December 19, 2009

A new and different shirt

From time to time, I tend to get a little annoyed with the strict and structured look of most of my creations. Most of the time I love it of course, but not all the time. Owning a serger and being able to make things in jersey has improved this matter, but especially when it comes to tops, it will still hit me every once in a while. This time, the topic was the blouse. Most of mine are fitted and made from a fairly stiff cotton. It is shirtweight but tends to seem a bit starched and just never gets drapey. It happens to be one of the fabrics I can always buy at the local market, so it gets used a lot.

I wanted something flowy, with a wider but still feminine fit and preferably still having the features of a normal button-down shirt. I made some muslins with a wider, undarted body shape and hated them all. Then I remembered this picture from an '08 magazine and decided to do something a bit like that. I drafted the pattern, including my widest sleeve to date.

The fabric I used has been in my stash for a year and a half. I bought it at the fabric market, which is held twice a year. Back then, I thought it was all cotton, but on closer inspection now, I realised the weft threads may be cotton, but the warp threads are something else, most likely polyesther. The things you learn in a year...

When sewing this, I loved my new sewing machine. The old one would have eaten such a delicate fabric. This one didn't even make it pull at the seams.
Because the fabric is a bit sheer, I used white organza instead of the usual lightweight fusible interfacing. I had never done this before, but it worked quite well. I just cut pieces with seam allowance and treated them as one piece with one of the pieces in fabric.
Originally, I made big cuffs for the sleeves, but as soon as the first one was on, I tried the shirt on and hated the look of it. In the end, I opted for binding the sleeve edges with strips of bias cut fabric. They are kind of three quarter length but I think that's OK with such roomy sleeves. It keeps them out of the saucepans ;)

I can see myself wearing this, as soon as the weather starts to warm up again. I still have about a meter of the fabric left, which will become a sleeveless top with ruffles (yay! for rolled hems on the serger)

Oh, and don't forget, there's still plenty of time to enter the giveaway...


  1. What a beautiful blouse. The sleeves add so much to the garment.

  2. Lovely blouse! I especially love the softness of the sleeves.

  3. Very pretty blouse! I have added your blog as a link on mine...

  4. beeeauuuutiful... and i love that leather jacket in your banner too!