It started with my vest. I had made this really fun knitted vest with so many cool colors, but I didn’t have a lot of button-up shirts to wear with it. And I wanted button-ups in good colors. I tried thrifting, but still didn’t find just what I was looking for.
I wanted to make a cute blouse with a Peter Pan collar. It would be great to make a whole outfit–grass green pants, a lilac purple blouse, and my vest. I ordered samples for pant fabric, but just didn’t feel like I had the time to really dive in. Then I found pants at T.J. Maxx for a great price in the perfect color. The time to make the blouse was now, before it got too warm. I began at the end of April 2023.
I already had Simplicity 8736, a reissued vintage pattern from the 1940’s.
I thought maybe I could make this pattern, moving the buttons from the back to the front. It might even look on trend. I just wasn’t finding my perfect blouse fabric, though.
And then one day I was at Joann’s and decided to look in their quilting cotton section. Right nearby, I found “Symphony Broadcloth” a polyester/cotton blend.
They had the perfect color, “Sunlit Allium”, but preferring natural fibers in most cases, I looked in the quilting cotton and found the same color. Comparing the two, I saw that the Symphony Broadcloth looked smoother and the color sat better on the fabric. It was also cheaper (on sale, even). After debating a little bit, I decided to give it a try. I could have my imagined shirt, custom-fitted to me for under $10.
And then I found the ideal buttons. The two packs I needed were NOT under $10.
Again, I debated, but they were just right, so I ordered them from Brooklyn Craft Company. The perfect detail! I was so excited!
I planned to make View B with the collar from View D in a 20 bust and 22 waist and hip, and I decided to leave out the vertical darts. Amazingly, I didn’t need a broad back adjustment. I skipped the optional shoulder pads and moved the buttons to the front.
In order to move the button placket, I traced the back button placket on its own and cut it out. I folded back that area on my traced back piece at the center back line, making the back piece into one I could cut on the fold. I taped my traced placket to the front, lining up the center back line of the placket and front center fold as well as the lengthen/shorten lines. Next I folded up the placket as it would be folded in the sewn shirt, and traced the top of the neckline so that both sides of the placket area matched. Then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best!
I didn’t alter the neck facing quite right, so I just replaced that pattern piece with some wide, single fold bias tape from my stash to finish the neckline. I tacked it to the shoulder seams and back neck darts to keep it down. I still think it’s probably a little tight, but the casual observer is not going to notice that, and it feels ok, so it’s fine.
I’m very happy I left off the vertical darts at the bottom back, as the shirt now has the skimming fit with positive ease that I like. I’m also glad I left out the shoulder pads.
The sleeves are definitely puffy, and this fabric has the body to help them stand up.
I think this may be one of those blouses that I look back and laugh at, but for now, I LOVE it. It is distinctive enough that I could feel self-conscious in it, but I know if I saw someone else wearing it, I would think it was really fun, so I’m going with it! It’s perfect with the green pants and, more importantly, with the sweater vest.
And the buttons were worth the splurge.
I have only bought Tabitha Sewer buttons twice because they are pretty pricey, but each time, they have been the perfect detail and really given my project an extra jolt of fun.
Spring here has been long and cool. We’ve had a few warm days, but not many, and I’m trying to use these last cooler days to get a little more wear out of things like this long-sleeved blouse. It’s also nice to know that when fall comes, I’ll have this all ready to go.