Milly Blouse – Part VII

Or, When Disaster Strikes. I was just working away on the blouse yesterday, anxious to finish it. Because this fabric mars or stains every time you look at it funny, I was constantly washing my hands and cleaning my work area so as not to damage the blouse. Frankly, a week of that was enough for me so I was happy to see the finish line.

Now, normally, I am a very solitary sewer. I hole myself up in my sewing room and completely lose myself in the project at hand. Enter sewing room visitors in the way of my honey (who usually just silently pokes his head in), Winnie Whiskers and No No Bad Dog. NNBD has already learned that Winnie’s claws are painful so he generally ignores her. If she makes her Yoda face and growls, he runs away or hides behind the nearest human. Well, not yesterday. The dog was barking, the cat was hissing, you get the idea. During all of this chaos, I was attempting to restitch and smooth out the outer band seam (that little hitchydoo in the photo) and inadvertently caught the outer band in my stitching. No big deal except that you cannot, never ever, get pin holes out of silk charmeuse. No can do. So, I’m already upset but think that maybe I will do some channel stitching on the band and cuffs to cover up this mistake. And that’s when I see the stain. Yes, a stain! Don’t ask me how this happened when I must have washed my hands a dozen times yesterday. The cleaners could probably deal with the stain but then I still have the matter of the holes.


Needless to say, I am really upset and at a standstill. I have enough fabric for new bands but the seam has already been trimmed and graded. The very thought of ripping it all out when I have miniscule seam allowances in some areas gives me nightmares. What I’d like to do is toss the whole thing out and start with a fresh piece of charmeuse (because I really want this blouse!) but I don’t think I have any more solid pieces in my stash. Grrrr. I think I will set everything aside and work on a quickie project today just to clear my mind and put me in a better mood. Worst case scenario is that I’ll buy some new charmeuse but I’m too mad to think about that right now.

ETA: Apparently, my stash knows no bounds because I discovered not one, but two, pieces of solid silk charmeuse. I had forgotten about these but discovered them as I was looking through my fabric catalogue. I have 5 yards of the red (which is a very pretty lipstick red) and ten yards of the pale taupe (my silver sample is in the center). Which one I choose will depend on what I can get in the way of chiffon. Okay, deep breath. I will do some fun sewing today and then tackle this project anew as soon as I have a few uninterrupted sewing days in a row. And buy a baby gate to keep the dog out of my room.



Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Butterick, Vintage Patterns

29 responses to “Milly Blouse – Part VII

  1. Darci

    Aargh! Nightmare! (I feel like I can comment now since I “introduced” myself via etsy!)

  2. Poor you! The blouse was looking so pretty too. I hope you can fix it without driving yourself crazy.

    I don’t have any pets, but I do have a 3 and a 6 year old, and I have to sew in an open plan dining room!

  3. Meredith P

    You have an awesome stash! I assume NNBD belongs to your honey (oh the sacrifices we make) 🙂 It’s obviously the dog’s fault (from a confirmed cat lover like yourself). I think I would just put it away for a few days, then do whatever I felt was necessary to salvage the blouse. But I have lower standards that you do. 🙂

    And I approve heartily of the baby gate!

  4. Meredith P

    Oh, and I should add, my current project is upholstery quality (foam, wrapped with polyester batting) cushions for the cats. I found polar fleece that will coordinate nicely with my sewing room. And washable, for the inevitable cat barf that sails their way. I may go get more to cover the rolling chairs, a la Gigi’s “salad cover” chair slipcovers. But, since they are cheap leather chairs from Office Depot, it’s not a necessity from a fur standpoint.

    I also refer to your various shirt tutorials whenever I make casual or tailored yoked shirts. Thank you!

  5. Helen K

    Gigi, sorry things didn’t work out. I always love following your work. Too bad about the animal fiasco.
    I recently had french doors installed to cut off access to my sewing room by my dog and cat. The dog ate some pattern tissue recently and chews on fabric.
    Best of luck with your next projects.

  6. Rosie

    Oh no. The silver is exceptional even though the other two colors are nice. I hope you can make the silver work.

