Sewing the Mimi Blouse from Tilly Walnes

Portrait of a woman wearing her handsewn blouse und biting into the fabric

Do you remember that I have a strict sewing plan for 2020? And I am already behind this elaborate plan… There was the exhibition last week, two crochet shawls and wool from Iceland which distracted me from sewing. One of my goals was to make a blouse. A blouse would be perfect for me to learn to sew buttonholes and a collar, I envisioned the blouse to help me to be more accurate in cutting the fabric as it will be made from unforgiving woven fabric (my enemy). No more fumbling my way with imprecise measured patterns and lazy cut jersey. In my minds eye I saw myself sitting highly concentrated behind the sewing machine stitching tiny seams on delicate fabric to sew the perfect vintage blouse I will wear on official dates with people in awe of my skills in fashion and sewing…
And as always, it did not work this way :-DDD

Photos of Tilly Walnes book love at first stitch

I started out with Tilly and the buttons pattern for her vintage inspires Mimi blouse which you can find in her first book Love at first stitch. By the way did you know that she has written her third book right now and it will be published in March 2020? Back to my Mimi… I love how the fit of the blouse looks on Tilly herself but as I am shorter, wider and on the same time less busty, I already figured that I will not look the same in this blouse (sadly). Also, the neckline is much to deep for my liking, but as the patten is well tested and in my possession, I thought it a good starting point.

paper pattern and cut out fabric of the mimi blouse

I decided to use a crazy patterned cotton fabric which was the scrap of a scrap (I made a skirt for a friend from this) and naturally the fabric was not enough which I noticed during the cutting process. So, I supplemented the blue fabric with a red one for the collar. The blouse has a relaxed fit so I decided to cut out the size four (Tilly has her own size chart) which normally would have been too small. The finished garment will have a bust width of 109 cm and 102 cm for the waist, both is wide enough to accommodate my 96 cm bust and 84 cm waist. While tracing out my size on transparent paper I already noticed the blouse will be much too long and the waist too low, so I cut the pattern at the marked line and slid the two parts 5,5 cm into another.


The attentive reader may raise objections to my diligence, and she is right, as I have done all the before mentioned preparations last year. Now it’s Monday and I am sitting at my sewing table with a lot of precut pieces for a lovely blouse and I am not very sure which will be placed where. The one thing I could figure out was how to assemble the back with the yoke, but I needed a staring-party for this (if you have never done a staring-party that’s how its done: take your cut out fabric and assembly it in a weird pattern on the floor. Sit down and stare on the fabric. Feel how your eyes start to water. Stare more. Concentrate. Notice how the fabric is starting to get blurry. Don’t get distracted. Stare with all your might. STARE! Then stand up, go to your computer and google „how to sew the Mimi blouse“. Staring-party ends.)

A woman presenting her handsewn mimi blouse and the pattern issues

After all my puff sleeve sweaters I am fairly accomplished in sewing gathered fabrics together, so the yoke of the Mimi blouse did not pose an obstacle. The body of the blouse was done in no time and before starting to sew the sleeves I pinned the sides together to try the blouse on.
Sigh. Did I already mentioned I hate woven fabric? So, yes, I really hate it.
You perhaps cannot see it on the photos, but the armholes are tiny. And I despise to have small sleeves and armholes which cling to my armpit without any give. I always feel like sweating if these parts are too narrow. The rest of the fit is ok, but absolutely not flattering (in my eyes) – its strangely wide and small at the same time. I have a lot of room at the waist and belly but the fabric bunches up at my back and the folds look as if the blouse is too small at my hips (which is not the case). The neckline width is not as wide as I feared, but I still think it will look comical with the collar attached.
So far this is another fail in sewing a woven fabric pattern. I will try to motivate me to finish this blouse but search for a different pattern which will fit me better.

Or I should have minded Tilly’s size recommandations… that’s also a possibility :-DD

Thank you @crosheille for iniciating and @muscara, @shanibeer, @marblely for hosting the #needleworkmonday. If you want to see more beautiful projects with yarn, fabric and most of all needles, follow @needleworkmonday on steemit. Or even better grab your needles and keyboard and join the #needleworkmonday community. You can read more comments on this post on my steemit blog.

If this is not enough you can find my post on Handmade on Tuesday and read even more about knitting and sewing, but beware most post are in German.

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