Blouses, Billows, and Nail Biting

While on vacationing Seattle we went to a to District Fabrics.


I was pretty excited since up until this point I have purchased everything form JoAnne’s which has a pretty limited selection. Although I was really eyeing some fabulous Italian wools I couldn’t imagine forking over that kind of money so I ended up with 2 yards of a beautiful kelly green silk with a sort of a herringbone pattern.


My idea was to make this blouse from the McCalls archive collection (view A)


I dutifully bought some silk thread as soon as I got home, I didn’t want to spoil the fabric with a thread that would distort it with the first wash. I laid the fabric out, placed the pattern pieces, and got stage fright. I suddenly was worried that I was going to ruin the most expensive piece of fabric I had ever bought. I decided I should do a wearable muslin first.

Back to JoAnn’s and I walked away with a white shirting fabric with a stipe woven in. At a 1/4 of the cost I felt much more comfortable If I screwed this one up.

As I had intended this to be a wearable muslin I didn’t take too much care to finish the inside. In fact the pattern itself has no finishing suggestions.  I found the sleeves to be interesting. I once again escaped having to do a set in sleeve. Instead is this kimono style with a gathered bit at the end which gives the impression of a nice billowy sleeve.


The only part on the garment that I finished was the band around the lower arm. My thought was that this was the one part that would be rubbing against me so it deserved a little extra attention. I used  some of my massive amount of left over snug hug.

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Because I picked a stripe you can see the style lines a little better. The lower bodice is up and down but the top  is cut at a bias.

Sorry about the wrinkles. This fabric is not very wear friendly :(
Sorry about the wrinkles. This fabric is not very wear friendly 😦

The end result is OK. Im not a fan of how the tie works. It leaves a lot of extra fabric up top that looks a little messy and not very polished. The construction of the ties also serve to make you feel like you’re being swallowed by a giant origami puzzle until you can orient yourself. As for the fit, this pattern doesn’t have any fasteners which makes it very quick to sew BUT it means it has to have enough ease to fit over your head. I think that it looks a little big but I had so much trouble getting it on that I would be hesitant to size down.

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After seeing the finished blouse i’m not so sure if I want to use my fancy silk on this pattern. What to you think?


One thought on “Blouses, Billows, and Nail Biting

  1. The silk blend will drape better. Also, the bias will hug the body some — it won’t stand out from you like the cotton does. I really like the sleeves. Looked weird laying down, but really nice on you. Can you shave some off that tie from the shoulder top to at least the pin? to take away bulk? Maybe try that on the muslin first? Cuff finishing: I’d recommend not leaving the gathering exposed. Just sew the outside to the sleeve, then turn under the inside cuff and whip it by hand over top of the gathering & seam.


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