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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Also, I love the flowy, puffy sleeve shape in this pattern.
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.
With my deadline approaching and no creative ideas forthcoming, I decided to sew a patch over it and call it a day.
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).
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.
As soon as we got to the party, I breathed a sigh of relief. People wore a wide variety of styles. I was fine.
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…