Chain Print Blouse

A while ago I showed you my favourites from Patrones 318, among them the following blouse, model 16:

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I liked it, but at the same time thought that it would be slightly boring to make. That was until I found a fabric that immediately brought this pattern to my mind.

At first I wanted to be ready with the project by my colleague’s birthday party, but traditionally was short of time and finished the last buttonholes and sewing the buttons the day after the party. This is the result:

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As there are no darts and no princess seams, this blouse was really easy to make. Once again a pattern from Patrones fits me perfectly, I cut my usual Patrones size 42. Due to the simplicity of the project and the type of the fabric, I decided to give French seams a try. It does require some extra work, but I really like the result. The garment looks very tidy from outside as well as inside. Here is a good tutorial that gave me assurance for finishing the armholes with the same technique.

The hardest part was the buttonholes. Not because I wouldn’t know how to use my sewing machine, but I was hoping to finish right before the party, started to rush and as a result messed up a few times.

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The skirt I am wearing is from summer, more details here.

I also tried to style the blouse for a more casual look. I am not really sure about the 70’s style jeans, but decide for yourself.

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As you can see from the photos, the sun is really intense. We have had some really nice days here in Estonia, I can feel spring approaching and the days are longer and longer. It is nice to wake up and see the sun rising. The darkness of  November and December seems like a bad dream now.

Another piece of good news is that thanks to a tip from a cousin of mine, I got myself another sewing dummy! It is actually a decoration mannequin from a shop that is moving to new premises and they are selling their mannequins for 10 and 20 euros (20 for a tall stand). As normally they only sell clothes and accessories, I didn’t take the tip very seriously. Especially because although it is a chain of shops, the mannequins were allegedly for sale only in Narva, the easternmost town of Estonia, where the majority of inhabitants are Russians.

But a colleague of mine has an adventurous mind plus we have two curious Austrian students practicing in our hospital right now and they also got excited of the plan. So we basically drove more than 300 km to Narva and back to get the dummy. Of course we did a lot of sightseeing as well, but the whole idea started off the tip from my cousin.

A few photos of the trip here:

Palmse Manor

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Narva

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The dummy is a female shape in proportions of a Barbie doll. The waist circumference is 50 cm while the bust is nearly 90! But in order to photograph my projects it is just fine.

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And finally, the shoes you see here are both Nine West, first the Pugnose, and secondly the Oh Dear wedges:

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Out Of The Closet: Bow Tie Blouse

This blog was not started the day I made my first garment and therefore there are quite a few items in my closet that I have made some time ago already, but nevertheless love to wear and share with you.

As I am in the middle of a huge change in my life (post about it will come soon), I will probably be less “productive” for some time at least, but in order to keep this blog alive, I will post some pre-blog projects until I restore a more stable rhythm of life that allows me to continue with the hobby.

The first in line is this bow tie blouse, based on Burda Easy Fashion A/W 2009 issue blouse/tunic/dress pattern. I haven’t been able to find a technical drawing online and at the moment I don’t have access to my pattern stash either, so for now, just this hard-to-interpret Burda photo:

 

AN UPDATE:

This pattern is one of the few I have used more than once. By combining details and materials, it can be used for so many different garments that it is nearly impossible to recognize that the basic pattern is the same.

Now that I look back at this project, I wouldn’t say it is very difficult to make, but the front detail really requires patience and precision. I think I would be able to get a better result now, but that’s how it is with sewing – you constantly get better and more skilled and at some point might revalue the previous achievements.

Despite the little errors on the blouse, it is one of my favorite items in my closet (unfortunately it doesn’t mean also the most worn) and never goes without compliments, even from men and even when the person is not aware that I made it myself. When my fiance proposed to me on a trip to Pilio mountains in 2011, I had packed the blouse with me for a night out. So, the very first photos of us newly engaged are with me wearing it and needless to say, it has become somewhat of a keepsake.

The fabric was bought from Estonia, back when I was still able to limit myself to “one fabric at a time” rule. It is polyester charmeuse, with a powdery shine. I thought such a fabric, with the tiny cream dots on it, was crying out for a bow tie pattern. I couldn’t really imagine it any other way and still can’t.

I cut size 38, but I would say that it could do with a little bit of more ease in the bust area, I have to choose the bra very carefully when wearing the blouse, since with anything push-up-like, there is a danger of popping a snap open. Yes, although the blouse has buttons, it is actually snaps that keep it closed in front. Remember, this is an Easy Fashion pattern (the snaps were suggested in the instructions) and back then I was not ready for trying to make buttonholes. A mistake, as I learned later, since they are actually manageable!

The most difficult part was sewing the pintucks. The pattern first makes you sew them on a rectangle piece of fabric and then cut out the front yoke pieces. The fabric is quite slippery and measuring the distance of the lines and sewing them up took me forever.

I really like the sleeves, there are eight (!) pleats on each sleeve, two of them opposing and lining up at the shoulder seam. The sleeve end is gathered with an elastic band in the tunnel.

The following photos show how I like to style the blouse, I think a fancy riding horse would be a nice accessory :):

The boots are a Greek brand named Gianna Kazakou, as I notice now, they have a surprisingly decent online shop and deliver outside Greece as well.