Helmi Blouse Sewing continued.

My latest project, a new version (#4!) of my TNT Named Helmi Trench Blouse pattern, is one I wanted to wear immediately, but didn’t inspire much written reflection. So today’s post is just a quick run through of the new changes I made to this top.


For this version, I aimed to create a delicate blouse with some of the details I made for my Denim Ruffle Blouse project, specifically the pussy bow feature. I also wanted to try out a new technique–shirring, when elastic thread is sewn to fabric to create gathers. I admire this detail often on vintage blouses and hoped to recreate a similar feeling with this blouse.


As I learned, shirring is nothing complicated, you really just sew with elastic thread in the bobbin. Seamwork Magazine has a tutorial, if you’re interested. However, shirring does require some precision, which can be easily managed if you first draw some straight guide lines on the fabric. While I’d normally break out my ruler, I felt lazy making this blouse and ended up with totally wobbly shirring lines. This bothered me a little, but not enough to cut the sleeves shorter. I left the blouse unfinished for a few days and once I got back to it, the amateur shirring was less noticeable. Next time, I’ll pay more attention.


Overall, the shirt is very close to what I aimed for, just a simple rayon challis bow blouse that will likely get lots of wear, despite not being the most passionate topic of discussion! But, I guess that’s something of finding a TNT pattern–knowing you can break it out and get what you’re hoping for. I plan to put my Helmi pattern away for a while, but I can always see myself coming back to it again soon.


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