Finished Object: Sideways Blouse

My first, and favorite “Tried N True” pattern.  Versatile.  Ladylike.  Simple, yet detailed.  I know I can pick this one up, use nearly any fabric, put it together with no fuss and the end result will mesh with my style.  Every time.  I used whisper light gray jacquard stripe, a medium broderie anglaise, and a cotton seersucker in the past.

 (Un-tucked.  I don’t know why the front edge looks that way in the photo.)

(Tucked, with Burda Virgin pants)

For this, I used offcuts from Husband’s last field shirt and his leftover buttons.  Speaking of, I called them wood before.  I’m not sure what they are.  They’re cool and smooth, they look to have a wood grain but when I bit it, the texture was almost but not quite like ceramic.  Petrified wood buttons?  Do they exist and cost $.15 each? 

The fabric has some strange effect on me, the texture calls my name.

Check out the texture.

I had barely enough fabric lying around to eke out a blouse for myself- if I cut it on the crosswise grain.  I never tried it before, usually I don’t mess with grain much.  I’m more an interested observer of grain.  This worked just fine.  I didn’t have enough for the facing, so I used some cotton voile.

It’s a little hard to see, I used a pretty decorative stitch to sew down the raw edge, and also in lieu of normal under stitching.  I think my decorative stitching may creep to the exteriors of my garments.  I like to make the insides pretty, and it allows me to “safely” experiment.

The sleeves tripped me up.  I think I used a sleeve pattern from a 40’s dress rather than one drafted to fit.  I kept trying to ease what was cut to be a gathered sleeve.  Very frustrating.  Eventually I pulled out the other sleeve piece, lined it up to my cut sleeve, and trimmed away the excess sleeve cap.  I tried to fool myself into thinking the gathered sleeve looked good, but it just wasn’t.  When I run into little snags like that, it tends to take the wind out of my sails.  This blouse took me a week to finish (a looong time in my universe) and I didn’t touch my last two bottoms.  They’re still wanting to be finished.  We’ll see if I get them done in time!

Because I started with a 32″ bust pattern, I needed a 2.5″ FBA.  I settled for a 2″, even then the pattern started doing weird things.  I use a 32″ because it fits my back and shoulders.  In the past, I made one under bust dart.  This time I divided them.  Next time I might even divide further, 3 darts under each breast.  I think it gives a cleaner effect.  

Lately I’ve been thinking about the alterations I make, and the alterations necessary for plus sizes.  I can see some similarity.  If I begin rabbiting on about how to adjust for large busts it is because I think the things I try would (and do) work well for plus size sewing.  I often fit women with one high bust measurement and a full bust measurement 6″ larger than that.  Same issue I have, kind of.

I decided to top stitch the darts.  Why not?  I like the look and I think it may help the darts stay smooth.  I also channel stitched the collar, I thought it might help keep it tidy rather than rumpling all out of shape as linen is wont to do. 

Why linen?  Because it wicks away moisture, breathes well, is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, has been used for tens of thousands of years as a durable textile, blocks UV rays, and is almost universally grown on small farms with a minimum use of chemicals.  Every part of the flax plant is used.

And, well… Linen shirts feel divine.

Pattern Review


  1. Ooh, beautiful texture, beautiful fabric, beautiful top. May have to track down this pattern for myself — the collar and neckline details have sold me.

  2. Lovely blouse. It is easy to see why it is a TNT. I like the detail with pairs of buttons – it gives the blouse that little extra.

  3. I love the collar. I find myself tending to make this style of collar in preference to any other. I love the little tucks at the neckline and I agree that it is very feminine and flattering. Perhaps the buttons are cassein (sp?) which I believe is a milk product.

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