Weathering Dorian – Simplicity 7051 blouse

We’ve been so fortunate here in Orlando (yes, my house closed last week, and I’m officially here). It’s very windy, with some rain, but my temporary pad is an apartment snugged inside an incredible property called The Gardeners Cottage. I’m living in the middle of a rampantly lush botanical garden. Good for the soul.

I ventured out between rain squalls to get a few pics of my new Simplicity 7051 blouse, sewn before I moved (first version and sewing notes here).

This fabric is so cute, it’s STOF Dodo Petrole woven cotton from Fabric.com. It’s 63″ wide! and, given the length of the repeat, I used all of 2 yards to accommodate the print matching and placement. I think of this as my ‘Incredible Dr. Pol’ blouse 🙂

My landlord has five gorgeous kitties.This one is quite old and calm, and he seems to like me. Or maybe he just connected with the cats on the print.

(There’s nothing like a back view to highlight baggy jeans – shameful!)

I have more things to post, but without my sewing gear, I’m knitting, painting, and reading. All the effort, work, and worry that went into showing and selling the house left me more tired than I realized. I’m sleeping like a baby.

Bye for now – Coco

Sewing! Ready to Sew Justine Skirt

Actually, I’ve been sewing like crazy. It’s a great way to release tension and get off to never never land 🙂

Check out this delightful skirt from Ready to Sew and, at the moment, it’s free. Grab it… Features: a layered PDF and half sizes, total 21 sizes. Remarkable!

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 38, and it was perfect, including the width of the waistband.
  • My fabric is Kaufman Essex linen from Hancocks of Paducah. It’s a longtime favorite fabric for pants, jumpsuits, and skirts. It has just enough body with a relaxed drape – I wouldn’t do this skirt in anything really drapey, e.g., rayon challis, or too heavy, e.g., bottomweight twill.
  • Loves – the pockets. The decorative flap is so cute, and they are truly deep.
  • Be sure to catch the flap in the corner triangle. Got to keep it turned and flat…
  • The skirt has a one-button closure, but I was very wary of using a button closing. Have you ever had a button pull and pull, maybe tear the fabric to which it was sewn? I opted for two things: I added an additional piece of woven interfacing under the closure area,
  • and I used a waistband fastener for closure, with a non-functioning button on top!

About that top – it’s a Style Arc Elsie blouse, sleeveless, sewn in Kaufman Royal Cotton Oxford, from Fabric.com. What a delightful blouse fabric.

I love this and plan to wear it over and over as I search for a new house in Orlando. Easy dressing 🙂 Coco

Simplicity 7051 Vintage blouse

Well, I thought I would head east to Europe on my armchair travel journey, but instead I went west to the great southwest desert.

I found this lovely blouse pattern (1985) on some random search, and I fell in love. Ordered it on Etsy.

The attraction – the deep revere collar and elegant lines. Getting the pattern was just the beginning. Surprises:

  • It has directions for shoulder pads…
  • And for multiple bust treatments, on the pattern tissue. Not as a suggestion or re-direct to a bust adjustment tutorial. No dart, my choice, and C and D cup darts. What patterns do that now!

Moving on, it seems I’m taking STOF France fabrics on my journey. This is a woven cotton from Fabric.com, Impressions de Nature Aloe Lorraine. 🙂

Sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size 12.
  • Although the pattern has lots of drape at the armscye for a shoulder pad, I won’t use one, so I brought in the outside shoulder seam in by 5/8″.
  • The sleeves are short. I added 1″.
  • And the cuffs/pleats are very tight, a throwback to the ’80s. I added a 1.25″ button tab and simply gathered my sleeve into the cuff.
  • The pleated pocket and epaulets are interesting options, but I left off the epaulets and flattened the pocket, adding 1.5″ at the top for a nice fold.
  • Not being fond of fusible interfacing, I used Pellon SF785 woven sewn-in for my facings.
  • The collar treatment – I really dislike and abominate a collar that is clipped and turned in at the shoulders. Really really. I always draft a back neckline facing for a nice finish.

Pics!

I have lots of plans for this pattern – this is the most comfortable, best-fitting blouse I’ve ever sewn. 🙂

Ciao! Coco

Style Arc Elsie camp shirt variation

Well, I never imagined I would like this play on a revere neckline, but I was so wrong! A thank you and shout-out to Karen (@intostitches) for the inspiration to try this pattern! It’s actually really interesting to sew and to wear.

From Style Arc, the real name of this cutie is the Elsie Oversized Shirt:

But with a few changes, it becomes a nifty semi-fitted shirt.

Basics:

  • Redrew the front and back hemlines and drafted a shirt-tail hem. My center back finishes at 25″, a favorite length.
  • Drafted a short-sleeve option.
  • Drafted the back with pleat or no-pleat options.

Other notes:

  • Sewed the size 10, and it’s a perfect fit.
  • Drafted my pattern with 1/2″ seam allowances, everywhere. The pattern includes 3/8″ and 1/4″ SAs, treacherous with woven fabrics!
  • Shortened the bust darts by an inch. For some reason they are drawn out past the bust apex mark. Weird.
  • Annoying (1) the pattern has full-width back and yoke pieces. I had to print the associated pages to get the goodies, but what a lot of wasted paper and ink, since both can be cut on the fold.
  • Annoying (2) it has a single-layer yoke! It’s easy enough to cut the facing, but what an oversight.

Bits and pieces:

I used cotton poplin shirting and Pellon sew-in interfacing, both from Fabric.com. And, yes, I washed and dried the interfacing before using it to avoid shrinkage when the entire garment is washed.

I like to attach pockets before things get going, whenever it’s practical.

The facing is sewn into the neckline and hand-stitched at the shoulders and bottom of the yoke.

It’s easy to reduce the bulk in a double-fold hem! My seams are serged together, stopping at a clip at the fold line. I open the remaining seam allowance, and it’s easy to make those folds.

I love rounded buttonholes on blouses 🙂

A couple close-ups, worn out:

One is never enough – I’m starting a long-sleeve version tomorrow 🙂

Ciao – Coco

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