9

Red Plaid Bruyere Flop

unhappy face in red plaid bruyere

This is my unhappy face. This blouse had every potential for being a a perfect addition to my wardrobe, but (like a recent sweatshirt), it just doesn’t do it for me. I love the pattern (having made a chambray bruyere already) and I perfected the fit on my last blouse. Moreover, I LOVE this fabric – it was part of the box of my Rambo fabric, and I’ve since used it on my favorite romper and the sample blouse I wore on my SewItAll TV appearance. It’s a heavy gauze and paired with the black Kona quilting cotton as accent (and for some strength on the waistband and button placket), would make the perfect spring blouse. The problem with the fabric is that I had just barely enough to eke out this blouse. I was able to do a bit of pattern matching (like making the left front match the …

16

Chambray Bruyere

chambray bruyere blouse

Chambray bruyere has a nice lilt to it. And I think it makes for a pretty nice blouse. I adored this pattern the moment Deer & Doe released it and, given that I need to make myself some winter clothes, it seemed logical for it to jump to the top of the queue when I finally got my hands on a copy. I struggled to decide on the fabric for this blouse and had considered trying it in a nice plaid flannel (since I’m obsessed with plaid flannel right now), but I was worried that with a bulky flannel the bottom of the blouse wouldn’t have had the right kind of drape for the volume. I happened to have some chambray in my stash that was almost enough for this blouse, so rather than continue to search for the absolute perfect fabric, I went stashbusting. I didn’t have quite enough, …

8

New Life for an Old Archer

rayon challis green archer 3

I call his heavy forest green rayon challis Archer old because I sewed it almost 2 years ago, but it’s got a lot of life left in it because I barely wore it in its original incarnation. Why? Because I had the genius idea to add 9″ inches to the bottom so that it could be a dress. Except for it never looked like I was wearing a dress – it looked like I was wearing a nightgown. Not good. So, rather than let it languish in my closet, I decided to cut off the length that I originally added. And *bam* I have a new blouse. Yay! As you can see, I originally sewed the blouse too large – although the Archer is meant to be loose fit, I have a ton of extra room in the shoulders and bust. I don’t know why I did that. To give …

8

Plaid Flannel Shirt

robert kaufman plaid flannel shirt 3

I haven’t stopped wearing this shirt since I made it. And that’s not even an exaggeration. I’ve pretty much found an excuse to put this shirt on every. single. day. since I made it. The shirt is luscious and comfy and flattering and it’s really all that I want to wear. My first finished project since officially moving back to Seattle and I’m channeling my wannabe grunge youth – except for I’ve grown up and so has my blouse. I’m super happy with this fabric. It’s a Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel and it’s just dreamy. It’s a great weight and feels so very cozy. I bought it at Nancy’s Sewing Basket which was my first foray into fabric shopping in Seattle! You can see that I spent an obsessive amount of time matching plaid on this blouse and I am so happy with the results. I cut everything on a …

4

Lightweight Lilac Linen Archer

siem reap purple archer

I brought a very small selection of clothes on our giant honeymoon. 4 months worth in one small backpack. So I carefully considered every single garment, bought a selection of fabric so that every piece coordinated, and then ran out of time to make most of the “perfect travel wardrobe” that I had envisioned. (I decided that finishing my bridesmaid dresses was more important). However, I did get the chance to sew an Archer blouse out of a lightweight lilac linen and it has definitely been getting its share of wear! It has been the perfect shirt for keeping the sun off of my pasty white fair skin. It’s so lightweight that it doesn’t add much warmth to wear and it’s light in color enough that it acts like a white shirt, reflecting the sun. And the great thing about traveling in linen (in my opinion) is that when it’s …

13

Ava Blouse. Meh.

ava blouse victory patterns

Spring really needs to hit. Because I seem to be filling my wardrobe up with black and neutral pieces. Which is fine. They’re interesting and wearable and all that. And very appropriate for dreary winter weather. But I just dug through my whole closet and man is it gray! {Major note to self: Add some brights and florals, ASAP!} This Ava blouse, part of the first Perfect Pattern Parcel, is another in my apparent recent trend of neutral. I feel about the blouse like I do about the winter weather – it’s better in my head than around my body. I love both the fabrics I used. The tribal print contrast was a gift from a friend (thanks again Dawn!) and what I used to face my black velvet trousers. I picked up the main fabric at a flea market in Guernville, CA. I love that the geometric design looks …

25

Pink Silk Retro Bow Neck Blouse Simplicity 2154

simplicity 2154 in pink silk

Is this outfit too much? No, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know the answer. I am overcompensating with this outfit. You see, yesterday was not a good day. It poured down rain on my ride into work and the crotch of my rain pants split half way through the ride. So all the water that was puddling in my lap leaked into my crotch. And when I got into work and took off the failed rain pants, it looked like I had peed my pants. Not a good look and certainly not very comfortable. Fortunately, a co-worker had a pair of sweatpants I could borrow (thanks again Alex!). Unfortunately, they were the exact same color as the sweatshirt I was already wearing. So I ended up in a navy sweatsuit. (Oh, and I was wearing an oversize beanie because my hair was due for a wash and I …

