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!


  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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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

      Liked by 1 person

  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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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


  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


    Liked by 1 person

  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?

    Liked by 1 person

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