Grainline Alder – Mandarin blouse muslin

Muslin time! I’ve been thinking about drafting a mandarin collar blouse for 8 years – ever since I saw a young woman in the dentist office wearing a white sleeveless version over jeans. It was so fresh and feminine.

I’m right in the middle of making a dress, but decided to stop and get started on the blouse.

My starting point was the beautiful Grainline Alder shirtdress. It’s so well-drafted and lends itself to many variations.

Some time ago, Jen posted a tutorial on a band collar option, using just the collar stand. Brilliant!

Sewing notes:

  • I started with the size 8, with a few tweaks to accommodate my hollow chest and thin neck.
  • The collar stand – I wanted it a bit higher with a fuller curve at the front edge. And no button.

I’m so pleased with the result!

  • Impossible to see on this print, I also added 2.5″ to width of the back piece, gathered into the yoke. I just like the added ease provided by this small change and have incorporated it in all my Alder shirtdress versions.
  • This muslin has a CB of 25″, but I’m planning to narrow this hem and lengthen future versions to 26.5″
  • Miscellaneous: my fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Mart. To ensure that the collar would not be floppy, I interfaced it with midweight non-woven interfacing. And I used cotton broadcloth to interface the front button bands.
  • I also drafted 2″ wide facings for the neckline, front and back, to add stability around the collar seam.

Great project, soon to be sewn in white fabric.

Parting note: You guys are the best. I am so uplifted by all the thoughtful comments on my last post. I really do feel that I have a team of friends supporting me. Thank you 🙂 Coco

15 thoughts on “Grainline Alder – Mandarin blouse muslin

  1. I did a muslin of this pattern. I found that the bust darts were too low, which has never happened to me before. Of course, this is the first time I have made a pattern from this company. I am curious if you had a similar experience.

    I love your blog! It is one of my favorites for sewing inspiration!

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  2. Your blouse is beautiful! Thanks you always for your tutorials!
    Coco, you have faced so many health challenges and this is another. I am so sorry you have to now go through this one. You are a strong person with a positive outlook on life which is a plus in any medical situation. I wish you all the best with this new challenge.

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    1. thank you, Sandy. I think the biggest impact is that I’m getting very thin!! All that lovely plumpness seems to have deserted me. It’s an adjustment. but I feel well. Love hearing from you. Coco

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  3. Love to read your blog. Have escaped into it over the last little while as my hubby has just had a heart attack – nearly died – and now has stents plus other medical issues. Luckily I am in Australia, so Intensive Care, operations, heli-ambulance, medications, etc all covered under our universal Medicare, so I don’t have the added stress of finding the money to pay for it all! I just love these collars, you have inspired me to sewing for our upcoming summer.

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    1. Sam, I can imagine how overwhelmed you’ve both been. I hope hubby continues to recover well as he faces his additional medical challenges. I admire your fortitude and resilience in managing such unexpected and impactful changes in your lives. My thoughts are with you both. Coco

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  4. Coco, I love your blog and always am happy to see Coco’s Loft in my email inbox! Your sewing tips are great and I’ve applied many of them in my sewing journey.

    I am of a certain age also and am appreciative of all health concerns you share with your readers.

    Thanks, Karen

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  5. Your top is beautifully fresh too. Wishing I had some cotton voile here as it is unseasonably warm. Glad Coco’s Loft is back. Sometimes we just have to try on something different to find out it’s not really a good fit. Did the doctors tell you what carotid turbulence actually means?

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