Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Gemma Sleeveless Top


The decorations hung above my head are a sign Chinese New Year is coming soon.

This year I did not make any sewing plans. As a result, I felt a bit lost. I don't really want to work on any UFO since my last few projects were UFOs. So I'm not entering my store room for a while. After successfully tidying up my store room in 2019, I've once again reverted to throwing stuff inside the store room so opening the door could mean stuff falling on my head.  I do have some in-progress bag patterns I've been working on and off on. But I haven't resolved the issue of photo taking. I'm thinking of doing indoor shoots instead of relying on sunlight since I can no longer go to the stairwell to do my shoots. (dog issue) So what's holding me back is my lack of lights. Until I purchase them, my patterns are on hold. Also the space where I keep (dump) my fabric is a big mess. I'm by nature a messy person, so no matter how often I tidy a space up, it gets messed up again. (by me) Anyway, I was looking at the piles of fabric when I spotted this blue white Moroccan trellis fabric print leftover from a blouse I'd made for my daughter.

My daughter hasn't worn the blouse at all. Her reason? It doesn't go with anything. (she has a ton of bottoms) There was enough fabric left to make myself a simple blouse. I chose to make Gemma made by Rae. I've sewn a few Cleo skirts also by Rae so I was confident the top will turn out ok. So no muslin at all. It is a sleeveless blouse which a few years back would be a no-no for me because horror, to expose my bare shoulders/upper arm to the public is unthinkable. When did the no sleeveless blouse rule come about? When I was younger, I loved to wear singlets and sleeveless blouses. I was super thin then. I think after I had given birth, twice, my arms got flabby and I really hated to have them exposed to the point of extreme embarrassment. Recently, my arms became less flabby, by accident because I know I did nothing to make it happen. So yeah, I'm exposing my bare arms. It's no big deal. The sky won't fall down. Right?

As you can see, it's a simple sew. No sleeves, just bias binding (ugh) around the neck and armhole. Except it took me an exceptionally long time to make this blouse. Not because of anything related to the pattern. It was my serger who decided to be a crybaby. I accidentally got the upper looper thread snagged on something and it broke. Of course rethreading the looper thread shouldn't be so hard right? I only need to watch a youtube video a few hundred times. I watched the video in slow motion. I used my iphone torchlight to make sure I inserted the thread in all the right places in the right order. And the stupid machine would not serge. I threaded and rethreaded over and over for 5 freaking hours. Finally, close to midnight, I told myself I would do it one last time and if it doesn't serge anymore, I'm really going to throw the machine away. And of course my threat worked. The machine gave in and serged beautifully. I still can't figure out what I did wrong/right. Right after it worked, I went to google for a better Janome serger and would you believe there's actually one that threads itself??? It's Janome Airthread 2000D and costs $1,499 in Singapore. It's a bit pricey for me and I can't justify buying one unless I sew a lot of garments. Anyway I thinks it's wiser to be friends with my current serger.

Below are a few photos of me modelling the blouse. I paired the blouse with my favourite $12 Decathlon pants.
Overall, I like the fit of the blouse. It's not super fitted because this is woven fabric, not knit. It's comfortable and most importantly, my underarm flab does not get exposed. I don't really like that the blouse gives me a slight pear shape. I have a small hip so I can't imagine what it does to women with larger hips. Maybe if I make the blouse shorter?

I do have one big dislike of Gemma. The curvy bottom. It was a big pain sewing the hem. In the end, I did it by hand and I still couldn't get it to lie perfectly flat.
screen grab from made by rae

Gemma can be cropped as a crop top, have a ruffled bottom, or made into a dress. I'm most excited about making Gemma into a dress and am already auditioning fabric. I'm least excited about the ruffled bottom because um, I don't know any woman who would look good with a bunch of ruffles around the hip which make the hip look 10X bigger. Maybe someone stick thin?

Pattern details: I sewed size M (A/B cup size) but I used size L for length because I have a long body. The PDF comes with cup C/D size for the Front Bodice as well so it's actually a good idea to look at the layout and print only the pieces you need.

See ya!


Jackie said...

Very cute top. I love the fabric!

Jackie said...

PS Sorry about your server problems. I have a love-hate relationship with my serger. I would love it to work properly, but hate that my seams fall apart.

Projects By Jane said...

I've gotten better at using my serger. Recently I figured out the correct configuration of the knife position to avoid getting puckers on my serged seams. For the longest time I thought it was a thread tension issue. I've used industrial serger and they are pretty much the same as home serger - just as hard.

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