Midnight Garden - Blouse - Part II
The Button Loops and Placket
Because I couldn't find a zipper color that I was happy with, I ended up having to find another closure for the blouse. I decided on buttons and loops, but then had to add them to the already constructed blouse. It is easier if done at the outset, before the side seams are sewn, but weren't terribly difficult to add later.
The placket was needed so that there wouldn't be a gap between the loops and the opposite side seam and to provide a place to sew on the buttons. Most of the time, these plackets are rectangles of fabric sewn into the appropriate seam. Because my side seam is curved to fit the body, I chose to cut my rectangles on the bias so that I could shape the placket to the shape of the garment and body.
In many cases, one rectangle, double width can be cut and folded in half before stitching the short ends. I chose to make one side out of the fashion fabric and one side out of the lining. I stitched the rectangles right sides together on both short sides and one long side and turned the unit to the right side before stitching into place to the fashion fabric. Below you can see the placket stitched in place. After the hems were put in, I fell stitched the lining to the placket on the inside to finish the blouse.
To make the loops, I first made bias tubing. After cutting 1" bias strips, folding them in half and stretching while stitching 1/8" from the fold, I trimmed the seam allowance and turned them to the right side with the tube turner shown below. The tube were then wet with water, stretched again and pinned to dry. These steps are important as they prevent the loops from stretching later after repeated use. I certainly wouldn't want gaping button loops on a blouse!
While they were drying, I made a template for the button loop position. I traced the size and shape of the opening, and then started to play around with button position. Every garment will be different depending on the size of button, size of opening and how close you need the buttons to be. Don't forget too, that for a decorative effect, buttons can be clustered in groups of 2 or 3 with a space in between clusters. For the space I had, I decided on 12 evenly spaced buttons and loops:
After determining placement and length of loops, I stitched the loops directly to the paper, one side at a time. It is easier and more precise to sew one side of all the loops and then pin and sew the other side rather than pinning and sewing everything at once. This is a great tip I picked up from Shannon; check out her post on her loops for her beautiful Go With the Flow dress.
The paper with the loops attached is then trimmed and stitched into placed to the fashion fabric on the side opposite of the placket. The paper is removed, leaving just the loops. I then placed the lining and fashion fabric right sides together at the opening and machine stitched them together - this gave me added insurance that the loops wouldn't pull out and was just as easy as finishing by hand with fell stitches.
The blouse is done by this point, of course. Tomorrow I'll show you the finished blouse, and next week I'll show the finishing details for the skirt and jacket. I'm still trying to catch up on posts for the ensemble, plus I'm waiting for the accessories. I'm watching an auction for the purse that won't be over until next week and I still have to make the jewelry (next weekend!), but it is all coming together! Finally!
Q/A: I had a few questions from both Nancy K and Vicki regarding the fitting book I got for Christmas. They wanted to know if they actually should buy Fabulous Fit since they already own Palmer Pletsch and other similar books. Does anyone have both the Palmer Pletsch and Fabulous Fit and know if they compliment each other or are redundant? If you know, please leave the answer in the comments, as I'd like to know, too!
Parting Shot: Fabric Mart! I got my Fabric Mart order today! Leopard and plaid - both exactly what I wanted! Maybe I'll make that wrap top from the new BWOF from the leopard.