Cream Silk Blouse

After travelling for the holidays, I’m pretty wiped out. It doesn’t help that I’m battling a cold that came with the worst sore throat I can ever remember having, making it painful just to swallow. Ouch. I managed to photograph a few projects before leaving for the holidays, though, so I can use this couch time to reveal some more sewing projects.

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After searching for a basic silk blouse for over a year without much luck, I decided I ought to make myself one. Sure, you can buy one at J.Crew for $138 (which I did briefly consider), but when I tried it on, it looked about as good as a potato sack would on my curvy, small-waisted (at least compared to my hips) figure. So, I grabbed some silk georgette at Mood in New York for $15 a yard and went to work.

I’ve been wanting to make up the Grainline Archer shirt for ages, but I thought that a cream silk blouse would look lovely under my new collarless boucle jacket, so I opted for Vogue 8857 with a simple collar band instead. I am quite happy with the results, even if it isn’t perfect. If you look closely, the pin-tucks up the front are a little wonky. After an afternoon of fighting with my fabric, I decided to leave them slightly wonky. If you’re going to use this pattern to make a silk blouse like I did, I’d recommend either converting the tucks to gathers (my plan for another version of this blouse) or using a pleater board.

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I constructed the whole thing with french seams. I also chose not to follow the order of construction in the directions–I sewed the sleeve head in flat after the front and back were sewn together at the shoulder. With the sleeve set in flat, I  stitched the underarm sleeve seams and the side seams in one long seam. Since I used french seams, finishing the sleeve vent was a little tricky–the sleeve vent was just an opening at the bottom of the underarm sleeve seam on this pattern. Ideally, the vent would be a separate slit in the sleeve, and you would add a small strip of fabric to finish the slit. As it was, I delicately turned the vent raw edges under before attaching the cuff.

I stabilized the button band, collar, and cuffs with silk organza. To make the button holes, I stabilized with stitch and tear, which worked really well. I nipped in the side seams at the waist and shortened the sleeves by about 1″. This turned out to be a great pattern, and I am already planning to make another version of this blouse with a few minor changes.

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