It’s Mimi!

Meet my new best friend: a certain chiffon polka dotted rick rack embellished Chelsea collared gathered yoked cutie. Yes this is Mimi from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the Buttons.

mimi blouse

I can remember first spying this pattern as I leafed through the pages, and it popped out at me. Hmmm. Yokes and gathers are certainly a winning formula, as I love the blousey effects of billowing bodices. I wasn’t sure if the deeper collar would suit me, but everyone else who has made a Mimi looks so awesome in it, I had little fear that I would be the only person on this earth that would look total pants with the v neck collar.

mimi

Making it up just took time for me to get through sewing *other stuff*. I seemed to have a summer of sewing dresses ( there may still be one or two I have yet to show you, I kid you not). But with the onset of autumn it’s time for the rise of separates again. It was time to raid my stash for a rather nice chiffon (bought locally aaages ago) that had been getting far too comfortable just waiting for me to get round to deciding its fate. White with red dots, a polyester chiffon, something that would fall into that part of my ideal wardrobe- a blouse that needs minimum care, and maybe even no ironing.

mimi

(btw if anything I could add just a tad to the upper bust, I realised that after making, because of course I didn’t make a toile, too eager!
Now when I sew chiffon I tend to sew French seams as it’s a nice neat way to keep all the edges prone to fraying out of sight and safe and sound. This was going to be my approach for making this Mimi blouse- use French seams everywhere: yokes, side seams and sleeves. The collar is attached with a facing so all those edges are also nicely obscured and very safe as well.

mimi blouse

But I did come across a small conundrum. I had decided upon French seams, yes. I had also decided upon a rick rack embellished yoke, as is one of my little design preferences, using it like piping but with one half showing in its tiny scallopy awesomeness.

mimi

I had to pause to work out how to sew a French seam with piping ( or in this case rick rack) inserted into it. How would it work? Did I have to do anything differently?

mimi  blouse
The answer pure and simple is ‘no’. Using the same process of using rick rack like piping in this little tutorial, you can apply it to French seams too. If you need more detail follow the link above, but in essence this is what you do:
*Baste the rick rack to the seam line on the right side of the garment, so that the middle of the rick rack is sitting on top of the seam line.
*Then with wrong sides together sew the first part of your French seam. Trim the seam allowance, press and turn and press so that the right sides are together.
*Pin the last part of your French seam and sew with the basting from the rick rack on top, using it as a stitching guide. Press. And voila!

Does that make sense to you or have I just confused you even more?

Mimi (3)

As for Mimi I did enjoy making it ( why do I feel as if I should attribute it as a ‘her’?)
There are some lovely design details, as well as the gathered yoke and the fetching Chelsea collar. I particularly love the pleated sleeve cuffs, but struggled to complete this step with my usual marking approach of using just a few pins.

mimi (10)

I found success came to me when I traced the fold lines using dressmakers carbon paper and a tracing wheel. But they are so worth not being lazy – don’t use pins- go straight to carbon!  That is if you are open to being influenced at all.

Mimi

So why do I love Mimi so much? Ok so I love the fabric and the rick rack, it really is one of my fave combos. However, as I mentioned earlier, the gathered blousey ness that allows untucked styling with jeans. ( or ultimate trousers!) brings a retro girl next door look that’s so easy to wear. Yet tucked in, there is still heaps of cuteness with the gathered blousey ness taking on a mini Mimi billow over the top of a waspi belt looking professional but with vintage references. The Mimi blouse can be worn to work with a pencil skirt or a circle skirt and look smart, or it can be worn with capris, jeans to a miniskirt and be totally at home lounging around reading coffee shop newspapers. To sum up that whole paragraph with just two words: vintagey versatile. And it’s totally the right time of the year to be cracking out those short sleeves – pop a cardi over the top to keep the chill out, and then lose it as the temps rise. And no. Ironing is not actually required. I seem to have escaped. This surely seals its enduring fate as an item that will continue to be chosen for the next while until the temps really do get too low. I am just so tempted to make another …………….

Mimi

Oh and please bear with me on the photos….I am trying out my new to me whizzy grown up camera and now have a remote for the first time ever. I might be a bit over the top on photos used! Sorrrrrry!!

24 thoughts on “It’s Mimi!

  1. Kat H

    Oh, this is adorable! I really love that habit you have of using ric-rac like piping – such a neat touch.

    Also, I’m really liking that v-neckling on you – looks great. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Amy

    I’ve never been a fan of ric rac but the way you use it could definitely sway me into purchasing some. I adore piping in general but haven’t used it on any handmades yet – still a beginner 🙂

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Well I hope you feel confident to give it a go Soon Amy! It’s such a great finished result and not as tricky as it looks, especially if you start with a straight seam. If using ric rac you don’t even need a zip foot! And it comes in so many colours … Go on. Have a go !!

      Reply
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  4. Lynne

    Ooo! I love your Mimi, especially the ric rac. That’s a great idea. It was the Mimi pattern that convinced me to but Tilly’s book, and your version shall be added to the inspiration list!

    Reply
  5. Tialys

    I bought TIlly’s book for my daughter but have traced off the pyjama pants pattern and will also trace this one off before giving it to her. I find a v-neck so much more flattering for a larger bust and so many blouse patterns have higher necks. I have some spotty chiffon which was going to be a skirt but I might well change my mind now.

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ooh. Spotty chiffon is also something that I have mixed needs for – like you I can see it as a blouse or as a skirt…..and have just cut out some more that until the last moment would have been a Mimi but is now a clemence skirt ! I’m so glad I’ve given the v neck a go, like you, I really think it’s a winner, love it !

      Reply
  6. Jeanine

    Gads, I just adore this! The ric rac is super neat, and I just may try this when I get to the blouse. So far, I’ve made the pj pants and 3 shorts variations of it, and the Delphine. Love her book! Thanks for the inspiration, and keep loads of pictures coming!

    Reply
    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      You’re a love at first stitch fan too !! I’ve also made the margots now and think I might be tempted to make just about everything in the book… Eventually!! Thank you for your lovely comment 🙂

      Reply
  7. Caz

    Loving this mimi. Still have fabric from Guthrie and ghani set aside to make it.you have given me the inspiration to get on with it. Work definitely gets in the way of sewing! ‘

    Reply

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