Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taffy Blouse Finished!

After 2 muslins and a million ripped seams, it's done! The muslins were worth it though, because I love how the fit turned out.  I ended up doing an FBA, moving the darts, and re-drawing the side seams (which were almost straight) so that it tucks in a bit more at the waist.

I used a dark purple synthetic shear mystery fabric for the main body.  Being flimsy and slick, it was a little tough to cut out so I traced the pattern onto freezer paper and ironed it to the fabric.  That stabilized half of the outline, and I folded other half over top of the paper and cut it out with a rotary cutter.  It would have been easier if my starting piece of fabric had been smaller - as it was, it kept sliding off the sides of the table and pulling everything wonky.  I got through it though, the sewing was surprisingly easy, not even too much fraying.  

For the bias bindings, I used a lightweight greyish-blue fabric that seemed to be natural fiber.  I had a hard time folding the binding because I had cut it just barely to size, and with the stretch on the bias the width tended to get smaller.  Next time I will cut 10-20% over-size if I have a light fabric like this. 

Both fabrics were in my stash from a craigslist score a few years ago.  The blue with the purple isn't the a stellar match, but it does look better in person than in the pictures.  It was the best option that I had on hand because of the drape.  I think it is really important for this blouse for your bias binding to be similar in drape to your main fabric.  If your binding is too stiff, it wants to stay straight instead of curling in and out on the sleeves.

This pattern is less fitted than something that I would normally pick to sew for myself, but I really like the result. I am convinced that it will get a lot of wear once summer rolls around. There are only 2 things that I will change on the next version (and there will be a next version - DH says it would look good in black). First, the neckline/shoulders ended up a little broad. I shifted my bra and tank straps out for the pictures, but normally they tend to show, so I will take some width out at the shoulders.  Second, which you can't see because I pulled it straight for the pictures, is that when I move around it tends to develop a kind of sagging/smile wrinkle that goes from the sides at the waist to the front middle below my belly button.  I have no clue what to do about this, although I suspect that it comes from curving the seams in at the waist.   The weirdest part is that I think it was worse before I hemmed the bottom. Anybody cured this before?

All in all, I'm so glad I made this, and I really do recommend the whole book. For one thing, the instructions for the patterns are excellent. The diagrams  are clear, and the techniques are all explained right there in the book.  For this pattern, the main techniques were creating and using bias binding and sewing french seams. I did double-check on the Colette Forum about the finished size of 1/2" double fold bias tape (which is 1/4". Damn whoever came up with that one!) The approach that the book teaches of going slowly and focusing on the quality of your work, combined with the clear and easy instructions, helped me achieve something that I think is the best clothing item that I've sewn so far.


  1. I really like that color on you, Ruth. The style suits you too. Very, very nice.

  2. This is the nicest fitting Taffy I've seen so far. I'm about to sew one and I hope it turns out as nicely as yours!

  3. You have done a marvellous job on your Taffy! I love the purple and blue combination - it's so pretty on you. You've got a lovely blog!

  4. Hi Ruth! I've seen your beautiful wears in the Sew Colette flickr group, but I'm new to your blog. I LOVE the way your Taffy turned out! Such gorgeous fabric, and a great fit. Very nicely done :)