A Tale of Two Suttons

I have such a long blogging queue…. and such a large UFO pile. Well large for me anyway. I have usually been a one project at a time kind of sewer. I blame the work shirts. I just can’t seem to get motivated to finish them but that’s a tale for another day.

But back to the Sutton Blouses since that’s why we’re here. These are the Sutton Blouse by True Bias yet again. Along with not finishing my work shirts I have been doing some experimenting with the kind of results one might expect from experiments – that is very mixed. But I didn’t want to blog a succession of almost failures so I will get to them as I make better versions (or decide to scrap them). So because of this I also desperately needed a guaranteed good result which is what I got which is what I would have gotten had I chosen my fabric more carefully.

I used this lovely silk/cotton blend because I love the colours and wanted something more than rayon had to offer, which apparently was mainly lack of drape.


Sutton Blouse

Sorry for the strange expression but the cat was attempting to photobomb and distracted me. Obviously not nearly enough drape, which makes everything stick out awkwardly.


Even from the back those sleeves just stand straight up. And you still can’t appreciate the fabric so here’s a better shot of it.


So unfortunately basically a failure, although I must admit that I still really like the fabric so it won’t be wasted (although I am still not sure what I am going to do with it). I prewashed it in the machine (I know, but you may as well start as you intend to proceed) on delicate in cold water and line dried it with no apparent adverse effects and very minimal shrinkage.

I then went on to some more experiments, which as I said, I will come back to. And of course, after yet more experiments I again needed a guaranteed good result so yes, I made yet another Sutton. But this time I was sensible and used rayon.


Sutton Blouse by True Bias

See, isn’t that better. It will look even better with jeans, which is how I will usually wear it but it is still very hot here (I know I say that all the time) and I couldn’t face jeans in the daytime.


The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that this has lost the high-low hem of the original design and therefore the side splits. I wanted quick and easy and so just rounded the sides of the front hem and shortened the back to the same length. This means that I can finish up to the sleeves as per the pattern instructions (which are excellent) and then hem front and back before joining the side seams. I like doing it this way when I have a rounded hem as it makes it easier to get an even finish at the hemline. (And no I didn’t think to photograph it and now the camera batteries are flat.)

I did make the same size (18 if I remember correctly but definitely the biggest size) as my original Sutton Blouse but I did also remove the extra length I added the first time.

So now I should get back to those blasted work shirts, although I am now thinking I could also wear this in a pinch…. and I have a couple more rayons in the stash.

What about you? Are you a one project at a time kind of sewer? Or do you have multiple things on the go?

Sutton and Flo UPDATED

UPDATED 13/2/15 Because I really shouldn’t have rushed it quite so much and left out a couple of things that I want to include.

Well that turned into a longer break than I expected. I have been doing lots of not very interesting sewing, including lots of alterations, which are most definitely not my favourite thing to do. I’ll come back to some of the not so interesting things in another post since I do want to remind myself of my thoughts on them.

But I finally made something worth a look. This is the True Bias Sutton Blouse teamed with another pair of Style Arc Flat Bottomed Flo.


And yes that is the best pic I managed to get of the front. This was the second attempt to photograph these and I’m not doing a third so this is what we have.

But back to the clothes. Thanks to Lara’s post, among others, I knew that the Sutton blouse ran large. Which is a good thing since my bust measurement is 3 cm bigger than the largest size. Of course this had to be a bit of a guess since I couldn’t find finished garment measurements anywhere. This is my pet peeve with patterns.

So I effectively went down one size and I added 3 inches since I am taller than the 5’5″ the pattern is drafted for. And I don’t know that either were the right choice.


I could definitely go smaller. Although I don’t know that I would want to go an entire size smaller in the hips. Which would then mean that I would be going from a 16 out to an 18 at the hips. Which would be weird because generally I go down a hip size compared to my bust.


And with the 3 inches added to the length, I made a deeper hem, 1 inch turned twice, instead of the recommended 5/8″ (if I remember correctly). Anyway I probably could have made it the length as drafted and it would have been fine.

I followed the instructions during construction except for two points. I used store bought bias binding instead of making my own. This was purely as I now have enough fabric left for another top so I was just being miserly with my fabric. Which I forgot to mention is rayon bought for the princely sum of just over one dollar a metre from a pop-up fabric sale. The yoke is local black cotton which is why the sleeves stand out a little.


UPDATE I thought I should include a better view if the fabric and my nearly pattern matched centre front seam. I didn’t attempt to pattern match – I don’t know why because it wouldn’t really have been that difficult.

One change I did make was to also use French seams on the side seams. The pattern has French seams everywhere else but then a ‘normal’ seam with the finish of your choice on the side seams. I presume this is because French seams are slightly more complicated with the side slits. But this pattern is listed as Intermediate so I do think they should have included French seams everywhere. It just seemed such a pity to have zigzagged side seams but I would probably feel differently if I had an overlocker.

Anyway, I used this excellent tutorial from Handmade By Carolyn. I thought I remembered that she had done this with French seams but the only one I could find  was for Flat felled seams with slits. But the principle is the same and it works well.

I know I don’t sound overly enthusiastic but I do like this. It’s exceedingly comfortable and looks good with jeans and shorts. There will be more once I ponder the sizing some more. Which brings me nicely to my jeans.


I made another pair of jeans from the Flat Bottomed Flo pattern. Not that you can see anything of them in these pictures.

This time I used black denim which is a little less stretchy than my first pair. This is a good thing. They fit really firmly when first on but soon relax and fit fabulously. The blue denim pair tend to get a little large after a couple of wears, while these hold up better. Mind you that does mean that I’ll be able to wear the blue denim pair for longer as that bit of room makes them much cooler


UPDATED A close up of the pockets and yoke topstitching. I used grey cotton thread which isn’t quite topstitching thread but works well. The pockets are smaller than my first pair but now I think they are too busy. And don’t mind the dodgy bartacks, I am going to add rivets to the top corners when I get some the right colour.

I don’t really have much to say about this pattern that I didn’t say the first time. I love it. There will be more. I am going to move the side seam back to well … the side. But only so that every pair of pants I wear don’t have this same design feature. I have more of both the blue and black denim so I’m planning on capri length or shorts depending on how much fabric I have. Then I have some bottomweight black cotton/spandex that will make a slightly dressier pair. I also thought I might use the crotch curve and flat bottom draft from the Flos on the Style Arc Barb pattern for some less fitting shorts. Again more room for air means cooler once the temps top 40 degrees.

Sorry this post is a bit of a ramble but I just need to get this posted.

So please chime in with your thoughts re the sizing on the Sutton blouse.