Tag Archives: blouse

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

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Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

These days, I wear a lot of stretchy pants and t-shirts, which, honestly, I love, but I still like to make the occasional non-stretchy garment, too. ūüėČ The latest project I have to share with you is in that non-stretchy category and is a new style for me, which is fun! It’s the Victoria Blouse from Fibre Mood.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

This pattern has a ruffled collar, triangular front yoke with gathers falling from it, and slightly puffed sleeves.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

This isn’t a style that I have really worn before, but I love the romantic blouses we have been seeing in fashion and, consequently, in sewing patterns. They are so much fun to wear. When I finished this and put it on for the first time, it took me right back to the ’80’s, which was the last time styles like this were a thing. While I never would have worn this in the ’80’s, I really like it now!

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

Fibre Mood has offered various PDF patterns for free throughout the pandemic (so generous!) to help people keep sewing, as it’s a positive, stress-relieving activity for so many. I downloaded this several months ago when it was free and made it in the fall. After looking through my stash, I decided that the Victoria Blouse would be perfect in this cotton “Swiss Dot Voile” fabric from Fabric Mart (long since sold out). The fabric itself is really cool and can be used with either side as the right side. One side has little oblong embroidered shapes, and the other has fuzzy dots, typical of a swiss or clip dot fabric. I love this kind of fabric.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

After printing and assembling this pattern, I had to add seam allowance, which is not my favorite thing. I think you have the option to print with or without seam allowance on Fibre Mood patterns at this point, although I could be wrong. The seam allowances they recommended on this pattern were different at different points. This is both good and bad–good because it eliminates waste from large seam allowances that you have to trim, and bad because you have to keep track of which piece has what seam allowance. To keep track, I wrote myself notes along the way. I figured it was good for me to try something different, even if I wasn’t sure that I would like it, because maybe I would come to like it or discover something new by trying it.

The directions instruct you to finish a lot of the seams with a serger. I have a serger now, but I don’t love how the finish looks, and while I want to use it when appropriate, I don’t want to serge all my seam allowances when there are often better quality choices out there. However, for this pattern, I decided to stick to my plan of following the directions, at least the first time through.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

Before beginning, I did a major broad back adjustment (which is typical for me). I cut a 48 bust and graded out to a 50 hip. Overall, I liked sewing this pattern. The instructions were well laid out. I followed them pretty faithfully, except that I put my sleeves in flat rather than setting them in. One thing I liked is how they put the collar and cuffs on, which involves topstitching from the outside rather than trying to stitch in the ditch so that there is no visible stitching on the outside. I find it hard to do that well while catching the fabric underneath, so I like the method that Fibre Mood chose. I think it’s easier and looks nice.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

The back neck slit is only turned once and stitched, so I added another line of stitching to (hopefully) keep it from fraying too far, but there could definitely be a better finish there.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

Overall, I am really happy with the finished blouse. In fact, I love it, especially tucked in. I found it to be comfortable overall with enough neck and wrist room. The sleeves are puffy, but not so large that they get in the way.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

Some possible changes I would consider making next time:

*raise the armhole to allow for better/more arm movement

*take a small horizontal wedge out of the back just below the collar to get the back neck slit to sit more smoothly against the body

*consider if a different neck closure would work better–maybe buttons with elastic loops? I find that the hooks and eyes sometimes unhook as I wear the shirt.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

*consider lengthening the shirt if I know I will always wear it tucked in. It is the perfect length for me to wear without tucking it in, but it tends to come untucked in the back when I try to wear it tucked in.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
“Look! The sun is out!” Sometimes we try to get creative when taking pictures…with mixed results. Haha!
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile
Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

These are all small and optional suggestions because, overall, I love this shirt. I feel good when I wear it, and I would make another. For now, I think I will put it away in order to have a nice surprise for spring.

