Friday, March 9, 2018

FO: The Sassy Stork Blouse (+ Craftsy Class Review)

I'm pretty all over the place when it comes to my sewing projects. I'm an avid planner - I plan the projects I want to make and even mentally earmark the fabrics to make them with, but that doesn't mean they get made by any certain time. I've wanted to make the Sassy Librarian Blouse from the Craftsy Class back when it was one of their only sewing classes. I've seriously had this class for at least 5 years. When I first bought the class, I downloaded the pattern and got everything put together pretty quickly ... then I looked at the size chart. I was several inches outside the max in the waist and hip. I was bummed at the time, but I always figured I would just grade the pattern up, but it was way beyond my skills back then. So this project sat. I still always loved the style and planned to make it, but I just never made the muslin to figure out the fit changes I needed to make. A few weeks ago I finally decided I'd waited enough and wanted to get one made at long last - all because of an adorable fabric I was super anxious to wear.
This fabric is from the From Porto With Love collection by Cotton + Steel and I adore these storks, folks. Aren't they awesome?! This is the perfect quirky print that isn't too overly cutesy, so I feel comfortable wearing it in everyday life. Also this peachy coral color is one of my favorites - it's the best pink for my coloring. I grabbed 2 yards of this in January at The Sewing Studio which really lit the fire under my butt to finally figure out this pattern. I love button up shirts, but I had never made one because I knew I would need to alter whatever pattern I used and I always chose to make something else instead. Now I have a super cute basic button up I can make at will :)
The reason I wanted to make this pattern so bad is undoubtedly the adorable collar. The class shows you how to make this version with the collar as well as another option with no collar, pin tucks at the front, and a tab with a bow on the top button - also really cute, and I will certainly be making one of those too. For my first try, I went for that collar. Let's look at it a little closer: 
I know my birds distract a bit, but it's there and I love it. I had to cut the collar in two pieces instead of on the fold so that I could keep the birds the right way up - not a big deal at all, and it meant the pattern used less fabric (which was a good thing since I was down to scraps by the end). The collar is a very simple shape with pointed ends - so much easier than a rounded collar to get it looking nice!  For the buttons, I hunted through my stash and came across these lovely pearlescent white ones. I grabbed these at The Sewing Studio in a whole tube for $2.00, so these were dirt cheap. They are thicker than average, and when making buttonholes just using the diameter of the button, I couldn't get the buttons through the hole. I had to dig out a 5/8" button (the ones I used were 1/2") and use that as the guide for my button holer. This is why it's always best to make a practice button hole on a scrap, and I'm really glad I got in that habit long ago. Also since we're zoomed in, I'll mention my one beef with this shirt - I was squeezing all my pieces onto just 2 yards to cut, and I made sure to keep the birds somewhat lined up when I cut just to keep the visual effect random, but that was all I checked. Wouldn't you know I wound up with duplicate birds right next to each other across the buttons? Ugh. It's not a huge deal since the pattern is pretty busy, so I don't think the average-non-sewer would notice. I just have to not think about it.
You can see my seam at the back of the collar in the back view. So now I just have a few birds yelling at each other, which I'm all about. As far as getting this to fit me, I had a bit of a duh moment in my muslin making. The pattern calls for fish eye darts on the front and back to pull the waist in 50s style. I don't have a 50s waist at all, so after measuring the pattern pieces I decided to cut my muslin to the pattern but leave off the fish eye darts. Problem solved! I did angle the hip out just a bit for a little more ease, but that was the only change I made other than leaving off the waist darts. I can't believe I waited 5 years because of such a simple problem.
So I'm completely loving my shirt! I love this fabric, and I love the neckline. I already have a few fabrics lined up for more shirts like this (some that are years old and bought just for this pattern). I really want to try the pin tuck front of this pattern too, so I'm sure you will see more of them. Yay for finally buckling down and getting this made up :)

Fabric: 2 yards of From Porto With Love Stork print quilting cotton by Cotton + Steel - $7.38
Pattern: The Sassy Librarian Blouse Craftsy class by Christine Haynes
Notions: pink thread - $2.00, Pellon SF101 interfacing - $1.00, 6 buttons - $0.20
Time: 6 hours
Total Cost: $ 10.58

Class Review:
Also as far as the class goes, it's very in depth - in fact WAY more so than Craftsy's newer offerings. This is both good and bad. The good thing is that you get lots of little tidbits from Christine to help you sew throughout the class. The bad thing is that if you don't need all the beginner information and just want to sew the blouse you still have to watch the whole class as you go to get the instructions as there are no printed instructions. I understand they probably don't want you to be able to print the pattern and sell it, etc, but it does make it a little annoying to try and fish through the class for the next step if you're more experienced with sewing clothes. So again - not a bad thing per se, just the class is more designed for beginners. Also there really isn't much said about what to do to get the pattern to fit you - it just tells you to make a muslin and make it fit - not giving much in the way of recommendations for alterations. I do remember that years ago when I first bought the class, it was super informative - in fact I still sew darts the way Christine shows in the class to this day. It's definitely worth a watch through to pick up new techniques plus the pattern is really cute. I would definitely recommend this class, or maybe even give it a watch on Craftsy Unlimited :)

*This post is not sponsored and I purchased this class with my own money. The post does contain affiliate links and I will get a small commission if you decide to buy the class. All opinions are 100% my own - I just really like this blouse :)

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