Confession #1 this isn’t my first Sutton Blouse, I made another one before this, but there was a bit of a saga…
I printed the pattern at work (we all do that right? It’s like a staff perk!), however little did I realise for the first time ever the printer scaled the pattern to (I think) 120% ish. Of course I didn’t figure this out until the blouse was cut out and sewn together. At the first try on, I realized I had inadvertently made a nightie. Much “grading” and adjustments later I made it into a wearable garment. I figured there was no point sharing it as it’s not accurate to the pattern. Besides it’s boring plain white, and this one has birds on it!!
This version, my Bird Massacre top, is from the now corrected pattern pieces. Confession #2 – I was too lazy to re-print them, but I am now happy with this version.
The fabric is from Spotlight and is sold as “polyester that feels like silk”. I agree it does feel lovely and floaty and it’s not scary to wash at all so that’s a bonus.
I used a bias trim for the neckline, seams and sleeve trim.
You might have noticed I have a different location for these pics – following Gillian’s quest for better blog pictures, I thought I’d try some indoors. Mostly because it is too flipping hot to wear pants and closed in shoes outside!!
Here’s me looking nonchalant 😉 Bwahaha!
This is a great little versatile top and is a great length to wear with jeans/pants. There will definitely be more as it’s quite a wardrobe staple.
Confession #3 – many birds were slaughtered in the making of this top!
Hey all! I hope your week is going well. For me, I am a little glad the weather has calmed down a bit over the last couple of days. I am no longer stewing in my own perspiration, it has cooled a little and there is a nice breeze – a welcome reprieve!! But enough about the weather…
This is my second Burdastyle #122 blouse from the 1/2008 issue (version 1). This time made in a gorgeous embroidered cotton from The Fabric Store in Brisbane.
The fabric was not 100% the right choice for this blouse and the pattern really demands a fabric with more drape & weight to it. Rayon is perfect, but creases like a b****. The cotton doesn’t crease half as much but can be a little poofy so I have to be careful that I don’t get mistaken for a pregnant woman! (anyone who knows me knows that is not happening!)
That aside this is a good “shirt with jeans” pattern, easy to wear. Although not so easy if you want to layer. Because the sleeve cuffs are loose and big enough to fit above my elbows, if I put on a cardi or jacket they ride up and sit uncomfortably. I think this could resolved by finishing the sleeves with an elastic cuff, that way you could at least retain the circulation in your lower arms if you wear a jacket.
I have made a few alterations to the original pattern:
– added 3″ to the length (it would be super short if at the original length)
– omitted the placket
– omitted the sleeve vent and button
– shortened the sleeves by 2″
Otherwise the construction was pretty much the same as before, except that this went together well and I had no issues with the neckband like before (I still wonder if I got those pieces back to front last time).
So all told an okay blouse to wear with jeans if the weather is stable. I don’t mean to sound underwhelmed, I do like the blouse and the detailing, it just doesn’t get worn so much. I think I prefer sleeveless tops for layering, the three quarter sleeve is just a little annoying at times. Fusspot? Perhaps.
Recently I made a bit of a pledge with myself: I want to make more new patterns this year and in order to do so I am planning to alternate a TNT with a new pattern. The biggest reason for this is that I have been “collecting” patterns, not in a methodical stamp collector kind of way, more in a crazy hoarder kinda way. I plan to try and get through a few more of the stashed patterns, vintage included. I am certainly not banning myself from buying more, I just want to even up the stats of used vs unused a little. I’ll do a proper count soon and might bamboozle you with pie charts soon 🙂
This is a new pattern to me, the Bleuet dress by Deer & Doe.
The super observant amongst you may have noticed this is not a dress 🙂 It did start as a dress, but once finished the fabric was just too light and it felt weird to wear, almost like I was wearing nothing! Plus it was see-thru and no-one needs to see my butt, so I cut it off, and I love the result!
This is my first version of this dress and being princess seamed I decided to wing it and skip a muslin. I figured will all those seams it would be relatively easy to make any necessary adjustments.
Just like my Belladone, I found this mostly fitted out of the packet with few adjustments. I cut a size 44 based on my bust and hip measurements but graded down to a 40 in the shoulders. (this is a bit of a cheats way of doing an FBA on a princess seamed garment). Weirdly I didn’t shorten the bodice, I am only 5’2″ and this is one of my normal alterations. I feel this pattern is designed for a fairly short person so I would recommend a tissue fit before making if you are any taller than me. I think for next time I would maybe take an inch out, normally I take two.
Construction wise, this went together really well and the instructions (which I used) are very clear with loads of diagrams. The only exception is the collar, the instructions for this I feel were a little lacking in diagrams and there are better ways to construct than that described. Next time I will construct with my usual method.
I piped around the collar and above the sleeve bands with contrast satin bias. The fabric, buttons and bias have been in my stash for about three years so it is nice to finally use them.
I am a little on the fence about the puffed sleeves and in a heavier fabric these would be super poofy. Not sure this the look I am going for. I do love the bow in the back, such a cute detail and fun to have surprise on my booty!! Like almost all the Deer & Doe patterns, this is such a sweet design with cute details. I will definitely make this again.
BTW – if you are wondering, I have not turned in a copy cat stalker type of Sew Busy Lizzy with my photo locations. I have moved to a new place by the water about 45 minutes from Brisbane. We are in a rental whilst we build a house but I expect to be here for at least a year. It’s not an ideal location being so far away from the city, but it is cheap and I plan to make the most of the beach lifestyle whilst we are here.
