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