Two Quick Summer Blouses

Out of print New Look 6385 blouse side viewout of print New Look 6385 blouse front

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!)

out of print New Look 6385 blouse pattern

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!

Simplicity 3786 blouseSimplicity 3786 blouse back

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. Simplicity 3786 blouse side viewIt 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!


12 thoughts on “Two Quick Summer Blouses

  1. StephC

    I like your blouses, they look like great summer basics. :)

    As for finding colors that suit, I tend to 1)buy long lengths of the right colors when I find them in a decent quality fabric 2) dye my own and 3) spread my nets wide, shopping-wise… Brisbane really only has one decent apparel fabric shop, which is amazing and wonderful, but I do look online and poke around the other fabric shops, too…

    1. littlepostcards Post author

      Those are such good ideas – I wish I’d bought longer lengths of both of these fabrics because of course, I want long sleeve blouses in these colors too. Dyeing sounds like fun! I’ve only bought a couple of fabrics online, because I was unsure of the hand. They’re my colors though! :)

    1. littlepostcards Post author

      Thank you! The tie sleeve was easy to sew. It took me a day of wearing to get used to the ties dangling on my arms though – I kept swatting imaginary mosquitos away. :)

  2. Carolyn

    Your tops both look so pretty! Finding specific colours is pretty challenging. I’ve tried dyeing once in a while but coming across favourite colours is a much easier option of course :) The Kaffe Fasset cottons come in a fantastic range of colours. Purlsoho sells the full range online.

    1. littlepostcards Post author

      Thanks! I’m concerned about dyeing yardage evenly – I’ll have to research that before I try. I love the KF shot cottons! I was supporting a local business and bought the last of the bolt. I’ll definitely be ordering more online! Thanks for the purlsoho tip!

  3. stirandstitch

    i love kaffe’s shot cottons! i’d forgotten how light they are – perfect for summery tops. i have yet to tackle pintucks – are they really tricky? yours look perfect!

    1. littlepostcards Post author

      Oh, thank you – they’re passable! I admittedly was being lazy and using my zigzag foot on my machine and had to eyeball the seams but they turned out okay. It helped to press all the seams beforehand – just the tip of the iron along the seamlines. Give ’em a shot!

  4. Stefanie F

    So good to see your creations! They look great. I have either the same or similar patterns somewhere in my stash I think and love the looks. Sort of classic with a twist. Practice dying on the beige blouse?

  5. littlepostcards Post author

    I already donated it away, lol! I was so glad to have a replacement. :) But some practice dyeing is around the corner!

  6. Pingback: Catching Up and a Blank Canvas | Little Postcards

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