Friday, August 25, 2023

Floral Explosion

In my quest to find the perfect blouse, I made a rayon challis version of Simplicity 8736 a few years ago.  And while I wouldn't classify it as my ultimate dream blouse, it gets a lot of wear, and it turns out, I really like the design.

So when I had a hankering to make a blouse from this lovely cotton (which was a bedsheet set in a previous life, found at an estate sale) I thought that it would be nice to have another version, but in more of a pastel colorway.

I did not worry too much about pattern matching, but made sure to keep matching floral motifs away from matching seamlines.  Interestingly, the roomy set-in sleeve is cut on the bias.  I can't remember coming across or making another design that is cut in this way, but it gives a lovely drape to the sleeve.

Since this particular cotton is quite lightweight and drapey, I decided to use French seams where possible.

And that collar . . . I love the way it looks in this fabric!

The center back is self-faced, and I used a strip of bias fabric to finish the neck edge.  I never can remember that the binding should go on top of the facing, so one side had to be unpicked and fixed.  I thought that I had checked myself before pinning everything together, but somehow I got completely turned around.

But that's okay.  It all worked out in the end.

Yep - that collar still looks fabulous.  Why don't I have more peter pan collars in my wardrobe?!

Bound buttonholes were not going to work with this particular fabric; both the sheer factor and the weight/drape of this textile was going to make that technique look rather odd.

So I pulled out my vintage buttonholer.  And while keyhole buttonholes are generally reserved for more tailored pieces, I have never tried that particular shape, so I thought I would go for it.  This blouse closes up the center back, so if I hated the choice, I would never have to see it.

Machine buttonholes are the most stressful portion of the sewing process for me, but the vintage attachment does make things a little less painful.

I don't have very many white toned buttons (just a metric ton of off-white options) so I knew that I wanted to use these diamond shaped ones.  But I only had four.

Since I will always tuck this particular blouse into a skirt, that was not a problem.  The lower buttonholes were swapped for three snaps.  This is a very common technique seen in vintage pieces.  Because if the buttons are not visible, why waste them?  Also, a small snap is probably going to lay flatter than a button, especially if that button has a shank, so you can avoid bumpy buttons under your skirt or pants.

And that's it for my new blouse.  I am definitely a fan of this design.  

But honestly, I'm fairly certain that I would love just about any garment made from this lovely print.


  1. So pretty! I love the fabric-pattern combination! Abbey

  2. This is lovely. I really like how you review how the pattern comes together...

  3. What a lovely blouse! I'm always so happy when I see you've posted something new!

  4. So pretty, your sewing is amazing : )

  5. If I may ask, what brand was this sheet set? The fabric is such a pretty pattern!

    1. I believe it's "Cuddledown" - not a brand that I'm familiar with, but I'm very happy to have found this set at that estate sale!