One of my favourite Improv games to play (but not necessarily to watch) is called Alphabet. The game is a scene made of 26 lines of dialogue. The first line starts with a given letter (eg P). The reply to that line must start with a Q, and so on, until the whole alphabet has been covered. After Z comes A.
Sounds like fun? Imagine how much more fun this will be if you had not been taught the English alphabet as a child!
In fact, imagine how much this would be if you had been a taught a 21-letter alphabet!
By rights, I should hate this game. And yet, in my many runs of workshops with ComedySportZ, I have never turned down an opportunity to play it, even in the showcases.
It’s like wading through treacle. It makes my brain hurt. I never, ever ever get it right. And yet I will always jump at the chance to play it. It’s ridiculous fun, and my inability to remember which letter goes after which is now legendary. There was one instance when a fellow workshopper sat on the side and wrote down the alphabet as it emerged from the scene. It was pretty hilarious.
Incidentally, the Hungarian alphabet has 44 letters, so I presume they dedicate entire shows to this game, or just call a draw and tell people to go home when it gets too late.
I have decided to call this blouse The Alphabet Blouse, because just like that game, it contains something that makes my brain hurt, and that I should really stay away from. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is gathers.
I have tried to understand how they work, watched several videos about how to do them and felt pretty odd. I mean, these things are on lots and lots of beginners’ patterns, so they must be easy. What is wrong with me?
I still don’t have an answer to that question, and I am still not sure on which side of H I am supposed to put J and K. But I can do gathers! And mighty fine they look too:
Fabric: check polycotton remnant, just under a metre, less than GBP 3.00. I picked it up at my usual remnant place because I needed to spend over a certain amount to pay by card, and because I felt my life needed more checks. It probably still does, but I have discovered I obsess over matching the checks at the seams, so I might not do checks for a bit.
Pattern: Vogue 9200, bought on eBay for around GBP 2.00 still in factory folds. I can see myself making this again, so I feel it was a great investment. I have gone a little crazy buying vintage patterns in the past couple of weeks.
Year: The pattern isn’t dated but I am thinking Seventies, perhaps late Seventies.
Notions: zipper, about 60p, thread
Time to complete: Cut on Friday night, gathered on Saturday night, finished on Sunday. Probably around eight hours of an absolute beginners.
First worn: today at the office (yes! That’s my work toilet in the picture!)
Wear again: oh yes!
The other thing I am very proud of is how I matched the checks around the zipper:
Not bad for a beginner if I say so myself!
And a better view of the gathers:
I omitted all the facings – I have been experimenting with using bias tape (here and here) and I am very happy with that technique, at least for the time being. I think my bias tape was smaller than the seam allowances though, because it feels a little tight at the armscye after a long time wearing it.
I have also skipped the fastening at the back of the collar ties, and I am happy with that since I feel the collar is too wide, and it would look costume-y if a collar that size was standing up.
I also did not finish the CB seam underneath the zipper, and I widened the bottom of the pattern to make room for my hips.
When I making this again I will have a wider neck opening at the front to do away with the zipper. And I am definitely making this one again, I love it!