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THE ELIZA M PUSSY GALORE TOP - USING A WALKING FOOT TO SEW CHIFFON

POSTED BY ANGELA ON 23 OCT
I really like the new pattern companies which are appearing and I especially like Eliza M patterns. They have a vintage look but fit today's sizes without the fuss of using and altering a true vintage pattern. This blouse pattern is especially pretty but is very easy to sew - made easier by the clear precise instructions.
For this garment I wanted to use some Chiffon which I bought from Abakhan Fabrics
Chiffon poses some sewing challenges so if you are new to sewing I would recommend choosing a fine cotton lawn instead.

The fabric is very sheer and can  also fray easily so care has to be taken with it. When cutting out use plenty of pins which you have placed inside of the seam allowance to avoid making homes. If it is difficult to tell the right and wrong sides apart it is useful to mark the wrong side of each piece with a small mark, again inside the seam allowance.

Chiffon is very slippery and that alone is a challenge. There are various options when it comes to stitching  the  fabric,  but I chose to use a walking foot. A walking foot does just that, it moves along the fabric with a sort of walking g action, lifting up and down off the fabric. This means that the two layers you are stitching together stay where you place them and do not slip away from each other. A walking foot is a good investment because they can be used when sewing any sort of slippery fabric, for sewing thick fabrics and for quilting. The prices vary according to your machine and they are available from Jaycotts.co.uk on the link HERE  I find that Jaycotts are very helpful and will give impartial advice if you telephone or email them.




This is the walking foot in place on my machine. They are easy to fit and feel no different from your everyday foot, so you need no special technique to use one. As with any new sewing project practise your stitching on a spare piece of fabric first to make sure that your stitch length and tension are correct.

 Another thing you must do is to change your machine needle. For Chiffon you need a very fine needle, I chose a size 8 because it will slide through the fabric very easily. Universal machine needles come in all sizes to suit different fabrics Universal Machine Needles . Universal needles are for general sewing and yes, the correct size really does matter!
Tip - if you find that your machine is skipping stitches think when you last changed your needle, chances are you have an old needle in your machine. They should be changed ideally with every project, but use common sense, sewing a small project will not render your needle redundant straight away.


Once you are ready to sew,  choose your thread and practise your stitch until you are satisfied with the result
 Sew and press the darts before doing anything else.



Chiffon cries out for beautiful French seams. They look almost invisible and the inside is as neat as the outside because the raw edges are all encased within the seam. Sewing fine fabrics is one occasion where you would not choose your overlocker. Overlocked seams would be too bulky for this beautiful fine chiffon
To sew a French seam first of all place WRONG sides together and stich a quarter inch seam.

Trim the seam close to the stitching line and press open. Turn the seam right sides together and sew another seam,just over a quarter of an inch wide. This seam will be on the inside and will encase the raw edges. Press carefully and there you have it. French seams are very easy to sew, look elegant, are hard wearing and look almost invisible. What is not to love about them?


Once you have stitched the shoulder seams follow the pattern instructions and work on the sleeves. The sleeves are gathered into a band. To do this run a gathering stitch inside the seam allowance and pull the threads to make the sleeve fit the band.if you then  stitch the band onto the sleeve very close to the gathering thread you will achieve lovely even gathers with no pleats in the fabric.

 This is the sleeve ready to insert into the garment. I find  it easier to  insert sleeves before stitching the side seams, I then  sew the sleeve and garment side seams in one operation. Again I used a French seam.
Continue with the pattern instructions and sew the facings and bow in place. They really are easy to follow and need no extra note from me here.
Another point about chiffon is that it frays so when you are clipping curves etc please do not cut right up to the stitching line.


Jaycotts sell a great selection of sewing tools and accessories. I like this soft grip seam ripper very much, it is a joy to use Prym soft grip seam ripper
I also use these thread snippers which again are by Prym from Jaycotts. I love Haberdashery and highly recommend a browse through all the products available
CUTTING AND MEASURING TOOLS




Once you have sewn the top together and finished the hem,it is time to consider buttonholes. I chose some small shell buttons Shell buttons
When working buttonholes it is always better to practise on some spare fabric which has also been Interfaced, when I practised my buttonholes I was expecting to have to put some stabiliser underneath the area but I did not need to as the interfacing made the area firm enough not to pucker as I stitched the buttonholes.

This is the finished top, it is so pretty don't you think?  And very practical as it can be worn on its own or underneath a fine pullover



The darts in the back give the blouse a really flattering shape. 


The sleeves are very feminine and are very pretty. This is a very nice pattern to work with, and  I can see me making it again in various fabrics.