Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Right off the Bat

I am not known for doing subtle well (I am sure that it comes as a shock that the person with purple hair does not do subtle well), so when Trystan announced this month's theme was hidden bats, I was at a bit of a loss.  Most of the batty things I make are over the top.  So I'll just call it hidden by my standards, as I didn't add batty earrings, barrettes, hosiery, etc.

I was at a particularly low point in my life when I made this blouse.  I felt like everything I did was wrong, work was terrible, my husband's grandmother had just passed away, and a dear friend disappeared off the face of the earth.  In an attempt to make myself feel better, I thought that perhaps if I tackled a sewing project, I might have more confidence.  I already had New Look 6179 in the pattern stash, and it looked easy enough.  I selected view A and grabbed this bat and spider fabric from the fabric stash.

(The story behind this fabric: I went into JoAnn's after Halloween and this fabric was 75% off.  I didn't have any particular plans for it, so I thought two yards would do.  There was something like two yards and four inches left on the bolt.  Rather than just have that four inches thrown away, I told the clerk I would take the whole piece.  She seemed to think I was just asking her to give it to me, though I most certainly was not.  It took considerable effort to make her understand otherwise.  Because those extra inches were considered a remnant, which is 50% off, and the fabric was already 75% off, those four inches she was thinking I wanted for free cost me a grand total of... EIGHT CENTS.)

Back to the review.  I didn't read the instructions before I selected the pattern.  If I had done so, I might have selected a different pattern.  Though cotton is the first suggested fabric, this pattern is designed for sheer fabrics; thus, French seams are used.  At that point, I made never tried to sew them, and considering how bad I felt about myself at the time, failure at this would have devastated me.

I am too stubborn determined to admit defeat, so I plunged ahead anyway.  I learned that French seams aren't so bad, but it is certainly weird to put right side to right side for sewing them.  Even now, I do have to double-check myself to make sure I've got it right.

This is a basic, loose-fitting blouse, so there aren't too many issues with fitting.  There is a slit down the front that is faced that I couldn't quite get to lie flat (enlarge the last picture).  The damn thing kept flipping outwards as well, so I tacked it down with some hand-stitching.  The upper seam is enclosed in  bias tape (I made my own from the fabric), and I threaded the ribbon through that.

Even after all my whining about the blouse, it wasn't too bad.  Once I got over my fear of French seams and my general malaise with life, this blouse came together rather swiftly.  Someone not wallowing in the depths of depression could do this blouse with beginner skills.

As for this other shirt, I think I got it from Target in their Halloween clearance.  It features an intentionally distressed bronze heart with bats fluttering away from it.

I just happened to wear this on a day when I was getting some bloodwork done.  The phlebotomist was surly to me from the moment she walked into the room, even though I was entirely polite and respectful to her.  After she drew the blood, she explained her rudeness was due to her being afraid of bats flying into her hair.  Apparently the cartoony bats from my shirt were going to come to life and attack her?  Bizarre.

UPDATE: Here is a close-up of the bat and spider fabric.



  1. The pattern on the blouse is really abstract, it took me until the last picture to realise there are bats on it! So in my eyes, this makes the perfekt stealthy bats for this weeks topic... ;)

    1. I've included more of a close-up of the fabric to show off the bats and spiders. It wasn't intended to be stealthy, but I will take what I can get. :)

  2. The fabric print is gorgeous!! I think it's subtle enough for a corporate outfit. The shirt is also very nice. We use to have bats flying over our head on the front porch at summer nights, I think thats a delightful happening when they chase the flies around us.

    1. I have worn both blouses to work several times, but the dress code there is non-existant, so I am not sure how they would hold up in another environment.

      Whenever someone tells me that they're afraid of bats (or spiders, for that matter), I point out that they both eat flies, mosquitos, and other yuckies, so they have our lives better. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

  3. Wow, it's a good thing you didn't wear your blouse that's covered in bats and spiders when you had your bloodwork done. Who KNOWS what that woman would have done! Too weird. :P

    I like French seams, but it does take some getting used to sewing them, doesn't it? I used to do them all the time before I had a serger. You did a beautiful job on the blouse! :o)

    1. It seems weird to me that a medical professional would be so... unprofessional. I would think that they should be able to overcome their personal biases to provide care.

      Thank you. Now that I am mostly used to them, I also like French seams. They certainly are a nicer way to finish seams than zig zags.