Posts Tagged ‘ blouse ’

Must…find…blouse pattern…for…fabulous…silk

I bought ridiculous silk at the Vogue right before Christmas, two chunks of two yards each, from the $3 table. Bought one piece, realized folly, went back for a second.

silk magenta print

I haven’t found the right blouse pattern for it yet. Something super simple to show off the irregular pattern of the fabric. Something with a little cap sleeve. Something in as few pieces as possible.
Then I was thinking one of the pattern lady’s gems might work. Especially since it was one of her few that I could cut to my own size instead of just her usual 18. And lately, I only want to wear dolman sleeves, long to the wrist or short.

Simplicity 7264

Clearly I’m too chicken to experiment on the silk. And the one below is too complicated. Maybe lengthening one of the plain ones… Must find the time to make a muslin before the poor silk ends up lost in a stash.

Simplicity 7264 tops I like

Wrapped up in purple, vol. 2

No wonder I couldn’t find this post! It never got published, and I made this little top from the purple wrap story, what, the summer before last?!

desira purple finished

I remember buying this purple geometric fabric at another Joann close to where I used to work on a winter weekend when it cost $1 a yard. Silly me didn’t know what to do with it and ponied up just one dollar. (Yes, I now know better and buy at least 2 and usually 3.) Within the week, I knew one yard wouldn’t make anything, so it sat and sat and sat.

Desira to the rescue — a yard proved enough for the main body, and cobbled together the edging with scraps of black and white polka dots from two other projects.

desira purple arm facing

I had to make my own wide seam binding for the front.

desira sew facing from pieces

desira make facing from pieces 2

desira make facing from pieces

desira facing made from pieces

And I nixed the belt and inside snaps for a set of ties, all cut from scraps, pinned and sewn to the spots where you’d have stuck the snaps.

desira purple tie1

desira purple tie2
Burda Style got me hooked on bias strips, something I never really used before. Their techniques for finishing armholes and necklines – essentially before you finish sewing the garment together – makes for really clean insides at the end. I sew French seams whenever possible – and now use French bias tape so nothing frays or looks all 4-H.

Cranky cranky cranky

My job’s had me in the worst mood lately. But since I actually have a job, and I collect a regular paycheck for doing what I studied to be, there’s no sense complaining. Maybe for a while, my sense of fulfillment will have to come from somewhere else. 

Sewing makes me happy most of the time, so I’ve been doing more of it to compensate. And looking cute at work helps too, so I wanted to finish this refashion of a vintage nylon blouse that was way too big and sloppy.

Navy dots on a white background. Little V-neck with an attached tie. Fits beautifully under a V-neck cardigan, too. 

blouse

This was a simple seam up both sides up to the sleeve. 

Anybody else try out a “finished” sewing project and then realize it needs more work? Happens to me all the time. Originally I left the sleeves as they were, to the elbow. Nope.

Taking them up was such an improvement:
blouse

Fitted: One giant purple silk blouse

My purple obsession is bordering on…obsessive. I am heeding advice to stock up while everyone thinks purple’s all fresh and trendy, for the days when my love is finally left alone.

Grabbed up a size 22 shell at the thrifts for $2. It’s a beautiful purple color and it’s pure silky silk.

blouse purple silk before

The neck has some great details, too. There used to be an invisible zipper up the side — no more. I thought this was going to be a simple fix – pull in the sides, pin, baste, sew. And you know I love refitting giant tops to fit me because of the resulting long length and the de facto cap sleeves.

Alas, some pesky darts got in the way. My refashions are sometimes lazy. I didn’t want to rehem anything or refinish any edges. So I ended up making darts on my own to pull up the slack so the front matched the back at the armhole and hem.

blouse purple silk new dart

Took three tries to get it right. Here’s one of the mistakes

blouse purple silk bad dart

I kept trying very long darts that went along the bias and were hard to sew. Unclear why – had some impression from a vintage pattern it was the way to go.

In the end, wide, straight darts ended up working right.