  7. Sorry, Gigi. I also hope you can make the silver work. Good luck!

  8. CGCouture

    Bummer! I think that if you can live with the extra pinholes, I’d finish it anyway (assuming the cleaners can get the spot out)–they surely won’t be big enough for anyone to really notice, and you probably wouldn’t be comfortable with them being close enough to anyway.

  9. How annoying! Other than the child gate, I’m wondering if the amazing Gigi can use the blouse as a creative opportunity. I’m impressed that you didn’t pitch it right away. Enjoy working on the quickie project.

  10. ruth

    sorry to read about this blouse i was enjoying following your progress and looking forward to seeing the finished garment. better luck next time i hope.

  11. Summerset

    Grrrr. Just walk away for a while. Everything was so perfect, but I can see rows of top stitching to make it work.

  12. Ohh.. how frustrating!!

  13. Colleen P.

    Well….you could always sleep in it, right? I mean, who wouldn’t like to sleep in silk?!?!

  14. SewingLibrarian

    OH, I’m so sorry. This has been a wonderful project. I hope you can make it work somehow.

  15. jennifer

    Gigi, I am so sorry to hear about that. Just take a break for a day or two and come back to it. I like Colleen’s suggestion- why not sleep in it?

  16. I was holding my breath until I got to the end of the post…see this is why I want to be you when I grow up…15 yards of silk charmeuse in your fabric collection! And in such amazing colors!!! I’m sure that with a few days away from this project that you will make an awesome top!

  17. Drsue

    I feel your pain. A total bummer.

  18. Hatty

    Pinholes? Stain? If I send you my address will you send it to me? (Or you could finish it, have it cleaned, hang it in the back of the wardrobe and haul it out in six months when you will have forgiven it – or you will have got a small stain on the second version by then because these things happen.)

    BTW, what’s all this about not washing silk? The best thing to do is to wash it in cool water by hand with a little washing up liquid detergent (with no added mositurisers etc). Works a treat. If you’re going to trash this blouse, why not try that first? A little agitation just might get those pinholes out too.

  19. Janis

    I’m so sorry this happened to you, but it’s good to know others have these moments, too. Misery loves company, I guess. For me, it always seems like it happens when I’m being the most careful. It must be Murphy’s Law.

  20. Oh I am so sorry this happened to you. IT sounds like something that would happen in my house, except that here it happens all to often. A quick little relief project sounds perfect.

  21. While I’m sorry this happened, your dogs name made me snort diet coke (ok, beer) through my nose. And it was nowhere near any charmeuse. Sue

  22. I hope the end product is more stain resistant!

  23. mem

    Gigi you are such a perfectionist!! Which is why I love reading your Blog but really those pinholes require a microscope and that stain is NOT Spagetti Sauce I really think that a trip to the dry Cleaners will fix it . Its such a lovely shirt and the colour is just lovely ( as are the others) Good luck!!

  24. Oh no! I have two thoughts on this. One, if it really does stain that easily, will this be a blouse you can even wear very much without worry? And next, if you do want to save it, can you sew on a new band by hand or machine *before* you rip the other off? Hard to describe what I mean, but if you could do it in stages, then you wouldn’t have to deal with the minuscule seam allowances being completely on their own.

  25. Janie

    I would probably do a multiple stitch over the entire band in lines of crooked and over lapping stitches in button hole twist or shiney rayon threads. Even some of the ubiquitous repetetive diamonds or zig that machines have might do it. It’s a shame to not finish the blouse to wear even if you don’t add shinies and beads to this one.

  26. What a nightmare and what a shame it was looking so beauiful too .

  27. Irene

    Very sad. No brilliant ideas on the pinholes. As for the stain – I use a liquid fabric cleaner that is sold for cleaning fabric shoes, which happens to work very well on random spots that appear from nowhere. (My old sewing machine used to leave grease spots occasionally.) Always try on a scrap first, of course.

  28. vernonfashionstudio

    I can totally relate. I have a silk charmeuse dress with unwanted holes in the neckband after I applied it wrong. I abandoned it for the last year but it is on the list to be redone into something else.