.

  3. Looks amazing! My friend Kat is making the same pattern for our sew-a-long! I can't wait to see what she does! And like you suggested, I might add it to my pile of to-do!

  4. That is really, really, really beautiful.

    Happy festive season wishes,
    ♥ Jessica


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