Tag Archives: blouse

Vogue 1412: Borders


Started at sewing camp.  Completed at home.

Vogue 1412 in a lovely border-print silk crepe.  Even better, the fabric was from last year’s ASG garage sale!  Woohoo!  Like Goldilocks, there was just enough for this blouse.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve made a formal woven blouse.  Not that this blouse is for formal occasions, far from it, but that it involved more formal sewing skills.  A cuff.  A cuff placket.  Shawl collar.  Gathers.

And of course being silk, the need to finish all the interior edges  appropriately.  As nice on the inside as is is on the outside.

Expecting to wear the top over leggings, I lengthened it about 2 inches.  I also cut it on the cross grain, to make full use of the lovely floral border.

Floaty Flowery Fabulosity!

McCalls: 6076


IMG_4011Sooo, what’s different about this?

That’s right, it HAS SLEEVES!  But, just barely.  Don’t look inside, those armscye seams are hanging on by a serged thread.  But, it has SLEEVES.

I transmogrified my fitting adjustments to this pattern.  It’s a princess seam top, with a non-banded collar.

The fabric is a cotton dobby from the local fabric outlet.  Garment fabric pickings are slim here in Sierraville, so this was a rare find.  I like the dottiness of the fabric, even though it made my eyes cross while sewing it.

The grid also made it very easy to align the pattern on grain, and match the seams.  The back seams match almost perfectly!  Now, why is it when I try ever so hard to have that happen, measuring thrice and cutting once, it rarely does?  Must be one of Einsteins lesser known laws.  The Law of Pattern Alignment.

I did my usual funky facing using some scraps of quilting cotton.  Black with little red roses for the front facing, under collar and sleeve hem.

I had thought to add buttons.  Since the fabric is a bit thick, I may just wear it as a topper over colored tanks.  That will be nice when out after dark, and the temps cool down.

Butterick 6026: Second Verse


IMG_4000Not quite the same as the first.

Another rendition of the multi-tucked, FBA’d woven blouse.  My very own frankenpattern, if you will.

I thought I had all the fitting kinks worked out when I cut this and took it to Sewing Camp.  As you can see it is sleeveless, just like the first one.

Confession:  I didn’t have all the fitting issues worked out as well as I thought I had.  Hence, no sleeves.

BUT (and that is a large hopeful but) I think I have now.  Will blouse #3 have sleeves?  If it does, will I be able to move my arms?  We shall have to wait and see.

I did my usual styling, making the under collar and collar band in a different fabric. I like doing this – the underside peeks out, and provides a little extra something-or-other.  Hey, it’s my blouse, it makes me smile.  That’s enough for me.

The armholes are hemmed using a baby hem.  Instead of buttons I applied snaps.

The fabric is…ancient.  I have no idea where I got it.  It’s been in the stash for decades.  Literally decades.  I think it may even have moved to Cactusville with me, way back when.  It is that old.  A very soft cotton with a sheeting feel to it.

Butterick 6026


IMG_3949The end result of the FBA Frankenpattern saga.

And…It Fits!

This was my test garment, to see how all those changes would work out.

I cut out the sleeves, intending to have this be a 3/4 sleeve blouse.  As you can see, that didn’t happen.  Tweak as I might I couldn’t get enough room across the back.

Rather than toss the whole thing and start over, I decided to make the blouse sleeveless.  Given the fabric is a lovely cotton voile, this was probably a good decision.  It will be cool and comfy during summer.  No one but me (and you!) needs to know the sleevelessness (is that a word?) is the result of a Miss Fitting opportunity.

I may take the collar stand down a bit in the next version too.  I haven’t worn a button-up shirt in so long that it felt odd against the back of my neck.

Another thought noodle – I may highlight the tucks radiating from the neckline with some yellow beads.  I think that would make them stand out  more.

McCalls: 6076


IMG_3022This shirt has been cut out since Sewing Camp, back in April.

I think that makes it one of the longest running garment UFOs I’ve had in quite a while.

It is finally finished! And I am ever so glad.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve made a woven top/blouse for myself, which no doubt goes a ways to explaining why this took so long.  It had to be fitted, as in make-a-muslin, and I was just not in the mood for fitting.  I was in the mood for sewing!

M6076The Pattern: is one of the Palmer Pletsch designs.  These are pretty good patterns – they have all sorts of fitting tips and directions on how to change the pattern to achieve the fit or your dreams.  With this shirt, either my comprehension was missing, or my dreams were of the hallucinatory variety, because the fit was way off!

