Because that’s all that you have time for in the summer, right? This summer has been flying by, but I managed to eke out a couple of cute blouses. (And a Cambie dress, but that isn’t a complete success due to my seat-of-the-pants experimentation in fitting-land. I’ll get back to try that again later!)
The first blouse I finished is an out-of-print pattern, New Look 6385. I made the first iteration of this blouse several years ago, out of a beige striped quilting cotton. I look awful in beige! It was a wearable muslin, and the thing is, I kept wearing it over the years. I clearly loved the blouse even though the color was all wrong for me.
I found this navy dotted swiss in New York at Metro Textiles, buried way in the back. As soon as I saw the color, though, I knew it would be perfect for this blouse. I tried different sleeves this time, did a square shoulder alteration, and lengthened it a scooch. I want to make another with the plain cuffed sleeves in a better color now! I finally retired the beige blouse—yay!
The second blouse I made recently is Simplicity 3786. I used a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in a pretty blue with purple threads in it. I did a square and narrow shoulder alteration, shortened the pattern to squeeze it out of the yardage I had, and a biceps alteration because it looked like the sleeves might be too restricting.
The pattern instructions tell you to sew bias binding for the elastic along the casing line, but the casing line is marked for the other view with the drawstring and goes from seam to seam, even though this view clearly shows only a shorter line of gathering in the back. They don’t tell you how much bias binding to cut, either, which might be another clue. It does tell you to use 4″ of elastic, so I winged it and used 6″ of binding as a good guess. It brings in the back a little, but there’s generous ease, so I might use a longer length of gathering (6″ of elastic to 10″ of binding?) in the back next time. I sewed a size 14 but ended up tapering in the sides an inch on each side! I’d love to make the version with the long sleeves for fall.
Both of these were quick sews, and I’m so happy I chose colors I look better in. Steph recently wrote an interesting post on color, and it’s definitely something that’s been on my mind. What are MY colors and most importantly, where can I find them in the right fabric to sew up? That is actually the hard part. I’m kind of annoyed with ‘fashion trends’ that dictate the fabric lines each year. I walk into my local fabric store and just sigh when I see the color palette in front of me I have to choose from. Lovely for a painting, maybe, but not next to my face. Knowing what colors I look good in should make it easier to find what I want, but most of the time I find that there are NO shirting or dress fabrics in the colors I want. And I’m not talking anything radical. I’m talking colors like navy or green, jewel tones out of yes, lightweight summer fabrics. I don’t look good in very many pastels or vivids no matter what time of year it is. When I saw this dotted swiss and shot cotton, I bought both immediately only because they were colors I have a hard time finding. Who knows when I’ll see them again? Maybe someday navy will be on trend!