Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Stella sew-along #1 - Getting started.

Hello fine sew-alongers a very warm welcome to another sew-along! 

This time around its the Stella blouse  we will be sewing up together.

I hope you're as excited as i am to kick off with the sew-along and sew up some gorgeous Stella blouses?!

As usual for each sew-along we will begin with covering the basics, to help you get started on the right track to sewing up a gorgeous, well fitting Stella blouse. Although this may seem a bit on the tedious side of things,it is always a good idea to refresh the old brain and its also useful for the newbies that are joining in or for anyone that has never sewn up a Bluegingerdoll pattern to get the gist of how these things flow. Giant big waves to all the newbies sewing along this time around! :)

Just a quick reminder of the tools/supplies you'll need to sew-along:

* The The Stella blouse pattern

*Fabric - I recommend fabrics such as  Chambray, Cotton & Cotton blends, Linen, Wool & Wool blends but the blouse is versatile enough feel free to experiment with different types of fabric.
* 7'' invisible zipper  to match your fabric.
* Matching thread
* Two 5/8'' cute button
* The usual sewing supplies : Your trusty sewing machine, pins ( lots of them), sharp fabric scissors, an  iron, tracing paper, pens & pencils, measuring tape.

So  today we'll be covering the below basics in this post to get us started:

  • Fabric choices
  • Finding your size
  • Tracing the pattern
  • Cutting and marking your fabric

FYI, the Stella blouse  is recommend as a beginner level sewing pattern but would easily suit any level of sewist. We will also be covering both versions of the pattern.


The best place to start when choosing the right fabric for your pattern is to have a look at the back of the pattern envelope at the  listed  recommended fabrics.

I have recommended cotton and cotton blends, Chambray, Linen, wool and wool blends, but the great thing about the Stella blouse is the ultimate foundation to experiment with a variety of fabric. It is also a great stash buster pattern, so grab out that stashed fabric and see if it fits.


The Stella blouse  is  great to for bright and bolds prints,  florals as well throughout all seasons so think wool plaids for winter or bright bold colors for the warmer months. If you need some inspiration for your Stella blouse have a look at the below at a few examples. 

Stella by Heather, who will be posting tomorrow on how to complete an FBA/SBA and a few other things on the Stella blouse - So stay tuned!

Use a solid fabric colour for the bodice, and a contrasting fabric for the button tabs.

Sweltering in the heat like me here in Australia? Then sew up the View B sleeveless version! My version is made up in a Chambray fabric.

This Stella is yet to be blogged ( excuse the slightly blurry photo, i promise there will be betters ones in the post ;) FYI this fabric is an old bed sheet!

Or why not go in between and sew up a T-shirt version. 


Use the above diagram to measure yourself correctly. The Stella blouse  requires your bust, waist and hip measurements, so grab your tape measure and get measuring. The  back of the envelope is your little gold mine of information to help you get started properly with any sewing pattern. Head to the back of the envelope packaging to find your correct size with your measurements you now have.  

Trace your pattern pieces

When tracing your pattern you can use pattern weights, basically anything heavy, i use whatever cans of food are in the pantry, it works a treat! In regards to paper you can use to trace your pattern pieces, i use brown pattern  tracing paper, which is transparent enough but also sturdy as well. You can use whatever paper you like, as long as it is transparent, baking paper from the kitchen works just as well as the expensive stuff. 

So to start with trace off your chosen size ( The sizes you noted down from the back of the pattern packaging), if you found you were in between sizes you will need to overlap into different sizes. It is important to trace each pattern piece as accurately as you can, this is where if you have some curved rulers they will come in handy. Make sure to copy down all the important info and pattern markings, and notches. It is also a good idea to label each pattern piece, and the size you are using, and any instructions they have i.e cut on the fold, grain lines etc

Once you have done all that, cut em out!

Cutting out your fabric

Now you can lay out your pattern  pieces as shown in the cutting layout diagrams on the instruction sheet, page 1 or as economically as you can with the fabric you have. Once you have cut out all your pattern pieces mark sure to transfer all the pattern info across onto your fabric. There are a million ways to do this, but for now i will share how i do this. I simply snip the notches on my fabric pattern pieces. Also  use wax tracing paper and a tracing wheel to transfer across the bodice darts . For me i find this the easiest and clearest way, it also means i can come back to the pattern pieces later on with them  still clearly marked, pins i find seem to go astray.

That's it for today, tomorrow Heather will be posting about how to complete an FBA & SBA on the Stella blouse as well a few other bits and pieces, so if you are finding you need some help with fitted, pattern adjustments then hang around for tomorrow's post, i'm sure it will be helpful.

**I would also really love to see how you  gals go throughout the sew-along! So please don’t hesitate to post your links to the  Facebook pagetweet me and Instagram your progress @bluegingerdoll using the hashtag #thestellasewalong. I have  also created a Flickr group  where you can upload your Stella sew-along ( progress or completed) i  will then  be rounding up all of your lovely  Stella  blouses  after the sew - along here on the blog!

Remember i'm  always  around and contactable  if you want/need  to ask me a question during this sew-long or at anytime with any of the patterns. 
So please feel free to email me at: and i'll try my best to help you out!!

So tell me....I  would love to know what fabric you  have picked out your Stella blouse? Which version are you stitching up?



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