July 29, 2011

Little silk blouse

Yesterday, I spent a lot of words on how much fabric to buy for what project. Today, I'm off in an altogether different direction. Re-fashioning.

As you may know (especially if you've been following this blog for a while), I often make things from second hand leather clothing. No problem there.
I buy second hand stuff more often than I use it. It's like having a double stash. On rare occasions, it will be an item too interesting to pass up but more often it's unappealing clothes which attract the fibre-snob in me.

That way, I have, slowly but surely, built quite a collection of silk shirts. They are all 100% silk, most were for sale at 1 euro a piece and they are all big, blocky and probably from the 1980's (or 90's. A lot of what we think of as typical 80's fashion happened in the early 90's for most people).
At some point, I used one silk shirt for my first draping experiment. Which was interesting and (un)fortunately taught me that Mary has a bit of a posture problem which I don't really share with her. That particular shirt was made of a slightly heavier and more matt silk than all the others.

Now, I have decided to do something about the silk shirt stash. After all, that silk would be great to wear if we are still getting a bit of summer and even in autumn and winter, nice silk tops could make great pieces for layering.

This little blouse is my first attempt. The shape is rather simple, but I thought that between that and its shy nude tone of colour (which is impossible to get right in a photograph), it could use something to jazz it up a bit. And I don't usually do decoration. At all.
The material wasn't easy to work with. Very thin, slippery and very stretchy when used even the slightest bit off grain (like in say, bust darts, or shoulder seams or even just slightly shaped side seams)

Susan wrote a post, a while ago about making a vintage-style chemise, using a double needle as a quick and easy way to make narrow pintucks. That is what I decided to try here.
And I had this narrow lace in my stash which matched the colour of the shirt quite well (bought way back, when I just started sewing and thought decoration was nice). I sewed that on using a small zigzag and cut out the narrow bits between the lines of stitching. I used a zigzag because I did a test in which I could just tear the fabric away if it had been attached to the lace with a straight stitch...
The buttons are mother of pearl and come from a very old card of buttons which I found in one of the little sewing boxes from my grandmother.

I'm reasonably happy with the blouse. The fit is Ok, I think I will mostly wear it tucked into a high waistband and I'll have yet to see how well it holds up with wearing and washing.


  1. You did a great job! What a great way to use some of those "reference" garments. That's what I call them btw, and I have quite a few.

  2. Very nice! I love the decoration you added even though I rarely do embellishment myself, either. And I just love wearing silk - I tend to gravitate towards my silk blouses all year round, they're just so lovely to feel against your skin.