Tried out a Hong Kong finish on the edges to keep it all smart looking, cutting the tape from the side scraps. So little waste!

blouse purple silk hong kong finish
blouse purple silk hong kong finish

And now I have a new silk blouse.

blouse-purple-silk-done-side
That’s so ready for a stretchy purple sequined belt.

blouse-purple-silk-done

Refitting = decluttering

I can’t stand the clutter in my apartment and closet anymore! It’s been dragging me down and occupying more mental energy than it is worth. Plus it’s that time of year in Chicago where I’m itching to put on more than my winter black turtleneck and dark cords.

Of course, I’m all supposed to be working on this other little project, but I’ve reached a point where I need another set of hands. And I’m too germy tonight to ask her, new mama of a teeny baby, to risk infection.

Svengoolie

So this eve, I’m home with Svengoolietonight showing The Blob starring Steve McQueen and a sweet Burt Bacharach theme song all from 1958 — and the sewing machine, wrapping up all those little oddball repairs and fixes that have rendered so much clothing a total drag to wear.

This little sheer purple thrifted blouse had its ugly old button stuck on by the previous owner for ornamental purposes replaced with a cutie little flowered one.

Purple blouse w ugly button

Purple blouse after close

Purple blouse front

It’s really see through and needs its own proper slip to wear underneath. I’ll table that for the next time SvenG shoes the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Purple blouse after

Some gray flannel pants needed a good hem. I shortened them with a little cheat technique I’ll post soon.

Gray pants hem

I started taking in a black top with some gold and purple irises on the front. Started pinning in some darts in the back to give the thing some shape. Then I thought about maybe just posting the thing on etsy as is.

top purple iris

Iris shirt during pin darts

And some black knit thrifted pants that were too big got taken in by the rear seam. Not a glamorous enough repair to photograph.

Must say that Svengoolie makes for excellent company.

Svengoolie

I didn’t grow up here with him on Saturday nights. In Philadelphia, we had a similar cheeseball horror show called Saturday Night Dead featuring a busty hostess called Stella. Only Svengoolie has better songs than I remember on SND. And he starts at like 9 p.m. instead of 1 a.m.

Here’s hoping somebody ponies up the cash for the glow-in-the-dark Svengoolie t-shirt in time for my birthday. Though I think I’ve blown my t-shirt karma around here in a stack of boxy shirts destined for refashions but still sitting in the pile.

Svengoolie opening

how to… shorten blouse sleeves-3

I was playing with short sleeve a while back by making new short cuffs, and by resetting the whole sleeve to preserve the original cuffs.

Thrifted a long sleeved black cotton blouse this week because of the great wrap detail – a button plus tie with a cummerbund sort of detail – and decided, so I can wear it to work, to do the simplest shortening of all – a basic chop and hem – while watching the nightly news.

blouse black wrap before & after after… and before

You can see the long sleeve as a before, and the sleeve I shortened as an after.

Flip the blouse inside out to work with it. Mark where you want the short sleeve to end, cut straight across, and then hem using this failsafe method: Measure an inch from the raw edge, fold up wrong sides together and press. Then fold the raw edge into the fold, and press again. Tack with a few pins, then stitch with a basic straight stitch. I like to use excised sleeve #1 to mark and cut sleeve #2.

Doesn’t get much easier – unless you chop and wear, a la t-shirts.

a present just-because

My Mister’s sister is crazy for pink. I suspect it’s to prove her tacit credos that redheads can wear whatever they like, and so can tough broads.

She also teaches at a Chicago Public School, and hates mixing her ‘normal’ wardrobe with her teacher clothes. So she has a sort of double wardrobe.

I don’t know where this vintage handmade blouse will end up, but I spotted it at a suburban Salvy and plunked down the $.75, thinking if she doesn’t like it, she’ll donate it back. Or she’ll hand it back and we’ll put it up for a few $ on etsy. It has a wide, trapeze shape, and the sleeves were sewn on in three pieces.

Plus, the pink circles are mesmerizing. I had to repair the sleeve and bottom hems.

I think it worked.