Happy May! It’s finally May and even though it’s not really warm here, it’s not winter, either. The leaves and flowers are budding and starting to show their colors. This is the time of year I’m reminded that you can actually crave color. I just want to squeeze all the gorgeous greens, blues, yellows, and pinks that are starting to come out! The other thing I’ve realized is that I want to dress in all these colors, but…it’s still cold, which means layers and long sleeves.
Must mean it’s a good time to make up another Summer Blouse from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross!
I’ve made this blouse twice now. This is a garment that gets a lot of wear in spring and summer, and maybe a little bit into fall. My fabric of choice is vintage sheeting (as in, “Go to the thrift store and buy a sheet with a pattern you like.” Cheap and easy. Just don’t forget to prewash!!!). I love this fabric for this shirt because all day long you feel like you are getting into newly cleaned sheets. They don’t wrinkle much and are ideal over a tank top if you need a little break from the sun or if a breeze comes up. If you need to take a nap, it’s like you are already in bed (ok, just kidding about that one…unless you wear a blanket-like wrap over top!).
My favorite place to wear one of these blouses is The Brimfield Antique Show, but really any antique flea market will do. Not only do you get the sun and wind-repelling benefits I mentioned, but if you use a vintage sheet, you look like you’re dressing for your surroundings. 😉 Just be warned that you may have people look at you funny and then, when they find out you made your shirt from a sheet, tell you their grandmother had those same sheets.
Strangely enough, as you can see in this last picture, my water-soluble sewing marker didn’t come out completely after I washed this. I even soaked the shirt overnight in OxyClean. Luckily, you don’t really notice it when I’m wearing it. The marks are pretty light and follow some seam lines, but I’ve never had that happen to me before…
A nice thing about this pattern is that you can make this at nearly any skill level. I made my first version of this blouse when I was pretty new to sewing, and I still love and wear it. This can also be a great pattern to use a vintage button on if you have a stash of them.
A few things to note: my version didn’t turn out quite like that pictured in the book. If I actually try to button this, it sort of chokes me, so I always keep it open and wear it over a tank top. There is an omission on the pattern pieces (it’s missing some markings at the shoulders). You can find all errata here. It’s also much shorter on me than the one on the model in the book.
Even with these differences, though, I love this blouse, and I’d recommend it as a nice summer top to make from sheets, voile, or any light fabric. Layer it with a jacket for cooler days, and you are all set for antiquing or any fun outing.