Fibre Mood Victoria Blouse in Cotton Swiss Dot Voile

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The Silk Party Blouse: New Look 6560

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The Silk Party Blouse:  New Look 6560

Hi, everyone!¬† I hope you had an enjoyable time over the holidays.¬† I decided to take a break from blogging and Instagram as well as whatever else I could put a pause on to rest and hang out with my family, which was nice.¬† Today’s project was one I made before Christmas, but didn’t get good pictures of, so I’m sharing it today.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

This is New Look 6560, View A, a long-sleeved blouse in a beautiful chartreuse silk from Pintuck & Purl.  In fact, Maggie told me she ordered this silk for the shop with me in mind (Aww!!! So nice!).  Clearly, I gravitate toward this color.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

The Story

A few months ago, my husband’s work sent us an invitation to a fancy holiday party.¬† I am not a fancy person, although this sounded like fun.¬† As a non-fancy person, my gut reaction was to FREAK OUT!¬† The party was in Boston at a swanky club and the dress was COCKTAIL DRESS.¬† Ack!¬† So I turned to Google and Pinterest to see just how much latitude I had with that and what it even meant!¬† I came up with a plan, and ordered a stack of fabric.¬† Then I looked at my fabric stack for a few days and decided that I didn’t like my plan.¬† I did a lot of freaking out, and finally settled on this pattern (which is everywhere in stores right now, interestingly) and this silk, which was in my stash after a sale at P & P.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

I got a fanciness pep talk and help from people at the shop to figure out how to starch the fabric.¬† They also sold me one more yard because I realized I had enough for everything but one of the sleeves, and I wasn’t going for a one-sleeved look.¬† Wrap styles can be fabric hogs!

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Design Choices and Cutting

OK.¬† Let’s talk details.¬† I opted to leave off the ruffle on View A.¬† I cut an 18 bust, and a 22 waist and hip.¬† Size 22 was beyond what the pattern offered, so I graded out by copying the shape and distance between the other sizes.¬† After looking online at others’ versions of this pattern, I decided to lengthen the shirt by two inches just under the waist mark.¬† Then I measured the new bottom edge to make sure it would still fit around my hips, which it did with no problem.¬† It didn’t look like I needed a broad back adjustment, so I crossed my fingers and cut it out.¬† Starching the fabric and using a rotary cutter with a sharp, new blade were really helpful.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Construction

I used French seams everywhere except the yoke/shoulder seam.¬† I sewed that seam and then did a three-step zigzag in the seam allowance and trimmed it close.¬† According to the book Sewing Specialty Fabrics from the Singer Sewing Reference Library, this is called a double-stitched seam.¬† I didn’t remember to use French seams until after I had done that one.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

I also put in my sleeves flat, although I did still use the gathering stitches at the top of the sleeve to get the sleeve to fit to the shirt body.¬† It’s a wonderful thing when even your sleeves and armscyes have beautiful French seams!

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Also, I love the flowy, puffy sleeve shape in this pattern.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Overall, this wasn’t too hard to sew.¬† It was enjoyable.¬† I was on one of the last steps and was cutting my buttonhole with my buttonhole chisel when disaster struck!¬† I thought I was being careful, but somehow part of the shirt was under the buttonhole and I cut two little slices in my shirt.¬† At that point, I just walked away.¬† There was no going back in time and it was getting late, so I put the project down until the next day.

The next day, I fused a bit of interfacing to the back side, which looked pretty good from the right side, but I had my doubts about how permanent a fix that was.¬† So, I applied some Fray Check.¬† That didn’t look so good.¬† It looked like a permanent wet spot.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

With my deadline approaching and no creative ideas forthcoming, I decided to sew a patch over it and call it a day.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

I figured the tie would mostly cover it, and it does.  Sometimes these things happen.  What can you do?

As for the rest of the process, I made sure to put a little interfacing behind my button to strengthen the fabric.¬† For the belt, I topstitched around the outside once I had turned it.¬† I used a satiny ribbon for the inner ties (although those have started to come apart from the shirt at the stitch line after being washed and dried a few times–you can see that in the second picture a bit).

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

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The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Thankfully, I made the blouse on time, paired it with a camisole I made a long time ago (also silk, also from Pintuck & Purl), and some thrifted trousers, comfortable Dansko clog boots, and a FABULOUS faux fur jacket from Nordstrom Rack.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

As soon as we got to the party, I breathed a sigh of relief.  People wore a wide variety of styles.  I was fine.

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

I still need to work on my fancy clothes game, but I broke the ice, and I have since worn this top to church as well as with jeans to a more casual holiday party.¬† Now I kind of want to make it in some hot pink stretch velvet I got for my birthday…

The silk party blouse:  New Look 6560

Summer Blouse

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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!

Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross

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!).

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

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.¬† ūüėȬ† 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.

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

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.

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

Summer Blouse by Pattern and Branch

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.