A new style Blouse

Using yet more of the Lily of the Valley printed cotton I had a yearning for a princess seamed blouse with frills. I was inspired by the Saraste blouse by Named ‘Breaking the Pattern’ book as shown by Rachel of Stitched Up on her Instagram and You Tube vlogs.

Inspiration – the Saraste blouse by Named

First I needed to draft a pattern using my darted bodice block. This is a fairly simple hack involving some dart manipulation and within an hour I had a new set of pattern pieces.

A forward shoulder adjustment was made. Originally I had thought of making a shawl collar but eventually decided to stick to a standard revere but with rounded collar slightly smaller than the original and a rounded edge of lapel/facing. The blouse would be sleeveless as I have yet to draft a sleeve for this bodice block. I decided to make a wearable muslin first using some pretty Pink floral cotton that I picked up last August at a Sew Southampton meet up. Just as well that the print was not a one-way design as the fabric measured just 1.5m x 114 cms so not a lot to play with!

Roses printed cotton

There were several interruptions to the construction of this blouse – visits by the plumber, gardener and general day-to-day duties such as housework, laundry and cooking!

I had drafted the pattern larger than my measurements and gradually took in the seams until I had an acceptable fit. I then amended the pattern pieces accordingly. All seams were overlocked and the Princess seams were also top-stitched to help keep the frill laying in the right direction.

I am particularly pleased with the collar. I had reduced the depth and with the rounded corners I believe that it is appropriate for this style and the print used.

The hem was overlocked and machined in place. I used 5 Raspberry-coloured spotty buttons from my stash (bought in bulk from eBay) and the buttonholes stitched like a dream.

Spotty button bought from eBay

The armholes were finished with some viscose voile binding folded double and machined in place on the inside.

It took a whole week to finish the construction but I know that next time it should take only an afternoon to make this style of blouse.

Frilly blouse wearable toile front view
Frilly blouse wearable toile back view

Whilst I am very pleased with the final garment, there are a few changes that I will make for the next iteration; reduce the width of the frill and make in fabric folded double to remove the need to have a hem on the edge of the frill, extend the frill insertion to waist level at the front, extend the length of the blouse by at least 2 inches and shape with a curve front and back.

So that is the wearable toile completed. Next I should be making the blouse in the Lily of the Valley printed cotton. However, I have a backlog of beautiful viscose fabrics – the next project will be Montana #5!

Project #46 completed 7th August 2020