Pattern – Bleuet Dress by Deer & Doe
Fabric – 2m of cotton (perhaps tana lawn?) – would have used a lot less for just the shirt though
Notions – buttons, thread, satin bias binding
At least that is what my mother would tell me. She would also tell me not to wear long skirts as they made me look short. What would she know?!
Proving her wrong I bring you my latest project a sage green blouse:
I love playing with different styles and silhouettes, and whilst I love a floral dress for summer, in winter the jeans and boots tend to come out of storage. Having no idea what I wore last winter I decided that I needed some more winter tops in my wardrobe.
The pattern is #122 from the 1/2008 issue of Burdastyle. I first came across this when visiting Marjorie who had made the blouse before (and incidentally has the best collection of Burda magazines ever!). I tried hers on and it fitted perfectly (with the exception of the sleeves being too long) and so borrowed her traced pattern. WIN! Or so I thought.
Enter the Sewaway in Melbourne where I took this pattern as one of my (many) intended projects. I had carefully cut it before I left and I was ready to go. I dutifully sewed it up and then tried it on. Aaargh – it was way too big at the neck/shoulders. But why??? I had tried it on and it was perfect.
Lightbulb moment – Marjorie’s was made with a cotton (maybe a voile?), my fabric is rayon. Damn you rayon and your wonderful drape!
I had to unpick the neckband and take 3″ (!!) out of the width. To solve this additional fabric issue, I added a centre box pleat.
There was supposed to be a functioning placket but the box pleat made this tricky so I decided to make it a fake placket, as luckily I had not cut the vent yet. The buttons are vintage from my US trip last year.
Then I guess it must have been getting late and I was getting tired. I realized I had got my sleeve bands and placket pieces mixed up and used a sleeve band for the placket. Gah! Of course the placket was too short to fit around my arm and I didn’t have any extra fabric as I had cut it out back in Brisbane and the scraps were long binned. Another hack job was on the cards. I used the two placket pieces to form the missing sleeve band. This just means one sleeve band has two joins instead of one. Pretty sure no one will notice and if they are looking that close I can just elbow them in the nose!!
The blouse has some really interesting details. The sleeves have two pieces, an upper and lower sleeve. The upper sleeves extend across the back and join in the middle to form a yoke, but at the front join the bodice to form a raglan. There are pleats on the back and front which are stitched down approximately 3″ to control the fullness (and hopefully assist in avoiding the pregnant look).
I have added 3″ to the pattern length, unusual for me since I am 5’2″, but the pattern is pretty short and I really wanted to avoid any potential tummy flashing!!
Time for a close up, plus bonus peek to the inside which is predominantly French-seamed.
All construction issues aside, I absolutely love this blouse and it is perfect for our mild Brisbane winters. I feel like I am totally channeling Nina Proudman in this.
Pattern – Burdastyle #122 from 01/2008 issue – not available online
Fabric – 1.5m of Rayon from East Coast Fabrics
Notions – vintage buttons and thread
Bwah ha ha! Because the shirt has fans on it of course!!
This is more of the Japanese Tana lawn bought at the same time as my Darling Ranges Dress. When I bought this particular pattern I had a vision of a nice shirt to go with jeans. I knew I didn’t really want the fit of the ubiquitous Archer shirt, I wanted something a bit more floaty and I wanted rolled up sleeves with tabs. Enter Simplicity 1694 which seemed to tick all the boxes.
I originally bought this pattern thinking it would be nice to have a couple of sleeveless floaty shirts for summer, but then somehow I just never got around to it.
In all honesty when I first sewed this up I really didn’t like it and had to make a few alterations as it the pattern sizing is huge and looked like maternity wear.
I cut the medium based on my shoulder measurement and didn’t bother with an FBA as the shape was not fitted. I ended up taking the side seams in by 1.5″ on each side at the bottom graduating to ½” in the bust area. I also narrowed the sleeves by ½”. The shoulders were required to be narrowed by an inch due. I would have liked to add more waist shaping however this was not possible due to the pleat in the back, if I was to take it in more at the sides it made the back poof out like I had a hunchback.
In saying that, I am happy with the fit as is, and the shirt is great for our somewhat pathetic winters. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and have already worn it loads (as seen in my MMM instagram feed).
I think with this pattern that fabric choice is really important, more than it is in some patterns. I did have a sleeveless version in a heavy-ish rayon and it just looked terrible and no alterations were going to fix it. So unflattering. This pattern really needs a light fabric, a voile, lawn, georgette or silk, it needs that softness and drape.
Now I know it sounds like I am being all negative Nelly about this one, but there is loads that I do like:
– the roll up tabs are exactly what I wanted
– I love the mandarin collar instead of the standard expected collar
– the fabric is great to wear
– perfect wardrobe builder
It’s weird, I don’t usually wear button down shirts so of course I don’t normally make them, so this was a nice change to sew.
I do remember making some really cool shirts back in the early 90s – I had a pale blue chambray shirt with chambray leopard print yoke and cuffs – very trendy at the time! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so ruthless in my wardrobe culling, I’d love to have been able to share some of these gems with you. Plus it would be interesting to see how my sewing has evolved over 20 years! .
So, will I make this shirt again? Maybe… I really do prefer wearing dresses so I won’t be rushing to make more shirts, but it was a nice change.
Pattern – Simplicity 1694 – view A
Fabric – 2m of Japanese Tana Lawn from Spotlight
Notions – buttons and thread