18

What Was I Thinkin’ Bow Neck Blouse

pink lace tee with white collar

While I don’t listen to much country music, this bow necked blouse started as a straight up Dierks Bentley song. As in “What Was I Thinkin’?“. I thought that making a loose lace blouse would be a fun piece to layer, dressing up or down. But this really felt like a hot mess. I hated the shape, I hated the sleeves, I hated the placket in the front, I hated the peter pan collar (although I always think I’m going to like it) and I hated the fact that the bow wouldn’t lie straight! I bought McCalls M6648 because it was on sale. And it had a bow. And I thought it was kind of elegant. I don’t know if my choice of lace was what killed it, or if it’s just not my style. I like the blouse the model is wearing, but a close look at the line …

14

Little Birdie Bow Neck Blouse

birdie cotton bow neck blouse

My first blouse for the Bow Neck Blouse sewalong (oh yeah, there’ll be more!). A little birdie told me to make this one (groan. bad joke, I know). It’s the bow neck blouse pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I’ve made it before in black rayon blend with big red roses (the same fabric I used for the shirtwaist dress from the same book). The fabric is a quilting cotton that I bought at Joanns quite a while ago. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, and normally don’t like quilting cottons for garments, but it was just too cute to pass up. I made several small changes to the pattern for this go-around. Since I had previously sewn the pattern in a lighter fabric with drape, I went up a size to account for the quilting cotton. I also changed the shoulder shape …

3

Silk Tunic Blouse

striped silk blouse shoulder

For Mother’s Day this year I made my mom a tunic blouse, just like her Sew Grateful for Mom blouse. This time I used a lightweight undyed silk that my cousin bought for me in Bangladesh years ago (Over 10 years old and it has been sitting in my stash since. That definitely makes this a stashbuster!). The silk was divine to sew with. I got such crisp seams, it pressed beautifully, and yet it still has some drape. It seems like every time I sew with silk I’m surprised by how much I love working with it. Note to self: you like silk. A lot. The back and sides have slits. It is interesting comparing this blouse to the exact same blouse in rayon. The silk does have a bit of drape, but nowhere near as much as the rayon. One noticeable difference is that the sleeves look shorter …

5

Pink Brocade Peplum Top

pink vegas outfit

This weekend Adam and I went to Vegas. I had dreams of a cute little cocktail dress out of this beautiful pink brocade that I had in my stash. I pictured something tight, short, sexy, and, well, Vegas. And this is what I ended up with. A fairly modest, slightly peplum top with a belt and bow and vintage flair. Oh well. I made the pants to go with it, but I think I may need to make a little pencil skirt instead to make the ensemble a little sexier. I started out by making the skanky dress I had in my head. It was mostly self-drafted, but took cues from Gertie’s Wiggle Dress (which I have previously made to great success). But when I put it on, it looked horrible. Even Adam, who will only ever say nice things about how I look, couldn’t find anything nice to say. …

Grainline Archer Shirt-Dress

belted archer shirt dress

Another Monday, another Archer. I sewed this out of a heavy rayon challis in forest green that was a gift and in my stash. The fact that it looks a whole lot like the shirt on the pattern envelope was something that escaped me until writing up this blog post. I decided to add 9″ to the pattern so that it could be a dress.

4

Archer Blouse from Bangladeshi Fabric

Bangladesh fabric blouse

I’ve made button front blouses with collars and placketed sleeves before but never this well. This blouse is perfection. Seriously. I set myself the goal of sewing perfect things in 2013 and this makes it high on the list. I’m in love. (My new blouse is shown here with my curtain panel skirt.)

9

Bow Neck Blouse

red and black blouse with pencil skirt

I made the bow neck blouse from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. I was frustrated and disappointed by the time I finished the blouse. But now that I’ve worn it a couple of times, I wish I could take back those emotions, because I disagree now. I really like the blouse! The fabric is a cotton-rayon blend (I’m guessing) and a gift from a friend.

1

1940’s Blouse

1940s blouse

This blouse is the 1940’s reproduction from Simplicity 3688 that goes with my khaki trousers. I was reasonably satisfied with the blouse and thought that it made a nice professional looking top. My biggest complaint is that it is very loose in the waist, and must be so to fit without a closure. I’ll probably make it again, but I’ll cut the waist in and add larger darts and a hidden side zipper so I don’t have to wear a belt. I closed the neck with a creme satin covered button. And I did a lovely job of hand sewing the neckband, if I do say so myself. My problem with this blouse was the fabric I chose. I bought some cheap fabric from Joann because I had a coupon and it seemed like a good idea at the time. The first time that I wore the blouse was to …

2

Guatemalan Cowgirl Blouse

guatemalan cowgirl blouse

I’ve had all sorts of time to sew because Adam has been gone for a couple of weeks for work. So, this means I get to share a whole series of finished sewing projects!  It starts with this Guatemalan cowgirl blouse. The Guatemalan fabric was part of a recent gift of fabulous fabric from a friend. I immediately thought that it would be lovely as the yoke and pockets of the blouse, so I followed through on my inspiration. There’s still quite a bit left, so more Guatemalan fabric projects await! I sewed it from McCalls 3688. The first time I sewed this pattern was 10 years ago when I bought the pattern. I didn’t fit it at all and used a stiff fabric and heavy interfacing. It was beautiful on the hanger, but unfortunately never got worn. I used the pattern to sew a pink gingham cowgirl dress a …