Oops, it is already November and I still have a couple of unblogged summer garments. It has been a bit quiet here for the past few months. I am in the middle of completing my dissertation and spending time on blog posts seems a bit frivolous at the moment. Writing this dissertation has become such a long-drawn-out process and even though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, there is still so much work left to do. Nevertheless, now that I have finished a particularly difficult chapter, I feel that I can spare some time to write a blog post!
As autumn is in full swing, doing a round-up of my summer sewing seems a bit out of season. Instead, I will show you something I completed recently. Yes, I am still sewing, because that is how I keep my sanity! Of all the fabrics I bought in the first half of this year, I was most eager to use this vintage mystery fabric I found at the thrift store. At first I thought it was a cotton blend, but after handling and sewing it, I think it must at least be part rayon/viscose. It is lightweight with a nice drape, so a loose-fitting blouse seemed to be the best option.
As soon as I saw the short sleeve blouse in the June issue of Burdastyle, I knew I had found my pattern. The puff sleeves, peter pan collar and back yoke give off a vintage vibe that seems to match the fabric well. Over the past few years, I have barely sewn from recent Burdastyle issues, so this was a nice change of pace. Nowadays, when the magazine contains just one or two patterns I can image sewing up, I wait until I can borrow it at the library.
This pattern calls for 1.70m of 140cm wide fabric (without pattern matching), but I managed to squeeze it out of 1.75m of 90cm wide fabric with only a couple of very small scraps left. I did have to cut the under collar and inside yoke on the cross-grain, but both are interfaced and not visible on the outside, so it hardly makes any difference. Less fortunate is that I had to shorten the blouse with a couple of centimeters, I really wish it was a bit longer, especially in the front!
For the most part this blouse was a breeze to construct: only two darts, no collar stand, no sleeve vents, no cuffs. The only thing that threw me off was the construction of the concealed button closure. Burdastyle has you cut a separate placket for the buttonholes, but the instructions on how to attach it were not that clear to me. After trying several ways and failing to achieve a neat finish, I just – very gently – ripped it off. It was not the main feature that attracted me to the pattern and changing it into an ordinary closure gave me an opportunity to use some pretty buttons.
This was my first time using spray starch to stabilize fabric. I tend to sew with thicker and less shifty fabric and I found that the spray starch made the rayon much easier to handle. The fabric frays a lot, so I used French seams wherever i could. The inner yoke/facing encloses the back and shoulder seams, which looks very neat. Admittedly, some buttonholes turned out less than perfect, because I forgot to use interfacing (I had interfaced the separate button placket and managed to get nice buttonholes on that one, so that was a bit of a bummer).
Both of Burdastyle’s photographs in the magazine show the blouse from the front and tucked into shorts, which makes it difficult to assess the overall fit. As usual, I cut a size 40, which tends to fit me best around the shoulders and sleeves. On fitted garments, often have to do a full bust adjustment, but because this blouse seemed so roomy, the only adjustment I made was lowering the bust dart a couple of centimeters.
As it turnes out, however, most of the width is in the back of the blouse, while the front is fairly fitted around the shoulders and bust. Needless to say, the blouse ended up shorter in the front than in the back, although I am not sure this can be attributed to the absence of the FBA only. It does not bother me too much and I suppose it could pass as a design feature.
My goal was to make a breezy blouse that could be worn in summer with slim fit pants, possibly unbuttoned over a camisole. Perhaps it could even function as a crop top, with the lower front halves tied together. As summer is still far, far away, I might start wearing it tucked into a skirt underneath a cardigan. The fabric’s colours work in any season and could add some much needed brightness to my winter wardrobe.
Materials and cost
Fabric: vintage rayon(?), bought for 50 Sek at a charity shop (Myrorna)
Plastic buttons: salvaged from old cardigan