The Fit: Following the sizing instructions, I cut a 14, forgetting that McCall patterns tend to run large.  Then I had to scale it back to a 12 with sewing, taking in the seams.  If I didn’t like the lines of the pattern so much, it would have been a wadder at this point!

Next up was messing around with the sleeve cap.  There was 2.5 inches of sleeve ease I was supposed to fit into the armscye.  That seemed like too much, so I lopped a bit off the sleeve cap, and took in the center seam as well.  Not perfect, but better.

Sewing: Of course, since I was doing all this fit-as-you-sew business, I wasn’t reading the instructions, so had to re-do the collar.  Twice!  Operator error, indeed.  Lastly, the button holes became a disaster.  Enterprise, my trusty sewing machine, decided she absolutely, positively did not want to sew the right-side leg of the button hole.  Skipped stitches.  Thread nests.  There was no change in fabric or interfacing between one side of the button hole and the other; Enterprise was on strike!

I finally pulled out my old mechanical machine to finish the top.  Surprisingly, I had forgotten what nice button holes it makes.

Enterprise is in the shop for a check-up.  I have a new blouse pattern.  Ta Da!

Hey Lana


IMG_1948Ho Lana, Lana, Lana, Hi

or something to that effect.  Yes, you’ve seen this fabric before.  Deja vu anyone?

It was originally made up as the Teagarden T several months back.  However that pattern leaves a lot of excess fabric.  Excess fabric to be used for other projects, so it’s not a waste.

This is Lana, a pattern from Style Arc pattern company out of Australia.  Last year I picked up a couple of their patterns, and am just now getting around to sewing them.  I really like the lines of this top – different enough to be stylish, but still enough of a t-shirt that it can see frequent, regular wear.

Alas, Lana has proved to be quite problematic.  This is version 2.  It still doesn’t fit quite right, but I have help coming over to improve this.  Version 1 was huge!  Huge, I say!  Which is rather odd, as it’s the same size as the Laura, which I blogged about here.

Laura fit right out of the envelope.  Lana, I’ve already taken an inch out of the front, and inch from the back, and raised the arm holes another 3/4 inch.  Let’s all sing the praises of muslins!  There is still tweaking to be done, but on a much smaller scale.  I persevere.


La Fred: Europa Blouse


I pretty much had this write-up completed, then I heard that Fred Bloebaum, of La Fred patterns passed away this weekend.  I, along with the rest of the sewing community, mourn the loss of this talented and generous designer and educator.

She had sold off her fabric venture earlier in the year, and I read that she was battling cancer.  No idea what will happen to her patterns, if they will continue production, or follow the hard-to-find vintage route.

I found it a bit disconcerting that I was working on one of her patterns over the weekend, then heard this news.

OK, back to the sewing.  A couple of posts back, I made mention that I stitched up a muslin of the Europa blouse.  I’ve liked this pattern for a long time, and thought the sleeveless version would make a nice, non-knit top to wear during the Summer.  This being Cactusville, Summer continues far beyond the Labor Day holiday, so the style is still wearable.

At the right, is the final muslin.  This is a very close-fitting type of shirt, at least on me.  Still, it has good bones and the pattern itself has excellent instructions – especially for moving the bust point and making a full bust adjustment (FBA).

I did a couple of alterations:

  • adjust for forward shoulder (this is now routine with me)
  • took in the princess seams a under bust, and under shoulder blades for a bit more shaping.
  • lengthened the body.  This top is truly high-hip length, and I felt it would be a too short on me once hemmed.  I may lengthen in another 1/2 inch.

Then came the onerous task of copying my fitting changes to the pattern.  I wish there were a magic wand to do this part.  It’s just such a chore.

You can see the forward shoulder adjustment in the photo at left.  I had originally made it almost an inch, then got the bright idea (hey, I get them every now and then) to cut away the armhole seam allowance, and see if that changed the fit.

Yup!  It certainly did.  That let me reduce the forward shoulder adjustment to 1/2 inch.  I was relieved, as altering it a full inch, I think, would have created other wonkiness (that’s a technical term) down the line.

One more item of note – the facings are very deep on this pattern, nearly 3 inches for the sleeveless version.

Next up was cutting out the fashion fabric, which is a bright white cotton print with sparsely scattered red flowers.  Of course, it being a white fabric, I had some more decisions to make.  What’s that?  Yes, this was supposed to be quick and easy. It really was, until I waffled.

First, I cut out the facings from a quasi-skin toned cotton…but I didn’t like that they still showed through.  Guess it wasn’t close enough to my skin tone.  In the end, I lined the whole thing with a very light (almost voile) cotton.  That seemed to do the trick.

Last but not least, red buttons!