Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Watermelon Agua Fresca, Part 1

I have been wanting to make the blouse portion of Simplicity 2154 ever since the pattern was released, but for one reason or another, I never actually opened the envelope.

This leftover fuchsia rayon was my first choice, but I was a bit concerned that the netted backing that creates those pretty diamond shapes would be rough on the skin.  The dress that I made last year was lined, so it was not a problem.  I suppose that I could have lined the blouse, but I wanted to keep it simple (and not have to purchase more fabric!).  Thankfully, what seemed scratchy to the touch while cutting and sewing, is actually quite comfortable to wear.  Don't get me wrong - it’s not silk charmeuse, but it’s not burlap, either.

The other issue was that side zipper.  The fabric drapes beautifully, so I decided that I would try cutting the pieces on the bias and hope that there was enough give to get the garment over my shoulders.  There is, thank goodness! 

The bow really makes this blouse special and is what first caught my attention.  I wanted a more floppy look, so I did not interface the bias cut piece.  That process has always confused me.  What exactly is the point of cutting something on the bias if you intend to use interfacing?

The bow does not tie, but rather, is folded into place, and a rectangular “knot” it applied through the keyhole cutout.  So the floppy look was not exactly achieved, but I still like it.

As much as I love the look of sleeveless tops, they are not ideal for me.  The office is just too cold (darn air conditioning!).

So my solution was to add some sleeves.  

My obsession with the sleeves from this dress began as soon as I saw them.  I am convinced that I will be using these sleeves again and again – maybe I should trace the pattern pieces before they start to rip apart.

If you can take or leave Vogue 1160, I would suggest taking a look at those sleeves.  They are fantastic, and worth the price of the pattern.  Donna Karan is a truly brilliant designer!!  

No changes were necessary to the sleeve or armsye.  However, it you are not a fan of a gathered cap, you would have to make some adjustments.  Although, you probably would not like the sleeve at all if you prefer a sleek set-in sleeve.

My main concern with the sleeves was that I would not be able to fit the pieces on my leftover remnant yardage.  I am always amazed just how much fabric sleeves require!

But the two piece design actually made it possibly to use scraps.  Woo-hoo!  

It is truly ridiculous that a jar full of random buttons did not include anything that matched this fabric.  I pulled out a covered button kit to remedy the situation, so it is not a big deal, but I do wonder if I will ever find a use for all of those lonely buttons.

I have started to bind my hem with my seam binding (as opposed to applying it like a standard hem tape).  This ensures that after washing, there will be no frayed bits that have escaped the cover of said hem binding.  

And if you were wondering about that post title, here is a hint:


  1. Really so gorgeous! that rayon is to die for. I'd love to see the pink blouse on you, and can't wait to see what this watermelon bit transforms into.

  2. I almost got that pattern a while back, but decided that I was too heavy for it to look ok. I'm glad to see someone making it up! And while I've been reading your blog for a bit, I have had a burning question! Where do you wear these lovely clothes????

    1. It really is a wonderful pattern, isn't it! You should take another look at the pattern - I think the blouse would be very flattering on anyone.

      Where do I wear these garments? - everywhere! I am generally a bit "overdressed," but the clothes are just too fun to keep in the closet.

  3. Very pretty !I love sewing top too !

  4. So beautiful! I hadn't looked closely at that pattern so I didn't realize it was supposed to be a sleeveless blouse. Your sleeves are more than a solution to the problem, they are a vast improvement.
    Can't believe how lovely that rayon looks with the watermelons; when do we get to see the finished ensemble?

  5. I got this pattern last year along with some Linton Tweed to make the suit as yet it is still sitting there looking at me. I too did not realize the blouse was sleeveless.

  6. I'm in the process of drafting up a pattern for a summer dress for a friend's wedding and I now want those sleeves. Pity I don't have the pattern and it's out of print.