Blue Silk Blouse for Fall

I’m usually the last person to switch over to fall sewing every year. August is so hot around here and I’m never ready to start thinking about making cool weather garments. However, what little enthusiasm I had for making maternity clothing has completely evaporated and I’m wanting to make some things I can wear after this baby is born in October. I always nurse my kiddos for the first year so will need my clothing somewhat unfitted on the top. A silk blouse was of course my first thought because I seriously love them and all the other ones I’ve made will be too snug.

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The fabric is a silk crepe de chine by Thakoon from Mood Fabrics that is unfortunately now sold out. He’s listed as “famous designer” on their website, and here are a few other of his crepe de chines. I love to use this type of fabric for blouses. It’s the perfect weight, not too thin, and flows nicely about the body. It’s also not a slippery fabric to work with, you just have to go slow and take your time. I washed and dried it prior to cutting like I usually do and didn’t notice any fading. The pattern I used is Vogue 1367, a Rebecca Taylor pattern that I loved the construction lines of. It is not maternity but fits over my baby bump because it’s meant to be loose-fitting. I do NOT plan to wear this until after the baby is born, though. The side view isn’t too flattering.

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See what I mean? The hemline turned out looking a bit different then the pattern line drawing. The front is 3 to 4 inches shorter then the back and the hems do not have the rounded-off square sides as drawn. I don’t mind the differences, though. It looks just like the example photo. I wouldn’t rate this pattern as particularly easy. There are plenty of fiddly bits to it – lots of gathering, a bias neckband, topstitching, sleeves with continuous lap sewn into thin cuffs, and a 5/8″ double folded finish to the curved hems.

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Dressform pictures:

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I was nervous that the bias edges of the yokes would stretch out while I was stitching them, particularly because I wanted to use french seams. To combat this I used a trick I haven’t utilized in a long time – I starched them. This made the fabric stiff and retain the shape of the pattern piece while I worked with it. After the blouse was complete I washed it to remove the starch. It worked perfectly and there’s no puckering or rippling along those seams. I left off the topstitching along the tops of the sleeves since I always iron the armhole seams toward the sleeves.

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Here at the inside you can see the french seams I used throughout the blouse, including the armhole seams. With this thin fabric and bias edges I didn’t want to use an overlocking stitch to finish off the fraying edges. I had to be careful while topstitching from the outside so that it caught just the top edge of the french seam.

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I couldn’t use french seams for the sides because of the double curved hemline. After stitching the seams I pressed the edges open, folded the raw edges in again and topstitched. It’s not visible because of the business of the fabric. I put a little dot of fray-check at the bottom of the sides to hopefully prevent the fabric from any strain when it’s being put on or taken off.

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I’m thrilled to add this silk blouse to my collection, of which there will definitely be more. Anyone else thinking toward fall already?

 

 

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Comments


  • Peter
    July 22, 2014

    Thinking fall? I’m trying to avoid it! LOL

    Beautiful blouse — I love that print!

    • I’m usually with you in that I love summer and never want it to end. Not this year, though. Thanks Peter!

  • Lori
    July 22, 2014

    Your blouse is lovely and will a perfect after the baby is born. I have this fabric and love my top from it.

    • Thank you Lori! I just went combing through your blog, looking for the top you made from this fabric. I totally forgot about that one! I’m bad about letting fabrics marinate for a long time before I get around to using them.

    • Rena
      August 11, 2014

      I’m impressed! You’ve managed the almost imiepssblo.

  • Justine
    July 22, 2014

    Wow that’s gorgeous fabric and I would never have guessed you were even pregnant!

  • Cissie
    July 23, 2014

    Pretty blouse that will see you through all seasons and occasions! There has got to be a way to deal with french seams, which I love, and slits. Let me know when you figure it out!!

    • Thank you Cissie! I think I have seen french seams with slits before, I just don’t know how to do it. Might require some research…

  • Sue
    July 23, 2014

    I love this blouse. I want one too :-) . I agree with Justine, you don’t even look pregnant in it and I also agree this blouse will still work perfect after your baby boy has been born. I had a few of these type of blouses when I was pregnant with my kids and are still wore them afterward. The scary part, they are the comfy ones.
    Great job!

  • Kimberly
    July 23, 2014

    That is a beautiful blouse and very, very well made and thought out….as all you pieces seem to be. Thank you for sharing your details a tips.

    • Amanda S.
      July 23, 2014

      Oh thank you Kimberly! One of the things I love about sewing is thinking out how I will finish something or figuring out a problem area. Other ladies are busy fixing problems at work but I am thinking through my sewing. I’ve got to keep my brain busy some way, right?

  • Erica B.
    July 24, 2014

    Great fabric, I love it! And great blouse!

  • Sew Well
    July 24, 2014

    I can definitely see how a top like that would get lots of use after the baby is born. I keep reaching for cute but loose and comfy tops!

    • Amanda S.
      July 24, 2014

      Thanks Amy! I can’t make much fitted stuff anyway, since my bust won’t stay nursing size past when I stop nursing. Might as well make garments that are suppose to look loose anyway. Although I’m pretty sad about not being able to make any fitted dresses for the foreseeable future.

    • Molly
      August 11, 2014

      Thanks alot – your answer solved all my problems after several days stggluring

  • Sew Busy Lizzy
    July 25, 2014

    I’ve always loved this fabric. What a great top – it’s investment sewing. I had a top just like this that I wore before, during and after my pregnancy. Bump or not – it always looks great. Nice work!

    • Amanda S.
      July 25, 2014

      So glad to hear it will look good after baby is born. This is a new silhouette for me – I usually wear my tops much more fitted. But I’ve been really drawn to the billowy stuff lately. Hope it’s not an age thing… Thanks Lizzy!

  • Cennetta
    August 1, 2014

    Beautiful blouse, Amanda. It doesn’t look like a maternity top at all.

    • Amanda S.
      August 2, 2014

      Thanks Cennetta! It’s not maternity, but I put it on anyway for a photo shoot. :)

  • Fiona
    August 2, 2014

    This looks like a really tricky project Amanda but you have really conquered it! The finishing is so neat with the french seams and the tip about starching is great. I really love wearing silk tops but am often a bit scared of sewing with it so I’ m going to be trying that tip out!

    • Amanda S.
      August 5, 2014

      Thanks Fiona! I can’t tell you how many cuts of silk I accumulated before I finally cut into one. Then I ruined my fair share of them before finally figuring out how to sew with the fabric. I certainly understand the fear.